Climate change on Macmillan English Campus


Climate change is a concern for everybody – maybe even for your English students.
Environmental responsibility and climate change have become the objects of constant discussion in the media around the world.
If you’d like to “seduce” your students with this authentic topic – we’ve got plenty of brilliant material on Macmillan English Campus you could use.

As mentioned by our English Campus Editor Kerstin earlier this week, our most current News Item is an adapted article from the Guardian Weekly about United Nations talks on climate change in Tianjin, China (“Climate deal is closer, says UN”). This News Item reflects on the crucial position of the very two countries producing most carbon dioxide emissions in the UN talks – China and the USA.
Lesson idea: You could personalise this topic with a debate. Elect two teams of students and a moderator. One team could represent China’s and the USA’s rather reluctant position to lower their carbon dioxide emissions, and the other team could assume a more proactive stance in favour of doing something to slow down climate change.

Why not prepare your students for this or a similar debate with several other News Items on the English Campus? The article “Earth is in danger” (16 February 2010, Spot on Magazine) introduces the topic climate change with a couple of general facts, and then focuses on what we can do to slow down climate change. It also includes an intriguing short Web Project asking students to find out more about their “ecological footprint”.
If you’d like to add some Listening Activities, have a look at “The effects of climate change”, a Level 5 English for academic purposes Listening Activity. The lecture on “Ecotourism” discusses another appealing idea to help slow down climate change.
You students can find out more about the effects of climate change on plants and the wildlife by having a look at the News Item “In search of a home away from home” (30 March 2010). “Climate change in Siberia” (24 November 2009) focuses on the upsetting situation Siberia faces and”Canadian forests offer giant carbon storage” (5 Jan 2010) discusses what Canada does to slow down climate change.
If you’d like to add a (quite) intense real world feel to this authentic topic, why don’t you make your students come to London and visit the Science Museum? This museum is currently preparing the launch of a brand-new and super exciting gallery on climate science. It will open in November, and admission will be completely free. For more information, this link takes you directly to the press release on the Science Museum website; and this one to a short article in London’s Time Out Magazine featuring the exhibition (including a sneak preview picture!).

If you’d rather stay at home, you could instead have a look at the Level 3 MEC Web Project “Science museums online”, and combine this Web Project with a research task on the Science Museum’s new gallery.

Eva Maria Schmidt

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