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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: 17 January 2012

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Cruise Ship Disaster in Italy

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • abandon: leave something permanently
  • lifeboat: a small rescue boat on a large ship
  • chaotic: not organized; wild
  • custody: a place that is protected by guards or police
  • outcrop: a rock formation not covered with soil or sand
  • manslaughter: the killing of a person without intent

Cruise Ship Disaster in Italy

Over 4000 passengers were enjoying themselves on a cruise ship off the of Italy on Friday night when the ship went dark and began taking on water. At least an hour passed before passengers and crew members were ordered to abandon the ship. Some passengers managed to the Costa Concordia via lifeboats, while others jumped to swim to a nearby shore. According to survivors, the escape was chaotic. There weren’t enough accessible lifeboats and many people believed they were going to die. Six people were found dead and up to 16 were still missing a few days after the accident. Investigators believe the ship hit a rocky outcrop. The ship’s has been taken into custody and could face manslaughter charges. He has denied accusations of going and abandoning ship while passengers were still on board.

Comprehension Questions

  1. Where was the ship when it hit the rocks?
  2. What word is used to describe the escape following orders to abandon ship?
  3. What charges might the ship’s captain face?

Discussion Question: Should a crew wait for all passengers to be safely off board a damaged vehicle before abandoning it? What about “survival instincts”?

show Answers

Written 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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