IELTS|Intermediate|9. Machines in our life

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Choose a suitable option and discuss the questions

Can you drive?

  • Do you have a car?
  • Do you obey all traffic rules?
  • Are you a careful driver?

  • Would you like to learn to drive?
  • Would you like to have a car?
  • What do you think: is it difficult to learn and obey all traffic rules?

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Discuss the questions

1. Look at the pictures. Which of these means of transport do you think is the:

a) cleanest?

b) healthiest?

c) noisiest?

d) most exciting?

e) fastest?

f) most comfortable?

g) most dangerous?

h) quietest?

2. What types of transport do you use regularly? Why?

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Match the words with their definitions

Skimming refers to looking only for the general or main ideas, and works best with non-fiction (or factual) material.

  • skimming takes place while reading;
  • allows you to look for details in addition to the main ideas.

How to skim?

  • read the first few paragraphs in detail, you will get a good idea of what information will be discussed;
  • then read only the first sentence of each paragraph. Also called topic sentences, they give you the main idea of the paragraph;
  • at the end of each topic sentence, your eyes should drop down through the rest of the paragraph, looking for important pieces of information, such as names, dates, or events.

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IELTS Reading Scores (AC)

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Read the passage about electric cars. Elicit the advantages of this kind of cars

The electric revolution

Your next car may be electric. We look at the technologies that will bring the revolution.

The main reasons why electric cars are not more popular at present are their price and their relatively small range. Existing battery systems only allow electric cars to travel a distance of between 100 and 160 km. However, this distance may not be a problem for urban drivers. A recent Sydney study reported that 70 percent of journeys were 30 km or less, and recent data from the US suggests that 77 percent of trips taken there are 48 km or less.

An innovative company called Better Place is aiming to make electric cars an option for all drivers. It wants to see existing vehicles replaced by electric vehicles which, it says, offer a number of benefits. Firstly, they can be powered by renewable energy which produces zero emissions. What is more, electric motors are more efficient and can convert more than 90 percent of power into movement, whereas the efficiency of diesel or petrol engines is less than 20 percent. To achieve its aim, Better Place plans to use technology which is already available.

The plan is simple but revolutionary. It starts with the installation of a home charge point, and through this, the vehicle will be plugged into the electricity grid whenever it is in the garage, typically at night. In the morning, with a fully charged battery, the car is capable of as much as 160 km in urban motoring conditions. In addition to the home charge point, the battery can be topped up by charge points at work and at supermarkets.

The battery is linked to a control centre by smart technology inside the vehicle. Better Place can then ensure that the car is charged with electricity from renewable sources at the cheapest price. For longer trips, a navigation system directs the driver to the nearest switch station, where the depleted battery can be replaced with a charged one by a robot within a couple of minutes.

by Tim Thwaites, issue 29 of Cosmos, October 2004

Scanning is another useful tool for speeding up your reading. Unlike skimming, when scanning, you look only for a specific fact or piece of information without reading everything.

How to scan?

  • establish your purpose;
  • locate the appropriate material;
  • get known how the information is structured before you start scanning is essential.

The material you scan is typically arranged in the following ways:

  • alphabetically;
  • chronologically;
  • non-alphabetically;
  • by category;
  • textually.

Alphabetical information is arranged in order from A to Z, while chronological information is arranged in time or numerical order.

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Look at the diagram. What information do you need for each gap?

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Read the text one more time and complete the labels on the diagram

Choose no more than two words and/or number from the passage for each answer

The electric revolution

Your next car may be electric. We look at the technologies that will bring the revolution.

The main reasons why electric cars are not more popular at present are their price and their relatively small range. Existing battery systems only allow electric cars to travel a distance of between 100 and 160 km. However, this distance may not be a problem for urban drivers. A recent Sydney study reported that 70 percent of journeys were 30 km or less, and recent data from the US suggests that 77 percent of trips taken there are 48 km or less.

An innovative company called Better Place is aiming to make electric cars an option for all drivers. It wants to see existing vehicles replaced by electric vehicles which, it says, offer a number of benefits. Firstly, they can be powered by renewable energy which produces zero emissions. What is more, electric motors are more efficient and can convert more than 90 percent of power into movement, whereas the efficiency of diesel or petrol engines is less than 20 percent. To achieve its aim, Better Place plans to use technology which is already available.

The plan is simple but revolutionary. It starts with the installation of a home charge point, and through this, the vehicle will be plugged into the electricity grid whenever it is in the garage, typically at night. In the morning, with a fully charged battery, the car is capable of as much as 160 km in urban motoring conditions. In addition to the home charge point, the battery can be topped up by charge points at work and at supermarkets.

The battery is linked to a control centre by smart technology inside the vehicle. Better Place can then ensure that the car is charged with electricity from renewable sources at the cheapest price. For longer trips, a navigation system directs the driver to the nearest switch station, where the depleted battery can be replaced with a charged one by a robot within a couple of minutes.

by Tim Thwaites, issue 29 of Cosmos, October 2004

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Exam advice

Labelling a diagram

  • Find where the picture(s) is/are dealt with in the passage.
  • Find words in the passage that mean the same as the words already on the diagram.
  • Decide what type(s) of word you need for each gap.
  • Underline the word(s) you need in the passage and copy it/them exactly.

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Discuss the questions with the teacher

1. Do you think electric cars will replace diesel or petrol cars? Why? Why not?

2. How popular are the electric cars?

3. How popular will they be in the future?

Look at the sentences and decide which verb is correct in each of the sentences

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Read the extracts from the dictionary and answer the questions

cause: to make something happen:
The hurricane caused widespread damage.

make somebody/something happy/sad/difficult, etc.: to cause someone or something to become happy, sad, difficult, etc.:
You’ve made me very happy.

1. Which verb is followed by a noun/adjective + noun?

2. Which verb is followed by a noun/pronoun + adjective?

Complete the sentences by writing the correct form of cause or make in each gap

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Find and correct the mistakes in three of these sentences. One sentence is correct

Read the exam card, make notes and prepare a 2-minute speech

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Exam advice

Speaking Part 2

  • Structure your talk by using your notes and introducing your points clearly to the examiner.
  • Use appropriate phrases to mark the stages in your talk.

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  • means of transport
  • renewable energy
  • zero emissions
  • benefit
  • to be powered
  • charge point
  • to be topped up


Evaluate your answer according to the criteria

Read the text and do the task below

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The Motor Car

A. There are now over 700 million motor vehicles in the world – and the number is rising by more than 40 million each year. The average distance driven by car users is growing too – from 8 km a day per person in western Europe in 1965 to 25 km a day in 1995. This dependence on motor vehicles has given rise to major problems, including environmental pollution, depletion of oil resources, traffic congestion and safety.

B. While emissions from new cars are far less harmful than they used to be, city streets and motorways are becoming more crowded than ever, often with older trucks, buses and taxis, which emit excessive levels of smoke and fumes. This concentration of vehicles makes air quality in urban areas unpleasant and sometimes dangerous to breathe. Even Moscow has joined the list of capitals afflicted by congestion and traffic fumes. In Mexico City, vehicle pollution is a major health hazard.

C. Until a hundred years ago, most journeys were in the 20 km range, the distance conveniently accessible by horse. Heavy freight could only be carried by water or rail. The invention of the motor vehicle brought personal mobility to the masses and made rapid freight delivery possible over a much wider area. Today about 90 percent of inland freight in the United Kingdom is carried by road. Clearly, the world cannot revert to the horse-drawn wagon. Can it avoid being locked into congested and polluting ways of transporting people and goods?

D. In Europe, most cities are still designed for the old modes of transport. Adaptation to the motor car has involved adding ring roads, one-way systems and parking lots. In the United States, more land is assigned to car use than to housing. Urban sprawl means that life without a car is next to impossible. Mass use of motor vehicles has also killed or injured millions of people. Other social effects have been blamed on the car such as alienation and aggressive human behaviour.

E. A 1993 study by the European Federation for Transport and Environment found that car transport is seven times as costly as rail travel in terms of the external social costs it entails such as congestion, accidents, pollution, loss of cropland and natural habitats, depletion of oil resources, and so on. Yet cars easily surpass trains or buses as a flexible and convenient mode of personal transport. It is unrealistic to expect people to give up private cars in favour of mass transit.

F. Technical solutions can reduce the pollution problem and increase the fuel efficiency of engines. But fuel consumption and exhaust emissions depend on which cars are preferred by customers and how they are driven. Many people buy larger cars than they need for daily purposes or waste fuel by driving aggressively. Besides, global car use is increasing at a faster rate than the improvement in emissions and fuel efficiency which technology is now making possible.

G. One solution that has been put forward is the long-term solution of designing cities and neighbourhoods so that car journeys are not necessary – all essential services being located within walking distance or easily accessible by public transport. Not only would this save energy and cut carbon dioxide emissions, it would also enhance the quality of community life, putting the emphasis on people instead of cars. Good local government is already bringing this about in some places. But few democratic communities are blessed with the vision – and the capital – to make such profound changes in modern lifestyles.

H. A more likely scenario seems to be a combination of mass transit systems for travel into and around cities, with small ‘low emission’ cars for urban use and larger hybrid or lean burn cars for use elsewhere. Electronically tolled highways might be used to ensure that drivers pay charges geared to actual road use. Better integration of transport systems is also highly desirable – and made more feasible by modern computers. But these are solutions for countries which can afford them. In most developing countries, old cars and old technologies continue to predominate.


Decide which paragraphs concentrate on the following information. Write the appropriate letters (A-H) in boxes 1-6

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Read the text one more time and decide if the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage

The Motor Car

A. There are now over 700 million motor vehicles in the world – and the number is rising by more than 40 million each year. The average distance driven by car users is growing too – from 8 km a day per person in western Europe in 1965 to 25 km a day in 1995. This dependence on motor vehicles has given rise to major problems, including environmental pollution, depletion of oil resources, traffic congestion and safety.

B. While emissions from new cars are far less harmful than they used to be, city streets and motorways are becoming more crowded than ever, often with older trucks, buses and taxis, which emit excessive levels of smoke and fumes. This concentration of vehicles makes air quality in urban areas unpleasant and sometimes dangerous to breathe. Even Moscow has joined the list of capitals afflicted by congestion and traffic fumes. In Mexico City, vehicle pollution is a major health hazard.

C. Until a hundred years ago, most journeys were in the 20 km range, the distance conveniently accessible by horse. Heavy freight could only be carried by water or rail. The invention of the motor vehicle brought personal mobility to the masses and made rapid freight delivery possible over a much wider area. Today about 90 percent of inland freight in the United Kingdom is carried by road. Clearly, the world cannot revert to the horse-drawn wagon. Can it avoid being locked into congested and polluting ways of transporting people and goods?

D. In Europe, most cities are still designed for the old modes of transport. Adaptation to the motor car has involved adding ring roads, one-way systems and parking lots. In the United States, more land is assigned to car use than to housing. Urban sprawl means that life without a car is next to impossible. Mass use of motor vehicles has also killed or injured millions of people. Other social effects have been blamed on the car such as alienation and aggressive human behaviour.

E. A 1993 study by the European Federation for Transport and Environment found that car transport is seven times as costly as rail travel in terms of the external social costs it entails such as congestion, accidents, pollution, loss of cropland and natural habitats, depletion of oil resources, and so on. Yet cars easily surpass trains or buses as a flexible and convenient mode of personal transport. It is unrealistic to expect people to give up private cars in favour of mass transit.

F. Technical solutions can reduce the pollution problem and increase the fuel efficiency of engines. But fuel consumption and exhaust emissions depend on which cars are preferred by customers and how they are driven. Many people buy larger cars than they need for daily purposes or waste fuel by driving aggressively. Besides, global car use is increasing at a faster rate than the improvement in emissions and fuel efficiency which technology is now making possible.

G. One solution that has been put forward is the long-term solution of designing cities and neighbourhoods so that car journeys are not necessary – all essential services being located within walking distance or easily accessible by public transport. Not only would this save energy and cut carbon dioxide emissions, it would also enhance the quality of community life, putting the emphasis on people instead of cars. Good local government is already bringing this about in some places. But few democratic communities are blessed with the vision – and the capital – to make such profound changes in modern lifestyles.

H. A more likely scenario seems to be a combination of mass transit systems for travel into and around cities, with small ‘low emission’ cars for urban use and larger hybrid or lean burn cars for use elsewhere. Electronically tolled highways might be used to ensure that drivers pay charges geared to actual road use. Better integration of transport systems is also highly desirable – and made more feasible by modern computers. But these are solutions for countries which can afford them. In most developing countries, old cars and old technologies continue to predominate.


Select

Yes — if the statement agrees with the information

No — if the statement contradicts the information

Not Given — if there is no information on this in the passage

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Listen to the conversation and complete the notes below

— Hello, Brian Parks speaking.

— Oh hello, I’m calling about the advert in the paper …

— For the car?

— Er, yes, the Mini you’ve got advertised for sale.

— Oh yes?

— I just wanted to find out a bit more information.

— Of course, what would you like to know?

— It’s my brother who’s interested actually … but he’s not in today so he asked me to call you.

— Fine …

— Great, thanks. So it’s a Mini …

— Yep.

— … and how old is it?

— Just coming up to thirteen years old.

— And I seem to remember from the ad that it’s grey?

— That’s it … doesn’t show the dirt!

— Absolutely … anyway the colour shouldn’t be a problem for Jeff, you know, the important thing is the quality …

— Yes, of course.

— And what about mileage … with it being pretty old it’s probably over a hundred thousand?

— Actually it’s forty thousand less than that … sixty-two thousand on the clock!

— Great! I remember now … I’m confusing it with another ad I was looking at.

— Right … pleasant surprise then.

— Yeah. Have you been the only owner … or was there a previous one … ?

— I’m the second one. Before it was owned by a teacher … who was a very careful driver — didn’t have any accidents.

— Very good. And what about you … what do you tend to use it for?

— I haven’t used it all that much … mostly for shopping … you know the sort of thing.

— So not much wear and tear. I’ll make a note of that. I know Jeff wanted me to check that.

— Right.

— Now about the price, I see you’ve got it down as one thousand, two hundred and fifty pounds. I’m not sure Jeff’ll be able to come up with that amount.

— In the ad I did say one thousand, two hundred and fifty or nearest offer …

— So would you be prepared to go down to one thousand?

— That’s really too low, I’m afraid.

— One thousand, one hundred?

— I might be able to go to that.

— OK I’ll make a note of that. What about tax? Is it due soon?

— Got another five months before it’s due …

— Oh, that’s a real plus, yes. I’ll make a note of that …

— OK.

— Now, you say it’s in good condition.

— For its age, I’d say yes, definitely. It’s just been serviced and there were no major problems.

— Major … ?

— I’d be able to show you the service report. The only thing is you’d have to get a new tyre in the near future … though it’s still OK, you know, it’s certainly absolutely safe, at the moment.

— OK, fair enough. Yes, I understand.

— And the garage also mentioned that one headlight could probably do with replacing — they think there’s a fault there, you know, intermittent …

— Well, we’d obviously look at all the documents … but that sounds very straightforward.

— Of course. I’ve got all the service documents up-to-date and you can look at those.

— Well, it all sounds pretty good and I know my brother will be interested. So, would it be possible for him to see the car … he’s back from his trip tomorrow … and away tonight, so how about tomorrow?

— … tomorrow … Wednesday? I’m afraid that’s not possible. I’m out pretty much all day.

— Well, Thursday then?

— That’d be fine, yeah.

— In the morning?

— Yes, that’d suit me perfectly.

— Great.

— Now, you’ll need my address.

— Oh yes, of course! What is it?

— It’s number two hundred and thirty-eight.

— Two-three-eight …

— London Road.

— Oh that’s easy enough!

— Yes, very straightforward.

— So I’ll pass on these notes to Jeff and he’ll see you in a couple …


Questions 1-10

Write no more than one word or a number for each answer

Read the information about IELTS Writing task 2

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IELTS Writing Task 2. IELTS Essay

During the Exam you should spend about 40 minutes on this task and write at least 250 words.

Essays can be of different kinds: opinion essay, advantages and disadvantages essays, Problem and Solution, Discussion (Discuss both view), Two-part Question.


Read the exam task, instruction and plan and write an essay

Some people claim that there are more disadvantages of the car than its advantages. Do you agree or disagree? Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of having a car.

Give reasons for your answer.

You should write at least 250 words.

Instruction

  • Firstly, think what you are going to write about.
  • Secondly, brainstorm ideas about advantages and disadvantages. Provide the example for each point. Think about the conclusion.
  • Write the plan following the given structure.
  • Using the results of your brainstorming and the plan, write the essay.
  • Follow the structure of the essay and use the given vocabulary.
  • Make sure you have used linking words and phrases to make you essay easy to read and understand.
  • Check your essay.

Plan

Introduction

Sentence 1 — Paraphrase question

Sentence 2 — Outline sentence

Supporting Paragraph 1 (Advantages)

Sentence 3 — Topic sentence (Advantages)

Sentence 4 — Explain how this is an advantage

Sentence 5 — Example

Supporting Paragraph 2 (Disadvantages)

Sentence 6 — Topic sentence (Disadvantages)

Sentence 7 — Explain how this is a disadvantage

Sentence 8 — Example

Conclusion

Sentence 9 — Summary of main points

For more information refer to the following 🔗website

Wordlist

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Useful language

  • means of transport
  • renewable energy
  • zero emissions
  • benefit
  • to be powered
  • charge point
  • to be topped up
Урок Homework Курс
  • Warm-up
  • Lead-in
  • Means of transport
  • Electric revolution
  • Electric cars
  • How electric cars work
  • The future of cars
  • Make VS Cause
  • How the words work
  • Cars in our life
  • Motor cars
  • Motor vehicle in the world
  • A car for sale
  • Writing an essay