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Session 4

Emma knows where she wants to have her holiday - and she's writing a postcard to tell everyone. But which articles will she use?

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    Activity 4

The island at the end of the earth

Do you ever want to take a holiday somewhere really far away?

In this week's News Report we visit an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, where only 62 people live.

You'll hear lots of this unit's grammar in the report. If you need extra help, there's a transcript to read while you listen - or if you're feeling brave, listen without the transcript.

After you've listened, why not try being a newsreader yourself? Read the transcript out loud, record yourself and play it back. Try to copy the newsreader's pronunciation - you can do it!  

Listen to the audio

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What is your ideal holiday destination?

It could be the tiny Pacific island of Palmerston. With its beautiful white sand, transparent water, and palm trees, you may think you have arrived in paradise.

But this is one of the most remote islands in the world. Surrounded by thousands of miles of ocean, it is only accessible by boat. The journey takes nine days from Tahiti, and is long and dangerous. However, it's well worth it.

"Nothing goes wrong in Palmerston," says Bob Marsters, the mayor, who greets visitors in his boat. He, like all except three of the other 62 islanders are descendants of one man – William Marsters, an Englishman who settled here 150 years ago with his three wives.

There's no shop on the island and drinking water comes from rainwater. A ship with supplies calls just twice a year. The main street is a narrow piece of sand no more than 100 metres long, and has only half a dozen buildings.

But what the island lacks in amenities, it makes up in its beauty and peace. If you want to get away from it all, this island 'at the end of the earth' could be the place to go. You may never want to go back home.

 

Download

You can download News Report on our Unit 8 Downloads page.

Vocabulary

ideal
perfect; best possible

destination  
place where someone is going

transparent 
if something is transparent, you can see through it

breeze          
a light wind

remote         
far away

accessible     
able to be reached

mayor           
leader of a town or city

supplies         
things like food and medicine that you need to live

narrow         
not wide

half a dozen 
six (a dozen = 12)

lacks  
doesn't have

amenities     
things that make life more pleasant and easy

to get away from it all      
to have a break somewhere far away

Related Story

This story is based on an original BBC News story.

End of Session 4 

Well done. You have finished this session. Join us again in the next session for the latest episode of The Race, our weekly drama serial, where you can catch up with Phil - he is trying to sail right around the world in just 80 days. Find out how he's getting on in Session 5. Bye for now.

Session Grammar

  • Articles: a, an, the, and (-) 'zero article'

    a or an means one person or thing. We use a or an:

    1) before singular nouns: We had a great day and we saw an elephant.

    2) before the name of a job: My sister wants to be an engineer.

    Use a before consonant sounds: a chair, a horse, a laptop. But use an before the letters a, e, i, o, u (except when u is pronounced /j/) an elephant, an uncle; and the letter h when the h is not pronounced: an hour

    We use the:

    1) Before singular nouns that we have already mentioned with a/an: I saw an elephant. The elephant's name was Sambo.

    2) Before singular, plural or uncountable nouns when it is clear which person or thing we mean: Put the money on the table.

    3) Before singular nouns when there is only one of the noun: The sun is hot today.

    4) With countries with plural names or the words 'Republic' or 'Kingdom' in the name: The Maldives, The United Arab Emirates.

    5) Before the names of rivers, seas, oceans and mountain ranges: The Mississippi, The Red Sea, The Andes.

    6) With superlatives: You're the best dad in the world!

    7) With many expressions with 'of': In the middle of the night.

    We use zero article (-):

    1) Before nouns that refer to things in general: I like (-) elephants.

    2) Before the names of most countries, cities and continents: Saudi Arabia, Warsaw and Europe.

    3) Before names of single mountains and lakes: Mount Kilimanjaro, Lake Titicaca.

Session Vocabulary

  • ideal  
    perfect; best possible

    destination  
    place where someone is going

    transparent 
    if something is transparent, you can see through it

    breeze          
    a light wind

    remote         
    far away

    accessible     
    able to be reached

    mayor           
    leader of a town or city

    supplies         
    things like food and medicine that you need to live

    narrow         
    not wide

    half a dozen 
    six (a dozen = 12)

    lacks  
    doesn't have

    amenities     
    things that make life more pleasant and easy

    to get away from it all      
    to have a break somewhere far away