I’ve not been making posts as frequently as usual recently as I have been very busy so here is a special edition to make up for it. Last night someone introduced me to NASA TV at the website of the US Space Exploration Program. Wow! You can watch a live webcam broadcast of astronauts aboard the shuttle and hear as they chat to ground control staff. The website also has many other features which are fascinating and fun to use.
Many ESL students find that they need to write or speak about Space Exploration and it is one of the most fun topics to work on. Questions are often related to how valuable it is to the world. Should we not be spending money on things closer to home? NASA scientists obviously think the money is well spent on their programs. If you visit their website you will find that not only can you watch the live webcam and see beautiful live pictures of our planet Earth hanging serenely in space but you can also use great interactive features.
On this page you will find a selection of interesting resources. I thought that the one called Nasa Home and City (sorry, can’t link directly to it – you have to go and find it on the page) was particularly useful for ESL students. As well as using vocabulary about space, exploration and technology it is a great opportunity to practice words to do with houses and cities.
There is lots more on the site including fantastic images and pages where you can learn about the Universe and our Solar System.
You should also look at this excellent set of pictures with a news item at Sky.com about the recent launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavour.
Oh and by the way, make sure you check out the outstanding section at the NASA site about the voyages of the Hubble Telescope where these images below come from. It must be one of the most beautiful and exciting places to visit on the Internet. There is so much there (including some great teaching resources) that it has been almost impossible to choose what to highlight here. Quite Out of this World!
So here is a small selection of words which it would be useful for you to learn.
mission; crew; space; exploration; spacewalk; space; shuttle; astronaut; payload; satellite; maximise; minimise; zero-gravity; innovative; invention; expertise; heat-sensitive; Universe; Solar System.
There are of course many more and NASA’s website is a brilliant place to make sure you not only know the words but have plenty of answers for questions that examiners might ask you about Space Exploration. As ever here are the links to the dictionary and vocabulary learning tools I recommend. If ever you find a word that is not already in Pop-up Dictionary (and Space Scientists do make up new ones all the time) it is easy to add it yourself:
Go to Pop-up to find the free dictionary files in your own language. (See the menu tab marked “Dictionaries” on the left hand side.)
All the Daily Words posts are collected together on the Daily Words page.