Beached whales in New Zealand – level 3

20-02-2015 15:00

Stranded on a notorious stretch of coast in New Zealand, almost 200 Pilot Whales have beached themselves in a remote spit at the northern extreme of South Island and volunteers are working against the clock to save them.

Around 25 of the animals have already died and more are expected to, as rescuers struggle to refloat them.

“About a half seem to have gone into deeper water, but there was still a good number that were… They just didn’t get enough water under them.”

Mass whale beachings are common, but this case is thought to be the largest in a decade or more.

“A very large stranding of Pilot Whales, one of the largest strandings we’ve had in the last 20 years, actually.”

Pilot Whales grow up to 6 meters long and are the most common species of whale in New Zealand’s waters. Rescuers and volunteers will attempt to refloat the remaining whales at first light on Saturday.

Difficult words: stranded (to be stuck and unable to move), notorious (well-known for a bad reason), stretch (an area), spit (a narrow point of land), extreme (the farthest point of the island), volunteer (a person who does something without being paid for it), against the clock (to do something as soon as possible), struggle (to try hard against difficulties), refloat (to get back into deeper water to be able to float), decade (10 years), species (an animal kind), attempt (to try), first light (when the sun comes up).



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.

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