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Session 2

The Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia is under severe threat from a rise in water temperature. Neil and Finn look at how the world's media are covering the story and give you the words and phrases you need to talk about it.

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    Activity 1

Activity 1

News Review

Great Barrier Reef damage

The UNESCO World Heritage Site off the coast of Australia is in danger of dying. A survey shows 95% for the Great Barrier Reef is threatened becuase of a rise in the water temperature.

In this video, Finn and Neil take a closer look at the story and teach you useful words and phrases used by the world's media.

Language challenge

What slang expression is used in Britain to describe Australia?

a) way under
b) down over
c) down under

Watch the video and complete the activity

The story

Scientists in Australia are warning that large parts of the Great Barrier Reef could die within the next few months because it's suffering from one of its worst ever episodes of coral bleaching. 

Jon Donnison - BBC Sydney correspondent

The Great Barrier Reef is considered one of the seven wonders of the natural world. But the study from Australia's National Coral Bleaching Taskforce found that in some areas, 95% of the reefs are now severely damaged.

On the northern section running between Cairns in Queensland and Papua New Guinea, only four out of 520 reefs are untouched. Coral bleaching is caused by rising sea temperatures. It can take decades for the coral to recover. And persistent warmer waters kill the reefs altogether.

Last year UNESCO, the UN's scientific body, decided not to list the World Heritage Site as 'in-danger'. Environmentalists are now calling for that decision to be reassessed.

Key words and phrases

reef
a line of rock near or above the surface of the sea

episodes
single events related to but separate from others

coral bleaching
damage to coral caused by warm water  

devastate
seriously damage; destroy

aerial
from the air

in the grip of
experiencing something very unpleasant you can't escape from

News Review quiz

3 Questions

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Downloads

You can download the audio and PDF document for this episode here.

Language challenge - answer

The answer is: c) down under.

More

Learn more about this story with BBC News.

End of Session 2

Join us in Session 3 for Lingohack - our video which teaches you words from the news using the latest BBC World News bulletins.

Session Vocabulary

  • reef
    a line of rock near or above the surface of the sea

    episodes
    single events related to but separate from others

    coral bleaching
    damage to coral caused by warm water  

    devastate
    seriously damage; destroy

    aerial
    from the air

    in the grip of
    experiencing something very unpleasant you can't escape from