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Last updated at 10:38 BST, Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Protecting Venice


Report and vocabulary


Think of Venice and water probably springs to mind.

The problem is that unusually high tides often cause serious harm to its centuries-old architecture, which draws millions of visitors each year.

Now, four new mobile barriers designed to protect the city have been successfully tested.

Eventually, 78 floodgates will shut off the Venice lagoon when water levels get too high.

springs to mind

arrives as a sudden thought

high tides

when the sea or a river is at its highest level




created for a specific purpose


gates that can be opened or closed to control the flow of water


Use one of the words or phrases below to complete each of these sentences from news reports.
Note that you may have to change the form of a word to complete the sentence correctly.

springs to mind / high tide / draws / designed / floodgates

1. At the weekly papal audience which __________ pilgrims from many countries, a priest read a summary of the Pope's address in Arabic for the first time, joining other briefs in French, English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Slovak, Czech, Polish, Hungarian and Russian.

2. A system of nine dams called the Vltava Cascade was found to be dangerously full, and the __________ were opened at 20:00 local time (18:00 GMT) on Monday night.

3. The sea defence gates on Weston-super-Mare's seafront were closed during __________ at the weekend. Strong onshore winds were forecast which, coupled with a tidal surge, led to the precaution being taken.

4. Some of the rules were __________ to keep the young men in check, with advice on "not gadding and gossiping from chamber to chamber", or "picking your nose" in the company of tutors, a habit Duport regarded as "uncouth and unseemly".

5. If you had to list prerequisites for being a bomb disposal officer, then courage would go without saying. Patience, ingenuity and an ability to keep a cool head under pressure also __________.


To take away:



How did you do?






high tides




spring to mind