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Listen&Learn: The Chernobyl Disaster

5th August 2020 by Jaksyn Peacock

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • nuclear reactor: a device that generates heat and power by splitting atoms
  • maintenance: the work done on a machine to keep it in good condition
  • radiation: a dangerous type of energy released from a nuclear reaction
  • evacuate: to leave an unsafe place
  • exclusion zone: a restricted area where certain activities are not allowed
  • contaminated: polluted with something hazardous
  • habitable: safe to live in

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

On April 26, 1986, the nuclear reactor of the Chernobyl Power Plant in Ukraine . The explosion occurred early in the morning, while plant were performing a maintenance check. They had turned off a control system that was keeping the reactor stable. The initial explosion killed two of the workers, and 28 other workers died of radiation sickness in the months after the . The explosion also caused residents of a nearby town called Pripyat to be exposed to radiation. Because of this, the residents were forced to evacuate and find new places to live. In order to more deaths from radiation exposure, the of what was then the Soviet Union created an exclusion zone around the Chernobyl plant. Although the zone is now safe for tourists to visit, scientists believe that the most contaminated areas will not be habitable for over 20,000 years.

Comprehension questions

1. When the explosion occurred, the plant workers were

Correct! Wrong!

When the explosion occurred, the plant workers were performing maintenance checks.

2. Most of the deaths from the Chernobyl disaster were caused by

Correct! Wrong!

Most of the deaths from the Chernobyl disaster were caused by radiation sickness.

3. The exclusion zone is now

Correct! Wrong!

The exclusion zone is now safe for people to visit.

Discussion/essay questions

  1. Nuclear power is a controversial topic. Many people are afraid of the potential dangers that nuclear power plants could cause. Chernobyl is a good example of this. However, nuclear power is a useful source of energy that doesn’t release carbon dioxide. How do you feel about nuclear power? Is it too dangerous, or are the benefits are more important than the risks?

Transcript

On April 26, 1986, the nuclear reactor of the Chernobyl Power Plant in Ukraine exploded. The explosion occurred early in the morning, while plant workers were performing a maintenance check. They had turned off a control system that was keeping the reactor stable. The initial explosion killed two of the workers, and 28 other workers died of radiation sickness in the months after the disaster. The explosion also caused residents of a nearby town called Pripyat to be exposed to radiation. Because of this, the residents were forced to evacuate and find new places to live. In order to prevent more deaths from radiation exposure, the government of what was then the Soviet Union created an exclusion zone around the Chernobyl plant. Although the zone is now safe for tourists to visit, scientists believe that the most contaminated areas will not be habitable for over 20,000 years.

William Shakespeare

20th May 2020 by Jaksyn Peacock

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • dramatist: a person who writes plays
  • credit: to recognize someone as the creator of something
  • iconic: famous; widely known
  • comedy: a type of play that makes use of humour, and has a happy ending
  • tragedy: a type of play that has a sad endingoften the death of the main character
  • relevant: important to the time or situation

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

William Shakespeare was an English dramatist and poet, currently considered to be one of the greatest of all time. He was born in 1564 in Stratford, where he would spend the rest of his childhood. At age 18, he married a woman named Anne Hathaway, and the had three children together. After the birth of his youngest two children, Shakespeare travelled to London and helped to found an company known as the Lord Chamberlain’s Men. While working as an actor, Shakespeare began to write scripts. One of the first plays to be officially credited to Shakespeare was the iconic Romeo and Juliet, a story of two young lovers who come from families. During his life, Shakespeare wrote at least 38 plays: 14 comedies, 12 tragedies, and 12 histories. Shakespeare died in 1616 – over 400 years ago – but his plays are still relevant today because of their influence on stories. In fact, many of today’s books, movies, and plays are based on concepts from Shakespeare’s work.

Comprehension questions

1. William Shakespeare was born in

Correct! Wrong!

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford.

2. Shakespeare began writing plays while working as

Correct! Wrong!

Shakespeare began writing plays while working as an actor.

3. Shakespeare wrote at least

Correct! Wrong!

Shakespeare wrote at least 38 plays.

Discussion/essay questions

  1. Do you know of any modern books, movies, or plays that are based on Shakespeare’s plays?
  2. Why do you think that so much modern entertainment is inspired by these plays?

Transcript

William Shakespeare was an English dramatist and poet, currently considered to be one of the greatest writers of all time. He was born in 1564 in Stratford, where he would spend the rest of his childhood. At age 18, he married a woman named Anne Hathaway, and the couple had three children together. After the birth of his youngest two children, Shakespeare travelled to London and helped to found an acting company known as the Lord Chamberlain’s Men. While working as an actor, Shakespeare began to write scripts. One of the first plays to be officially credited to Shakespeare was the iconic Romeo and Juliet, a story of two young lovers who come from rival families. During his life, Shakespeare wrote at least 38 plays: 14 comedies, 12 tragedies, and 12 histories. Shakespeare died in 1616 – over 400 years ago – but his plays are still relevant today because of their influence on modern stories. In fact, many of today’s books, movies, and plays are based on concepts from Shakespeare’s work.

The Titanic

22nd April 2020 by Jaksyn Peacock
The TITANIC

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • voyage: a journey across an ocean
  • construct: to build something
  • luxury: designed for comfort and pleasure
  • collide: to crash into something
  • evacuate: to leave a dangerous place
  • lifeboat: a small boat used to escape a sinking ship

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

The Titanic was a British passenger ship that sank to the bottom of the during its first voyage. The ship was constructed during the 1900s by a transportation known as White Star. This was a part of their plan to introduce a new set of luxury passenger ships that would transport wealthy people across the Atlantic Ocean. White Star finished building the Titanic in 1911. At that time, it was the biggest ship that had ever been . The Titanic was designed with safety compartments that could fill up with water if any issues occurred. Because of this, many people that the Titanic was unsinkable. In April 1912, the Titanic began its trip from England to the United States, carrying over 2,000 passengers. While at sea, the ship collided with an iceberg and began to overflow. Passengers and crew evacuated the ship, but there were not enough lifeboats on board to save everyone. Out of the original 2,000 passengers, only 705 . The sinking of the Titanic has since been known as one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century.

Comprehension questions

1. The purpose of the Titanic was

Correct! Wrong!

The purpose of the Titanic was to transport people across the Atlantic Ocean.

2. People believed the Titanic was unsinkable because

Correct! Wrong!

People believed the Titanic was unsinkable because it had safety compartments to prevent overflowing.

3. The Titanic began its journey in

Correct! Wrong!

The Titanic began its journey in 1912.

Discussion/essay questions

  1. The sinking of the Titanic has inspired many books, movies, and conspiracy theories. Why do you think people are still so fascinated by this event?

Transcript

The Titanic was a British passenger ship that sank to the bottom of the ocean during its first voyage. The ship was constructed during the 1900s by a transportation company known as White Star. This was a part of their plan to introduce a new set of luxury passenger ships that would transport wealthy people across the Atlantic Ocean. White Star finished building the Titanic in 1911. At that time, it was the biggest ship that had ever been built. The Titanic was designed with safety compartments that could fill up with water if any issues occurred.  Because of this, many people believed that the Titanic was unsinkable. In April 1912, the Titanic began its trip from England to the United States, carrying over 2,000 passengers. While at sea, the ship collided with an iceberg and began to overflow. Passengers and crew evacuated the ship, but there were not enough lifeboats on board to save everyone. Out of the original 2,000 passengers, only 705 survived. The sinking of the Titanic has since been known as one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century. 


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