The Reading / Listening - Beluga Whale - Level 5

A professor in Norway said a beluga whale found in the Arctic Ocean near Norway's northernmost point could be a Russian spy. Local residents report that the beluga was very tame and enjoyed being stroked. The professor said the whale had a harness and mount for a spy camera. He said: "It is most likely that the Russian Navy...was involved." However, images show there is "Equipment of St. Petersburg" written on the harness in English. A local said: "It could have escaped from a Russian military facility or...swum from St. Petersburg, Florida, because of the English-language text."



There is speculation online about the whale. Journalists say it could have come from a whale-training facility in St. Petersburg, Florida. The US uses dolphins to help navy divers. A Russian naval analyst downplayed links the beluga might have with the Russian military. He said: "Even if there are military programs for using marine animals for navy purposes, they are unlikely to be belugas." A Russian military official told the BBC: "If we were using this animal for spying, do you really think we'd attach a mobile phone number with the message 'please call this number?'"

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Beluga Whale - Level 4 or  Beluga Whale - Level 6

Sources
  • https://www.cbsnews.com/news/beluga-whale-linked-to-russian-military-is-affectionate-fetches-rings-for-locals-in-norway/
  • https://www.yahoo.com/news/norway-thinks-captured-beluga-whale-030744381.html
  • https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-48090616


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. near Norway's northernmost
  2. the beluga was very
  3. a harness and mount for
  4. It is most
  5. written on the harness
  6. It could have
  7. a Russian military
  8. the English-language
  1. a spy camera
  2. facility
  3. in English
  4. text
  5. tame
  6. likely
  7. point
  8. escaped

Paragraph 2

  1. speculation
  2. a whale-training
  3. The US uses dolphins to
  4. A Russian naval analyst
  5. military
  6. using marine animals for
  7. A Russian military official
  8. we were using this animal
  1. help navy divers
  2. for spying
  3. navy purposes
  4. told the BBC
  5. online
  6. programs
  7. facility
  8. downplayed links

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

A professor in Norway said a beluga whale found in the Arctic Ocean near Norway's (1) ___________________ be a Russian spy. Local residents report that the beluga (2) ___________________ and enjoyed being stroked. The professor said the whale had a (3) ___________________ for a spy camera. He said: "It is most likely that the Russian Navy...was involved." However, (4) ___________________ is "Equipment of St. Petersburg" written on the harness in English. A local said: "It (5) ___________________ from a Russian military facility or...swum from St. Petersburg, Florida, because of the (6) ___________________."

There is (7) ___________________ the whale. Journalists say it could have come from a whale-training facility in St. Petersburg, Florida. The US uses dolphins to (8) ___________________. A Russian naval analyst downplayed (9) ___________________ might have with the Russian military. He said: "Even if there (10) ___________________ for using marine animals for navy purposes, they are unlikely to be belugas." A Russian military official told the BBC: "If we were using this (11) ___________________, do you really think we'd (12) ___________________ phone number with the message 'please call this number?'"

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

AprofessorinNorwaysaidabelugawhalefoundintheArcticOceannearN
orway'snorthernmostpointcouldbeaRussianspy.Localresidentsrepo
rtthatthebelugawasverytameandenjoyedbeingstroked.Theprofesso
rsaidthewhalehadaharnessandmountforaspycamera.Hesaid:"Itism
ostlikelythattheRussianNavy...wasinvolved."However,imagesshow
thereis"EquipmentofSt.Petersburg"writtenontheharnessinEnglish.
Alocalsaid:"ItcouldhaveescapedfromaRussianmilitaryfacilityor...sw
umfromSt.Petersburg,Florida,becauseoftheEnglish-languagetex
t."Thereisspeculationonlineaboutthewhale.Journalistssayitcouldha
vecomefromawhale-trainingfacilityinSt.Petersburg,Florida.TheUSu
sesdolphinstohelpnavydivers.ARussiannavalanalystdownplayedlink
sthebelugamighthavewiththeRussianmilitary.Hesaid:"Eveniftherea
remilitaryprogramsforusingmarineanimalsfornavypurposes,theyar
eunlikelytobebelugas."ARussianmilitaryofficialtoldtheBBC:"Ifwewe
reusingthisanimalforspying,doyoureallythinkwe'dattachamobileph
onenumberwiththemessage'pleasecallthisnumber?'"

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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