Welcome to the Inglespetacular podcast for intermediate level English students. In this podcast, you’ll explore intermediate words which further expand your English listening, conversation, and comprehension skills. This lesson will be in English only. You can find a link to the Portuguese interpretation of this podcast in the description.
Let’s begin with a story which has to do with our own president of Brazil. You may know that the G7 meeting (of the seven largest advanced economies in the world) took place this week, and little progress was made on the major issues facing the countries in question, from trade to the fires in the Amazon, which president Bolsonaro says are caused by farmers and NGOs (Non Profit Organizations), not his administration. Because President Trump often changes his mind or contradicts his earlier statements, other world leaders had reportedly been lowering expectations of what could be accomplished at the summit. This leads us to our first word in this podcast.
harsh or corrosive in tone, sarcastic, malicious, cruel,
“The two-day summit is taking place at one of the most unpredictable moments in Trump’s tenure, with his public comments and decision-making increasingly erratic and acerbic of late.”
– Washington Times (Aug 24, 2019)
My next story involves a huge raft of pumice, a type of volcanic rock that floats, which is drifting through the South Pacific. The likely result of an underwater eruption, the raft covers nearly 60 square miles of ocean. The flock of rocks supports a lot of life; since pumice is full of holes (which is why it floats) it provides habitat for lots of tiny critters. When it arrives in Australia, all this life may help to repopulate the Great Barrier Reef, which is suffering the effects of a warming and acidifying ocean. Wanna take a look at the next word? Me too, let’s go!
a sailboat with two parallel hulls held together by a deck
“Days later, an Australian couple sailing to Vanatu on a catamaran raft encountered the pumice raft.”
USA Today (Aug 26, 2019)
Next, as the trade dispute with China heats up, American farmers are suffering economically. China recently responded to President Trump’s tariffs by buying soybeans, pork, and other products from other countries. In 2014 we exported $24 billion in agricultural products to China; last year it was $9 billion. Farm bankruptcies have increased by 13 percent over last year. Collateral used as a noun refers to property (a house, a car, a farm) you promise to give a bank if you can’t repay a loan. The related word here is collateral.