The Reading / Listening - Broadband Cables - Level 6

Australia's high-speed, state-of-the-art broadband network is under attack from thousands of birds. The birds doing the damage are Australia's ubiquitous and colourful cockatoos. They have taken a liking for chewing the broadband cables that criss-cross Australian towns and cities. They are causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to the cables. The National Broadband Network (NBN) company that maintains the fibre-optic cables reports that they need to spend around $60,000 each time they are called out to fix the cables. The birds' handiwork is also causing great frustration to Internet users across the country. Internet users have reported Internet outages and painfully slow speeds.



Cockatoos are a type of parrot which normally eats fruit, nuts, wood and bark. A spokeswoman from NBN said she was at a loss as to why the birds had become partial to chewing the cables. She guessed that it was the colourful plastic that encased the power lines and broadband cables. 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: "You wouldn’t think it was possible, but these birds are unstoppable when in a swarm. 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 easier levels:

      Broadband Cables - Level 4  or  Broadband Cables - Level 5

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 :-)



Warm-ups

1. BROADBAND CABLES: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about broadband cables. Change partners often and share your findings.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, talk about these topics or words from the article. What will the article say about them? What can you say about these words and your life?

       state-of-the-art / birds / broadband / cities / fibre-optic / handiwork / frustration /
       parrot / at a loss / chewing / power lines / result / swarm / joked / spiders / snakes

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

3. INVENTION: Students A strongly believe the Internet is the greatest invention ever; Students B strongly believe it isn't.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

4. INTERNET: How could these things be improved? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

Improvements

Possibility of this happening

Connection speed

 

 

Security

 

 

Wi-fi

 

 

Passwords

 

 

Accessibility

 

 

Content

 

 

MY e-BOOK
ESL resource book with copiable worksheets and handouts - 1,000 Ideas and Activities for Language Teachers / English teachers
See a sample

5. BIRDS: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "birds". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.

6. SITES: Rank these with your partner. Put the best at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • Twitter
  • Wikipedia
  • BBC
  • Breaking News English
  • Google
  • eBay
  • Amazon
  • Facebook

 

Vocabulary

      Paragraph 1

       1. state-of-the-art a. Present, appearing, or found everywhere.
       2. ubiquitous b. Something that one has made or done.
       3. criss-cross c. The use of thin flexible threads of glass to transmit light signals, mainly for telecommunications, Internet cables or for the internal examination of the body.
       4. fibre-optic d. A pattern of straight lines or paths that move over each other.
       5. handiwork e. The most recent stage in the development of a product, which has the newest ideas and the most modern features.
       6. frustration f. Periods of time when a power supply or other service is not available or when equipment is closed down.
       7. outages g. The feeling of being upset or annoyed, especially because of the inability to change or achieve something.

      Paragraph 2

      8. bark h. A bird's projecting jaws.
      9. at a loss i. The tough, protective outer layer of the trunk, branches, and twigs of a tree.
      10. partial j. Non-stop over a period of time.
      11. encased k. A large number of people or things all in the same place.
      12. constantly l. Having a liking for.
      13. beaks m. Covered in something, usually for protection.
      14. swarm n. Puzzled or uncertain what to think, say, or do.

 

Before reading / listening

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

  1. Australia's Internet is being attacked by thousands of birds.     T / F
  2. The birds that are attacking cables are not at all colourful.     T / F
  3. The article said the birds have caused millions of dollars of damage.     T / F
  4. The birds' singing is painful for people nearby.     T / F
  5. An Internet company said she knew why birds are chewing cables.     T / F
  6. The fibre-optic cables are inside colourful plastic cases.     T / F
  7. The company said the birds sharpen their beaks on the cables.     T / F
  8. The company said cockatoos will get you if spiders and snakes don't.     T / F

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

  1. state-of-the-art
  2. ubiquitous
  3. causing
  4. frustration
  5. outages
  6. normally
  7. at a loss
  8. partial to
  9. constantly
  10. swarm
  1. typically
  2. annoyance
  3. always
  4. leading to
  5. like
  6. cutting-edge
  7. power failures
  8. ever-present
  9. flock
  10. puzzled

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

  1. Australia's high-speed, state-of-the-art
  2. Australia's ubiquitous and
  3. fibre-
  4. The birds' handiwork is also causing
  5. Internet outages and painfully
  6. she was at a
  7. the birds had become partial
  8. They are constantly
  9. they've developed a
  10. if the spiders and snakes don't get you,
  1. colourful cockatoos
  2. sharpening their beaks
  3. slow speeds
  4. liking to our cables
  5. the cockatoos will
  6. great frustration
  7. to chewing the cables
  8. broadband network
  9. loss as to why
  10. optic cables

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
causing
called
art
outages
chewing
optic
ubiquitous
frustration

Australia's high-speed, state-of-the-(1) ____________ broadband network is under attack from thousands of birds. The birds doing the damage are Australia's (2) ____________ and colourful cockatoos. They have taken a liking for (3) ____________ the broadband cables that criss-cross Australian towns and cities. They are (4) ____________ hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to the cables. The National Broadband Network (NBN) company that maintains the fibre- (5) ____________ cables reports that they need to spend around $60,000 each time they are (6) ____________ out to fix the cables. The birds' handiwork is also causing great (7) ____________ to Internet users across the country. Internet users have reported Internet (8) ____________ and painfully slow speeds.

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
beaks
loss
unstoppable
normally
encased
swarm
partial
developed

Cockatoos are a type of parrot which () ____________ eats fruit, nuts, wood and bark. A spokeswoman from NBN said she was at a (10) ____________ as to why the birds had become (11) ____________ to chewing the cables. She guessed that it was the colourful plastic that (12) ____________ the power lines and broadband cables. She told reporters: "They are constantly sharpening their (13) ____________ and as a result will attack and tear apart anything they come across. Unfortunately, they've (14) ____________ a liking to our cables." She joked: "You wouldn’t think it was possible, but these birds are (16) ____________ when in a (15) ____________. I guess that's Australia for you; if the spiders and snakes don't get you, the cockatoos will."

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)  Australia's high-speed, state-of-the-art broadband network ______
     a.  is under a tack
     b.  asunder attack
     c.  asunder a tack
     d.  is under attack

2)  The birds doing the damage are Australia's ______ colourful
     a.  tube quick with us and
     b.  you quickly tacks and
     c.  ubiquitous and
     d.  lube wick we tows and

3)  a liking for chewing the broadband cables that ______ towns
     a.  crass cross Australian
     b.  crust cross Australian
     c.  criss-cross Australian
     d.  crisp-cross Australian

4)  The National Broadband Network (NBN) company that ______-optic cables
     a.  maintain the fibre
     b.  maintains the fly bar
     c.  maintains the fry bar
     d.  maintains the fire bar

5)  Internet users have reported Internet outages and ______
     a.  painfully slow speeding
     b.  painfully slow speeders
     c.  painfully slow speeds
     d.  painfully slow speeds up

6)  Cockatoos are a type of parrot which normally eats fruit, ______
     a.  nuts, would and park
     b.  nuts, wooden bark
     c.  nuts, wood and bark
     d.  nuts, wood and park

7) NBN said she was at a loss as to why the birds had become ______
     a.  par shall to chewing
     b.  part all to chewing
     c.  pars all to chewing
     d.  partial to chewing

8)  She guessed that it was the colourful plastic that ______ lines
     a.  encased the power
     b.  in case the power
     c.  encrust the power
     d.  in cased the power

9)  sharpening their beaks and as a result will attack and ______
     a.  tear a part anything
     b.  tear app part anything
     c.  tear apart anything
     d.  there a part anything

10)  You wouldn’t think it was possible, but these birds are unstoppable ______
     a.  when inner swarm
     b.  when in a squirm
     c.  when in as warm
     d.  when in a swarm

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Australia's high-speed, (1) ___________________ broadband network is under attack from thousands of birds. The birds doing the damage are Australia's (2) ___________________ colourful cockatoos. They have taken a liking for chewing the broadband cables (3) ___________________ Australian towns and cities. They are causing hundreds of thousands of (4) ___________________ to the cables. The National Broadband Network (NBN) company that maintains the (5) ___________________ reports that they need to spend around $60,000 each time they are called out to fix the cables. The birds' handiwork is also causing great frustration to Internet users across the country. Internet users have reported Internet outages and (6) ___________________.

Cockatoos are a type of parrot (7) ___________________ fruit, nuts, wood and bark. A spokeswoman from NBN said she was (8) ___________________ as to why the birds had become (9) ___________________ the cables. She guessed that it was the colourful plastic that encased the power lines and broadband cables. She told reporters: "They are (10) ___________________ their beaks and as a result will attack (11) ___________________ anything they come across. Unfortunately, they've developed a liking to our cables." She joked: "You wouldn’t think it was possible, but these birds are unstoppable when in a swarm. I guess that's Australia for you; if the (12) ___________________ don't get you, the cockatoos will."

Comprehension questions

  1. How many birds is the broadband network under attack from?
  2. What have the birds taken a liking to chewing?
  3. Where do broadband cables criss-cross?
  4. How much does it cost each time cables are fixed?
  5. What kind of Internet speeds have users reported?
  6. What type of bird are cockatoos?
  7. What are the power lines and broadband cables encased in?
  8. What are the cockatoos always sharpening?
  9. When are the cockatoos unstoppable?
  10. What might get you in Australia if spiders and snakes don't?




Multiple choice quiz

1) How many birds is the broadband network under attack from?
a) millions
b) hundreds of thousands
c) tens of thousands
d) thousands

2) What have the birds taken a liking to chewing?
a) computers
b) broadband cables
c) wifi towers
d) the Internet

3) Where do broadband cables criss-cross?
a) cockatoo nests
b) the Pacific ocean
c) the NBN
d) towns and cities

4) How much does it cost each time cables are fixed?
a) exactly $60,000
b) just over $60,000
c) about $60,000
d) just less than $60,000

5) What kind of Internet speeds have users reported?
a) super-fast speeds
b) 10 Mbps
c) non-existent speeds
d) slow speeds

6) What type of bird are cockatoos?
a) eagles
b) emus
c) parrots
d) penguins

7) What are the power lines and broadband cables encased in?
a) colourful plastic
b) rubber
c) silicon
d) wooden boxes

8) What are the cockatoos always sharpening?
a) their flying skills
b) knives
c) their beaks
d) their claws

9) When are the cockatoos unstoppable?
a) at red lights
b) when they are in a swarm
c) in Winter
d) in breeding season

10) What might get you in Australia if spiders and snakes don't?
a) cockatoos
b) kangaroos
c) koalas
d) wombats

Role play

Role  A – Google

You think Google is the best website. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their websites. Also, tell the others which is the worst of these (and why): Amazon, Wikipedia or Facebook.

Role  B – Amazon

You think Amazon is the best website. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their websites. Also, tell the others which is the worst of these (and why): Google, Wikipedia or Facebook.

Role  C – Wikipedia

You think Wikipedia is the best website. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their websites. Also, tell the others which is the worst of these (and why): Amazon, Google or Facebook.

Role  D – Facebook

You think Facebook is the best website. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their websites. Also, tell the others which is the worst of these (and why):  Amazon, Wikipedia or Google.

After reading / listening

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

'Internet'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'network'.

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • • 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:

    • type
    • loss
    • power
    • result
    • joked
    • snakes
    • art
    • damage
    • towns
    • maintains
    • great
    • slow




    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 - Australia broadband network under attack from birds

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

    1. What did you think when you read the headline?
    2. What images are in your mind when you hear the word 'Internet'?
    3. What do you think of the Internet?
    4. How does the Internet work?
    5. Are you happy with your connection speeds?
    6. What damage can birds do to the things around us?
    7. Is the Internet good value for money?
    8. What frustrations do you have with the Internet?
    9. What would life be like without the Internet?
    10. What do you do when the Internet is very slow?

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

    1. Did you like reading this article? Why/not?
    2. What do you think of when you hear the word 'cable'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. What do you know about cockatoos?
    5. What can go wrong to cause problems with the Internet?
    6. How can the company solve this problem?
    7. Why isn't the whole of the Internet cable-less and wireless?
    8. What will the Internet be like in 20 years from now?
    9. What does the last line of the article mean?
    10. What questions would you like to ask the company?

    Discussion — Write your own questions

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

    (a) ________________

    (b) ________________

    (c) ________________

    (d) ________________

    (e) ________________

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

    (f) ________________

    (g) ________________

    (h) ________________

    (i) ________________

    (j) ________________





    Language — Cloze (Gap-fill)

    Australia's high-speed, state-of-the-(1) ____ broadband network is under attack from thousands of birds. The birds doing the damage are Australia's (2) ____ and colourful cockatoos. They have taken a (3) ____ for chewing the broadband cables that criss-cross Australian towns and cities. They are causing hundreds of thousands of dollars (4) ____ damage to the cables. The National Broadband Network (NBN) company that maintains the fibre-optic cables reports that they need to spend around $60,000 each time they are (5) ____ out to fix the cables. The birds' handiwork is also causing great frustration to Internet users across the country. Internet users have reported Internet (6) ____ and painfully slow speeds.

    Cockatoos are a type of parrot which (7) ____ eats fruit, nuts, wood and bark. A spokeswoman from NBN said she was at a (8) ____ as to why the birds had become partial to chewing the cables. She guessed that it was the colourful plastic that (9) ____ the power lines and broadband cables. She told reporters: "They are constantly sharpening their beaks and as a (10) ____ will attack and tear apart anything they come across. Unfortunately, they've (11) ____ a liking to our cables." She joked: "You wouldn’t think it was possible, but these birds are unstoppable when in a swarm. I guess that's Australia (12) ____ you; if the spiders and snakes don't get you, the cockatoos will."

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     artistic     (b)     artistry     (c)     artist     (d)     art    
    2. (a)     ubiquitousness     (b)     ubiquitously     (c)     ubiquity     (d)     ubiquitous    
    3. (a)     licking     (b)     liking     (c)     likening     (d)     likely    
    4. (a)     at     (b)     of     (c)     in     (d)     by    
    5. (a)     spoken     (b)     whispered     (c)     called     (d)     shouted    
    6. (a)     outages     (b)     outrages     (c)     potages     (d)     stages    
    7. (a)     normality     (b)     normally     (c)     normalcy     (d)     normalize    
    8. (a)     loss     (b)     lost     (c)     loser     (d)     loses    
    9. (a)     ensconced     (b)     encased     (c)     encapsulated     (d)     encashed    
    10. (a)     sequel     (b)     grade     (c)     result     (d)     outcome    
    11. (a)     enveloped     (b)     redevelop     (c)     developed     (d)     envelop    
    12. (a)     at     (b)     by     (c)     as     (d)     for

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. high-speed, etats-fo-eth-rat broadband
    2. Australia's iiquuuotbs and colourful cockatoos
    3. cables that rcsis-osrsc Australian towns
    4. The birds' hndiwokar
    5. causing great toutrnirfas to Internet users
    6. Internet gouteas

    Paragraph 2

    1. cockatoos are a type of rprtoa
    2. atalirp to chewing the cables
    3. plastic that esndcae the power lines
    4. snncltatyo sharpening their beaks
    5. they've eddleovep a liking to our cables
    6. unstoppable when in a marws

    Put the text back together

    (    )     dollars in damage to the cables. The National Broadband Network (NBN) company that maintains the fibre-

    (    )     from NBN said she was at a loss as to why the birds had become partial to chewing the cables. She guessed that it

    (    )     joked: "You wouldn’t think it was possible, but these birds are unstoppable

    (    )     optic cables reports that they need to spend around $60,000 each time they are called out to fix

    (    )     apart anything they come across. Unfortunately, they've developed a liking to our cables." She

    (    )     the cables. The birds' handiwork is also causing great frustration to Internet users across

    (    )     chewing the broadband cables that criss-cross Australian towns and cities. They are causing hundreds of thousands of

    (    )     reporters: "They are constantly sharpening their beaks and as a result will attack and tear

    1  )     Australia's high-speed, state-of-the-art broadband network is under attack from thousands

    (    )     Cockatoos are a type of parrot which normally eats fruit, nuts, wood and bark. A spokeswoman

    (    )     was the colourful plastic that encased the power lines and broadband cables. She told

    (    )     when in a swarm. I guess that's Australia for you; if the spiders and snakes don't get you, the cockatoos will."

    (    )     the country. Internet users have reported Internet outages and painfully slow speeds.

    (    )     of birds. The birds doing the damage are Australia's ubiquitous and colourful cockatoos. They have taken a liking for

    Put the words in the right order

    1. state-  Australia's   the-  ,  network  speed  broadband  of-   art  high-  .
    2. liking   a   Taken   cables   broadband   the   chewing   for   .
    3. of   damage   cables  thousands   in   the   of   dollars   to   Hundreds   .
    4. $60,000   spend   each   They   to   around   time   need   .
    5. frustration   great   causing   also   is   handiwork   birds'   The   .
    6. which   parrot   of   type   A   fruit   eats   normally   .
    7. at   A   NBN   was   loss   from   she   a   spokeswoman   said   .
    8. the   become   cables   partial   The   to   birds   chewing   had   .
    9. anything   apart   tear   and   Attack   across   come   they   .
    10. when   unstoppable   are   birds   These   swarm   a   in   .

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    Australia's high-speed, state-of-the-art broadband network is over / under attack from thousands of birds. The birds doing the damaged / damage are Australia's ubiquitous and colourful cockatoos. They have taken a liking to / for chewing the broadband cables that / what criss-cross Australian towns and cities. They are causing / casing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to the cables. The National Broadband Network (NBN) company that maintains / maintained the fibre-optic cables reports that they need to spend around $60,000 each / whole time they are called out to fix the cables. The birds' handiwork is also causing great frustrating / frustration to Internet users across the country. Internet users / usage have reported Internet outages / outrages and painfully slow speeds.

    Cockatoos are a type of parrot which normally / normal eats fruit, nuts, wood and bark. A spokeswoman from NBN said she was at a lost / loss as to why the birds had become partial / part to chewing the cables. She guessed that it was the colourful / colourfully plastic that encased the powerful / power lines and broadband cables. She told reporters: "They are constantly / constant sharpening their beaks and as a result will attack and tear apart / appear anything they come crossing / across. Unfortunately, they've developed a liking to our cables." She joked: "You wouldn’t think it was possible, but these birds are unstoppable when in a squirm / swarm. I guess that's Australia for you; if the spiders and snakes don't get you, the cockatoos will / do."

    Talk about the connection between each pair of words in italics, and why the correct word is correct.

    Insert the vowels (a, e, i, o, u)

    __str_l__'s h_gh-sp__d, st_t_-_f-th_-_rt br__db_nd n_tw_rk _s _nd_r _tt_ck fr_m th__s_nds _f b_rds. Th_ b_rds d__ng th_ d_m_g_ _r_ __str_l__'s _b_q__t__s _nd c_l__rf_l c_ck_t__s. Th_y h_v_ t_k_n _ l_k_ng f_r ch_w_ng th_ br__db_nd c_bl_s th_t cr_ss-cr_ss __str_l__n t_wns _nd c_t__s. Th_y _r_ c__s_ng h_ndr_ds _f th__s_nds _f d_ll_rs _n d_m_g_ t_ th_ c_bl_s. Th_ N_t__n_l Br__db_nd N_tw_rk (NBN) c_mp_ny th_t m__nt__ns th_ f_br_-_pt_c c_bl_s r_p_rts th_t th_y n__d t_ sp_nd _r__nd $60,000 __ch t_m_ th_y _r_ c_ll_d __t t_ f_x th_ c_bl_s. Th_ b_rds' h_nd_w_rk _s _ls_ c__s_ng gr__t fr_str_t__n t_ _nt_rn_t _s_rs _cr_ss th_ c__ntry. _nt_rn_t _s_rs h_v_ r_p_rt_d _nt_rn_t __t_g_s _nd p__nf_lly sl_w sp__ds.

    C_ck_t__s _r_ _ typ_ _f p_rr_t wh_ch n_rm_lly __ts fr__t, n_ts, w__d _nd b_rk. _ sp_k_sw_m_n fr_m NBN s__d sh_ w_s _t _ l_ss _s t_ why th_ b_rds h_d b_c_m_ p_rt__l t_ ch_w_ng th_ c_bl_s. Sh_ g__ss_d th_t _t w_s th_ c_l__rf_l pl_st_c th_t _nc_s_d th_ p_w_r l_n_s _nd br__db_nd c_bl_s. Sh_ t_ld r_p_rt_rs: "Th_y _r_ c_nst_ntly sh_rp_n_ng th__r b__ks _nd _s _ r_s_lt w_ll _tt_ck _nd t__r _p_rt _nyth_ng th_y c_m_ _cr_ss. _nf_rt_n_t_ly, th_y'v_ d_v_l_p_d _ l_k_ng t_ __r c_bl_s." Sh_ j_k_d: "Y__ w__ldn’t th_nk _t w_s p_ss_bl_, b_t th_s_ b_rds _r_ _nst_pp_bl_ wh_n _n _ sw_rm. _ g__ss th_t's __str_l__ f_r y__; _f th_ sp_d_rs _nd sn_k_s d_n't g_t y__, th_ c_ck_t__s w_ll."

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    australia's high-speed state-of-the-art broadband network is under attack from thousands of birds the birds doing the damage are australia's ubiquitous and colourful cockatoos they have taken a liking for chewing the broadband cables that criss-cross australian towns and cities they are causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to the cables the national broadband network (nbn) company that maintains the fibre-optic cables reports that they need to spend around $60000 each time they are called out to fix the cables the birds' handiwork is also causing great frustration to internet users across the country internet users have reported internet outages and painfully slow speeds

    cockatoos are a type of parrot which normally eats fruit nuts wood and bark a spokeswoman from nbn said she was at a loss as to why the birds had become partial to chewing the cables she guessed that it was the colourful plastic that encased the power lines and broadband cables 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 "you wouldn’t think it was possible but these birds are unstoppable when in a swarm i guess that's australia for you if the spiders and snakes don't get you the cockatoos will"

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    Australia'shigh-speed,state-of-the-artbroadbandnetworkisundera
    ttackfromthousandsofbirds.ThebirdsdoingthedamageareAustralia's
    ubiquitousandcolourfulcockatoos.Theyhavetakenalikingforchewing
    thebroadbandcablesthatcriss-crossAustraliantownsandcities.They
    arecausinghundredsofthousandsofdollarsindamagetothecables.The
    NationalBroadbandNetwork(NBN)companythatmaintainsthefibre-
    opticcablesreportsthattheyneedtospendaround$60,000eachtimeth
    eyarecalledouttofixthecables.Thebirds'handiworkisalsocausinggrea
    tfrustrationtoInternetusersacrossthecountry.Internetusershaverep
    ortedInternetoutagesandpainfullyslowspeeds.Cockatoosareatypeof
    parrotwhichnormallyeatsfruit,nuts,woodandbark.Aspokeswomanfr
    omNBNsaidshewasatalossastowhythebirdshadbecomepartialtoche
    wingthecables.Sheguessedthatitwasthecolourfulplasticthatencased
    thepowerlinesandbroadbandcables.Shetoldreporters:"Theyarecons
    tantlysharpeningtheirbeaksandasaresultwillattackandtearapartany
    thingtheycomeacross.Unfortunately,they'vedevelopedalikingtoour
    cables."Shejoked:"Youwouldn’tthinkitwaspossible,butthesebirdsar
    eunstoppablewheninaswarm.Iguessthat'sAustraliaforyou;ifthespid
    ersandsnakesdon'tgetyou,thecockatooswill."

    Free writing

    Write about broadband cables for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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    Academic writing

    The Internet is the greatest invention in human history. Discuss.

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    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 this news. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

    3. BROADBAND CABLES: Make a poster about broadband cables. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

    4. INTERNET: Write a magazine article about the Internet being the most important invention in history. Include imaginary interviews with people who agree and disagree with this.

    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. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? Write a newspaper article about the next stage in this news story. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.

    6. LETTER: Write a letter to an expert on broadband cables. Ask him/her three questions about them. Give him/her three of your ideas on how to keep the Internet infrastructure safer. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

    Answers

    (Please look at page 26 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

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