The Reading / Listening - Rare-Earth Metals - Level 6

Japanese researchers have discovered enough reserves of rare-earth metals (REMs) to satisfy global demand for up to 700 years. Oceanographers surveyed the deep-sea mud on the Pacific Ocean floor near Japan's Ogasawara Islands, which are about 2,000 kilometers southeast of Tokyo. Scientists say the minerals find, "has the potential to supply these metals on a semi-infinite basis to the world". Researchers from Waseda University and the University of Tokyo estimate the area they mapped contains more than 16 million tons of rare-earth metals. They added that the area offers "great potential as ore deposits for some of the most critically important elements in modern society".



A rare-earth metal is one of a set of seventeen chemical elements in the periodic table. They have what many of us would consider to be relatively unknown names, like europium, promethium scandium and terbium. The uses, applications, and demand of rare-earth elements have greatly increased with our reliance on high-tech products. They are widely used in the production of electric motors for hybrid vehicles, wind turbines, hard disc drives, portable electronics, microphones, speakers and a whole array of other products. Around 90 per cent of the world's supply of REMs used to manufacture advanced electronics currently comes from China. The discovery near Japan could bring down prices.

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Rare-Earth Metals - Level 4  or  Rare-Earth Metals - Level 5

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 :-)



Warm-ups

1. METALS: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about metals. 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?
       researchers / reserves / global demand / deep sea / minerals / potential / modern /
       chemicals / applications / reliance / products / hybrid / microphones / discovery
Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. NO MINING: Students A strongly believe we must stop mining for minerals; Students B strongly believe we shouldn't.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. METALS: What do you know about these metals? How useful are they? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

What I Know

How Useful

Gold

 

 

Aluminum

 

 

Steel

 

 

Copper

 

 

Titanium

 

 

Lead

 

 

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. RARE: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "rare". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.
6. HI-TECH: Rank these with your partner. Put the most useful high-tech products at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • speakers
  • printers
  • cameras
  • X-ray machines
  • hybrid vehicles
  • wind turbines
  • hard disc drives
  • microphones

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. reserves a. With decisive or crucial importance in the success, failure, or existence of something.
      2. satisfy b. Stocks or supplies of a commodity not needed for immediate use but available if needed.
      3. surveyed c. Having or showing the capacity to become or develop into something in the future.
      4. minerals d. Meet the expectations, needs, or desires of someone.
      5. potential e. A natural, solid, inorganic substance that is inside the Earth.
      6. infinite f. Examine and recorded the area and features of an area of land or sea so as to construct a map, plan, or description.
      7. critically g. Limitless or endless in space, extent, or size.

    Paragraph 2

      8. periodic table h. A grid that has all of the chemical elements (gold, helium, oxygen, calcium, etc.) arranged in order of atomic number, usually in rows.
      9. relatively i. The action or process of finding something for the first time.
      10. reliance j. In relation, comparison, or proportion to something else.
      11. hybrid k. Make something on a large scale using machinery.
      12. array l. Dependence on or trust in someone or something.
      13. manufacture m. A thing made by combining two different elements; a mixture; a car with a gasoline engine and an electric motor.
      14. discovery n. An impressive range of a particular type of thing.

 

Before reading / listening

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if 1-8 below are true (T) or false (F).

  1. The reserves of rare-earth metals were found in the Sea of Japan.     T / F
  2. Researchers from Osaka universities found the reserves.     T / F
  3. Researchers say they found over 16 million tons of rare-earth metals.     T / F
  4. The metals aren't that important for modern society.     T / F
  5. The periodic table contains 18 rare-earth metals.     T / F
  6. Most of the rare-earth metals have unfamiliar names.     T / F
  7. Rare-earth metals are used in the production of microphones.     T / F
  8. China supplies 90% of the rare-earth metals used in advanced electronics. T / F

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

  1. discovered
  2. satisfy
  3. estimate
  4. mapped
  5. area
  6. elements
  7. relatively
  8. reliance
  9. production
  10. currently
  1. charted
  2. manufacture
  3. comparatively
  4. meet
  5. dependence
  6. unearthed
  7. presently
  8. reckon
  9. region
  10. components

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

  1. reserves
  2. Oceanographers
  3. supply these metals on
  4. some of the most critically
  5. in modern
  6. one of a set of seventeen chemical
  7. relatively
  8. our reliance
  9. hybrid
  10. a whole
  1. elements
  2. important elements
  3. on high-tech products
  4. array of other products
  5. a semi-infinite basis
  6. of rare-earth metals
  7. vehicles
  8. society
  9. unknown names
  10. surveyed the deep-sea mud

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
floor
basis
potential
reserves
satisfy
elements
potential
mapped

Japanese researchers have discovered enough (1) ______ of rare-earth metals (REMs) to (2) ______ global demand for up to 700 years. Oceanographers surveyed the deep-sea mud on the Pacific Ocean (3) ______ near Japan's Ogasawara Islands, which are about 2,000 kilometers southeast of Tokyo. Scientists say the minerals find, "has the (4) ______ to supply these metals on a semi-infinite (5) ______ to the world". Researchers from Waseda University and the University of Tokyo estimate the area they (6) ______ contains more than 16 million tons of rare-earth metals. They added that the area offers "great (7) ______ as ore deposits for some of the most critically important (8) ______ in modern society".

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
widely
periodic
discovery
set
array
reliance
hybrid
relatively

A rare-earth metal is one of a (9) ______ of seventeen chemical elements in the (10) ______ table. They have what many of us would consider to be (11) ______ unknown names, like europium, promethium scandium and terbium. The uses, applications, and demand of rare-earth elements have greatly increased with our (12) ______ on high-tech products. They are (13) ______ used in the production of electric motors for (14) ______ vehicles, wind turbines, hard disc drives, portable electronics, microphones, speakers and a whole (15) ______ of other products. Around 90 per cent of the world's supply of REMs used to manufacture advanced electronics currently comes from China. The (16) ______ near Japan could bring down prices.

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)  enough reserves of rare-earth metals (REMs) to ______ demand
     a.  satisfied global
     b.  satisfying global
     c.  satisfies global
     d.  satisfy global
2)  which are about 2,000 kilometers ______ Tokyo
     a.  southwestern of
     b.  southeast of
     c.  southeasterly of
     d.  southwest of
3)  has the potential to supply these metals on a semi-______
     a.  infinite basics
     b.  infinite bisques
     c.  infinite basis
     d.  infinite bastes
4)  Researchers from Waseda University and the University of Tokyo estimate the area ____
     a.  they mapped
     b.  they trapped
     c.  they napped
     d.  they sapped
5)  great potential as ore deposits for some of the most ______ elements
     a.  critically unimportant
     b.  critically imported
     c.  critically important
     d.  critically impotent

6)  A rare-earth metal is one of a set of seventeen chemical elements in the ______
     a.  periodically table
     b.  periodic table
     c.  period table
     d.  episodic table
7)  They have what many of us would consider to be ______ names
     a.  relatively now known
     b.  relatively I'm known
     c.  relatively onion
     d.  relatively unknown
8) demand of rare-earth elements have greatly increased with ______
     a.  our alliance
     b.  our reliance
     c.  our brilliance
     d.  our dalliance
9)  They are widely used in the production of electric motors for ______
     a.  hyped vehicles
     b.  high bridge vehicles
     c.  high ridge vehicles
     d.  hybrid vehicles
10) world's supply of REMs used to manufacture advanced electronics ______ from China
     a.  currency comes
     b.  currants comes
     c.  currents comes
     d.  currently comes

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Japanese researchers have discovered (1) ___________________ rare-earth metals (REMs) to satisfy (2) ___________________ up to 700 years. Oceanographers surveyed the deep-sea mud on the Pacific Ocean floor near Japan's Ogasawara Islands, which are about 2,000 kilometers southeast of Tokyo. Scientists say (3) ___________________, "has the potential to supply these metals on a (4) ___________________ to the world". Researchers from Waseda University and the University of Tokyo estimate the area they (5) ___________________ than 16 million tons of rare-earth metals. They added that the area offers "great potential as ore deposits for some of the most critically important elements (6) ___________________".

A rare-earth metal is one of a set of seventeen chemical elements in (7) ___________________. They have what many of us would consider to be relatively unknown names, like europium, promethium scandium and terbium. The uses, applications, and demand of (8) ___________________ have greatly increased with (9) ___________________ high-tech products. They are widely used in the production of electric motors (10) ___________________, wind turbines, hard disc drives, portable electronics, microphones, speakers and a (11) ___________________ other products. Around 90 per cent of the world's supply of REMs used to manufacture advanced electronics (12) ___________________ China. The discovery near Japan could bring down prices.

Comprehension questions

  1. What will the reserves of rare-earth materials satisfy?
  2. How far are the reserves from Tokyo?
  3. How many universities took part in the mapping?
  4. How much rare-earth metal is there?
  5. Where are these metals critically important?
  6. How many rare-earth metals are there in the periodic table?
  7. What did the article say about the names of rare-earth metals?
  8. What has increased the demand for rare-earth metals?
  9. What kind of vehicles were mentioned in the article?
  10. What could the discovery in Japan help to bring down?




Multiple choice quiz

1) What will the reserves of rare-earth materials satisfy?
a) oceanographers
b) appetites
c) global demand
d) electronics stores
2) How far are the reserves from Tokyo?
a) about 2,000 kilometers
b) over 2,000 kilometers
c) just under 2,000 kilometers
d) exactly 2,000 kilometers
3) How many universities took part in the mapping?
a) 5
b) 4
c) 3
d) 2
4) How much rare-earth metal is there?
a) less than 16 million tons
b) more than 16 million tons
c) exactly 16 million tons
d) about than 16 million tons
5) Where are these metals critically important?
a) in profit and loss accounts
b) in Botswana
c) in modern society
d) in mobile phones

6) How many rare-earth metals are there in the periodic table?
a) 16
b) 17
c) 18
d) 19
7) What did the article say about the names of rare-earth metals?
a) they all come from Greek
b) they are difficult to pronounce
c) they are named after scientists
d) they are relatively unknown
8) What has increased the demand for rare-earth metals?
a) the Internet
b) our need for high-tech
c) global warming
d) a shortage of iron
9) What kind of vehicles were mentioned in the article?
a) hybrid vehicles
b) polluting vehicles
c) driverless vehicles
d) space-age vehicles
10) What could the discovery in Japan help to bring down?
a) tariffs
b) barriers
c) competition
d) prices

Role play

Role  A – Hybrid Vehicles
You think hybrid vehicles are the most useful things. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the least useful of these (and why): wind turbines, hard disc drives or X-ray machines.

Role  B – Wind Turbines
You think wind turbines are the most useful things. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the least useful of these (and why): hybrid vehicles, hard disc drives or X-ray machines.

Role  C – Hard Disc Drives
You think hard disc drives are the most useful things. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the least useful of these (and why): wind turbines, hybrid vehicles or X-ray machines.

Role  D – X-Ray Machines
You think X-ray machines are the most useful things. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the least useful of these (and why):  wind turbines, hard disc drives or hybrid vehicles.

After reading / listening

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

'rare'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'earth'.

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

    • 17
    • names
    • uses
    • motors
    • 90
    • prices
    • enough
    • deep
    • 2,000
    • basis
    • 16
    • modern




    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 - Japan finds enough rare-earth metals to last 700 years

    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 'earth'?
    3. What do you know about rare-earth metals?
    4. What other useful stuff might be in or under the oceans?
    5. What will we be making with these materials in 700 years?
    6. What is the world's most useful metal?
    7. Does mining rare-earth materials damage the Earth?
    8. What do you think an oceanographer does?
    9. Why are REMs so critically important?
    10. What would happen if we ran out of minerals?

    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 'metal'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. What do you know about the periodic table?
    5. What high-tech products do you rely on most?
    6. What do you know about hybrid vehicles?
    7. What do you know about wind turbines?
    8. How will scientists get the metals from the ocean floor?
    9. Could you live without high-tech products?
    10. What questions would you like to ask the researchers?

    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)

    Japanese researchers have discovered enough (1) ____ of rare-earth metals (REMs) to (2) ____ global demand for up to 700 years. Oceanographers surveyed the deep-sea mud on the Pacific Ocean floor near Japan's Ogasawara Islands, which are about 2,000 kilometers southeast of Tokyo. Scientists say the minerals find, "has the potential to supply these metals on a semi-(3)____ basis to the world". Researchers from Waseda University and the University of Tokyo estimate the area they (4) ____ contains more than 16 million tons of rare-earth metals. They added that the area offers "great potential as (5) ____ deposits for some of the most (6) ____ important elements in modern society".

    A rare-earth metal is one of a set of seventeen chemical elements in the (7) ____ table. They have what many of us would consider to be (8) ____ unknown names, like europium, promethium scandium and terbium. The uses, applications, and demand of rare-earth elements have greatly increased with our reliance (9) ____ high-tech products. They are widely used in the production of electric motors for (10) ____ vehicles, wind turbines, hard disc drives, portable electronics, microphones, speakers and a whole (11) ____ of other products. Around 90 per cent of the world's supply of REMs used to manufacture advanced electronics currently comes from China. The discovery near Japan could (12) ____ down prices.

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     reverses     (b)     reserves     (c)     severs     (d)     servings    
    2. (a)     Spotify     (b)     satisfy     (c)     specify     (d)     pacify    
    3. (a)     ingratiate     (b)     ignite     (c)     indefinite     (d)     infinite    
    4. (a)     lapped     (b)     mapped     (c)     gapped     (d)     sapped    
    5. (a)     shore     (b)     ore     (c)     or     (d)     awe    
    6. (a)     crucial     (b)     critical     (c)     critically     (d)     cruciate    
    7. (a)     period     (b)     periods     (c)     periodic     (d)     periodically    
    8. (a)     relatives     (b)     relations     (c)     relatively     (d)     related    
    9. (a)     at     (b)     to     (c)     in     (d)     on    
    10. (a)     hybrid     (b)     rabid     (c)     inbred     (d)     tepid    
    11. (a)     array     (b)     ray     (c)     awry     (d)     away    
    12. (a)     have     (b)     turn     (c)     bring     (d)     go

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. rseesver of rare-earth metals
    2. Oceanographers rdevsuey the deep-sea mud
    3. on a semi-tiinnfie basis
    4. etimtsea the area
    5. great ttoeanipl as ore deposits
    6. the most tlilcycria important

    Paragraph 2

    1. a set of seventeen chemical etsenlme
    2. in the eiircpod table
    3. retlivayle unknown names
    4. our eciranle on high-tech products
    5. rihdyb vehicles
    6. aaremutucnf advanced electronics

    Put the text back together

    (...)  on high-tech products. They are widely used in the production of electric motors for hybrid vehicles, wind
    (...)  potential to supply these metals on a semi-infinite basis to the world". Researchers from Waseda University
    1  ) Japanese researchers have discovered enough reserves of rare-earth metals (REMs) to satisfy global demand
    (...)  for up to 700 years. Oceanographers surveyed the deep-sea mud on the Pacific Ocean
    (...)  A rare-earth metal is one of a set of seventeen chemical elements in the periodic
    (...)  and the University of Tokyo estimate the area they mapped contains more than 16 million
    (...)  turbines, hard disc drives, portable electronics, microphones, speakers and a whole array of other
    (...)  deposits for some of the most critically important elements in modern society".
    (...)  products. Around 90 per cent of the world's supply of REMs used to manufacture
    (...)  floor near Japan's Ogasawara Islands, which are about 2,000 kilometers southeast of Tokyo. Scientists say the minerals find, "has the
    (...)  advanced electronics currently comes from China. The discovery near Japan could bring down prices.
    (...)  tons of rare-earth metals. They added that the area offers "great potential as ore
    (...)  and terbium. The uses, applications, and demand of rare-earth elements have greatly increased with our reliance
    (...)  table. They have what many of us would consider to be relatively unknown names, like europium, promethium scandium

    Put the words in the right order

    1. 700   Satisfy   up   years   .   for   global   to   demand
    2. Deep-sea   the   floor   .   Pacific   mud   Ocean   on
    3. these   metals   basis   .   a   Supply   on   semi-infinite
    4. more   .   estimate   contains   Researchers   mapped   they   area   the
    5. modern   in   elements   most   important   The   critically   society   .
    6. elements   Seventeen   the   periodic   in   chemical   table   .
    7. motors   for   of   The   vehicles   .   electric   production   hybrid
    8. of   supply   the   Around   REMs   .   90%   of   world's
    9. to   electronics   .   REMs   manufacture   advanced   used
    10. down   near   Japan   The   prices   .   bring   discovery   could

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    Japanese researchers have discovered plenty / enough reserves of rare-earth metals (REMs) to satisfy / satisfaction global demand for up to 700 years. Oceanographers surveyed the deep-sea dirt / mud on the Pacific Ocean ceiling / floor near Japan's Ogasawara Islands, which are about 2,000 kilometers southeast / southern of Tokyo. Scientists say the minerals find, "has the potential / potent to supply these metals on a semi-infinite basic / basis to the world". Researchers from Waseda University and the University of Tokyo estimate the area they lapped / mapped contains more than 16 million tins / tons of rare-earth metals. They added that the area offers "great potential as ore deposits for some of the most criticized / critically important elements in modern society".

    A rare-earth metal is one of a set of seventeen chemical elements in the periodic / period table. They have what many of us would consider / considering to be relatively / relative unknown names, like europium, promethium scandium and terbium. The uses, applications, and demand / demanded of rare-earth elements have greatly increased to / with our reliance on high-tech products. They are width / widely used in the production of electric motors for hybrid / rabid vehicles, wind turbines, hard disc drives, portable electronics, microphones, speakers and a whole / hole array of other products. Around 90 per cent of the world's supply of REMs used to manufacture advancing / advanced electronics currently comes from China. The discovery near Japan could bring / go down prices.

    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)

    J_p_n_s_  r_s__ r c h_r s   h_v_  d_s c_v_r_d  _n__ g h   r_s_r v_s  _f   r_r_-__ r t h   m_t_l s   ( R E M s )   t_  s_t_s f y   g l_b_l   d_m_n d   f_r  _p   t_  7 0 0   y__ r s .   O c__ n_g r_p h_r s   s_r v_y_d   t h_  d__ p - s__   m_d  _n   t h_  P_c_f_c   O c__ n   f l__ r   n__ r   J_p_n ' s   O g_s_w_r_ _s l_n d s ,   w h_c h  _r_ _b__ t   2 , 0 0 0   k_l_m_t_r s   s__ t h__ s t  _f   T_k y_.   S c__ n t_s t s   s_y   t h_  m_n_r_l s   f_n d ,   " h_s   t h_  p_t_n t__ l   t_  s_p p l y   t h_s_  m_t_l s  _n  _  s_m_-_n f_n_t_  b_s_s   t_  t h_  w_r l d " .   R_s__ r c h_r s   f r_m   W_s_d_  U n_v_r_s t y  _n d   t h_  U n_v_r s_t y  _f   T_k y_ _s t_m_t_  t h_ _r__   t h_y   m_p p_d   c_n t__ n s   m_r_  t h_n   1 6   m_l l__ n   t_n s  _f   r_r_-__ r t h   m_t_l s .   T h_y  _d d_d   t h_t   t h_ _r__  _f f_r s   " g r__ t   p_t_n t__ l  _s  _r_  d_p_s_t s   f_r   s_m_ _f   t h_  m_s t   c r_t_c_l l y  _m p_r t_n t  _l_m_n t s  _n   m_d_r n   s_c__ t y " .

    A   r_r_-__ r t h   m_t_l  _s  _n_ _f  _  s_t  _f   s_v_n t__ n   c h_m_c_l  _l_m_n t s  _n   t h_  p_r__ d_c   t_b l_.   T h_y   h_v_  w h_t   m_n y  _f  _s   w__ l d   c_n s_d_r   t_  b_  r_l_t_v_l y  _n k n_w n   n_m_s ,   l_k_ __ r_p__ m ,   p r_m_t h__ m   s c_n d__ m  _n d   t_r b__ m .   T h_ _s_s ,  _p p l_c_t__ n s ,  _n d   d_m_n d  _f   r_r_-__ r t h  _l_m_n t s   h_v_  g r__ t l y  _n c r__ s_d   w_t h  __ r   r_l__ n c_ _n   h_g h - t_c h   p r_d_c t s .   T h_y  _r_  w_d_l y  _s_d  _n   t h_  p r_d_c t__ n  _f  _l_c t r_c   m_t_r s   f_r   h y b r_d   v_h_c l_s ,   w_n d   t_r b_n_s ,   h_r d   d_s c   d r_v_s ,   p_r t_b l_ _l_c t r_n_c s ,   m_c r_p h_n_s ,   s p__ k_r s  _n d  _  w h_l_ _r r_y  _f  _t h_r   p r_d_c t s .   A r__ n d   9 0   p_r   c_n t  _f   t h_  w_r l d ' s   s_p p l y  _f   R E M s  _s_d   t_  m_n_f_c t_r_ _d v_n c_d  _l_c t r_n_c s   c_r r_n t l y   c_m_s   f r_m   C h_n_.   T h_  d_s c_v_r y   n__ r   J_p_n   c__ l d   b r_n g   d_w n   p r_c_s .

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    japanese researchers have discovered enough reserves of rareearth metals rems to satisfy global demand for up to 700 years oceanographers surveyed the deepsea mud on the pacific ocean floor near japans ogasawara Islands which are about 2000 kilometers southeast of tokyo scientists say the minerals find has the potential to supply these metals on a semiinfinite basis to the world researchers from waseda University and the university of tokyo estimate the area they mapped contains more than 16 million tons of rareearth metals they added that the area offers great potential as ore deposits for some of the most critically important elements in modern society

    a rareearth metal is one of a set of seventeen chemical elements in the periodic table they have what many of us would consider to be relatively unknown names like europium promethium scandium and terbium the uses applications and demand of rareearth elements have greatly increased with our reliance on hightech products they are widely used in the production of electric motors for hybrid vehicles wind turbines hard disc drives portable electronics microphones speakers and a whole array of other products around 90 per cent of the worlds supply of rems used to manufacture advanced electronics currently comes from china the discovery near japan could bring down prices

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    Japaneseresearchershavediscoveredenoughreservesofrare-earthm
    etals(REMs)tosatisfyglobaldemandforupto700years.Oceanographe
    rssurveyedthedeep-seamudonthePacificOceanfloornearJapan'sOg
    asawaraIslands,whichareabout2,000kilometerssoutheastofTokyo.
    Scientistssaythemineralsfind,"hasthepotentialtosupplythesemetals
    onasemiinfinitebasistotheworld".ResearchersfromWasedaUniversit
    yandtheUniversityofTokyoestimatetheareatheymappedcontainsmo
    rethan16milliontonsofrare-earthmetals.Theyaddedthattheareaof
    fers"greatpotentialasoredepositsforsomeofthemostcriticallyimport
    antelementsinmodernsociety".Arare-earthmetalisoneofasetofsev
    enteenchemicalelementsintheperiodictable.Theyhavewhatmanyof
    uswouldconsidertoberelativelyunknownnames,likeeuropium,prom
    ethiumscandiumandterbium.Theuses,applications,anddemandofra
    re-earthelementshavegreatlyincreasedwithourrelianceonhigh-tec
    hproducts.Theyarewidelyusedintheproductionofelectricmotorsforh
    ybridvehicles,windturbines,harddiscdrives,portableelectronics,micr
    ophones,speakersandawholearrayofotherproducts.Around90perce
    ntoftheworld'ssupplyofREMsusedtomanufactureadvancedelectroni
    cscurrentlycomesfromChina.ThediscoverynearJapancouldbringdow
    nprices.

    Free writing

    Write about rare-earth metals for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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    Academic writing

    We need to stop mining things from the Earth. 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 story. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.
    3. METALS: Make a poster about metals. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. MINERALS: Write a magazine article about cutting our use of minerals to protect the Earth. Include imaginary interviews with people who are for and against 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 metals. Ask him/her three questions about them. Give him/her three of your opinions on the mining of rare-earth metals. 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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