Jean and Matt’s English Class 10

Ninmen Hao,

In part one of today’s  we will use some of the exercises on “Modern Adventures” from the textbook Face to Face, pages 32-33, and page160. Then in part two we will read about some Chinese expeditions and the Chinese and international aims they support.

Part One: Let’s start with the Quick Review exercise

Working in pairs, write down two true and false sentences about what you were doing at different times of the day yesterday.
For example: At 3pm yesterday I was riding a bike around Tanggu.
OK, let’s share your sentences with the group, but don’t tell us which ones are true or false, we’ll try to guess.

Now let’s do the Vocabulary and Speaking Exercise

A. Work in pairs again and see which of the adjectives in the box below you know.


B. Think of four people you know. Choose adjectives from the box above to describe them. Think of the reasons why you chose those adjectives. Let’s share your reasons with the class.

C. Work in pairs again. Take turns to tell your partner about the people you know. Who do you think is most interesting. Share your views with the class.

The next exercise is Listening and Speaking

Work in pairs to discuss the following questions

  1. What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
  2. Are there any famous adventurers from China? If so, what do you know about them?
  3. Share your views with the class.

Now let’s discuss the following words together before reading the transcript from CD1:31


OK. Now let’s read the dialogue …

Part one (first team of readers)

Paul: What are you working on now Josie?

Josie: I’ve been making a TV series called Modern Adventures.

Paul: That sounds interesting.

Josie: Yes, it’s fascinating. The first episode is about a man called Ed Stafford, who became the first person to walk the length of the River Amazon in 2010.dsc00003-150x150

Paul: Wow, that sounds like hard work. How long did it take?

Josie: About two-and-a-half years.

Paul: You’re joking! Why didn’t you go by boat?

Josie: Very funny. But that’s the point of the series. Why do some people go on these crazy adventures? Just to be the first person to do something?


Let’s pause for a moment. Any questions so far? Words or phrases that need explaining?

Part two (second team of readers)

Paul: Good question. So did this guy — what was his name again?

Josie: Ed Stafford.

Paul: Right. So did Ed Stafford walk the Amazon on his own?

Josie: No, he set off with a friend called Luke Collyer. They’d planned to do the whole walk together. But Luke went home after 68 days.

Paul: I’m not surprised. I wouldn’t last 68 minutes!

ed-and-cho-eat-breakfast-together-walking-the-amazon-150x150Josie: No, me neither. Anyway, a Peruvian guide called Cho joined the expedition after Luke had gone back to the UK. Cho had planned to walk with Ed for only five days, but ended up staying with him to the end.

Paul: And what did they eat? 

Josie; They mainly lived on rice and beans, which they bought in the villages and carried with them.  But they also went to parts of the forest that nobody had ever been to before. So they sometimes ran out of food and had to eat whatever they could find.

OK, let’s pause again. Any questions for this part of the dialogue?

Part three (third team of readers)

Paul: So did they disappear into the jungle for two-and-a-half years?

Josie: No, not really. Every day Ed wrote his blog or uploaded a video of his journey onto his website, and of course, he also read messages that people sent him.

Paul: So how far did he walk in total?

Josie: Well, the River Amazon is about 4,000 miles long, but Ed calculated he’d walked about 6,000 miles.p10409091-150x150

Paul: I hope he took some insect repellent.

Josie: Well, if he did, he didn’t take enough. He says that during the trip he got 200,000 mosquito and ant bites.

Paul: Really, that’s amazing!

Josie: Yes, and he also got 600 wasp stings and 12 scorpion stings.

Paul: Ouch! So what did he do when he’d finished the journey?

He flew back to England, had a rest, and then a few weeks later he ran four marathons in 27 hours!

Paul: Wow! This guy makes me feel exhausted just hearing about him.

Josie: Well, if you think he’s extreme, the second program is about another modern adventurer called Martin Strel. He was the first person to

OK, now let’s answer the comprehension questions from Face to Face (page 32)

(3b) 1. What is the first episode of Josie’s new TV series about?

2. What problems did Ed Stafford have on the journey?

3. How did his friends and family know where he was/

4. What did he do when he got home?

(4a) Now, working in pairs, see what you can remember about what Paul and Josie said about these numbers and people.


(4c) From the list of adjectives above, choose some that describe Ed Stafford.

Extra questions (discuss in pairs)

  1. Why do you think Ed Stafford went on his adventure?
  2. What kind of adventure or expedition would you like to go on?
  3. What would be some of the challenges? How would you prepare for them?
  4. Share your ideas with the class

Part Two: Team projects

Ed Stafford’s long walk was primarily an individual adventure, but many expeditions are team-based and have broader aims (broader than challenging oneself). Let’s read the following article about some Chinese expeditions that involve broader aims.

Arctic Expeditions supporting Chinese and International aims

Northern Sea Route2

Opening the northern sea route to Europe will cut 7,400 kilometres off the journey and thus shorten freight time significantly, enhancing trade between China and Europe, and thereby helping to develop further Chinese and European economic growth.

The new route is part of China’s increasing activity in the Arctic region, including scientific expeditions in the arctic cap.


Making its way through the ice floes

The Xue Long (Snow Dragon in English) plays an important role in both the new China-Europe sea route, and in scientific expeditions to the Arctic.  The snow dragon is a Ukranian-built icebreaker, uniquely capable of ploughing through the thick ice of the Arctic ocean. In July of this year it set out from the port of Shanghai to attempt the first circumnavigation of the Arctic rim. The ship is expected to travel 19,000 nautical miles in 83 days on the expedition, with a team of 96 onboard.

scientific team xuelong shanghai 2017.jpg
The Snow Dragon scientific team in Shanghai, 2017

Xu Ren, deputy head of the institute and chief scientist of the expedition team, said the Arctic Ocean is the most sensitive area in global climate change. The fast-melting ice has aroused attention from scientists around the world. Xu said the Snow Dragon expedition’s research would focus on ocean acidification and plastic pollution in the sea. Acidification – mainly caused by carbon dioxide emissions into the sea - is rising in the ocean and already covers a larger area. Xu said “it may trigger environmental disasters and affect marine biodiversity,”

The melting of ice cover in the Arctic is thought to be a major contributor to global warming and rising sea levels.

Summer ice cover in the Arctic has dropped by more than 40% in the last few decades.

So the research provided by Arctic and Antartic Centre is valuable in helping scientists to understand and address global warming. China is one of the leaders in international cooperation on efforts to prevent global warming. It signed the Paris Agreement in 2016 and has maintained its commitment to the international targets to reduce carbon emissions and increase non-fossil fuel sources for primary energy consumption. The U.S., on the other hand, has withdrawn from the agreement and therefore does not intend to commit to the international targets for reducing pollution.

Chinese expeditions and research in the Arctic also include an interest in new sources of natural resources. The US Geological Survey estimated in 2008 that the Arctic Circle has more than 90 billion barrels of oil and 30 percent of the world’s natural gas – more than a fifth of the world’s undiscovered, technically recoverable reserves. And Greenland – besides significant iron ore stocks – is believed to have the largest rare earths deposits outside China.

In addition, the region’s fishing stocks could supplement China’s own overfished water. According to a Chinese diplomat in Norway, the Arctic is “the world’s largest storehouse of biological protein”.

penguins snow dragon2

Discussion Questions (work in pairs before we discuss as a class)

1.How much quicker is the Northern Sea route when compared to the Suez canal route? How much shorter is it? 

2. What kind of research do the Snow Dragon expeditions support? What issues are the scientists examining?

3. What advantages and disadvantages does the melting Arctic ice present to China?

4.What are some of the consequences of the Arctic’s melting ice for the world? 

5.What other factors contribute to global warming?

6.What can be done about global warming? What are some of the difficulties in addressing the problem? 











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