Focus on language

1. Complete the table. Turn the words given in the table into verbs, nouns and adjectives. Use a dictionary if necessary.


2. Fill in the gaps with the right form of the words in capitals.

a) Floods and droughts are serious issues in ……… countries. DEVELOP
b) We are worried by the ……… amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. INCREASE
c) There should be laws to protect ……… species from poaching. DANGER
d) d) By the year 2030, 25% of all animals, birds, fish and insects may be Focus on language ………. EXTINCTION
e) Vehicle exhausts are the major ……… of the air. CONTAMINATE
f) The ……… effect of deforestation on wildlife is growing bigger every year. HARM
g) The ……… number of whales in the oceans is one of the major concerns for marine biologists, DECLINE
h) I have never worked with such highly ……………. substances! REACTION
i) It is very costly to restore historical structures and buildings ……… by acid rain. DAMAGE

3. Read these sentences. What grammar rule do they follow?

§ Acid rain is strongly acidic rain which/that absorbs microscopic particles of nitric acid or sulfuric acid as it falls Focus on language towards the ground.

§ In Asia, acid rain is having truly serious consequences in China, which is the second largest producer of coal in the world.

§ As the acidity level of soil increases, aluminum and other harmful metals contained in the soil begin to dissolve, which also contributes to the death of aquatic life.

Relative clauses with which, that, who, whose and where § If relative clauses give essential information they do not have commas. e.g. A good lab assistant is one whoseequipment works well. § If relative clauses give extra information, and can be left out, they have a comma before the clause Focus on language and a comma or a full stop after it. e.g. My junior brother wants to study in Boston university, where I did my postgraduate course. § Which/thatcan be omitted if they are the object in a relative clause. e.g. The book (that/which) he is reading now is about great maritime explores. § Whichcan be used in a relative clause to refer to the whole sentence. e.g. Acid rain makes soil highly acidic, which leads to the drying and death of forests. § Whatis used in relative clauses to mean the thing that. e.g Focus on language. What the lecturer said about the consequences of acid rain was shocking.

4. Put in which, what or that. Put comma if necessary.

a) She cycles to work every day, which makes her healthy.

b) Everything ………… he told us about water pollution made me upset.

c) Graffiti is vandalism. This is ……… we need to understand.

d) The world’s population is growing very fast ……… makes the world critically short for food and water.

e) Even with just an A-level in Biology I could understand ……… they were doing.

f) Planting trees is a great thing ……… also makes us feel better and encourage less Focus on language littering.

g) I did everything ……… I could to save an entangled seal.

h) She joined a Girl Scout team ………… surprised us all.

i) Our modern lifestyle is destroying the fragile environment ………leads to the environmental catastrophe.

Get real

Search the environmental websites or specialized magazines to get information about the ways to solve the acid rain problem. Make notes on what you have found and report back to the class.


1. Work with a partner. Brainstorm as many environmental problems typical for big cities as you can. Compare your ideas as a class.

2. You are going to listen to Focus on language an environmentalist talking to the students about the pollution of the environment. The words below are all to do with different types of litter. Explain the difference in their meaning. Use a dictionary if necessary.

What sources of pollution can you name? Which of them are the most/least harmful?

3. Listen to the talk and answer the questions.

a) What kind of pollution is the main focus of the talk?

b) Why aquatic pollution is such a serious environmental problem?

c) What types of pollution does the environmentalist mention?

d) What are the main sources of water pollution Focus on language?

e) Why plastic litter is so harmful?

f) Why entanglement and indigestion are the two major problems for the wildlife in waterways?

g) How does debris contaminate water?

h) What is the purpose of the talk?


Ø Litter is ugly, dangerous and expensive. Moreover it multiplies and travels. Why is it so?

Ø Who do you think is responsible for solving the problem of litter in cities?

Ø Have you ever participated in a cleaning up activity or any other civic improvement programs in your city? Do you think such programs can help to improve your community? How would you feel walking along Focus on language a street after you had helped to clean it of litter?


Interview ten of your fellow students about the most serious environmental problems in your hometown.

Functional language: Presenting another point of view Some of the people think that … Each of the interviewees believes that … Most of the people agree/disagree that … Hardly anybody/Nobody feels that … According to the majority of people … Two of ten interviewees say … 50% of people point out that… Very few people/All the people claim that … etc.

How different are their opinions? Discuss your findings as a class. Use the Focus on language phrases in the Functional language box.


Complete the bar chart below marking each bar with the results of your interviews. Summarize your findings in a paragraph.


1. Look through the texts on various green initiatives that are introduced worldwide and take notes on a particular green initiative and its benefits described in each text.






Get real

Search the Internet, specialized magazines or talk to the experts who work in your university to get comprehensive and reliable information about one of the environmental problems in your country or the region you live in. Summarize the information you have collected and Focus on language report back to the class. Follow the guidelines:

§ State the problem briefly but clearly

§ Describe the problem in detail (the causes and effects)

§ Give examples of green initiatives aimed at solving the problem.


Work in groups of 3-4 and discuss what actions as individuals you can take to help to solve the environmental problems listed below. Brainstorm solutions to some national or local problems. Use the phrases from the Functional languagebox. Share your solutions with the rest of the class.

What can be done… a) to control the cutting down of forests?

b) to clean up the beaches?

c Focus on language) to reduce air pollution?

d) to save rare animals and plants?

e) to slow down global warming?

f) to stop the spread of droughts?

g) to reduce floods?

Functional language: Making suggestions Well, one thing to do is… Another thing to be done is … Another way to help is… If we don’t do …, we will (won’t) … It would be great to … We should … We’d better( do sth.)…


A big petroleum company has announced that it wishes to build a plant for refining petroleum products in an area of countryside near your city. The plans Focus on language have divided the community into three groups:


You regard the chosen site as an area of outstanding natural beauty which should not be harmed in any way. You oppose any construction on the site.


You welcome the economic benefits that the new plant will bring and aim to provide technological and financial support which will help the refinery to reduce its impact on the environment.


You would like to strengthen the rules on pollution and increase the fines on companies that release pollutants.

1. Which group do you associate yourself with?

2. Write a letter to the local authorities Focus on language of your own city giving your opinion on this problem and saying which suggestions you agree or disagree with. Follow the model.

Your address and the date 6345 Willow Avenue Baltimore, Mariland 21220 4 November 2008
Name and address of the company/person you are writing to Mr. Charles H.C. Wright City Hall Special Projects Officer 19 Harbor Place Baltimore, Mariland 21220
Salutation If you know the name of the person, put it: Dear M. Wright Dear M. Wright Dear Mr. Wright If not, put: Dear Sir(s), Madam The body of the letter Paragraph 1. The introduction · Say who you are · Say why Focus on language you are writing Paragraph 2. The message · Say which suggestions you agree or disagree with · Give your reasons Paragraph 3. The conclusion · Make any different suggestions of your own f you start: Dear Sir, Finish: Yours faithfully If you start: Dear Mr Wright Finish: Yours sincerely Dear Mr Wright, I am writing to express my concern about ...________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ I strongly disagree with ..._(I see the importance of …)_______ ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ In my opinion ...._____________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ I hope you ...________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ Thank you for your attention to this matter.________________ Yours sincerely, Janette Grayston

3. Work in pairs. Exchange your letters and read them. Is the language, used by your fellow student Focus on language, appropriate for a formal letter? Are his/her ideas and viewpoints clear? Make any suggestions for improvements.

Project work

All of you are at the meeting which is held to discuss the most urgent environmental problems in your city. Each student plays one of the roles described below. Read the situation and the role descriptions and decide who will play each role. Divide into 5 groups (group A – environmentalists, B – bank representatives, C – city residents, D – city council members, E – project managers). Prepare for ten minutes before you begin the meeting. Make use of the functional language in the Functional language Focus on language box.

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