Frank: So why are you so against genetically modified food, then? I think you’ve been taken in by all the bad press.
Ann: No, that’s not true. I’ve read up on the subject and I think there are just too many risks.
Frank: The GM foods that you get are probably safer than non-GM foods.
Ann: Don’t be daft. Where’ve you got that from?
Frank: Well, there are tighter controls for GM food. There are controls in each country and then at a European level as well. If they pass through all of those controls before they reach the shops they must be OK.
Ann: I just don’t like the idea of having my food altered. What’s wrong with the food we’ve always had?
Frank: We have to move with the times. The possibilities for GM food are endless.
Ann: What – redder tomatoes or bigger strawberries?
Frank: Yes, for one thing – but what about vegetables with a higher vitamin content or bananas with vaccines built into them?
Ann: What? (laughing)
Frank: It’s true. They’ve developed a way to produce bananas with the Hepatitis B vaccine.
Ann: Mm, not sure what I think of that. We haven’t done enough research and playing around with crops is playing havoc with the wildlife. There are whole species of birds that are in danger of becoming extinct. Larks, for example, they are rapidly decreasing in numbers and it’s because of the chemicals they are using on GM foods.
Frank: They haven’t proved that.
Ann: Not yet, no. But it’s only a matter of time.
Ann: And another thing that worries me is the power that a few food companies will have if we start to rely on GM food. They’ll dominate the poor countries even more than they do today.
Frank: They’ll feed them.
Ann: At a price, yes. Maybe. I’m worried about the food chain too.
Frank: What do you mean?
Ann: Well, playing around with nature causes no end of damage to some plants and animals. When a species dies out or mutates, it has a knock-on effect on the whole ecosystem.
Frank: I think you’re being cynical. You’re not giving GM food a chance.
Ann: Not cynical, just cautious.
Frank: OK, consider this. Global warming is threatening to destroy the habitat of polar bears.
Ann: What’s this got to do with genetically modified food?
Frank: Everything. We could use GM food to change the polar bears’ habitat now. That way we can prevent them from becoming extinct.
Ann: OK, I quite like that idea.
Frank: Good. You’re starting to come round to my way of thinking.
Ann: No, I’m just trying to understand. I don’t like being a guinea pig and we are all being guinea pigs for the experiments they’re doing on GM foods. I guess I don’t like the way things seem to just be happening without much of a debate.
Frank: What do you mean? We’re talking about it all the time.
Ann: Talking maybe, but nobody’s listening.
Listen to two students talking about genetically modified food. Frank is for GM food, but his friend Ann is against it.
Do the Preparation task first. Then listen to the audio. Next go to each Task and do the activity. If you need help, you can read the transcript at any time.
Choose 6 words you would expect to hear in a discussion about biotechnology, and put them in the Yes column.
Match the words and phrases from the podcast to the definitions.
See the transcript in a popup
Decide if these statments based on the recording are true or false.
Choose the best word to complete the sentences summarising the podcast.
Hello, I can't hear the full audio in this Podcasts section, but I can hear the audio in other sections. Is this my computer's problem, or does anyone else also meet the same problem, too?
How can I solve the problem?
Sorry to hear you're having problems with the podcast! The file works OK for me, so I need a little bit more information from you to find out what the problem is. Can you tell me what exactly happens?
Let see if we can find out what's wrong!
The LearnEnglish Team
Thank you for your reply.
Actually, the file works fine now, but I don't know why, haha.
In fact, sometimes the files of whole Professional Podcasts section can't work and they just stop at the beginning about one minute or less ,and then there's a exclamation mark. There's the same problem with the audio I've downloaded.
However, I think it probably be my computer connection problem.
Thank you ,again.
Happy to hear the files are working again. It sounds like it may be a problem with your connection, as you say, but let us know if you have any more problems with other parts of the site.
The LearnEnglish Team
hi i am not good to writing my self i hope keep doing this site it might help me to remember how to use good English.
I will be taking ielts test next week and i dont go to ielts preparation classes at all. thus, it is hard to know what band my writing is at, can i post my writing here so that maybe people could give me the rough idea of the band im working at? or is that inappropriate?
if it is inappropriate, could you give me an alternative?
ps: i have tried assessing my own writing based on the official band criteria, but i am not convinced. please help.
I don't think it would be a good idea to post your IELTS writing here. For a start, it would be much longer than the average comment and probably not interesting for other users of the site. Secondly, you probably won't find anyone to give you an assessment of the band. The only people who can do that well are IELTS teachers and examiners, but they are unlikely to do their work for free, I'm afraid. Lots of people want free IELTS tutoring and it just isn't practical to help them all.
I think the best thing you can do is read all the IELTS writing tips you can and make sure you follow them. You will know very soon what your writing band is when you take the exam! When I worked as an IELTS examiner, I marked a lot of scripts which scored badly for silly reasons, like not answering the question or not using paragraphs.
The LearnEnglish Team
ok. thanks for the advice. Another thing I'd like to ask is regarding the speaking part. Is it crucial to speak in formal English? or can I mix in some informal phrases in the real exam?
I don't think there's any need to speak especially formally. The important thing is to be consistent. If you started speaking in a very formal way and later used informal phrases, that would sound strange. I suppose it might also be odd if you spoke to the examiner as if s/he was your best friend, but in general speaking informally is fine.
The LearnEnglish Team
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