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Date: December 5, 2008
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THE ARTICLE

Human noise pollution a danger to sea life

Human-made noise pollution in the Earth’s oceans and seas is becoming a serious threat to marine wildlife. Scientists report that there is hardly an underwater place left where marine mammals can live in peace and quiet. Dozens of species of whale, dolphin, turtle and other creatures rely on sound to communicate, find mates and hunt for food. Their increasingly noisy environment is making it more and more difficult to lead a normal life. This is according to a report from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), called "Ocean Noise: Turn it Down”. The environmental group says noise from shipping, military sonar, oil and gas surveys, offshore construction and marine sports has reached dangerous levels for sea life.


 
 

The IFAW says the distance over which blue whales can communicate is down by 90 per cent. It also reports that in the past decade, many whales have become beached after being disorientated because of loud noise. The group also warns that noise pollution is only going to get worse. It highlighted the use of seismic surveys as one example of the extent of the problem. These generate incredibly loud sounds every ten seconds that can travel 3,000 km. There are 90 survey ships active in the oceans today. In addition, the number of ships sailing the seas will double by 2025. Mark Simmonds, a conservation spokesman, said, "man-made noise is already triggering a kind of acoustic fog,” and called for a “response to noise pollution in the underwater world”.


 
 

WARM-UPS

1. NOISE: Walk around the class and talk to other students about noise. Change partners often. After you finish, sit with your partner(s) and share your findings.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

 

humans / Earth / oceans / mammals / peace and quiet / communicate / marine sports / loud noise / pollution / surveys / ships / conservation / the underwater world

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. POLLUTION: Do you worry about pollution? Complete the table below with your partner(s). Share what you wrote with other students. Decide as a class which solutions are best.

Pollution

Problems

Solutions

Traffic pollution

 

 

Noise pollution

 

 

Underwater noise

 

 

Industrial

 

 

English language

 

 

4. TURN IT DOWN: Students A strongly believe we should stop creating noise pollution in the oceans; Students B strongly believe noise pollution in the oceans is unavoidable and is no problem. Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. NOISES: What noises do you associate with different things? Talk about these things with your partner(s). Change partners and discuss what you talked about.

  • Ocean noises
  • Childhood noises
  • English noises
  • 21st century noises
  • Interesting noises
  • Unwanted noises
  • Favourite noises
  • Noise-pollution noises

6. WHALE: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘whale’. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F):

a.

The noise humans make is threatening creatures living in the oceans.

T / F

b.

There are very few quiet places left in the oceans.

T / F

c.

Turtles use sound to hunt for food and look for a mate.

T / F

d.

An environmental group said noise from shopping upset whales.

T / F

e.

The distance over which blue whales can communicate has increased.

T / F

f.

Noise pollution can mean whales lose their way and die on beaches.

T / F

g.

The number of ships on the seas will triple in the next 20 years.

T / F

h.

An environmental spokesman said it’s very foggy in the oceans.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article:

1.

threat

a.

starting

2

marine

b.

live

3.

rely

c.

answer

4.

lead

d.

aquatic

5.

levels

e.

confused

6.

distance

f.

danger

7.

disorientated

g.

scale

8.

extent

h.

amounts

9.

triggering

i.

length

10.

response

j.

depend

3. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more than one. combination is possible):

1.

Human-made noise pollution in the Earth’s

a.

double by 2025

2

marine mammals can live in peace

b.

to communicate

3.

creatures rely on sound

c.

can communicate

4.

difficult to lead

d.

for sea life

5.

…has reached dangerous levels

e.

sounds every ten seconds

6.

the distance over which blue whales

f.

oceans and seas

7.

noise pollution is only going to

g.

kind of acoustic fog

8.

These generate incredibly loud

h.

a normal life

9.

the number of ships sailing the seas will

i.

and quiet

10.

man-made noise is already triggering a

j.

get worse

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

Human-made noise pollution in the Earth’s oceans and seas is becoming a __________ threat to marine wildlife. Scientists report that there is __________ an underwater place left where marine mammals can live in peace and quiet. Dozens of species of whale, dolphin, turtle and other creatures __________ on sound to communicate, find mates and hunt for food. Their increasingly __________ environment is making it more and more difficult to __________ a normal life. This is according to a report from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), called "Ocean Noise: Turn it Down”. The environmental __________ says noise from shipping, military sonar, oil and __________ surveys, offshore construction and marine sports has reached dangerous __________ for sea life.

 

group
rely
noisy
serious
gas
lead
hardly
levels

The IFAW says the __________ over which blue whales can communicate is down by 90 per cent. It also __________ that in the past decade, many whales have become beached after being disorientated because of loud noise. The group also __________ that noise pollution is only going to get worse. It highlighted the use of seismic surveys as one __________ of the extent of the problem. These generate __________ loud sounds every ten seconds that can travel 3,000 km. There are 90 survey ships __________ in the oceans today. In addition, the number of ships sailing the seas will __________ by 2025. Mark Simmonds, a conservation spokesman, said, "man-made noise is already triggering a kind of acoustic fog,” and called for a “__________ to noise pollution in the underwater world”.

 

example
warns
double
active
distance
response
incredibly
reports

LISTENING:  Listen and fill in the spaces.

Human-made noise pollution in the Earth’s oceans and _________________ a serious threat to marine wildlife. Scientists report that there is hardly an underwater place left where marine mammals can _________________ quiet. Dozens of species of whale, dolphin, turtle and other creatures _________________ communicate, find mates and hunt for food. Their increasingly noisy environment _________________ more difficult to lead a normal life. This is according to a report from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), called "Ocean Noise: Turn it Down”. The environmental group ____________________, military sonar, oil and gas surveys, offshore construction and marine sports has reached dangerous _________________.

The IFAW says the _________________ blue whales can communicate is down by 90 per cent. It also reports that in the past decade, many whales have become beached after being _________________ of loud noise. The group also warns that noise pollution is only going to get worse. It highlighted the use of seismic surveys _________________ the extent of the problem. These generate incredibly loud sounds every ten seconds that can travel 3,000 km. There are 90 survey ships _________________ today. In addition, the number of ships sailing the seas will double by 2025. Mark Simmonds, a conservation spokesman, said, "man-made noise is already triggering a kind _________________,” and called for a “_________________ pollution in the underwater world”.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionaries / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘noise’ and ‘pollution’.

noise

pollution

 

 

 

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

  • serious
  • hardly
  • dozens
  • hunt
  • normal
  • gas
  • 90
  • worse
  • extent
  • 3,000
  • 2025
  • fog

STUDENT NOISE POLLUTION SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about noise pollution in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

Q.2.

Q.3.

Q.4.

Q.5.

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

NOISE POLLUTION DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What springs to mind when you hear the term ‘noise pollution’?

c)

Do you suffer as a result of noise pollution?

d)

What do you think of the concept of noise pollution in the oceans?

e)

Do you think it’s important to live in peace and quiet?

f)

Do you think this is a serious problem?

g)

What would life be like if your environment was so noisy you couldn’t even hear yourself think?

h)

Do you think governments and corporations need to scale down their activities in the oceans?

i)

What would governments do if all whales and dolphins were in danger of becoming extinct because of noise pollution?

j)

Do you get fed up with noisy jet skis and power boats when you are at the beach?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

What do you think will happen to whales if they cannot communicate?

c)

How do you think we can reverse noise pollution in the oceans?

d)

What will happen to marine mammals if noise pollution gets worse?

e)

Do you think there should be human-free zones in whole oceans?

f)

Do you think human activity will eventually kill the oceans?

g)

What would life be like without human-made noises?

h)

What do you think “acoustic fog” is?

i)

What other kinds of pollution are you worried about?

j)

What questions would you like to ask Mark Simmonds?

LANGUAGE

Human-made noise pollution in the Earth’s oceans and seas (1) ____ becoming a serious threat to marine wildlife. Scientists report that there is (2) ____ an underwater place left where marine mammals can live in peace and quiet. Dozens of species of whale, dolphin, turtle and other creatures (3) ____ on sound to communicate, find mates and hunt for food. Their increasingly noisy environment is making it more and more difficult to (4) ____ a normal life. This is according to a report from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), called "Ocean Noise: Turn it Down”. The environmental group says noise from shipping, military sonar, (5) ____ and gas surveys, offshore construction and marine sports has reached dangerous levels (6) ____ sea life.

The IFAW says the distance over which blue whales can communicate is (7) ____ by 90 per cent. It also reports that in the past decade, many whales have become beached after (8) ____ disorientated because of loud noise. The group also warns that noise pollution is only going to get worse. It highlighted the use (9) ____ seismic surveys as one example of the extent of the problem. These generate incredibly loud sounds (10) ____ ten seconds that can travel 3,000 km. There are 90 survey ships active in the oceans today. In addition, the number of ships sailing the seas will double (11) ____ 2025. Mark Simmonds, a conservation spokesman, said, "man-made noise is already triggering a kind of acoustic (12) ____,” and called for a “response to noise pollution in the underwater world”.

Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

to

(b)

are

(c)

will

(d)

is

2.

(a)

harden

(b)

hardly

(c)

hard

(d)

harder

3.

(a)

rely

(b)

relay

(c)

rally

(d)

reliance

4.

(a)

steel

(b)

iron

(c)

lead

(d)

tin

5.

(a)

oils

(b)

oily

(c)

oil

(d)

oiled

6.

(a)

at

(b)

for

(c)

by

(d)

from

7.

(a)

down

(b)

decrease

(c)

depressed

(d)

low

8.

(a)

was

(b)

be

(c)

were

(d)

being

9.

(a)

if

(b)

of

(c)

for

(d)

from

10.

(a)

total

(b)

whole

(c)

all

(d)

every

11.

(a)

with

(b)

for

(c)

by

(d)

up

12.

(a)

fog

(b)

foggier

(c)

foggy

(d)

fog over

WRITING: 

Write about noise pollution for 10 minutes. Correct your partner’s paper.

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about noise pollution in the oceans and the report "Ocean Noise: Turn it Down”. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. POLLUTION: Make a poster about the different kinds of pollution we create. Include an action plan for reducing the pollution. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. TURN IT DOWN: Write a magazine article about a person whose health is being affected by noise pollution in his city. Include imaginary interviews with the person and the city’s environmental health officer.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).

5. LETTER: Write a letter to your government’s leader. Ask him/her three questions about noise pollution in the oceans. Give him/her your three ideas on what to do to reduce it. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

6. DIARY / JOURNAL: You are a whale. You are fed up with noisy humans.  Write a diary entry about one day in the ocean. How are humans affecting your daily life? Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

T

b.

T

c.

T

d.

F

e.

F

f.

T

g.

F

h.

F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

threat

a.

danger

2

marine

b.

aquatic

3.

rely

c.

depend

4.

lead

d.

live

5.

levels

e.

amounts

6.

distance

f.

length

7.

disorientated

g.

confused

8.

extent

h.

scale

9.

triggering

i.

starting

10.

response

j.

answer

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

Human-made noise pollution in the Earth’s

a.

oceans and seas

2

marine mammals can live in peace

b.

and quiet

3.

creatures rely on sound

c.

to communicate

4.

difficult to lead

d.

a normal life

5.

…has reached dangerous levels

e.

for sea life

6.

the distance over which blue whales

f.

can communicate

7.

noise pollution is only going to

g.

get worse

8.

These generate incredibly loud

h.

sounds every ten seconds

9.

the number of ships sailing the seas will

i.

double by 2025

10.

man-made noise is already triggering a

j.

kind of acoustic fog

GAP FILL:

Human noise pollution a danger to sea life

Human-made noise pollution in the Earth’s oceans and seas is becoming a serious threat to marine wildlife. Scientists report that there is hardly an underwater place left where marine mammals can live in peace and quiet. Dozens of species of whale, dolphin, turtle and other creatures rely on sound to communicate, find mates and hunt for food. Their increasingly noisy environment is making it more and more difficult to lead a normal life. This is according to a report from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), called "Ocean Noise: Turn it Down”. The environmental group says noise from shipping, military sonar, oil and gas surveys, offshore construction and marine sports has reached dangerous levels for sea life.

The IFAW says the distance over which blue whales can communicate is down by 90 per cent. It also reports that in the past decade, many whales have become beached after being disorientated because of loud noise. The group also warns that noise pollution is only going to get worse. It highlighted the use of seismic surveys as one example of the extent of the problem. These generate incredibly loud sounds every ten seconds that can travel 3,000 km. There are 90 survey ships active in the oceans today. In addition, the number of ships sailing the seas will double by 2025. Mark Simmonds, a conservation spokesman, said, "man-made noise is already triggering a kind of acoustic fog,” and called for a “response to noise pollution in the underwater world”.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - b

3 - a

4 - c

5 - c

6 - b

7 - a

8 - d

9 - b

10 - d

11 - c

12 - a

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