Cardboard boat – level 3

10-05-2016 15:00

Can you build a boat entirely from cardboard? You might say “no”, these savvy recyclers say “of course you can!”

Over ten days, Harry Dwyer and Charlie Waller turned their dream of a cardboard houseboat into a reality, using around 300 old boxes they found in bins near their workshop.

“We’ve made some life jackets and we’ve put a normal outboard on the back, just a small one so hopefully it won’t rip the boat apart. And you just see here a couple bits of wood to clamp it on, and we’ve got our flag here on the back made from bubble wrap – yeah, it’s all from waste packaging.”

It certainly looks the part on land but what happens when it hits the water? You might think it turns into a soggy mess, but, well, you’re wrong again!

“Right now, it looks like it’s going to float but it might just go in and go straight down.”

This afternoon, the guys launched their boat into the Thames for the first time and all went to plan. So this weekend she will set sail down the river to London’s Xcel to launch Grand Designs Live. And the show’s presenter thinks the cardboard boat is not such a ridiculous idea.

“The thing is that actually boats are made of the most unlikely materials, steel, for example, which rusts in water, you know, and sinks in water – that wouldn’t be an obvious choice to build a boat out of it, really.”

Cardboard is probably not the obvious choice, either, but as Harry and Charlie have proved, it does work, and it’s probably the cheapest houseboat you’ll ever find.

Difficult words: savvy (knowledgable, skilled), outboard (an outboard motor), clamp on (to fix on, to put on), look the part (to look good), soggy (very wet and soft).



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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