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 October 2015

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Bananas Threatened by Fungal Disease

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • fungus: a spore-producing organism that feeds on organic matter
  • plantation: a large group of plants cultivated by locals for commercial purposes
  • drastic measures: a major response or action; usually very costly and/or risky
  • breed: a single variety

Bananas Threatened by Fungal Disease

A fungal disease is threatening banana crops around the world, and could result in the extinction of the Cavendish (a.k.a the supermarket banana). The fungus, which stays in the soil and very easily, prevents the fruit from taking in water. Burning down plantations and starting over with a different crop is one of the only known , though many farmers cannot afford to take these drastic measures. Banana experts say that history is itself and that the banana industry did not learn from a similar disease that wiped out a banana crop in the 1950s. on one breed instead of the many that are available, makes it difficult to recover from a serious outbreak.

Comprehension Questions

  1. What is threatening the supermarket banana?
  2. What is one of the only known solutions to this banana crisis?
  3. According to banana experts, how could this disaster have been prevented?

Discussion Questions: Does this type of news make you nervous about the future of food? What can the average person do to help ensure that other crops don’t go extinct?

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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