The Reading / Listening - Rare-Earth Metals - Level 5

Researchers have found enough reserves of rare-earth metals (REMs) to satisfy global demand for up to 700 years. Scientists surveyed the deep-sea mud on the Pacific Ocean floor about 2,000 kilometers southeast of Tokyo. They say their find, "has the potential to supply these metals on a semi-infinite basis to the world". Researchers from two universities in Tokyo estimate the area contains more than 16 million tons of rare-earth metals. They added there is "great potential...for some of the most critically important elements in modern society".



There are 17 rare-earth metals in the periodic table. These chemical elements have relatively unknown names, like europium and terbium. Their uses, applications, and demand have greatly increased with our need for high-tech products. REMs are widely used in electric motors for hybrid vehicles, wind turbines, hard disc drives, portable electronics, microphones, speakers and many other products. Around 90 per cent of REMs used to manufacture advanced electronics currently come from China. The new discovery near Japan could bring down prices.

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Rare-Earth Metals - Level 4 or  Rare-Earth Metals - Level 6

Sources
  • https://japantoday.com/category/tech/japan-team-maps-%27semi-infinite%27-rare-earth-reserves
  • https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20180411/p2a/00m/0na/014000c
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rare-earth_element


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. Researchers have found enough
  2. satisfy global
  3. Scientists surveyed the
  4. on a semi-infinite
  5. more than 16 million tons
  6. there is great
  7. some of the most critically
  8. in modern
  1. potential
  2. deep-sea mud
  3. society
  4. reserves
  5. basis
  6. important elements
  7. demand
  8. of rare-earth metals

Paragraph 2

  1. 17 rare-earth metals in the
  2. relatively unknown
  3. Their uses, applications
  4. widely
  5. hybrid
  6. used to manufacture
  7. The new
  8. bring down
  1. discovery
  2. and demand
  3. vehicles
  4. prices
  5. names
  6. periodic table
  7. used
  8. advanced electronics

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Researchers have found (1) ___________________ rare-earth metals (REMs) to (2) ___________________ for up to 700 years. Scientists surveyed the deep-(3) ___________________ the Pacific Ocean floor about 2,000 kilometers southeast of Tokyo. They say their find, "has the potential to supply these metals on a (4) ___________________ to the world". Researchers from two universities in Tokyo estimate the area contains more than 16 (5) ___________________ rare-earth metals. They added there is "great potential...for some of (6) ___________________ important elements in modern society".

There are 17 rare-earth metals in (7) ___________________. These chemical elements have relatively (8) ___________________ europium and terbium. Their uses, applications, and demand have (9) ___________________ our need for high-tech products. REMs are widely used in electric motors for hybrid (10) ___________________, hard disc drives, portable electronics, microphones, speakers and (11) ___________________. Around 90 per cent of REMs used to manufacture advanced electronics currently come from China. The new discovery near Japan could (12) ___________________.

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

Researchershavefoundenoughreservesofrare-earthmetals(REMs)t
osatisfyglobaldemandforupto700years.Scientistssurveyedthedeep
-seamudonthePacificOceanfloorabout2,000kilometerssoutheasto
fTokyo.Theysaytheirfind,"hasthepotentialtosupplythesemetalsonas
emi-infinitebasistotheworld".ResearchersfromtwouniversitiesinTok
yoestimatetheareacontainsmorethan16milliontonsofrare-earthm
etals.Theyaddedthereis"greatpotential...forsomeofthemostcriticall
yimportantelementsinmodernsociety".Thereare17rare-earthmeta
lsintheperiodictable.Thesechemicalelementshaverelativelyunknow
nnames,likeeuropiumandterbium.Theiruses,applications,anddema
ndhavegreatlyincreasedwithourneedforhigh-techproducts.REMsar
ewidelyusedinelectricmotorsforhybridvehicles,windturbines,harddi
scdrives,portableelectronics,microphones,speakersandmanyother
products.Around90percentofREMsusedtomanufactureadvancedele
ctronicscurrentlycomefromChina.ThenewdiscoverynearJapancould
bringdownprices.

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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