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Queensland Facing Major Reconstruction (13th January, 2011)


 

The Australian state of Queensland is facing an uphill struggle to recover from its recent flood. It could take years before things are back to normal. Large areas of the state are still under water. Thousands of homes have been flooded and many people are now without a roof over their heads. Many more homes are without power and people are relying on food and water handouts. State Premier Anna Bligh told reporters the flood is the worst natural disaster in Queensland’s history and that reconstruction would be of "post-war proportions". She said: "Queensland is reeling this morning from the worst natural disaster in our history and possibly in the history of our nation….We've seen three-quarters of our state having experienced the devastation of raging flood waters.”

One good piece of news to emerge from the flood is that the flood waters weren’t as high as feared. The water peaked at 4.46m, below the 5.4m of the 1974 floods. Nevertheless, around 30 Brisbane suburbs now look like giant lagoons. There is a huge amount of debris in the water, ranging from the entire walkway that lined Brisbane’s business district waterfront, to a floating restaurant smashed to pieces after crashing into a bridge. So far, the reported death toll is 15, but dozens more people are missing. Brisbane’s mayor Campbell Newman warned residents it would take a long time to return to normal. He said: “The clean-up effort, ultimately, will take many, many months…The reconstruction effort on people's homes is going to take much longer.”


WARM-UPS

1. FLOODS: Walk around the class and talk to other students about floods. Change partners often. Sit with your first 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.

 

Australia / uphill struggle / back to normal / flooded / handouts / natural disaster / good news / suburbs / lagoons / debris / business district / death toll / normal

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

3. NATURAL DISASTER: What would frighten you most? Complete this table and talk about it with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you wrote. Change and share again.

Disaster

Why?

How would you prepare?

Floods

 

 

Earthquake

 

 

Hurricane

 

 

Volcano

 

 

Landslide

 

 

Drought

 

 

4. DEFENCES: Students A strongly believe all cities will have excellent flood defences in the future; Students B strongly believe the opposite.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. BELONGINGS: What would you take if you had to leave your house in a disaster? Rank these and share your rankings with your partner. Put the most important at the top. Change partners and share your rankings again.

  • water
  • passport
  • pet
  • mp3 player
  • mobile phone
  • wallet
  • computer
  • sleeping bag

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


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if  a-h  below are true (T) or false (F).

a.

Queensland residents are struggling to get floodwater back uphill.

T / F

b.

Millions of homes have been flooded.

T / F

c.

Not everyone in the flood affected areas has electricity.

T / F

d.

Around 75% of Queensland has suffered in the floods.

T / F

e.

A 1974 flood in Queensland was around a metre higher than this one.

T / F

f.

A lot of Brisbane’s business district is now floating down the river.

T / F

g.

The death toll isn’t likely to be more than 15 people.

T / F

h.

Reconstruction will take less time than the actual clean-up.

T / F

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

1.

struggle

a.

electricity

2

relying

b.

whole

3.

power

c.

uncontrolled

4.

reeling

d.

depending

5.

raging

e.

appear

6.

emerge

f.

at the end of the day

7.

debris

g.

battle

8.

entire

h.

citizens

9.

residents

i.

shocked

10.

ultimately

j.

wreckage

3. PHRASE MATCH:  (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

1.

facing an uphill struggle

a.

in the water

2

It could take years before things

b.

their heads

3.

without a roof over

c.

at 4.46m

4.

the worst natural disaster

d.

news to emerge

5.

the devastation of raging

e.

toll is 15

6.

One good piece of

f.

to recover

7.

The water peaked

g.

return to normal

8.

There is a huge amount of debris

h.

are back to normal

9.

the reported death

i.

in Queensland’s history

10.

take a long time to

j.

flood waters

 


 
 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

The Australian state of Queensland is (1) ____________ an uphill struggle to recover from its (2) ____________ flood. It could take years before things are back to normal. Large areas of the state are still under water. Thousands of homes have been flooded and many people are now without a (3) ____________ over their heads. Many more homes are without power and people are relying on food and water (4) ____________. State Premier Anna Bligh told reporters the flood is the worst (5) ____________ disaster in Queensland’s history and that reconstruction would be of "post-war proportions". She said: "Queensland is (6) ____________ this morning from the worst natural disaster in our history and possibly in the (7) ____________ of our nation….We've seen three-quarters of our state having experienced the devastation of (8) ____________ flood waters.”

 

 

 

reeling
handouts
recent
raging
facing
history
roof
natural

One good piece of news to (9) ____________ from the flood is that the flood waters weren’t as high as feared. The water (10) ____________ at 4.46m, below the 5.4m of the 1974 floods. Nevertheless, around 30 Brisbane suburbs now look like (11) ____________ lagoons. There is a huge amount of debris in the water, ranging from the entire walkway that (12) ____________ Brisbane’s business district waterfront, to a floating restaurant smashed to pieces after (13) ____________ into a bridge. So far, the reported death toll is 15, but dozens more people are missing. Brisbane’s mayor Campbell Newman warned (14) ____________ it would take a long time to return to normal. He said: “The clean-up effort, (15) ____________, will take many, many months…The reconstruction (16) ____________ on people's homes is going to take much longer.”

 

 

residents
giant
effort
crashing
emerge
ultimately
peaked
lined

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

The Australian state of Queensland _______________________ struggle to recover from its recent flood. It could take years _______________________ to normal. Large areas of the state are still under water. Thousands of homes _______________________ and many people are now without a roof over their heads. Many more homes are without power and people _______________________ and water handouts. State Premier Anna Bligh told reporters the flood is the worst natural disaster in Queensland’s history and that reconstruction would be of "post-war proportions". She said: "Queensland _______________________ from the worst natural disaster in our history and possibly in the history of our nation….We've seen three-quarters _______________________ experienced the devastation of raging flood waters.”

One good piece _______________________ from the flood is that the flood waters weren’t as high as feared. The water peaked at 4.46m, below the _______________________. Nevertheless, around 30 Brisbane suburbs now look like giant lagoons. There is a _______________________ in the water, ranging from the entire walkway that lined Brisbane’s business district waterfront, to a floating restaurant _______________________ crashing into a bridge. So far, the reported death toll is 15, but dozens more people are missing. Brisbane’s mayor Campbell Newman warned residents it would _______________________ return to normal. He said: “The clean-up effort, ultimately, will take many, many months…The reconstruction effort on people's homes is going _______________________.”


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

struggle

recover

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • uphill
  • still
  • roof
  • food
  • reeling
  • raging
  • emerge
  • giant
  • lined
  • so far
  • normal
  • effort

STUDENT FLOODS SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about floods 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.

FLOODS 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 word ‘flood’?

c)

Have you been following news of the floods in Queensland?

d)

How dangerous are floods?

e)

What would you do to prepare for a flood?

f)

What things would you take if you had to flee from your house?

g)

What would you do if your home was flooded?

h)

What’s the worst natural disaster in your country’s history?

i)

What are the dangers after the floodwaters have gone?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

What lessons can cities learn from the Queensland flood?

c)

What would you do if you had to stay in an emergency shelter?

d)

What should the international community do for Queensland?

e)

What news images can you remember about the floods?

f)

Would you move to an area that had been flooded before?

g)

What advice would you give to Queenslanders?

h)

Where would you start in cleaning up after a flood?

i)

What questions would you like to ask the Queensland Premier Anna Bligh?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

The Australian state of Queensland is facing an (1) ____ struggle to recover from its recent flood. It could take years before things are back to normal. Large areas of the state are still under water. Thousands of homes have been flooded and many people are now without a (2) ____ over their heads. Many more homes are without power and people are relying (3) ____ food and water handouts. State Premier Anna Bligh told reporters the flood is the worst natural disaster in Queensland’s history and that reconstruction would be of "(4) ____-war proportions". She said: "Queensland is (5) ____ this morning from the worst natural disaster in our history and possibly in the history of our nation….We've seen three-quarters of our state having experienced the devastation of (6) ____ flood waters.”

One good piece of news to (7) ____ from the flood is that the flood waters weren’t as high as feared. The water (8) ____ at 4.46m, below the 5.4m of the 1974 floods. Nevertheless, around 30 Brisbane suburbs now look like giant lagoons. There is a huge amount (9) ____ debris in the water, ranging from the entire walkway that lined Brisbane’s business district waterfront, to a floating restaurant smashed to  (10) ____ after crashing into a bridge. So far, the reported death toll is 15, but dozens more people are missing. Brisbane’s mayor Campbell Newman warned residents it would take a long time to return to normal. He said: “The clean-up effort, (11) ____, will take many, many months…The reconstruction (12) ____ on people's homes is going to take much longer.”

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

1.

(a)

downhill

(b)

hilly

(c)

overland

(d)

uphill

2.

(a)

roof

(b)

ceiling

(c)

loft

(d)

attic

3.

(a)

in

(b)

on

(c)

down

(d)

up

4.

(a)

past

(b)

passed

(c)

post

(d)

psst

5.

(a)

reels

(b)

reel

(c)

reeling

(d)

reeled

6.

(a)

rages

(b)

raging

(c)

rage

(d)

raged

7.

(a)

merge

(b)

merging

(c)

merges

(d)

emerge

8.

(a)

peaked

(b)

poked

(c)

peeked

(d)

perked

9.

(a)

from

(b)

of

(c)

for

(d)

by

10.

(a)

components

(b)

parts

(c)

shreds

(d)

pieces

11.

(a)

ultimate

(b)

ultimatum

(c)

ultimately

(d)

ultimatums

12.

(a)

effort

(b)

energy

(c)

power

(d)

brainstorming


 
 

WRITING

Write about floods 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 the Queensland floods. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. FLOODS: Make a poster about floods. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. QUEENSLAND: Write a magazine article about the Queensland floods. Include imaginary interviews with people who were in them.

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 Anna Bligh. Ask her three questions about the floods. Give her three suggestions on what she should do to help her people. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.


 


 
 

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

F

b.

F

c.

T

d.

T

e.

T

f.

F

g.

F

h.

F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

struggle

a.

battle

2

relying

b.

depending

3.

power

c.

electricity

4.

reeling

d.

shocked

5.

raging

e.

uncontrolled

6.

emerge

f.

appear

7.

debris

g.

wreckage

8.

entire

h.

whole

9.

residents

i.

citizens

10.

ultimately

j.

at the end of the day

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

facing an uphill struggle

a.

to recover

2

It could take years before things

b.

are back to normal

3.

without a roof over

c.

their heads

4.

the worst natural disaster

d.

in Queensland’s history

5.

the devastation of raging

e.

flood waters

6.

One good piece of

f.

news to emerge

7.

The water peaked

g.

at 4.46m

8.

There is a huge amount of debris

h.

in the water

9.

the reported death

i.

toll is 15

10.

take a long time to

j.

return to normal

GAP FILL:

Queensland facing major reconstruction

The Australian state of Queensland is (1) facing an uphill struggle to recover from its (2) recent flood. It could take years before things are back to normal. Large areas of the state are still under water. Thousands of homes have been flooded and many people are now without a (3) roof over their heads. Many more homes are without power and people are relying on food and water (4) handouts. State Premier Anna Bligh told reporters the flood is the worst (5) natural disaster in Queensland’s history and that reconstruction would be of "post-war proportions". She said: "Queensland is (6) reeling this morning from the worst natural disaster in our history and possibly in the (7) history of our nation….We've seen three-quarters of our state having experienced the devastation of (8) raging flood waters.”

One good piece of news to (9) emerge from the flood is that the flood waters weren’t as high as feared. The water (10) peaked at 4.46m, below the 5.4m of the 1974 floods. Nevertheless, around 30 Brisbane suburbs now look like (11) giant lagoons. There is a huge amount of debris in the water, ranging from the entire walkway that (12) lined Brisbane’s business district waterfront, to a floating restaurant smashed to pieces after (13) crashing into a bridge. So far, the reported death toll is 15, but dozens more people are missing. Brisbane’s mayor Campbell Newman warned (14) residents it would take a long time to return to normal. He said: “The clean-up effort, (15) ultimately, will take many, many months…The reconstruction (16) effort on people's homes is going to take much longer.”

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - a

3 - b

4 - c

5 - c

6 - b

7 - d

8 - a

9 - b

10 - d

11 - c

12 - a

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