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: 04 October 2017

Catalan Voters Seek Independence from Spain

Listen to the news in English with Tara Benwell

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • Catalan: of or related to Catalonia (a region of Spain that includes Barcelona)
  • independence: the state of having one’s own country, laws, and economy
  • referendum: a vote with two choices
  • ballot: a piece of paper that one uses to mark a vote
  • boycott: to refuse to participate or use
  • general strike: a mass, organized refusal to work by all different sectors

Catalan Voters Seek Independence from Spain

On Sunday, October 1, Catalan voters said Yes in a referendum on independence from Spain. Many of those who stood in line to vote were shot at with rubber by Spanish police who claimed the referendum was against the law. The police also destroyed voting stations and ballots. 900 people were injured. Many who do not favour separation boycotted the vote. On Tuesday, Catalonia went on a general strike the police violence. The leader of Catalonia’s separatist government says it will declare within days. Catalonia is Spain’s richest region and has its own language, , and history.

Comprehension Questions

  1. What were people voting on in Catalonia on Sunday?
  2. How did Spanish police react to the voting and why?
  3. What happened on Tuesday?

Discussion Questions: Spain’s central government rejects the referendum, because its 1978 constitution states that the country is indivisible. Do you think this is a valid part of a constitution? Why or why not?

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.

4 Comments on Catalan Voters Seek Independence from Spain

  1. Elisabete Maria Rusche says:

    It’s a difficult question to analyze for people who do not live there. The separation will produce economic, social and cultural imbalance to Spain as a strong country as it is today. On the other hand, Catalonia will find difficulties to be accepted by the European Community.

  2. GLON says:

    it’s the first time I come on this site
    But I’m sure it’snt the last one
    I think It will be very difficult for Catalan people to quit Espania
    Because there will be too much difficulties about economy, seperation from Europe etc…

  3. albert says:

    Most people asked about barcelona football team in independence.

    There are two main answers.

    First. It’s non probable this situation. Barça needs spanish league but spanish league needs barça. Although the league is is an organization of its own and independent from the federation and exist other not spanish teams play, as Andorra teams.

    Second. It is said these days a expulsion of barcelona team of La Liga wouldn’t affect because other leagues as french, calcio or Premier would join the team. It could different about others teams in Catalonia.

  4. Bijan says:

    Hi Tara,

    First, thank you for this week’s news report.

    Second, as you explained in Pre-Listening Vocabulary, Catalonia is a region of Spain that includes Barcelona and as far as I know Barcelona is one of the most important cities of Spain.

    Here one question has been created for me that I present it in the following paragraph:

    Barcelona has a football team that is very famous in Europe and also in the world. I’m surprised that if Catalonia will declare independence within days, what position will the Barcelona team have in Spain league and also Europe league?

    Thank you and have a great weekend in nice Canada,
    Bijan from the Persian Gulf

Let us have your ideas: