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Learn English By Listening

Learn English by Listening - Level 3
Written by LopNgoaiNgu.com   
Friday, 26 September 2008 14:59

Article #1  Louis Pasteur

Louis Pasteur was one of the greatest scientists of all time. Pasteur made very important discoveries in biology and chemistry, and the techniques he developed helped greatly to develop medical science and the agricultural and food industries. 
Pasteur was born in a small town in France during the year 1822. When he was a young
man, Pasteur studied science at a university in the city of Paris. He soon did some
excellent work in chemistry, and later began his famous study of germs.
Pasteur was one of the first scientists to understand that many diseases could be caused
by extremely small, invisible organisms. Only a few other scientists had believed this
before Pasteur. He advised doctors to wash their hands thoroughly before treating
Pasteur also demonstrated that life forms did not arise spontaneously. His research
confirmed the idea, developed by previous scientists, that a living organism would not
appear unless other individuals of its kind were present. 
One of Pasteur's most important contributions was a technique that has been named
after him: pasteurization. Pasteurization kills the germs that are found in drinks such as
milk or beer. Because of Pasteur's technique, people are no longer infected with
diseases by drinking these liquids. 
Just as important as pasteurization was a technique called immunization. Pasteur found
that a person or animal could be made safe, or immune, from a disease, by injecting the
person with some weakened germs that cause the disease. The body can resist the
disease after being immunized in this way. Today, many diseases are prevented by the
use of this technique. 
Pasteur's discoveries also helped to save people who had already been infected with
diseases. One such disease is rabies. Rabies is a disease that sometimes occurs in
animals. This disease usually kills the animal, but before dying, the animal becomes very
aggressive, and may spread the disease by biting a person or another animal. 
One day, the parents of a young boy came to Pasteur. Their son had been bitten by a dog
that had the rabies disease. The parents knew that their son would die from the disease,
unless something could be done to save him. Pasteur agreed to help the boy, and the
immunization technique saved the boy's life. 
Pasteur died in 1895. He was greatly admired around the world for his achievements,
which have helped all of humankind. Today, Pasteur is considered to be the greatest
figure in the history of medicine. 



Article #2  Psychology

Are you interested in the behaviour of people and animals? If you are, then you might
enjoy the study of psychology. Psychology is the study of behaviour, but this is a very
large area of study. There are several different branches of psychology, each of which
studies a different aspect of behaviour. 
Social psychologists study interactions among people. For example, a social
psychologist might try to learn about the situations that cause people to behave
aggressively. Another question studied by social psychologists is why certain people
become attracted to each other. One of the interesting problems in social psychology is
conformity: what causes people to behave in the same way, and to follow what others do
and say? 
Cognitive psychologists study thinking, memory, and language. One problem studied by
cognitive psychologists is how people remember numbers. For example, what is the best
way to memorize some numbers? Is it better to repeat the numbers to oneself, or to try to
attach some meaning to these numbers? A cognitive psychologist might also study
language. For example, why can young children learn a second language so quickly and
easily? Cognitive psychologists are also interested in the ways that people learn to solve
problems, such as finding a new place. 
Clinical psychologists study mental illnesses. For example, a clinical psychologist might
try to find out the causes of depression and to figure out ways of helping people who are
depressed. Other clinical psychologists might study the behaviour of people who suffer
from addiction to drugs, so that this problem can be prevented and treated. Another topic
of interest to clinical psychologists is violent behaviour. It is very important to find ways
of preventing violence and to change the behaviour of persons who act violently. 
Some psychologists are interested in the measurement of psychological characteristics.
For example, psychologists might develop tests to assess a person's intelligence,
personality traits, or interests. These tests can be used to help people make decisions
about education, occupation, and clinical treatment. 
Psychologists who study the behaviour of animals are called ethologists. Ethologists
often go into wilderness areas to watch the activity of birds, fish, or other animals. These
psychologists try to figure out why it is that some animals have "instincts" for various
behaviours such as parenting, mating, or fighting. Some ethologists have learned very
much about the unusual behaviours observed in many animals. 
These are only a few of the many areas of psychology. Truly, psychology is one of the
most interesting areas of knowledge! 



Article #3  Corruption

When an official of a government or business is acting dishonestly, we say that this
person is corrupt. Corruption is a serious problem in many countries around the world.
There are several different kinds of corrupt practices, including bribes, kickbacks,
nepotism, and embezzlement. 
A bribe is a payment of money or some other benefit, in exchange for a decision that
would not otherwise be made. For example, an accused criminal might bribe a judge so
that the judge would make a decision of "not guilty." Another example is that a business
owner might bribe a government official so that the official would allow the construction
of very unsafe buildings. 
A kickback is similar to a bribe, except that the official receives some part of the money
in a dishonest business deal. For example, governments sometimes decide which
company should build a road. A company might offer money to the government official
who makes the decision, so that this company will be chosen, even if it is not the best
company for the job. 
Nepotism happens when an official unfairly gives advantages to his or her relatives. For
example, a government official might hire a brother or sister to do a job even though
other people would be much better qualified for the job. Of course, all of us want to help
our relatives, but it is wrong to do this at the expense of the public. 
Embezzlement happens when an official secretly steals some money from a company or
government. For example, a manager at a company might secretly move some of the
company's money to his or her own bank account, or that manager might lie about his or
her expenses in order to receive more payment from the company. 
Corruption has very bad effects on people, in several ways. Sometimes it can lead to
very dangerous situations. One example of this is when unsafe construction projects are
approved by officials who have been bribed. Another example is when criminals are
freed as a result of bribes. Also, a country's economy can be damaged by corruption. For
example, if companies must pay bribes in order to do business, then they may decide to
leave the country. Also, if people's tax money is stolen by corrupt officials, this makes
the people poorer. In addition, when company officials are corrupt, it makes the company
less able to compete with other companies. 
How can corruption be stopped? An important step is for each person to decide not to
act in ways that are corrupt. People must agree to take this problem seriously. Also, each
company and each government must have strict rules about corruption. It must be very
clear to all employees-from the lowest to the highest-that corruption is totally



Article #4  Canada : Provinces and Territories

Canada is one of the largest countries in the world. It is located in the northern half of the
continent of North America, above the United States. Canada is divided into ten
provinces and three territories, each of which is different from the others. 
The province of British Columbia is located at the far western end of Canada. British
Columbia stretches from the Pacific Ocean, at the west, to the Rocky Mountains, at the
east. British Columbia contains the city of Vancouver, where two million people live. Most
of the land of British Columbia is very mountainous, with vast forests covering the
mountains. In British Columbia, forestry is an important industry, providing wood for
people around the world. 
Moving east from British Columbia, the next provinces are Alberta, Saskatchewan, and
Manitoba. These are known as the prairie provinces, because they are mostly made of
flat, grassy land called "prairie." Alberta is the province where the flat prairie meets the
tall and beautiful Rocky Mountains. In Alberta, there are many fields where oil and gas
are found, and there are also many farms where cattle are raised. Saskatchewan is the
Canadian province that grows the most wheat. Wheat from Saskatchewan is sent around
the world to make bread and pasta for many people. Manitoba is the other prairie
province. Its largest city, Winnipeg, is about halfway between the Pacific and Atlantic
oceans. Winnipeg has the coldest winters of any large city in the world, with
temperatures sometimes reaching -40 degrees Celsius! 
Moving east, the next province is Ontario. The land in the northern part of Ontario is very
rocky and contains many thousands and thousands of lakes. Many mines are found in
northern Ontario. In the southern part of Ontario, there is good farmland, and there are
also many cities where factories produce cars and steel. Ontario contains Canada's
largest city, Toronto, as well as the capital city of Canada--Ottawa. In the southern part of
Ontario are four of the largest lakes in the world, known as the Great Lakes. 
Next to Ontario is the province of Quebec. Unlike the other provinces, where most people
speak English, most of the people in Quebec speak French. The capital of Quebec is
called Quebec City, and this is one of the oldest cities in North America. Quebec City
contains many buildings that are hundreds of years old. Also in the province of Quebec
is the city of Montreal. Of all the French-speaking cities in the world, only Paris is larger
than Montreal! 

In the eastern part of Canada are the Atlantic provinces, which are next to the Atlantic
Ocean. These provinces are New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and
Newfoundland. In the Atlantic provinces, fishing is an important industry. Tourism is also
important as many people come to see the beauty of these provinces. The people in
these provinces are said to be the friendliest in Canada. 
In the far north of Canada are the three territories that lie beside the Arctic Ocean: Yukon,
Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. Many of the people in these territories are the Native
people of Canada, known as the Indians and the Inuit. The northern areas have very cold,
dark winters. The summer is short, but the days are very long and bright.



Article #5  Two Great Artists : Leonardo and Michelangelo

Many people admire the paintings and sculptures that artists create. Some very beautiful
paintings and sculptures were created by two men who lived in the same country at the
same time. These men were Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. They both lived in Italy
around the year 1500. 
Leonardo da Vinci is most famous for his painting called the Mona Lisa. This is perhaps
the best-known painting in the world. The Mona Lisa shows the head and shoulders of a
dark-haired woman. When people look at this painting, they are often captivated by her
smile and by her eyes, which have a look of mystery. 
Another painting of Leonardo's is called The Last Supper. This painting shows a famous
scene from the Christian religion. In this painting, Jesus Christ is seated at the middle of
a long table, with his followers (the disciples) seated around him. Many of the paintings
that were created at this time have a religious theme. 
Leonardo was not only an artist; he was also interested in engineering. He actually
worked for some time as an advisor to a military leader, helping him to develop new
machines for use in war. Leonardo also made rough drawings of machines that are
similar to those that were invented much later, such as submarines and helicopters.
Obviously, Leonardo was an extremely creative man. 
Michelangelo was about 23 years younger than Leonardo. In addition to being a painter,
Michelangelo was also a sculptor, and many experts consider him the greatest sculptor
of all time. One of his most famous sculptures is David, which is a statue of a young man
who was a famous figure in the Bible. Another great sculpture of Michelangelo's is called
the Pieta. The Pieta shows Mary, the mother of Jesus, holding the body of her son across
her lap. 
Michelangelo is also famous for painting the ceiling of a church known as the Sistine
Chapel. The leader of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Julius, asked Michelangelo to
paint the ceiling of this new church. This project required many years of hard work, and
the Pope complained that it took too long. However, when the work was finished, the
ceiling of the Sistine Chapel was covered with beautiful paintings of many scenes from
the Bible.
Fortunately, many of the works of Leonardo and of Michelangelo can still be seen today
in the art galleries of Europe. During the past 500 years, the color of the paintings had
faded somewhat, but in recent years, some work has been done to restore the paintings
to their original appearance.



Article #6  The Viking

About a thousand years ago, people known as the Vikings were known and feared
throughout Europe. The Vikings were the people of the northern part of Europe, called
Scandinavia, which includes the modern countries of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.
The Vikings made their living by farming and fishing. However, by about the year 700,
they began making attacks, or raids, upon towns along the coasts of Europe in order to
steal the wealth of those towns. 
The Vikings made their attacks very quickly and without any warning. They were very
cruel to the people of the towns they attacked, and they sometimes destroyed the towns
by burning down the buildings. In some parts of Europe, the local kings would often fight
against the Vikings. Sometimes, however, the kings would pay the Vikings in order to
persuade them not to attack. 
Although the Vikings were known as fierce warriors, they also built excellent ships. The
wooden Viking ships, called longboats, were able to sail even in very bad weather. Many
Viking longboats were about 20 metres long, but some were nearly 90 metres long. The
Viking sailors used both sails and oars to move their ships. 
The Vikings travelled across a large area. They made many of their attacks in Britain,
France, and Germany, but sometimes sailed south, into the Mediterranean Sea. Other
Vikings moved to the east, and then south along the rivers of Russia. Some even went as
far as the area that is now the country of Turkey. In some places, the Vikings decided to
stay. Many Vikings settled in England and in France, and eventually they mixed with the
local people. Other Vikings settled in Russia and also mixed with the people there. 
The most famous travels of the Vikings were in the Atlantic Ocean. Vikings sailed
westward to the island of Iceland where many of them stayed. Today, the people of
Iceland are descended from the Vikings. Some Vikings sailed farther west to the cold
island of Greenland. Vikings lived in Greenland for several generations, but eventually
they died out. Some Vikings had gone even further west and reached the Canadian island
of Newfoundland. The Vikings only stayed for a few years, but they had reached North
America about 500 years before Christopher Columbus! 
Gradually, the Vikings became converted to the Christian religion. They also stopped
raiding the towns of Europe, and instead of fighting, they began trading with their
neighbors. Today, the Scandinavian countries are known as very peace-loving nations. 



Article #7  William Shakespeare

There have been many great writers in the history of English literature, but there is no
doubt about which writer was the greatest. Many people consider William Shakespeare to
have been the best writer who ever lived. 
William Shakespeare was born in the town of Stratford, England, in the year 1564. When
he was a young man, Shakespeare moved to the city of London, where he began writing
plays. His plays were soon very successful, and were enjoyed both by the common
people of London and also by the rich and famous. In addition to his plays, Shakespeare
wrote many short poems and a few longer poems. Like his plays, these poems are still
famous today. 
Shakespeare's most famous plays include Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Hamlet, King Lear,
Othello, and Julius Caesar. Usually, Shakespeare did not invent the stories that he told in
his plays. Instead, he wrote his plays using stories that already existed. However,
Shakespeare's plays told these stories in a more interesting way than ever before. Some
of the stories were tragedies, some were comedies, and some described historical
In his plays, Shakespeare revealed a very wide knowledge of many areas of life. The
characters in his plays discuss many different topics, often with the knowledge of
experts. But what is even more impressive about these plays is Shakespeare's use of the
English language. His vocabulary was very large, and Shakespeare seems to have
introduced many words to the language! Also, many of the phrases that are said by
Shakespeare's characters are now used in everyday conversation. Today, writers often
use quotations from Shakespeare's plays in their own works. 
But perhaps even the most impressive features of Shakespeare's plays are the
characters within them. The many characters in his plays seem very different from each
other, but they seem very realistic. The emotions they feel, the words they say, and the
actions they perform are all easily understood. Many people who watch one of
Shakespeare's plays will find that they know people who remind them somewhat of the
characters in those plays. 
Shakespeare died in the year 1619, but his writings are still popular today, 400 years after
they were written. The poems and plays are greatly admired by experts in literature, but
also by people in general. Each year, hundreds of thousands of people enjoy attending
performances of Shakespeare's plays. No other writer in the English language has
remained so popular for such a long time.

Article #8  Ice Hockey

One of the most popular sports in northern countries is the game of ice hockey. Each
winter, this sport is played by hundreds of thousands of children and adults in North
America and in Europe. Ice hockey is a fast and exciting game that can make winter
much more enjoyable. 
The game of ice hockey is played on a flat surface of ice called a rink. The rink is about
60 metres long, and about 25 or 30 metres wide. At any time, each team has six players
on the ice. On their feet the players wear skates, whose thin metal blades allow fast
movement along the ice surface. Learning to skate requires time and practice, but many
people can skate very quickly and smoothly. 
In many ways, ice hockey is similar to soccer. However, unlike soccer, there is no large
ball used in hockey. Instead, the players use a hard, black, rubber disk, which is called a
puck. The players skate around the ice, trying to get the puck. They do not use their
hands or their feet to control the puck. Instead, they carry long wooden sticks, which are
shaped in such a way that it is easy to push the puck along the ice. The players can pass
the puck to each other by sliding it across the ice. 
To score a goal, a hockey player must shoot the puck into the net of the opposing team,
but this is a difficult task. The net is less than two metres wide, and it is protected by a
player called the goaltender. However, some players can shoot the puck very suddenly
and with great power. 
Sometimes, the sport of ice hockey can be quite rough. Players try to take the puck from
their opponents by bumping into them at a high speed. This is called a "body check."
Players are not allowed to hit each other with their sticks. If a player does this, then that
player may be given a penalty by the referee, who enforces the rules of the game. 
Naturally, the sport of ice hockey is most popular in countries that have cold winters. The
sport was first played in Canada, but it is also very popular in many countries of Europe,
including Russia, Sweden, Finland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Germany. In
addition, many people play hockey in the United States.
In previous generations, ice hockey was considered a sport for men and boys only.
However, in recent years, women and girls have been playing hockey much more
frequently than in the past. Not only do many girls enjoy playing hockey for fun, but now
women's hockey is officially a sport at the winter Olympics.



Article #9  Chinese People in North America
In recent years, many people have moved to North America from China, but many people
do not know that Chinese people have a long history in Canada and the United States. 
During the nineteenth century, both Canada and the United States were rapidly
expanding to the west, toward the Pacific Ocean. In those days, there were of course no
cars or airplanes to allow people and goods to move across the land. Instead, the best
method of long-distance transportation was the railroad. Railway trains could move
quickly across the countryside. However, there was one problem: before the railway
trains could run, railroads had to be built across very long distances. 
To build the railroads was a very big job. Many men would be needed because the
distance was so long and the land was so difficult, with many mountains and rivers to be
crossed. For the men who owned the railroad companies, it would have been too
expensive to hire Canadian or American men to build the railroads because those
workers would only work for high wages. 
The railroad owners decided to get workers from overseas. Many Chinese men were
willing to work for low wages because they were very poor. These men would work very
hard and send much of the money back to their relatives in China. 
Thousands of Chinese men were brought to North America to work on the railroads. They
did good work, but their employers treated them badly. The work day was very long, and
working conditions were very unsafe. Many Chinese men died in accidents while
constructing the railroads. Some Chinese women also came to North America, but there
were many more men than women. 
After the railroads were completed, by about the year 1900, very few Chinese people
were allowed to come to North America. Most people in Canada and the United States
were not familiar with Chinese people and did not want strangers to come to their
countries. Any Chinese person who came to North America had to pay an expensive tax.
This made it difficult for Chinese men to bring their wives and families to join them in
North America. Later, the governments of Canada and the United States made Chinese
immigration illegal.
Eventually, the people of Canada and the United States realized that their laws had been
unfair. They changed the rules so that Chinese people could immigrate in the same way
that people from other countries could do so. In recent decades, many Chinese people
have moved to North America, and have formed a very lively and successful community.
Many cities, such as Toronto, Vancouver, San Francisco, and New York, have been
enriched by Chinese culture. Chinese people are now very prominent in North America,
just as they were many years ago.



Article #10 The History of the English Language
Most people know that the English language is spoken by many millions of people
around the world. However, few people are aware of the history of the English language.
Today, English is one language, but in some ways it is a mixture of many different
The English language is most closely related to a group of languages called the
Germanic languages. This group also includes languages such as German and Dutch.
About 1500 years ago, these languages were not yet distinct from each other. Some of
the people of Germany and the Netherlands then moved to England. Those people were
called the Anglo-Saxons, and their language then evolved into English. Most of the basic
words of the English language are derived from these very old Anglo-Saxon languages.
For example, the words for the parts of the body, for numbers, and for animals are mostly
Anglo-Saxon words. 
Some new words were brought to England over 1000 years ago by people who came
from the Scandinavian countries of northern Europe. Many words that begin with the
letters "sk", such as skin and skill, are Scandinavian words. 
A major change happened in the English language after the year 1066. In that year,
England was conquered by a king from the northern part of France. He and his followers
spoke French, so French became an important language in England. During the next few
hundred years, the English language absorbed a very large number of French words. In
fact, today's English dictionaries contain more words of French origin than of Anglo-
Saxon origin. Part of the reason why the English language has so many words is that it
often has two words for each idea-one word of Anglo-Saxon origin, and one word of
French origin. 
Many more words entered the English language a few hundred years ago, when science
and technology became more widespread. Most scientific and technical words are
derived from words of the ancient languages of Latin and Greek. Because there are so
many of these scientific and technical words in the English language today, the influence
of Latin and Greek has been quite large. 
Other languages have also contributed many words to the English language. Some
words have come from the Celtic languages, spoken in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.
Many words have been added to the English language by immigrants who came to North
America from various countries of Europe. Also, many more words have been adopted
from the Native languages of North America, Australia, and the Pacific, and from the
languages of peoples in Africa and Asia. All of these words have made English a very
interesting language!


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