Click on our logo to return to home Learn English
Home
TV Guide
Ways to Watch
News
Learning English
Sports Lounge
About Us
connecting people and ideas
 

Vodcast
English Bites - Vodcast
You can now download full episodes of English Bites.
Download video now Ľ

streaming video
Real Video real player >
Windows Video windows media >
Friday, 20 February  2009  Friday review

On this week's review we take a closer look at some of the big changes we've seen on English Bites this week.


We begin in Canberra where we found out about a change in the housing industry. People are starting to build houses that are better suited to older people.

Listen to how the reporter describes the changes that would make the new houses better.

AMY BAINBRIDGE, REPORTER: From the front door, it looks like any other stylish new home. But this home in Dunlop is adaptable - a home that has the capacity to change as the owner's needs change.

ERIC MARTIN, ARCHITECT: Adaptable means providing an infrastructure which takes care of access to the house, makes sure the spaces are wide enough for wheelchairs and others to use it, and that certain provisions are built-in so that it can be converted to an accessible house, which means complying with the Australian Standards for access at a later stage.

AMY BAINBRIDGE: While there is some community unrest surrounding the proposed aged care development at Ainslie, the push has been on for some time to create housing that will allow people to stay in their own homes rather than move to an aged care facility.

ROBERT MOORE, MASTER BUILDERS ASSOCIATION: It covers a field in the housing industry which is not fully addressed at this point in time. It has been emerging for a number of years in Australia. Canberra has taken up the challenge.

From the front door, it looks like any other stylish new home.

But this home is 'adaptable'.

Listen again to how the reporter explains what adaptable means.

AMY BAINBRIDGE, REPORTER: From the front door, it looks like any other stylish new home.

But this home in Dunlop is 'adaptable' - a home that has the capacity to change as the owner's needs change.

She says this home is adaptable - a home that has the capacity to change.

So adaptable means having the capacity to change.

A simpler definition would be 'able to be changed'.

This new type of house can change as the owner's needs change.

To adapt means to make suitable for a certain situation.

If you adapt to something, you get used to it - you change to suit it.

Listen to someone talking about adaptable houses - he uses another similar word.

ERIC MARTIN, ARCHITECT: Adaptable means providing an infrastructure which takes care of access to the house, makes sure the spaces are wide enough for wheelchairs and others to use it, and that certain provisions are built-in so that it can be converted to an accessible house, which means complying with the Australian Standards for access at a later stage.
He says adaptable houses can be converted into an accessible house.

Accessible means able to be accessed.

To access means to enter and go through somewhere.

But notice here that the suffix '-a-b-l-e', meaning able to, is slightly different.

Access takes the suffix '-i-b-l-e'. This also means able to. It's just a variation. of '-a-b-l-e'.

You'll find it in words like convertible, and permissible. You'll need to check these words carefully when you're spelling them -they're very easy to get wrong.

Now we're going to meet the lavender farmer, and then we'll talk about some of his unusual sayings.

DAVID GREGORY, LAVENDER PRODUCER: We wanted to do something that was completely different from what we'd done before.

I was in banking and I decided to make the sea change, and came to Australia from Hong Kong and wanted to do something on the property we acquired. It was 50 acres.

We really had no experience in horticulture or anything at all like that so we decided to grow something which was relatively low maintenance and we could start on a small basis and work up from that.

When I started this I thought it would be a two day a week commitment and it's now turned out to be a six and a half day plus a week commitment.

I used to sort of live on a jumbo jet. It was a lot of travel, a lot of deadlines, a lot of stress at the office but this is completely different.

It's been a good decision. It basically means we're our own bosses now and our time is our own to do what we like and I'm not constantly on the move and juggling as many commitments as I used to be

David Gregory is living near Sydney on a block of land, growing lavender with his wife.

They wanted to do something completely different.

They decided to make the sea change.

A sea change is a complete change. It's often used to talk about people who've changed their lives - who've moved from a busy life in the city, to a more peaceful life in the country.

So they changed their lives completely.

They used to work as high-level executives. Now they are farmers.

David says he used to live on a jumbo jet.

He doesn't mean that he really lived on a jet, but that lots of his life was spent travelling around.

So his job was difficult before. But now he's his own boss - he's in control of what he does.

He's not juggling commitments.

Commitments are things you have to do.

To juggle commitments means to have to manage many different things at once.

That causes a lot of stress. These days David is relaxed.

OK, now we're going to meet some farmers of another kind.

At Coffin Bay in South Australia, farmers and scientists are working to change the oysters they breed in to a bigger, fatter and healthier variety.

PAUL MCCARTHY: They may not be everyone's culinary cup of tea, but for those who have the taste for them there is nothing quite like a freshly shucked oyster and thanks to advances in genetic engineering, oysters are about to get bigger and better.

MATTHEW WILSEN (SA OYSTER HATCHERY): We have relied on nature to just naturally breed and now we are taking it to the next step and using genetic testing and DNA profiling.

PAUL MCCARTHY: Coffin Bay might be the mecca of oysters in South Australia but the ones we eat today are not natives. The original mud oysters were fished out and replaced with Pacific oysters brought in from Japan about 50 years ago. All oysters bred here today can be traced back to that first batch. But over that past seven years scientists have been mapping a family tree of Australian oysters.

All the local oysters were fished out, they were caught and eaten until there were none left.

So 50 years ago they replaced them with Pacific oysters from Japan. But now they are genetically engineering their own oysters -breeding them to try to get the biggest and best ones they can.

And that's all for another week of English Bites. Don't' forget that you watch all of this week's stories on our website, and if you're still confused, why not send us an email.



multiple choice quiz
story spotlight
print friendly

English Bites - Friday review
story notes

stylish
Stylish means fashionable or smart.

adaptable
Adaptable means able to be changed.

capacity
Capacity here means ability.

takes care of
deals with; makes possible

access
Access means the way in and through the house.

taken up
accepted

Example: I've taken up that job offer.
For more meanings of the phrasal verb take up, follow the link below to our language library.
more information: take up

lavender
Lavender is a shrub with pale purple flowers. It has a strong fragrance that is very popular in perfumes and medicines.

in banking
He was in banking in Hong Kong. That means he worked for banks.

sea change
A sea change is a complete change.

Example: There has been a sea change in her attitude toward work.
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.

work up
Here work up means reaching a higher level.

Example: You have to work up to the more difficult exercises.
For more meanings of the phrasal verb work up, follow the link below to our language library.
more information: work up

thought
Here thought is the past tense of the irregular verb think. Follow the link below to find out more and to listen to some examples.
more information: think

it's
Notice that the short form of it is is spelled with an apostrophe. For more on spelling it's and its, follow the link below to our language library.
more information: its & it's

turned out
happened; occurred in a particular way

Example: It turned out to be a fine day.
For more meanings of the phrasal verb turn out, follow the link below to our language library.
more information: turn out

deadlines
Deadlines are time limits, times and dates that things have to be done by.

stress
worry

It's
Notice that the short form of it has is spelled with an apostrophe. For more on spelling it's and its, follow the link below to our language library.
more information: its & it's

our own bosses
they're in control of what they do

on the move
moving

Example: You can tell it's going to rain when the ants are on the move.
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.

not be everyone's culinary cup of tea
If something is not your cup of tea itís not to your taste - itís not what you like. Not everyone likes eating oysters.

Example: Working on the weekends is not my cup of tea.
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.

shucked
To shuck means to take the shell off from seafood.

advances
Advances are changes and developments that lead to improvement.

mecca
The expression mecca refers to any place of pilgrimage or a special place people want to come to.

Example: The great pyramid of Egypt is a tourist mecca.
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.

fished out
Here fished out means that over the years all the oysters have been collected and eaten.

Example: The sea near the city has been fished out of good sized tuna.
For more meanings of the phrasal verb fish out, follow the link below to our language library.
more information: fish out

brought
Here brought is the past tense of the irregular verb bring. Follow the link below to find out more and to listen to some examples.
more information: bring

bred
To breed means to keep an animal or plant in order to reproduce it. Here bred is the past participle of the irregular verb breed. Follow the link below to find out more and to listen to some examples.
more information: breed

have been mapping
This is the present perfect continuous tense, used for actions that have begun in the past and are still happening. Follow the link to our language library to find out more.
spotlight

Is it -able or -ible?

view the spotlight >
  Australia Network Home    Contact Us    Help    Legals    © ABC 2011