The Reading / Listening - Broadband Cables - Level 5

Australia's high-speed, broadband network is being attacked by thousands of birds. The country's ubiquitous and colourful cockatoos have taken a liking for chewing the broadband cables that cross Australian towns and cities. This is causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. The National Broadband Network (NBN) that maintains the fibre-optic cables spends around $60,000 each time it is called out to fix the cables. The birds' handiwork is also causing frustration to Internet users across the country. Users have reported Internet outages and painfully slow speeds.



Cockatoos are a type of parrot. They normally eat fruit, nuts, wood and bark. An NBN spokeswoman said she was puzzled why the birds liked chewing the cables. She guessed that it was the colourful plastic that the broadband cables are inside. She told reporters: "They are constantly sharpening their beaks and as a result will attack and tear apart anything they come across. Unfortunately, they've developed a liking to our cables." She joked: "These birds are unstoppable…I guess that's Australia for you; if the spiders and snakes don't get you, the cockatoos will."

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Broadband Cables - Level 4 or  Broadband Cables - Level 6

Sources
  • http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-41857761
  • http://nation.com.pk/04-Nov-2017/australia-cockatoos-chew-billion-dollar-broadband
  • http://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/875085/Broadband-birds-damage-Australia-network


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities, crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)



Phrase Matching

Paragraph 1

  1. attacked by thousands
  2. ubiquitous and colourful
  3. chewing the broadband
  4. hundreds of thousands of dollars
  5. fibre-
  6. each time it is called out
  7. Users have reported Internet
  8. painfully slow
  1. to fix the cables
  2. of birds
  3. speeds
  4. cables
  5. outages
  6. in damage
  7. cockatoos
  8. optic cables

Paragraph 2

  1. Cockatoos are a
  2. They normally
  3. An NBN spokeswoman said
  4. the birds liked chewing
  5. plastic that the broadband cables
  6. constantly sharpening
  7. These birds are
  8. I guess that's Australia
  1. unstoppable
  2. the cables
  3. their beaks
  4. eat fruit
  5. she was puzzled
  6. for you
  7. are inside
  8. type of parrot

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Australia's (1) ___________________ network is being attacked by thousands of birds. The country's (2) ___________________ colourful cockatoos have taken a liking for chewing the broadband cables that cross Australian towns and cities. This (3) ___________________ of thousands of dollars in damage. The National Broadband Network (NBN) that maintains the (4) ___________________ spends around $60,000 each time it is called out to (5) ___________________. The birds' handiwork is also causing frustration to Internet users across the country. Users have reported Internet outages and (6) ___________________.

Cockatoos are a (7) ___________________. They normally eat fruit, nuts, wood and bark. An NBN spokeswoman said she (8) ___________________ the birds liked chewing the cables. She guessed that it was the colourful plastic that the broadband (9) ___________________. She told reporters: "They are constantly sharpening (10) ___________________ as a result will attack (11) ___________________ anything they come across. Unfortunately, they've developed a liking to our cables." She joked: "These birds are unstoppable…I guess that's Australia for you; if the (12) ___________________ don't get you, the cockatoos will."

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

Australia'shigh-speed,broadbandnetworkisbeingattackedbythous
andsofbirds.Thecountry'subiquitousandcolourfulcockatooshavetak
enalikingforchewingthebroadbandcablesthatcrossAustraliantownsa
ndcities.Thisiscausinghundredsofthousandsofdollarsindamage.The
NationalBroadbandNetwork(NBN)thatmaintainsthefibre-opticca
blesspendsaround$60,000eachtimeitiscalledouttofixthecables.The
birds'handiworkisalsocausingfrustrationtoInternetusersacrossthec
ountry.UsershavereportedInternetoutagesandpainfullyslowspeeds.
Cockatoosareatypeofparrot,Theynormallyeatfruit,nuts,woodandba
rk.AnNBNspokeswomansaidshewaspuzzledwhythebirdslikedchewi
ngthecables.Sheguessedthatitwasthecolourfulplasticthatthebroadb
andcablesareinside.Shetoldreporters:"Theyareconstantlysharpenin
gtheirbeaksandasaresultwillattackandtearapartanythingtheycome
across.Unfortunately,they'vedevelopedalikingtoourcables."Shejok
ed:"Thesebirdsareunstoppable…Iguessthat'sAustraliaforyou;ifthes
pidersandsnakesdon'tgetyou,thecockatooswill."

Student survey

Write five GOOD questions about this topic 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.

(Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

Discussion — Write your own questions

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

(a) ________________

(b) ________________

(c) ________________

(d) ________________

(e) ________________

(f) ________________

(g) ________________

(h) ________________

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

(i) ________________

(j) ________________

(k) ________________

(l) ________________

(m) ________________

(n) ________________

(o) ________________

(p) ________________





Free writing

Write about this topic for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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Answers

(Please check your answers against the article above.

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