photo Tara Benwell Listen to News with Tara Benwell - Instructions:
1. Preview the vocabulary and read the gapfill text.
2. Play the news report and try to fill in the blanks.
3. Answer the comprehension questions by writing full sentences.
4. Use the discussion question to write an essay or discuss the story with other students.
5. Click "show Answers" to see the full text.
6. Pretend to be a news anchor by reading each story out loud.

dateline: 22 March 2011

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Famous Polar Bear ‘Knut’ Dies Suddenly

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • mourn: to expressing sadness and remember the life of someone or something
  • reject: to not accept
  • collapse: to fall down suddenly; to become lifeless
  • insane: mad; not mentally stable
  • in captivity: confined in an enclosure at a zoo or other facility; not living in the wild
  • life expectancy: the average time one is expected to live according to statistics

Famous Polar Bear ‘Knut’ Dies Suddenly

The world is mourning the death of Knut, a famous that was born in 2007, and hand-raised at the Berlin Zoo. Knut’s mother rejected him as a , and zookeepers took over the job of raising the bear. The polar bear quickly became a celebrity, inspiring toys, books, and movies . On March 19th, about 600 visitors watched as the four-year-old bear began shaking and walking in circles, and then collapsed in the water. Animal rights blame the zoo for the bear’s death, saying that Knut had been showing signs of going insane from captivity. Zookeepers deny the accusations, saying that Knut was a healthy bear who loved to show off for visitors. The life expectancy for polar bears in captivity is years.

Comprehension Questions

  1. Why did Knut become famous?
  2. Who watched Knut’s death?
  3. Why do animal rights activists blame the Berlin Zoo for Knut’s death?

Discussion Question: An amateur video of Knut’s death was posted online and later picked up by a major news channel. It shows the polar bear in distress before collapsing into his pool. Should news agencies support this kind of video? Why or why not?

show Answers

Written and recorded by Tara Benwell for EnglishClub
Tara Benwell is a Canadian freelance writer and editor who specializes in materials and articles for the ELT industry.
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