A student discussion

A student discussion

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

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



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 …


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Average: 4.3 (243 votes)

Submitted by Toan3002 on Fri, 22/12/2023 - 11:52


Shortly, when the Earth does not have enough space for people to live, maybe people will move to Mars to live.

Submitted by aidahuan on Mon, 20/11/2023 - 00:28


informational listening is used for comprehend and retain information. While critical listening is for analyze and evaluate messages at various levels.

Submitted by Nurul_Izzati on Sun, 19/11/2023 - 23:24


Informational listening : focusing on understanding the content of the message
Critical listening : analyze and evaluate messages at various levels

Submitted by nikiaadza95 on Wed, 15/11/2023 - 14:34


i love thin conversation, i think mars similiar to man.

Submitted by mrlimbro on Fri, 03/11/2023 - 08:53


People can survive on Mars. All we need to do is make proper climate and gravity. After we make gravity atmosphere will change also. If we will add some microorganisms they would make oxygen for us. After that, we need to make water liquid again. Knowing that our technologies develop every day it is really possible.

Submitted by Bloom_ on Tue, 31/10/2023 - 21:26


I don't think that one day people can survive on Mars. Because there's no enough Oxygen and water there.

Submitted by kakkks on Thu, 26/10/2023 - 09:32


In my opinion, no, it's a big dream that people have. Everyone would like to go to Mars, but it's not possible. God didn't allow it, so why would we want to live on this planet?
We have everything we need on Earth, like water, oxygen, forests, everything we need to live. It looks like the rich want to take a trip over there, they're completely crazy anyway, good luck to them.

Submitted by Osama90 on Wed, 25/10/2023 - 14:32


Probably in the future Mars can support human live because is the nearest planet to the Earth

Submitted by Yolisima on Tue, 24/10/2023 - 18:52


We would be at great constant risk due to the conditions in which we would have to live. Encapsulated and obtaining heat artificially.