Pandas in Washington – level 3

27-08-2015 15:00

Double the panda cuteness! Giant panda Mei Xiang has given birth to a pair of cubs at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington.

Mei gave birth to her first cub at 5:34 p.m, after her waters broke about an hour beforehand.

And about four hours later, a second cub arrived and both appeared to be healthy.

Zoo officials said Mei picked up the cubs soon after giving birth and is being “a great mother”. After the second surprise birth, one cub was placed in an incubator in line with protocol when twins are born.

Mei has previously given birth to two surviving cubs: Tai Shan in 2005 and Bao Bao in 2013.

She was artificially inseminated with frozen sperm from a panda in China, and fresh sperm from the National Zoo’s male panda.

The gender of the cubs and which of the sperm donors is the father will be determined later.

No decision has yet been made yet about naming the cubs.

With a very low reproductive rate, particularly in captivity, the panda’s natural home is a few mountain ranges in central China. There are around 1,600 giant pandas known to be living in the wild and some 300 in captivity.

Difficult words: cub (a young animal), water break (when the fluid in a woman comes out right before a baby is born), protocol (rules), artificially (not naturally), donor (somebody who donates – gives something like blood or an organ).



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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