Albino whale in Mexico – level 3

14-03-2016 15:00

Meet Gallon of Milk! She’s a rare albino whale, named because of her bright white skin.

Marine biologists from Mexico’s National Commission of Natural Protected Areas are currently doing their annual census of grey whales, to which family she belongs, off of Mexico’s Pacific coast. They first spotted her in the 2008 to 2009 season, when she was a juvenile. That’s when she first picked up that name of Gallon of Milk.

This time, she was swimming with her calf, who is normal-coloured.

Albinism is a genetic disorder caused by faulty genes which results in either the reduction or complete absence of the pigment melanin. It’s been recorded in different mammals, birds and reptiles, but there are very few documented records of albino marine mammals.

For the last 20 years, the annual migration of grey whales off the coast of Mexico have been monitored during mating and reproduction season. By monitoring the activities of the whales, the biologists have documented the successful recovery of the grey whale population, ensuring the survival of the species for future generations.

Difficult words: juvenile (a young animal or a young person), albinism (the issue of being an albino), genetic (relating to genes, the tiny things inside you that make you look and act the way that you do), disorder (a physical problem), faulty (problematic), pigment (a colour), melanin (the dark colour in skin and hair), document (to record), ensure (to make sure), species (a type of animal).



If you read and listen to two articles every day, your reading and listening skills can improve fast. You can learn quickly and after some time you will not have to translate into your own language. You will simply understand. Why should you do this?

When you listen to people in your native language, you do not translate. You simply understand. The same has to be in English. When you learn English, you have to learn the whole sentences in context.

Students, who translate English texts, do exercises and do tests are very good at translating, doing exercises and doing tests, but they have problems with understanding English in real life. In real life, nobody waits for your translation. People usually use simple English when they speak but they use it fast. You have to understand with no translation to your native language. If you translate, you cannot be part of communication because you are thinking about the language too much. These words are maybe hard to read but they are true.

You also have to hear every new word 5 to 10 times if you want to remember it. That’s why we use the same words in one level. If you read and hear the same words again and again, you will understand them and remember them. If you know words from one level, you can go to a higher level and learn new words. It is important to go step by step, and read and listen to words which are used in English often. This is what we do with our news. In our short news, we use words which are used in English often. Level 1 has the 1000 most important words. Level 2 has the 2000 most important words, Level 3 has the 3000 most important words.

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