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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: 18 June 2013

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Brazil Vows To Clean Up Rio’s Shanty Towns

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • vow: to promise
  • under pressure: feeling the stress of an upcoming deadline or requirement
  • unsanitary: not clean; can cause disease and sickness
  • drug traffickers: people who sell drugs
  • initiative: a plan that will lead to a change or improvement

Brazil Vows To Clean Up Rio’s Shanty Towns

Brazil’s government this week that it would be investing 1.2 billion dollars to clean up three poor areas in Rio. The city is getting ready to host the 2016 Olympic Games as well as the 2014 World Cup, and is under pressure to prove that it is a safe and clean place for visitors and athletes. Brazil’s shanty towns are known as “favelas”. Approximately 15% of Rio’s residents live in these poor housing areas. They face , unsanitary living conditions and have little to basic utilities including electricity and clean water. Many favelas are run by drug traffickers, though police efforts are underway to them out. Residents fear that this initiative will be a repeat of the 1970’s when thousands of residents were removed from Rio’s slums and ended up on the streets.

Comprehension Questions

  1. Why is Rio under pressure to clean up its shanty towns?
  2. What are the living conditions like in Rio’s favelas?
  3. What happened in Rio in the 1970’s?

Discussion Question:
It is common practice for governments to clean up their urban centres in advance of hosting the Olympics. What do you think will happen to the Rio favelas after tourists have returned home?

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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