Academic English

“Battle at the Front”

Level: Topic: Speakers: Length:
difficult war man – man 01:31

Pre-Listening Exercise

In small groups, try to predict the following ideas about the news report before you listen:

  1. the setting, or where the action is taking place (e.g., in the country side, along a beach, in the city, at sea, in the jungle, in the mountains, etc.);
  2. how long has the war being going on;
  3. problems that have resulted from the war (e.g., hunger, loss of life, orphaned children, blackouts, sniper attacks, starvation, disease, malnutrition, looting, landmines, etc.)

Listening Exercise

A. Listen to the recording and answer the questions.

The report, Stan Fielding, is ____ in the story.

Stan: This is Stan Fielding reporting live from the outskirts of the capital city.

The civil war has been going on for ____.

Rebel forces launched the biggest offensive against the ruling government in the 18-month conflict here in this country.

The news report is taking place ____.

Rebel forces are closing in, and it's feared that they will be able to take the capital building BEFORE SUNUP where it is believed, many government officials are holding out.

The rebels latest attack is focused on ____.

Stan: Uh, yes, Bob. As you can probably hear behind me, rebel forces are also using heavy artillery to pound government strongholds around the city center.

One major problem in the city is _____.

Stan: Well, since the beginning of the conflict, starvation, clean water, and adequate shelter have been the biggest daily obstacles facing the citizens of this torn country. It is believed that over 40,000 people, mostly children, have starved to death.

Post-Listening Exercise

  1. Pretend that it is one week after the original story was broadcasted, and you have been asked to report on the recent events of the conflict. First, write your story in about 50 words and then read your story. Share your production with your group or the class.
  2. Use a search engine to find an article(s) that discusses one or more problems associated with war. Write a short essay on the information you found. Give a short presentation to the class or in a small group.
  3. Discuss the following ideas with another student:
  • the greatest areas of conflict in the world and how they affect you directly or indirectly
  • the main causes of these conflicts
  • the keys to resolving these problems