A student discussion

Listen to two students comparing Mars and Earth to practise and improve your listening skills.

Instructions

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.

Transcript

Teacher: So you've got a few minutes to discuss with your partner.

Student 1: So, as far as I know, the main similarity between Mars and Earth is that they can both support human life.

Student 2: Yeah, but do we know that's actually true? I mean, Mars is much colder than Earth, isn't it? It says here it's about minus 55 degrees most of the time, whereas on Earth only places like Antarctica get that cold.

Student 1: True. Well then, I suppose you could say both planets are a similar distance from the Sun?

Student 2: No way! Mars is much further away! It says here it's about 228 million kilometres, while Earth is about 150 million.

Student 1: Yes, but in space that's not that far. Jupiter is, like, almost 780 million kilometres. That's why we use astronomical units when we talk about distances in space. Earth is 1 astronomical unit from the Sun and Mars is 1.3. The difference doesn't sound so big when you look at it that way.

Student 2: I see what you mean. Jupiter is 5.2 astronomical units so I guess you're right. What other similarities are there between the two planets?

Student 1: Let's see … not the colour, obviously!

Student 2: Yeah! Earth is called the blue planet and Mars is called the red planet for pretty obvious reasons!

Student 1: Their sizes are pretty different. Mars is about half the size of Earth.

Student 2: What about this? It looks like the days on both planets are almost the same length. Earth's day is 24 hours but Mars's is about half an hour longer.

Student 1: You're right. OK, any other things they both share?

Student 2: I suppose you could say they have water in common.

Student 1: Could you? How?

Student 2: Well, Earth is 70 per cent water and Mars probably had huge oceans in the past. It's just that most of the water there now is probably frozen.

Student 1: Ah, I see. I don't think we can say the air is the same, though. Most of Earth's air is nitrogen and oxygen, but Mars …?

Student 2: Mars doesn't really have air, not compared with Earth. It's got about one per cent as much air as Earth.

Student 1: Right, and it's mostly carbon dioxide.

Student 2: Gravity is another difference. I didn't know this, but Mars has higher gravity than the Moon. But it's much less than on Earth, of course.

Student 1: Oh, yes. It says Mars has about 38 per cent of Earth's gravity.

Teacher: OK, let's see what you've found …

Discussion

Download
Worksheet82.41 KB

Language level

Do you need to improve your English listening skills?
Join thousands of learners from around the world who are improving their English listening skills with our online courses.
Average: 4.7 (6 votes)

Submitted by Mamai on Tue, 30/07/2019 - 09:53

Permalink
I think is possible for human to life in Mars. But is better if they didn’t because humain will destroy evrething he touch.

Submitted by Alaamajed on Tue, 23/07/2019 - 17:24

Permalink
It is better to maintain our planet from all that destroy it and destroy the beauty of its nature than we spend numerous amounts of money to discover what is in mars
Profile picture for user Tony son of Gondor

Submitted by Tony son of Gondor on Tue, 09/07/2019 - 19:00

Permalink
I think that could be a real possibility, but in a very further future!!

Submitted by OmarAdelSherif on Sun, 09/06/2019 - 13:28

Permalink
By analyzing the current situation of the planet, we can say that it’s difficult to live on such planet because the water which is considered the main factor of human living is so cold there. What makes Earth appropriate for life is its placement not so far from the sun and also the presence of oxigen. The absence of these two elements means life is impossible in Mars. However, human technology as I think can find some solutions to have life on such planet like having water not so frozen and providing oxygen on it.

Submitted by anitanoumea on Mon, 03/06/2019 - 08:19

Permalink
Hi, the best that we must do is to protect our earth, before explore and live on Mars.
Profile picture for user Tony son of Gondor

Submitted by Tony son of Gondor on Tue, 09/07/2019 - 19:04

In reply to by anitanoumea

Permalink
I totally agree!! There are a lot of problems here in our planet without solution, and I think it's more important try to solve them before thinking abandone Earth

Submitted by Luis Quiroa on Sun, 02/06/2019 - 22:44

Permalink
Yes, I agree. One day the water and food in the earth are will not enough for the people in the world. We have to travel and to explore another planet in the universe for survive.

Submitted by Ademola on Sat, 01/06/2019 - 12:16

Permalink
I find it difficult to navigate from one question page to another. I would appreciate if you can explain to me how I can go about it.