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: 13 December 2011

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North Korea Calls Tree Lighting ‘Propaganda’

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • consequence: result from an action
  • tense: full of stress; not peaceful
  • accuse: to charge or blame someone of doing something wrong
  • promote: to increase awareness or interest in something
  • propaganda: a message that tries to convince others to think or act in a certain way (also ‘psychological warfare’)

North Korea Calls Tree Lighting ‘Propaganda’

North Korea threatened “unexpected consequences” after South Korea gave a church group to light a 100 foot “Christmas tree” tower on its tense border. Two other trees will also be lit along the border over the . The lights can be easily seen from North Korea, and the North has accused the South of trying to promote Christianity in its communist state. Seven years ago, North and agreed to end propaganda battles. This included cancelling Seoul’s annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony. In 2010, relations between the North and South and the Christmas tree tower was lit up once again. A North Korean website describes the tree lighting as ‘psychological warfare’. South Korea says that extra security will be taken along the border throughout the holiday season.

Comprehension Questions

  1. Where is the Christmas tree tower located?
  2. Why does the North think lighting the tree is a form of propaganda?
  3. What happened seven years ago?

Discussion Question: South Korea defends its tree lighting ceremony, saying that it is trying to promote peace and freedom. Do you believe this or do you think the Christmas tree is a form of propaganda?

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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