Listening & Reading Comprehension Practice  

Get some reading comprehension practice (and practice listening comprehension as well!) with one or both of these talks about solving energy and other environmental problems. Michael Pawlyn, in Using Nature’s Genius in Architecture, proposes using nature’s design strategies to develop sustainable human systems.   

In A Clean Energy ProposalJennifer Granholm suggests a better way to create ‘clean’ energy (and jobs) in the U.S. by encouraging competition between states rather than forcing one national energy policy on the whole nation. 

To download a pdf of this exercise instead of doing the interactive practice below, right-click here.

windmill against the sky
windmill against the sky

These TED talks suggest a lot of ways to produce or save energy, reduce global warming, and resolve some other pressing environmental problems. Before watching them, think for a moment about the strategies you expect them to mention.

  • What are some problems with our current situation? 
  • What solutions have you already heard? 
  • Which do you think will work best? 

(Thinking about what you already know about a topic will help you understand and remember it better. It's an important reading comprehension strategy.)

Then watch and listen for better ideas-- and also think about potential drawbacks (problems) their proposals might have. 

Try listening to each talk (or reading it-- see the "Interactive transcript just below the video) in English first, to see how much you can understand. Answer these questions. (It’s OK to look back at the transcript-- this is not a test of your memory.) After taking the quiz and checking your answers, you can always read it or watch it with subtitles in your primary language if you want.

Reading Comprehension Practice Questions 

Choose the best answer for each question, then check your answer. You can try again if your first answer was wrong. The first 6 questions are from the Nature’s Genius talk, the last 6 are from the Clean Energy Proposal. After each question, return to the top and click on the arrow for the next question, or choose "Show all questions" to see all 12 at once. Scroll back after each question.

(For questions 1 and 10, you must choose all the correct check marks before your answer is complete. If it says "4/5", go back and change the check marks until it says "5/5," which means all 5 are correct.)

 

How did you do? If you practice your English reading comprehension skills-- even just by thinking about what you are reading, making predictions, and asking yourself questions-- it should help you get more from your reading-- and improve your English vocabulary as well.

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