air quality: the cleanliness of the air we breathe.
   | Due to the opening of a new factory nearby, the air quality here went down.

bio-diversity: a diversity in nature, among plants and animals.
   | Nowadays, we suffer the loss of bio-diversity.

endangered species: a category of animals or plans that migh become extinct.
   | White rhinos are endangered species. There are only 5 white rhinos left in the world.

environmentally friendly: products that do not harm the environment.
   | I try to use only environmentally friendly goods in order to preserve the nature.

exhaust fumes: gases, ejected from an engine as waste products.
   | I bought an electric car to avoid producing exhaust fumes when I drive.

fossil fuels: energy resources like gas and oil.
   | Gas is one of the most well-known fossil fuels.

global warming: an increase in temperature all-over the world, as a result of greenhouse effect.
   | Global worming is a very serious problem that our society is dealing with.

greenhouse effect: heating of the atmosphere due to the carbon dioxide and other gases.
   | Greenhouse effect causes global warming.

melting of glaciers: the process of icebergs’ melting.
   | Melting of glaciers increases the sea-level.

natural disaster: an event like an earthquake, hurricane etc.
   | I experienced a natural disaster in the form of an earthquake last year.

paper recycling: the processes of reprocessing waste paper for reuse.
   | It was found that paper recycling causes 35% less water pollution and 74% less air pollution than making virgin paper.

poacher: one who kills or takes wild animals illegally.
   | Poaching is considered a violation of hunting rules and impedes wildlife conservation.

toxic waste: poisonous rubbish, produced by industrial processes.
   | Many factories in my city dump toxic waste into rivers and lakes.

Useful phrases:

to become extinct: to stop existing.
   | Dinosaurs became extinct may centuries ago.

to be under threat: to be in danger of becoming extinct.
   | White Rhinos are under the threat of becoming extinct.

to dry up: to have all the water drained away.
   | The small river in my hometown dried up this summer due to the enormous heat.

to get back to nature: live a life that is closer to nature.
   | My friend decided to leave his boring job and move to the countryside to get back to nature.

to litter: to throw rubbish in inappropriate places.
   | I always try to find a garbage bin to throw my trash in. I don’t like to litter.



IELTS Speaking sample about  Environment


Part 1    

Do you think pollution is a big problem nowadays?

Yes, definitely. Air and water pollution are huge issues in the modern world… The air pollution problem is especially grave due to the increasing amount of exhaust  fumes, which are produced by cars, and result into a poor air quality.

What do you do to prevent our environment from pollution?

A lot of things… First of all, I don’t litter. Also, my family and me try to buy only environmentally friendly goods whenever we can… And finally, I try to save trees… I print on both sides of every sheet of paper I use and use any left over white space to scribble notes.

Have you ever participated in any environmental events?

Yes, of course! Last year I participated in an event in my hometown, which was all about preserving nature… We were taught about the greenhouse effect and I learned about many endangered species in the world. 


Part 2    

Now, have a look at the card and prepare a monologue.

Describe an environmental problem or event. You should say:
What is it
Where is it happening
What problems does it cause

I would like to talk about global warming. In my opinion, it is a big, if not the biggest, problem that we are facing nowadays. The main reason of global warming is the greenhouse effect … Nowadays people are producing excessive amounts of greenhouse gases, mostly by burning fossil fuels. These gases let sunlight in, which warms the Earth, and then block that heat from leaving… That breaks the delicate natural balance and causes our planet to warm… As global warming changes the climate on the whole planet, it affects all countries in the world and causes many serious problems… For example, global warming causes melting of glaciers, which in turn raises the sea-level… Eventually, coastal areas are flooding and agriculture is damaged unless appropriate measures are taken… As it is a worldwide problem, I think that only joint efforts will help us to overcome this issue. 

Part 3

In which way do people damage our planet?

Er… In my point of view, we damage the Earth in many ways. Just take a look at all those factories that empty toxic waste into rivers and lakes… People also destroy a great deal of natural areas in search of fossil fuels. Not to mention poaching and endangering of wild animals.

Do you think that the environmental situation will improve in the nearest future?

Yes, I would like to believe so… People are getting more and more aware of the major environmental issues that we’re dealing with nowadays… I hope that we will get back to nature and start caring about our planet more.

IELTS  Environment Vocabulary

Part 1-style questions      

Examiner: Are there any environmental problems in your country?

Kelly: Yes … we have a serious issue with pollution levels in some of our big cities … exhaust fumes from cars and lorries are definitely one reason for the problem but we also have a lot of heavy industry in some areas and this also results in poor air quality

Examiner: Do you take an interest in nature?

Jenny: Well … I’m a city person through and through and don’t get back to nature very often I’m afraid … but like everyone else I’m fascinated by the natural world and I like watching documentaries showing wild animals in their natural habitat

Examiner: Do you or your family take steps to help the environment?

Mira: My parents have always tried to make us aware of our impact on the environment… they’re really into energy conservation … and always try to buy environmentally friendly products if they have the chance …  

Part 2 -style task

Describe an environmental problem that has been in the news. You should say
   – when this was
   – where the event happened
   – what actually took place
and say how you felt about this problem

Martin: Well … this is an interesting question … there are so many issues I could think of …natural disasters like earthquakes and floods seem to be in the news almost every year … but there was one story recently about some animals that were under threat … it wasn’t focused on one place in particular … it was looking at various animals that could actually become extinct in different African countries … if we don’t take steps to protect them … these were really iconic animals like gorillas … leopards … rhinos … and apparently they’re now listed as endangered species … what made it really depressing was they were in danger thanks to us … in some cases it was due to a loss of habitat either because people need more agricultural production … or even worse I think … because of hunting and poaching … I hate to think of future generations being robbed of the chance to see creatures like these in their natural environment … it’s lucky we have lots of organisations that focus on wildlife conservation … hopefully with their help we can put pressure on those in power to do something to stop creatures like these dying out  


Part 3 -style questions   

Examiner: What do you think is the main danger the world faces in terms of the environment?

Spencer: Well … climate change is a real issue … in my country we have flash floods and heat waves on a yearly basis … so yes … I think global warming is the biggest issue.

Examiner: What examples are there of how we damage the natural world?

Stella: There are so many examples … there are factories that empty toxic waste into rivers and oceans … oil spills that damage the coastline … the way we destroy vast areas of land and rain forests in search of fossil fuels or to increase agricultural production …

Examiner: In which ways do we respond well to environmental problems?

Mathius: Well … on the one hand there are various worldwide agencies that are always the first on the scene with humanitarian aid after natural and man-made disasters … and on the other hand we have environmental pressure groups that are constantly raising awareness of issues and trying to stop disasters happening … 


air quality: the cleanliness of the air we breathe

to become extinct: to no longer exist

to be under threat: to be in danger of becoming extinct

climate change: the change in worldwide weather patterns

to die out: see ‘to become extinct’

endangered species: categories of animals or plants that are in danger of becoming extinct

energy conservation: the careful management of energy resources to ensure they last as long as possible

environmentally friendly: behaviour and products that do not harm the environment

exhaust fumes: the toxic gases given off by vehicles powered by petrol

flash floods: floods that happen quickly

fossil fuels: energy resources like gas and oil that are produced deep below the ground over millions of years

future generations: the people who live after us

to get back to nature: to live a life that is closer to nature

global warming: the increasing temperature of the world brought about by gases such as carbon dioxide

heavy industry: the manufacture of heavy articles and materials in large numbers

humanitarian aid: the act of showing support to people struggling to survive

impact on: the effect on

loss of habitat: the decline in areas of land where animals and plants would normally exist

man-made disaster: widespread damage or loss of life brought about by the action of humans

natural disaster: an event such as an earthquake, flood or hurricane which causes widespread damage or loss of life

natural environment: the place where animals and plants would normally be found in nature

the natural world: the world of nature

oil spill: waste usually deposited in the seas and oceans after an accident at sea

poaching: to hunt and kill wild animals illegally

pollution levels: the amount of toxic waste

pressure group: a group of people who try to raise awareness of issues and try to affect the views and actions of people and organisations

toxic waste: poisonous, unwanted rubbish often produced by industrial processes

wildlife conservation: to protect animals and plants and their habitats  

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