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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: 07 December 2016

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Sri Lanka Abandons Giant Christmas Tree Project

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • construction: the building of something
  • massive: very large
  • scrap: leftover or extra; without a purpose or need
  • halt: end
  • harmony: unity; togetherness
  • unveil: to show or reveal for the first time
  • Christmas Eve: the night before Christmas (December 24)

Sri Lanka Abandons Giant Christmas Tree Project

Construction of a massive Christmas tree made out of scrap material has been abandoned on a in Colombo. The project came to a halt after the archbishop of Colombo’s Catholic church criticized organizers, saying that the money would be better spent on charity. The was already three months underway, and half of the funds had already been spent. The tree, which was designed to peace and religious harmony, was supposed to be unveiled on Christmas Eve. Organizers and , including , Hindus, Muslims, and Christians, were hoping to win a Guinness World Record for the world’s tallest Christmas tree.

Comprehension Questions

  1. Where was the giant tree being built?
  2. Why was construction halted?
  3. What was the tree supposed to symbolize?

Discussion Questions: Only a small population of Sri Lanka is Christian, but Christmas is still a popular celebration there. Why do so many non-Christians celebrate this religious holiday?

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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