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Helpful Words and Phrases

Listen and repeat.

    • ex. Many cities have banned the use of plastic to reduce pollution.
    • ex. Smoking is not allowed in this forest to avoid any wildfires.
    • ex. Tourists visit the coastal city for its perfect view of the sunset.
    • ex. Volunteers regularly clean the beach of trash and other debris.
  1. mistake (something) for (something)
    • ex. I mistook the plastic fruit for a real one and tried to eat it.


Read the article below and answer your tutor's questions.

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The Laguna Beach City Council decided to ban balloons. The decision was made to reduce the risk of wildfires and remove a major source of trash floating near the community’s beautiful coast. Beginning in 2024, balloons cannot be used on public property or at city events. But according to Mayor Bob Whalen, they can still be used at home. The coastal city is not the first to ban balloons. Several California beach cities have put a limit on the use of balloons.

Environmental advocates are happy with the decision. They say that balloons cause coastal pollution and harm animals and seabirds. Balloon debris can accidentally trap wildlife or be eaten by animals that mistake it for food. More importantly, records show that over 3,000 pieces of balloon debris were collected in Virginia over a period of five years.

Businesses in the balloon industry are not happy. An owner of a party supplies company said the decision will have a negative impact on the state economy. Another businessman said the decision “makes balloons into an evil thing. And they’re not.”

This material was based on an article by The Associated Press.


Choose a topic and discuss the questions with your tutor.


  • Do you think your city should also ban the use of balloons? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Balloons cannot be used on public property or at city events beginning in 2024. What do you think will happen to businesses in the balloon industry? Discuss.
  • What do you think can be used to replace balloons (ex. paper lanterns)? Discuss.

Coastal Pollution

  • Is coastal pollution a big problem in your country? Discuss.
  • What can people do to reduce coastal pollution (ex. volunteer to clean the beach)? Discuss.
  • Environmental advocates are happy with the decision to ban balloons in the coastal city. Who else do you think is happy (ex. animal lovers, local citizens)? Why? Discuss.