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Hello, I’m Jane at DailyStep English and welcome to my audio blog!

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This week, we’ll take a look at the reaction in Britain to government cuts, and the recent student riots in London. Why exactly did the students attack the Conservative Party offices? You can find out below.

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Also, I’ll teach you the correct English word stress for 2-syllable nouns, verbs and adjectives. If you know this English pronunciation rule, your English speaking will be much better!

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There is also news about what is coming soon in the DailyStep subscriber audio lessons and an audio proverb to motivate you into action! But first, let’s learn about London’s recent riot…

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Austerity Britain

(By Jane Lawson at DailyStep.com)

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There has been a riot in London recently. Maybe you have seen it on the TV news. It started as a student protest against rising tuition fees, as you can see in the top picture. But it finished as a riot, with smashed windows and violence.

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So why are the students so angry? They are furious that the government is planning a big rise in the cost of University courses. At the moment, students who go to university have to pay up to £3,230 per year for their courses. They also have to pay for their living expenses and books. The new government plans would increase the maximum amount of tuition fees to £9,000. In other words, the fees could triple!

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The students are particularly angry with the Liberal Democrat party, and their leader Nick Clegg, because before the General Election in May 2010, the Lib Dems promised to vote against rises in tuition fees. Now that they are in a Coalition Government with the Conservative Party, the Lib Dems have voted in favour of the fee increases.

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The students organised a march to protest against these changes. There was a huge turnout for the protest, and some of the protesters decided to attack the Conservative Party Headquarters, at Millbank. They smashed the windows and entered the building, and finally climbed up to the roof. One of the students threw a fire extinguisher from the roof at some police officers below.

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The newspapers say that the march was hijacked by anarchists, but many of the students who were photographed and filmed on CCTV at the riot were very young and did not even cover their faces. Many of them have now been arrested by the police. You can hear a heated discussion about this riot in next week’s Level 4 DailyStep audio lessons. subscribe here

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There will probably be more protests in Britain over the coming months. Perhaps we will have a ‘winter of discontent’ with many strikes about government’s recent austerity budget. Because of the financial problems in the UK, caused by the credit crunch, there will be big cuts in all areas of government spending, leading to high unemployment and homelessness.

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There is a big debate in the UK about whether the Government is doing the right thing with their austerity budget. Of course we need to cut spending and reduce our debt – but is the government going too far? Let’s see what happens…

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So, let’s move on now to this week’s audio word study. If you subscribe to my audio lessons, you can also hear and download the audio in this word study.

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Word Stress in 2-syllable nouns, verbs and adjectives

This audio is for members only, please click here to subscribe

Here is Audio Word Study #016 from DailyStep English at DailyStep.com

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In this week’s audio blog about Austerity Britain, there are some words that have the same spelling but a different pronunciation. For example:

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1. a) …the Lib Dems have voted in favour of the fee increases.

b) The new government plans would increase the maximum amount of tuition fees to £9,000…

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2. a) It started as a student protest against rising tuition fees…

b) The students organised a march to protest against these changes

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Why are these words pronounced differently? It is because we are using the same word as both a noun and a verb.
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In sentence (a) of each example above, the word is a noun. These nouns are increase and protest.
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In sentence (b) of each sentence above, the word is a verb. These verbs are increase and protest.

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We have a rule in English about this:
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If a noun or an adjective has 2 syllables, the word stress is usually on the first syllable

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If a verb has 2 syllables, the word stress is usually on the second syllable.

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Let’s look at some other examples.

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1. You will progress a lot with your English if you follow this rule. (verb)

You will make a lot of progress with your English if you follow this rule. (noun)

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2. There has been a decrease in the number of visitors to the museum. (noun)

The number of visitors to the museum has decreased. (verb)

3. He rejected the plan.

This bowl was a reject, so I bought it at half price. (note: the noun ‘a reject’ means ‘something that was rejected due to deficiency’)

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4. Steel is one of Britain’s main exports. (noun)

Britain exports a lot of steel (verb)

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5. Britain imports a lot of food during the winter. (verb)

Food is a major import for Britain during the winter. (noun)

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6. Everyone was present at the meeting. (adjective)

He gave me a birthday present. (noun)

I will present my ideas to the company tomorrow in a presentation. (verb)

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But be careful, because sometimes the meaning of the noun and verb is different!

1. He refused to sign the document.

There is a refuse collection every Monday in the street where I live. (note: the noun ‘refuse’ means ‘rubbish’)

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2. He produces films. He is a film producer.

That shop sells fruit and other produce. (note: the noun ‘produce’ means ‘food or goods that are grown through farming’)

3. This car has a defect. It does not work properly. (note: the noun ‘defect’ means ‘fault’)

Rudolf Nureyev, the famous Russian ballerina, defected from the Soviet Union to the West in 1961. (note: the verb ‘defect’ means ‘to leave a country, political party, etc., especially in order to join an opposing one’.)

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(note: I'm afraid I made a mistake. Rudolf Nureyev was a ballet dancer, not a ballerina. Ballerinas are always female. Thank you Zoya for pointing that out!)

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Of course, there are exceptions to the rule about word stress in 2-syllable nouns and verbs. Some words have the same word stress for both the noun and the verb. Examples of these are:

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1. I answered the telephone. (verb)

I will give you my answer tomorrow. (noun)

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2. I can just picture you as a politician. (verb)

I like that picture. (noun)

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3. He travels a lot. (verb)

He told me all about his travels in Asia. (noun)

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If you are a subscriber to my audio lessons, please click the 'save' icon below to download this Mp3 audio file:

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Coming soon in the DailyStep Audio Lessons:

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Level 5: Advanced Level

Is there any hope for the city of Detroit?  In these lessons, Debbie and Tim discuss the plight of Detroit, the once-great Motown city in America. After falling into ruin in the recession, are there any signs of hope that the city can recover? Loads of advanced vocabulary, idioms and phrasal verbs, and a fascinating topic of conversation…

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How to write an essay  After being made redundant at work, David enrols on a course but when it comes to writing essays, he needs help! He turns to Maria for advice, and she gives him loads of useful tips on how to go about planning and writing an essay. Very useful lessons for students and all workers!

subscribe to Level 5 ................try new example Level 5 lessons

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Level 4: High Intermediate Level

Riots in London! (starts 22/11/2010) Last week, students in London protested against rising tuition fees and broken election promises. These protests became violent, and many students were arrested. Rob and Sam discuss the situation, and they completely disagree with each other about whether the students are justified in their actions.

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How do you spend you free time? (starts 29/11/2010) Sally and Rod discuss how they like to spend their time, and how their hobbies have changed. Great conversation skills and many idioms and phrasal verbs too…

subscribe to Level 4 ............... try example Level 4 lessons

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Level 3: Intermediate Level

Talking about a hobby  In these lessons, Mike and Sarah discuss his new hobby, including the special equipment he needs and the dangers he faces. These lessons will help you to discuss your own hobbies.

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Discussing health and sickness  Diane has the flu, and she describes all the symptoms. She and Craig then talk about other times they have been sick and in hospital. We all need to talk about these things sometimes!

subscribe to Level 3 ............... try example Level 3 lessons

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Level 2: Elementary Level

Conversation and comparison of adjectives (starts 22/11/2010) These five conversation lessons will show you the correct way to compare adjectives in both questions and answers – a very important skill in grammar! Great revision for higher levels too.

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Holiday in London (starts 29/11/2010) Tom tells Caroline about his holiday in London, including where he went, what he did and the things that he liked. You will learn about London, and also how to talk about a holiday.

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subscribe to level 2 ...............try example Level 2 lessons


Level 1: Beginner Level

Talking about family  In these five lessons, you will learn how to talk about your family, and how to ask questions about family too. A good way to make friends!

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Travel English  You will learn how to ask for things when you are travelling, and also how to help travellers if you work in the tourism industry.

subscribe to Level 1 ............... try example Level 1 lessons

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To learn more about how my audio lessons work, please click here...

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DailyStep Audio Proverb #016

This audio is for members only, please click here to subscribe

Here is this week’s audio proverb from DailyStep English at DailyStep.com

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Gardens are not made by sitting in the shade.
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Meaning: Nothing is achieved without effort.

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This is a very useful proverb for me to remember on Monday mornings!

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Examples: Even though it was hard work, he decided to get up very early in the morning to study for his IELTS exam. Gardens are not made by sitting in the shade!

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While setting up her business, she worked 7 days a week for at least a year. Gardens are not made by sitting in the shade!

If you are a subscriber to my audio lessons, please click the 'save' icon below to download this Mp3 audio file:

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Well, that is it for today! I’ll be in touch again soon. I hope you enjoy my blog and your DailyStep audio lessons. Please email me at jane@dailystep.com if you have any questions or suggestions. I look forward to helping you improve your English!

Best wishes,

Jane

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Austerity Britain audio download

This audio is for members only, please click here to subscribe

If you have a subscription to my DailyStep audio lessons, you can download the audio about Austerity Britain by clicking the ‘save’ icon below:

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