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British life : An easy intermediate level English resource. Level B1.
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More and more people want to live the rural life... but...

Lots of people in Britain want to live in the country; but young people often prefer living in the city

    City life is cool; but is country life cooler?
    Apparently yes.
    After the terrible Covid-19 epidemic of 2020, lots of people would like to leave their city and live in the country.
    More and more people in Britain want to live in the country, and this is causing more and more problems in some rural areas.
    The population of British cities has been falling for years. Cities like Liverpool and Glasgow have lost about 30% of their population in 30 years. But Britain's population is still growing. Where are the people going?
    Answer: to the country.

    The English countryside has a classic image. People imagine that life in the country is slow and calm; that there are no traffic jams,  no pollution, and no crime. In some places, this is true; but in others it is not.
    Small towns and villages are becoming more and more popular; people have more space and most houses have gardens. But problems are growing. Lots of people want to live in the country and work in the city; so more and more people travel long distances each day, to go to work. Of course they don't use buses (they are too slow) or trains (they don't stop in the country); they use cars. And although they live in the country, they want to use supermarkets and good fast roads.... but they do not want to see them or hear them. Besides, lots of young people say that life in the country is boring: there is not enough to do, there are not enough activities and excitements.
    Little villages now have traffic problems in the morning, just like big cities! And they are getting worse.

    The problems are very complicated! If everyone moves into the country, large parts of the countryside will disappear! People leave cities and big towns, to escape from urban problems; but more and more, they are bringing their problems with them.
    On warm summer days, and cold winter days, air pollution can be a big problem in large parts of the south of England, not just in London. Traffic jams are now often part of life, even in the country; crime has become a serious problem in rural areas.
    Perhaps there is hope for the future. Soon Britain's population will stop rising. From about the year 2030, it will perhaps start to fall. In 100 year's time, there will be less people in Britain than today - perhaps two million less. No doubt there will be less pollution too; oil and petrol will probably be rare by then.

Word guide
in the country - area : zone - countryside: the country, rural land - traffic jam: when traffic moves very slowly, or has to stop - travel: go, voyage - worse: more serious (comparative form of bad) - rise: go up, increase -

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Student worksheet


Read the article, then decide whether these statements are right or wrong.

  1. There were more people in Britain in 1980 than today. R/W
  2. There are good fast bus services in rural parts of England. R/W
  3. Air pollution and traffic are problems in parts of the country. R/W
  4. Young people particularly like living in the country. R/W
  5. There is very little crime in rural areas of England. R/W
  6. The British population will start to get smaller before the year 2030. R/W  

Grammar: verb tenses
Interactive gap-fill exercise.  Use on screen or on paper : 

Put the missing verbs back into this extract, using the right forms and tenses. 
To save your answers, take a screenshot when you have completed the exercise. To revise tense use, check out the grammar pages for verbs.

More and more people in Britain (want) to live in the country, and this (causemore and more problems.
The population of British cities (fall for years. Cities like Liverpool and Glasgow (lose about 30% of their population in 30 years. But Britain's population (still grow Where (people + go)   ?
    Answer: to the country.
Small towns (become more and more popular; but problems (grow) .Lots of people (want to live in the country and work in the city; so more and more people (travel  long distances each day, to go to work. Of course they (not use  buses (they are too slow) or trains (they (not stop in the country); they (use cars. And although they (live  in the country, they (want to use supermarkets and good fast roads.

This teaching resource is © copyright Linguapress 2001-2021.
Revised 2021 . Originally published in Horizon, the low-intermediate level English newsmagazine.
Republication on other websites or in print is not authorised

Linguapress; home Découvrez l'Angleterre (en français) Discover Britain


Intermediate level EFL resource
Level -  lIntermediate.
IELTS Level :  4 - 5
Flesch-Kincaid  scores
Reading ease level:
78 - Fairly easy
Grade level: 5.7

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New life for Big Ben  with audio

xmas shopping
Easy and online
clothes,  fashion,  souvenirs, British specialities, sportswear

Click to discover  UK stores that offer great prices and deliver all over the world

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