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English Reading Comprehension – Life on other Planets?

saturn

One of the most important aspects of learning English is reading comprehension. Reading articles will help you improve your sentence structure, English Vocabulary, and phrasal verbs. One advantage of taking online English classes with Express-English is that we make use of the countless online resources which are available to us. BBC online is a great resource for reading articles and watching videos, both of which are essential tools for English students of all levels.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21350899

This article from the BBC website discusses some recent discoveries reported by NASA. The Kepler space telescope has been taking photos of various patches of sky, using a special method to locate planets that have similar qualities, sizes, and orbit as the Earth. The main goal of the investigation is to determine how many earth-like planets exist near our solar system, and how many of the planets have the elemental qualities which are necessary to sustain life.

Read the article, and then answer the following English Comprehension Questions:

  1. How do they determine which planets could sustain life? 
  2. How many exoplanets have been discovered?
  3. What conditions are necessary for an area to be considered a habitable zone?
  4. Do you believe in alien life forms?

English Vocabulary Review

  • Dim - not bright; obscure from lack of light or emitted light
  • Cosy (Cozy in the U.S.) - snugly warm and comfortable
  • Far better than – in this case, far is used as an adjective for “much”
  • Heart of the issue – the most important aspects of a situation
  • abound - to occur or exist in great quantities or numbers
  • implication -  a sign or an indication, suggested as naturally to be inferred or understood
  • Pluck Out - to pull off or out from the place of growth, as fruit, flowers, feathers
  • Colloquial - characteristic of ordinary or familiar conversation rather than formal speech, also known as informal/local slang
  • Tip of the iceberg - this is used metaphorically, to describe something that can be easily observed, but not the rest of it, which is hidden

Posted in: BLog, English Reading, Vocabulary

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