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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: 20 August 2013

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Volcanic Ash Covers Japanese City

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • erupt: to suddenly explode
  • decade: ten years
  • plume: a cloud of smoke, ash or other substance that rises up
  • shield: to protect
  • heat wave: a short period of extreme heat

Volcanic Ash Covers Japanese City

Japan’s Mount Sakurajima erupted for the time this year, covering a nearby city in ash. This Sunday’s eruption was the volcano’s largest in decades. The volcanic plume reached as high as 5,000 meters. Residents of nearby Kagoshima city are used to the eruptions from one of Japan’s most active volcanoes. They shielded themselves from the ash and smoke by wearing and raincoats, and using umbrellas. No injuries were . Japan has also experienced extreme weather this month, including a major heat wave, landslides, and massive flooding.

Comprehension Questions

  1. How many times has Mount Sakurajima erupted this year?
  2. What did nearby residents do to protect themselves from the ash?
  3. Why has this been an extraordinary month for Japan?

Discussion Question: Residents in Kagoshima are used to volcanic eruptions because they happen regularly. When you are “used to” something, it is familiar to you. What are people from your hometown or nation used to that visitors from other places might find extreme, odd, or uncomfortable?

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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