English Listening Activity: Slovakia

 Read along as you listen to help you understand the English listening activity on Slovakia.

Slovakia is a small nation in central Europe. The capital of Slovakia is Bratislava. Slovakia borders with Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine and Hungary. Slovakia has approximately, 5.4 million citizens. Slovak is the official language of Slovakia.

Slovakia adopted its constitution on January 1st, 1993 when it separated from Czechoslovakia. Slovaks value education and the government spends about ten percent of the annual budget on education. Slovakia’s constitution guarantees freedom of religion and historically Slovaks are quite religious; with about 70% of the population being Catholic. Women have equal according to law. Most women work outside of the home.

Many tourists come to ski and hike in Slovakia. 65% of the annual GDP of Slovakia comes from tourism and the service industry.

Soccer is the most popular sport in Slovakia. Ice Hockey is also popular in the winter months.

In 2009, Slovakia started using the Euro. Raising costs and unemployment continue to be a major concern in Slovakia.

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English Listening Activity: Elvis Presley

Elvis Aaron Presley is one of the biggest celebrities of rock ‘n’ roll music of all time. He was a very popular musician and actor. In fact, even today rock artists look up to him for inspiration. Elvis Presley was born on January 8th, 1935 in Mississippi in the United States.

When he was younger, Elvis did odd jobs but continued to stay interested in music and practiced singing. He finally signed with a recording company in 1955. Elvis Presley brought the traditional Blues into the modern mainstream and produced early rock and roll music.

Elvis Presley’s personality and ability to perform helped him reach the top. His charming personality and looks made girls drool over him.

In 1956, he started his career as an actor. He acted in many movies and came back to do live music performances in the 1970’s. Billions of his records have been sold worldwide.

However, trouble soon entered his life with a divorce and extensive hours of work for which he resorted to using drugs. In August of 1977, Elvis died of heart failure in Tennessee. It is believed that he died due to his drug addiction. His death certainly shocked all his fans worldwide, but he will always remain a rock star forever for his music and charming personality.

Even to this day, Elvis continues to be an iconic figure of American history.

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Elvis Photo Credit

ESL Listening Activity: Penguins

English (ESL) Listening Activity on Penguins

Penguins cannot fly but they are great swimmers. The penguins use their flippers (or wings) to move their bodies through the water. They can swim for many miles, chase small animals and fish in the water. Penguins like to eat krill, anchovies, sardines and squid. Emperor penguins can stay under the water for 20 minutes. They cannot breathe in the water but they use oxygen that they stored in their body to stay under. Penguins can see very well under the water. Sometimes Penguins run into predators, such as leopard seals and killer whales while swimming.

Penguins live in the southern hemisphere. Most penguins live close to Antarctica but some live close to the equator. Penguins can live to be 15 to 20 years old.
All of the penguins nest is the same place. Rookery is where penguins lay their eggs. Some penguins lay their eggs in nests and other balance their egg on their feet.
There are anywhere from 15 to 20 species of penguins. Emperors are the largest penguins. Emperor penguins can be four feet tall and weigh about 65 pounds. Emperor penguins live in the Artic and swim fast. They can swim around 13 miles per hour.
Little Blues are the smallest penguins. They are usually one foot tall and weigh only two pounds. Little Blues live in Australia and New Zealand.
Penguins are marine sentinels. Sentinel means lookout or guard. They warn each other when something is wrong. This is often because every year they mate and lay their eggs in the same place as they have all of the other years. This means that predators know they are coming. Penguins sense when danger is coming and alert the other birds.
The two biggest threats to penguins are large oil companies (and oil spills) and global warming.


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ESL Listening Activity: Philippines

English (ESL) Listening Activity: Philippines

The Philippines is an island nation in the southwest Pacific Ocean. The Philippines form a chain of more than seven thousand islands. The capital of the Philippines is Manila. The Philippines have a population of more than 95 million people. Of this 95 million only about 2 million live in the capital city of Manila. The Philippines is located near China and Malaysia.

The Philippines is known for its beautiful beaches. In land on some of the islands you will find hills and steep mountains. On the island of Luzon, there is an active volcano. Millions of years ago the islands that now make up the Philippines were all under water. After earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, they eventually immerged from the sea. There are still earthquakes every year in the Philippines.

The weather in the Philippines is tropical. Most days the average temperature is 80F (or 27C). There is also a long rainy season every year from May to November.

Different groups of people live in the Philippines. The Aeta and Malay are the main ethnic groups but there are more than eighty represented in this island nation. People that live in the Philippines are called Filipinos. In the Philippines, people speak more than 80 languages. Filipino is a language that is based on Tagalog. It is one of the official languages. English is the other official language of the Philippines.

Filipino families are usually pretty large. It is not uncommon for grandparents, parents, children, aunts, uncles and cousins to live together. They often live in a compound; which is a group of houses that are close together. In a ‘typical’ Filipino family that father goes to work while the mother stays home and takes care of the children, home and shopping.

Manila, is a large city. It has many skyscrapers, cars and people. Is the city you can find both very rich people and people living in absolute poverty in little shacks made out of cardboard and metal.

ESL Listening Activity: Ostriches

English (ESL) Listening Activity on Ostriches

Ostriches are large oversized birds. They are the biggest bird in the world. Ostriches are taller and heavier than an average adult human being. Ostriches usually are over 6 feet, 2 inches tall and weigh around 250 pounds.
Ostriches don’t have very many feathers. Their bare skin ranges in color from pink to blue. Ostriches have small heads and big eyes and long eyelashes.
Ostriches are the fastest animal with two legs. They can run 40 miles (64 kilometers) per hour and they can run for hours at a time. They generally need to run to keep away from predators or other animals that want to kill them. Ostriches only have two toes on each foot. They also have long claws on each foot that act like cleats, the shoes baseball and soccer players use. Their long claws dig into the dirt as they run along.
Wild ostriches live in savannas in Africa. They hide or camouflage themselves for protection from other animals. Ostriches protect themselves by running away from predators or by kicking them. They kick very hard. They also have claws on the tips of their wings that they use to protect themselves. If an ostriches finds itself in danger and cannot get away; it lays flat on the ground and does not move.
Ostriches eat plants. They also eat some small animals such as lizards and some insects. Ostriches are omnivores. They will eat most plants, flowers and seeds. Ostriches rarely drink water. They get the majority of water they need form the plants they eat.
Ostriches live in small groups of usually 10-15 birds. Ostriches have good eyesight and hearing. Each group of ostriches had one male and several hens. They all take turns mating with the male. All the ostriches lay their eggs in the same nest and only the male and the ‘main’ hen sits on the nest and protects the eggs. The average ostrich’s egg weighs about 3 pounds or a little over 1 kilogram. Even though the hens share a nest they can distinguish which egg is their own. 15 to 55 baby chicks hatch at a time. Ostriches can live to be 50 years old.

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