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Session 89

Have you ever wondered why zebras have stripes? One study thinks it has the answer! Neil and Catherine teach you the language the media is using to discuss this story.

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    Activity 1

Activity 1

News Review

It's not all about looks!

Scientists believe they have discovered the reason why zebras have their stripes. Not just for show, they actually have a practical function.

Language challenge

What do we call a black and white striped road crossing?

a) zebra crossing
b) crocodile path
c) tiger lane

Watch the video and complete the activity




Did you like that? Why not try these? 

NR_UN report_thumbnail.jpg bambi.jpg wildlife.jpg 


The story

Dr Martin How, University of Bristol
We put stripy rugs on horses to see how they affected the number of visits by horseflies.
At the same time we were also looking at real zebras who also happened to be present at this horse livery. And what we found is that, incredibly, once you add stripes to a horse, it drops the number of horsefly visits dramatically.

Key words and phrases


• People who evade paying taxes often get caught in the end.
• The criminal was unable to evade the police and was arrested yesterday.

do something to change the actions of something

• They put an electric fence around the biscuits to deter certain staff members.
• The threat of punishment helps to deter people from committing crimes.

earning their stripes
doing something to make others respect them

• By volunteering to manage the project, you’re really earning your stripes.
• Dealing with the environmental disaster helped the new politician earn his stripes.

To do

Try our quiz to see how well you've learned today's language.

News Review quiz

3 Questions

Now you've watched the video, try to answer these questions about the language in the news.

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You can download the audio and PDF document for this episode.

Language challenge answer

a) zebra crossing


We hope you enjoyed News Review. You can find more episodes here.