Japan Situation Improving Despite Nuclear Rating (Upper-Intermediate News Lesson)

With Answers! | Download Free Japan Nuclear Rating News Lesson plan here: Japan-Improving-Radiation-UpperInt-13042011.doc

News Lesson Plan : Warm-up

1)    What is a natural disaster? What are some kinds of natural disasters?
2)    What are some examples of non-natural disasters?
3)    Have there been any disasters in your area? What do you know of the Chernobyl incident?
4)    Do you worry about the safety of the food you eat? What won't you buy?

Japanese PM: Situation Improving Despite Nuclear Rating (April 13th, 2011)

The Japanese government has designated the nuclear accident at level seven — the highest rating on the nuclear incident scale. The nuclear crisis in Japan is now at the same level as the 1986 disaster at Chernobyl.
Despite this announcement, Japanese prime minister Naoto Kan said the situation is stabilizing. Workers at the Fukushima-Daiichi say that powerful aftershocks are hampering efforts to repair the systems. On a positive note, operators have reported no signs of damage from the most recent quakes.
China has voiced concern over Japan's recent decision to dump nuclear wastewater from their plant into the Pacific Ocean. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao demanded the Japanese government take into consideration the impact the radioactive water might have on the ocean environment.
Japanese officials have stressed the radiation levels in Japan are only one-tenth of those of Chernobyl. Furthermore, unlike the Chernobyl disaster that killed roughly two dozen people within days and thousands more over ensuing years, Japanese officials believe there is no direct health hazard in Japan. Prime Minister Kan has assured his public that the situation is improving “one step at a time”. He urged citizens to support the areas affected by the disaster by purchasing their products instead of refraining from buying them. Kan also stated that the crisis is an opportunity for the Japanese to use their determination to rebuild the country in a new and improved way, much like how the nation was rebuilt after World War II. [Words: 241]
 [Original: http://www.voanews.com/english/news/asia/east-pacific/Japanese-PM-Says-Nuclear-Plant-Stabilizing-Despite-Higher-Crisis-Rating-119680334.html]

News Lesson Plan : Comprehension Questions

1)    True or False: recent aftershocks have further damaged the reactors.
2)    According to Japanese officials, how is the situation in Japan different from Chernobyl?
3)    What is the Chinese premier concerned about?
4)    What has Prime Minister Kan asked people to do for the people affected by the disaster?
5)    According to Kan, what opportunity do the Japanese have?
1 - False.
2 - They say there is no direct health hazard in Japan. In Chernobyl, many people died immediately and following. Also, Japanese officials say radiation levels are 1/10th the Chernobyl levels.
3 - He is concerned about the effect the radioactive wastewater will have on the ocean environment.
4 - He has asked them to support the people affected by the disaster by purchasing their goods.
5 - The Japanese have the opportunity to rebuild their country in a new and improved way.

News Lesson Plan : Vocabulary Matching

Match the words with their meaning as used in the news lesson.
stabilize (verb)
stress (verb)
ensue (verb)
  • designate - classify, label
  • stabilize - become stable
  • aftershock - small earthquake following a bigger one.
  • hamper - hinder, delay
  • impact - effect
  • stress - emphasize, underline
  • ensure - follow
  • hazard - danger, risk
  • urge - strongly encourage
  • refrain - hold back, stop
  • determination - will power, spirit

News Lesson Plan : Master the Language

1) Connect the below idea(s) to make a sentence.
determination / succeed
volcano / stabilize
aftershock / panic
hamper / progress
future / impact
stress / the importance of (something)
ensue / argument
hazard / pollution
urge / calm down
Possible Answers:
  • The condition of the volcano stabilized after 10 hours.
  • The aftershock caused more panic among the people.
  • My progress was hampered by my sprained ankle.
  • Global warming will have an impact on future generations.
  • The coach stressed the importance of practicing every day.
  • After the class debate, an argument ensued in the hallway.
  • Pollution can cause many health hazards.
  • The policeman encouraged everyone to calm down.
2) Idiom focus: take into consideration
to think about and include a particular thing or fact when you are forming an opinion or making a decision
The candidates' experience was taken into consideration before the final decision was made.
Read and complete the below sentences where necessary.
You need to take the weather into consideration before you .
When choosing a wife or husband, you should take his or her into consideration.
Possible Answers:
  • ... before you plan an outdoor wedding or camping trip.
  • ... character and attitude into consideration.

News Lesson Plan : Discussion Questions

(Write your answers in the Comments section below if you wish).

1)    What do you think about how Japan is handling the crisis?
2)    What is your opinion of nuclear energy? What type of energy do you support?
3)    What effects could the problems in Japan have on you, if any?
4)    If you were Japanese, would you buy food grown in areas near reactors?
5)    Where do you draw the line between worrying about safety and living your life?
6)    Could you live in an area that could have a natural disaster at any moment?
7)    Would you consider donating money to help the Japanese?
8)    If you could rebuild your country, what would you change?

News lesson plan copyright Matthew Barton of Englishcurrent.com

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