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Yellowstone National Park

English Level: Intermediate

Stephen gives us some information about the history and features of Yellowstone National Park in the USA.

Listening for gist

"Listening for gist" means listening for general understanding and is the opposite of listening for detail. Often when second language learners listen to an English text they try to understand every word and then they find that they don't really know what the listening is about. Before you begin to study a listening text it is important to understand the general meaning.

Before you begin to answer the quiz questions in the ESL Radio and TV listenings, take the time to listen once for gist. Don't try to understand everything. Just get a general understanding. This will help you a lot when you try to answer the quiz questions that focus on the detail in the listenings.


Yellowstone National Park was established in 1872. It is located mostly in the USA state of Wyoming, although it also extends into Montana and Idaho. Yellowstone was the first national park in the world, and is known for its wildlife and its many geothermal features, especially Old Faithful Geyser, one of the most popular features in the park.
Native Americans have lived in the Yellowstone region for at least 11,000 years, but apart from visits by mountain men during the early-to-mid-19th century, it was not explored until the 1860s. 
Yellowstone National Park’s lakes, canyons, rivers and mountain ranges span an area of 3,468.4 square miles or 8,983 km2. Yellowstone Lake is one of the largest high-altitude lakes in North America and is centered over the Yellowstone Caldera, the largestsupervolcano on the continent. The caldera is considered an active volcano. It has erupted with tremendous force several times in the last two million years. 
Yellowstone is widely considered to be one of the best wildlife habitats in the United States. There are almost 60 species ofmammals in the park, including the gray wolf, the threatened lynx, and grizzly bears. An estimated 600 grizzly bears live in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
Yellowstone is one of the most popular national parks in the United States. Since the mid-1960s, at least 2 million tourists have visited the park almost every year. 
Yellowstone National Park, with its diverse wildlife and fantastic natural features, is an amazing place and truly one of the world’s great treasures.

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