The Reading / Listening - Sydney Bushfires - Level 5

Fire-fighters in Australia are battling what is being called the worst fire they have ever seen. Eight different bushfires combined north of the city of Sydney. People are dubbing it a "mega-fire". The gigantic blaze is an hour's drive from Sydney. Tens of thousands of homes and properties are in its path. The giant inferno is burning across a swath of land and its front is roughly 60km wide. Authorities say it is burning out of control and is too vast to contain. A fire official said: "We cannot stop these fires. They will just keep burning until conditions ease."



The spread of the fires has been worsened by a prolonged drought. This is worrying authorities, who said it is early in the season for the ground to be so dry. They said: "There's a tough couple of months ahead and we've already seen the horrific consequences of fire so far this season." People in Sydney are suffering from dangerous and toxic smoke. The city is covered in a choking shroud. Residents have received advice about exercising outside. Locals say it is the "worst ever" fire and is "unprecedented". An official said: "People's emotions are very, very tested and frail at the moment."

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Sydney Bushfires - Level 4 or  Sydney Bushfires - Level 6

Sources
  • https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/12/australia-bushfires-combine-form-mega-fire-north-sydney-191206074513633.html
  • https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/another-tough-day-nsw-firefighters-battling-city-sized-inferno-20191207-p53hs3.html
  • https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-07/how-rfs-are-tackling-nsw-mega-fire-bigger-than-sydney/11776874


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. bushfires combined
  2. People are dubbing it
  3. an hour's drive
  4. thousands of homes
  5. The giant inferno
  6. burning out
  7. We cannot stop
  8. They will just keep burning until
  1. these fires
  2. north of the city
  3. conditions ease
  4. a "mega-fire"
  5. of control
  6. from Sydney
  7. is burning
  8. and properties

Paragraph 2

  1. The spread of the fires has
  2. a prolonged
  3. it is early in the
  4. the horrific consequences
  5. The city is covered in a
  6. advice about exercising
  7. Locals say it is the "worst
  8. very tested and frail
  1. choking shroud
  2. ever" fire
  3. at the moment
  4. season
  5. been worsened
  6. of fire
  7. drought
  8. outside

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Fire-fighters in Australia (1) ___________________ is being called the worst fire they have ever seen. Eight different bushfires (2) ___________________ the city of Sydney. People are (3) ___________________ "mega-fire". The gigantic blaze is an hour's drive from Sydney. Tens of thousands of homes and properties are (4) ___________________. The giant inferno is burning across a swath of land and (5) ___________________ roughly 60km wide. Authorities say it is burning (6) ___________________ and is too vast to contain. A fire official said: "We cannot stop these fires. They will just keep burning until conditions ease."

The spread of the fires has been worsened by (7) ___________________. This is worrying authorities, who said it is early in (8) ___________________ the ground to be so dry. They said: "There's a tough couple of months ahead and we've already seen the (9) ___________________ fire so far this season." People in Sydney are suffering from dangerous and toxic smoke. The city is covered in (10) ___________________. Residents have received advice about exercising outside. (11) ___________________ is the "worst ever" fire and is "unprecedented". An official said: "People's emotions are very, very tested and frail (12) ___________________."

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

Fire-fightersinAustraliaarebattlingwhatisbeingcalledtheworstfiret
heyhaveeverseen.Eightdifferentbushfirescombinednorthofthecityof
Sydney.Peoplearedubbingita"mega-fire".Thegiganticblazeisanhou
r'sdrivefromSydney.Tensofthousandsofhomesandpropertiesareinit
spath.Thegiantinfernoisburningacrossaswathoflandanditsfrontisro
ughly60kmwide.Authoritiessayitisburningoutofcontrolandistoovast
tocontain.Afireofficialsaid:"Wecannotstopthesefires.Theywilljustke
epburninguntilconditionsease."Thespreadofthefireshasbeenworsen
edbyaprolongeddrought.Thisisworryingauthorities,whosaiditisearly
intheseasonforthegroundtobesodry.Theysaid:"There'satoughcoupl
eofmonthsaheadandwe'vealreadyseenthehorrificconsequencesoffir
esofarthisseason."PeopleinSydneyaresufferingfromdangerousandt
oxicsmoke.Thecityiscoveredinachokingshroud.Residentshaverecei
vedadviceaboutexercisingoutside.Localssayitisthe"worstever"firea
ndis"unprecedented".Anofficialsaid:"People'semotionsarevery,very
testedandfrailatthemoment."

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.

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

Answers

(Please check your answers against the article above.

Help Support This Web Site

  • Please consider helping Breaking News English.com

Sean Banville's Book

Thank You