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“Island Survival”



Pre-Listening Question

If you got lost at sea and ended up on a deserted island, what five things would want to have with you to survive? Assume that you cannot have any electronics (smartphone or similar devices) to communicate with the outside world.

Vocabulary and Expressions

Here are some words and expressions that appear in the video:

salvage (verb): rescue or save
– The shipping company is trying to salvage cars that were washed away during the storm.

– My brother is trying to salvage his marriage by meeting with a counselor.

wash up (verb): be carried by water onto a shore or beach
– A lot of garbage washes up on this beach every day.

demise (noun): end of life
– Without food and water, the sailors met a terrible demise on their disabled boat.

gross (adjective): very disgusting
– We found some really gross fish on the beach yesterday. It looks like the warmer-than-normal weather led to their demise.

habitat (noun): a place where plants and animals typically live
– Water and air pollution have affected the habitat of many local species of birds and fish.

propagate (verb): breed or grow a type of plant or animal
– If you save some of the seeds from these plants, you might be able to propagate more next year.

versatile (adjective): having many different uses
– This tool is very versatile because I can do so many things with it.

cumbersome (adjective): hard to manage or use, something complicated or difficult to say
– Applying for a student visa is often a cumbersome process. There are so many complicated steps you must take to secure one.

utility (noun): the state of something being useful
– Some people question the utility of using phones for language learning because they can cause students to become distracted.

Listening Comprehension Questions

Now, watch the interview and answer the comprehension questions. You can also turn on the automatically-generated captions for the video once you start it.


Randall: In this video, Aubrey and Emily, let me give you a scenario on island survival. Now, just imagine, for example, that you were in a plane crash. Uh, you were the only survivor on a deserted island way out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Who knows if you’ll ever be rescued. And I’m gonna give you a list of items, and I want you to be able to choose between the two items. So I’ll give you the two items, and then I’ll say one, two, three. And then you say what you would choose and explain why.

Emily: First off, what’s the island like? Secondly, are the remains of the plane still there?

Aubrey: Yeah.

Randall: Okay. All right. Okay. So those are fair questions. Okay. All right. So you want some clarification?

Emily: Yeah

Randall: So the island is a small island. Let’s say it’s, you know, seven kilometers by five kilometers. And the airplane, unfortunately, it crashed out about half a kilometer. It crashed. It sank into about 100ft of water. But you were able to, uh, you know, swim to shore. So to get back out to the airplane, uh, is probably impossible. And, uh, so, no, there’s nothing that you can, uh, rescue or salvage from the airplane.

Emily: Is this like in your typical island scenario where it’s kind of like a foresty jungly place that we’re at, or is this like a dry wasteland?

Aubrey: Yeah, ’cause that would inform our decisions.

Randall: No, let’s just say it’s kind of a jungle. It’s kind of a jungle kind of environment. Uh, you might find a few things that have washed up on the shore, and there happens to be water, so there is fresh water. Um, does that answer some of your questions before we get into it?

Emily: I feel like I can confidently move forward in my slow demise.

Aubrey: Oh, I have a follow-up question.

Randall: Okay. Well, you’ll probably have some other questions. Yeah. Aubrey, Do you have another?

Aubrey: What about food sources?

Randall: Okay, uh, limited. And let me tell you, just some of this will come up in, uh, some of the items that I propose to you. So again, I’m gonna give you two items and then I’m gonna say one, two, three. And then you have to say your answer. Okay? And then you have to explain it.

Aubrey: On three or after three?

Randall: One, two, three. And then you say.

Aubrey: Okay.

Randall: Okay, here we go. Uh, here we go. Uh, the first is, uh, fruits. And again, these fruits are in abundance on the island, but only one of them. Banana or pineapple. One, two, three.

Aubrey: Banana.

Emily: Pineapple.

Randall: Okay. Why? Why? Pineapple?

Aubrey: I hate pineapples

Randall: Why banana?

Emily: I don’t like pineapple either, but I feel like it has a higher water content. And even though there’s fresh water, you can also hull out the pineapple and carry around water inside the pineapple.

Aubrey: Fair. But I don’t think I would eat the pineapple.

Randall: Okay. Okay. Why? Just because of the taste.

Aubrey: Because they’re gross.

Randall: Okay. All right. All right.

Aubrey: Given the opportunity to not eat pineapple, I would like to not eat pineapple.

Randall: Okay, here’s the next one. Okay, Now, don’t please don’t expound on whether I don’t think, Dad, that those would be found in an island like this.

Aubrey: Yeah, the same habitat as a banana.

Randall: Yeah. Here we go. Okay, here we go. Uh, you have to choose between these two vegetables. Corn or tomatoes. One, two, three.

Aubrey: Corn.

Emily: Corn.

Randall: Okay. Why corn and not tomatoes?

Aubrey: More versatile, More nutritional calorie stuff.

Randall: Okay, Emily.

Emily: Easier to propagate. As well. All, everything Aubrey said and easier to propagate.

Randall: Okay. All right, great. Okay. Uh, uh, another food source. You have an abundance of either one of these. Here we go. Fish or cow? One, two, three.

Emily: Fish.

Aubrey: Cow I guess.

Randall: Okay, Wait, wait, wait. What do you mean? I guess. Aubrey,

Aubrey: I’m. Not gonna eat a fish, but I feel bad killing a cow.

Randall: Okay. Okay. No, that’s an honest thought.

Aubrey: I feel bad every time I eat beef, but I do it anyway because it tastes good.

Randall: Okay. Uh, why not fish? And, Emily, why fish?

Emily: I chose fish because of the higher fat content and the higher nutritional value. Also, it is easier to clean and prepare versus a cow.

Randall: Okay.

Aubrey: I’d have to build like a smoker or something to preserve the meat.

Emily: Sure would.

Randall: All right. Next one. Fork or a spoon? One, two, three,

Aubrey: Fork.

Emily: Fork

Randall: Okay. Why fork?

Emily: More versatile.

Aubrey: We can stab things with it.

Emily: Yeah.

Randall: Okay. So you can use it as a weapon and something like that.

Emily: Yeah.

Randall: Okay. Okay. Why not a spoon? You could use a spoon to jab something.

Emily: What?

Aubrey: [Inaudible] very well with a spoon.

Emily: Oh, yeah. I’m gonna spoon someone’s eye out?

Aubrey: I mean, I guess you could

Emily: Much easier with a fork.

Randall: All right, here we go. Next one. Uh, in terms of weapon. Okay. Okay.

Aubrey: Well, I already have my fork.

Randall: Okay. All right. All right. Here we go. A gun or a knife? One, two, three

Aubrey: Knife

Emily: Knife.

Randall: Okay. Why not? A gun?

Aubrey: More versatile. I can do more things with the knife.

Emily: And also, it’s less likely to fail. There are so many things that could go wrong with a gun. It could get jammed, it could get dirty, and you run out of bullets. And then what? You just have a cumbersome club.

Aubrey: Yeah.

Randall: That’s. That’s a good one. Okay, here we go. The next one. Protection. Hat or sunglasses? One, two, three.

Aubrey: Hat

Emily: Hat

Randall: Okay. Why? Why hat, not sunglasses?

Aubrey: It’ll help lower the body temperature, assuming it’s hot on this island where I mean, if this is a tropical island, I’m probably not worried about snow blindness. Blindness, which would be a good reason for sunglasses. I guess being out in the sun in the summer, I don’t go outside. I don’t know.

Randall: Okay, Emily, any thoughts on that?

Emily: You’re gonna protect yourself so much better with a hat. It covers more of your body from the sun.

Randall: Okay, Good. Uh, sleeping arrangements here. Uh, pillow or a blanket? One, two, three.

Aubrey: Blanket

Emily: Blanket.

Randall: Okay, Why? Why? Both of you agree on that.

Emily: Same reason as the sunglasses versus hat.

Aubrey: Yeah, It’s gonna protect you more. You know, you’re gonna get more like if in the cold you’re gonna be able to get more utility out of it. Plus, you could always use it as a pillow if you want to.

Emily: That’s true.

Aubrey: It’s really hard to use a pillow as a blanket.

Randall: Okay. All right. And the last one is entertainment. Two different books. Which would you keep? Something. Uh, Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter?

Aubrey: Question.

Randall: Yes.

Aubrey: Now, this Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, do we get the whole series or are we just getting one book?

Randall: You get the whole series. And with Lord of the Rings, you get The Hobbit as well.

Aubrey: Can I have The Silmarillion?

Randall: Uh, yes.

Aubrey: Awesome.

Randall: There you go. One, two, three.

Aubrey: Lord of the Rings

Emily: Lord of the Rings.

Randall: Okay. Why? Why, Lord of the Rings?

Aubrey: Well, I’ve never read The Silmarillion all the way through.

Randall: Okay.

Emily: I’ve never read any of The Lord of the Rings all the way through.

Randall: Okay, so why would you gravitate then, Emily, to that? Is it because you haven’t read it or what?

Emily: Well, because I haven’t read it. And the Harry Potter series I’ve read like five times. So if I want to be entertained. Got to do something new.

Randall: Okay. Aubrey.

Aubrey: Uh, well, you know, I love Lord of the Rings. I feel like there’s a little bit more to it than Harry Potter. Whereas Harry Potter is entertaining. It’s fun, it’s light. But I feel like I’m going to get more utility out of Lord of the Rings. And like I said, I haven’t read Silmarillion all the way through yet.

Randall: All right. Well, great. Well, thank you for sharing. Uh, hopefully, that never happens to you, but now I know what to send to you, uh, in a care package in case you get deserted on an island.

Aubrey: Yeah, he’s not gonna rescue us.

Emily: How about a plane? Yeah, I know.

Randall: What? How about a what? A plane?

Emily: How about a plane?

Aubrey: And uh, and an instruction manual? How to operate said plane.

Randall: Alright. Alright, Thank you.

Conversation Questions

Do you agree or disagree with Aubrey and Emily on their choices of survival items? Explain your ideas.

Easy (Recall and Comprehend):

  1. What are the two food options they have to choose from?
  2. Why did Emily choose pineapple over banana?
  3. Why did Aubrey choose corn over tomatoes?

Intermediate (Analyze and Interpret):

  1. Why did Emily choose fish over a cow as a food source?
  2. Why did Aubrey prefer a knife over a gun as a weapon?
  3. Why did both Aubrey and Emily choose a hat over sunglasses for protection?

Advanced (Analyze and Interpret):

  1. What were the primary factors influencing Emily’s choice of fish over a cow as a food source?
  2. What were the reasons Aubrey provided for choosing a knife over a gun as a weapon, and how did Emily elaborate on those reasons?
  3. Analyze the decision-making process of both Aubrey and Emily when selecting a book for entertainment. How did their prior experiences and preferences influence their choices?
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