South Korea loses national treasure in fire

By Donald Warren,2014-09-03 12:55
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    South Korea loses national treasure in fire



    The Article 2

    -Warmups 3 Before Reading / Listening 4 While Reading / Listening 5 Listening Gap Fill 6 After Reading / Listening 7 Student Survey 8 Discussion 9 Language Work 10 Writing 11 Homework 12 Answers 13

    th12 February, 2008

    thSouth Korea loses national treasure in fire 12 February, 2008



    South Korea has lost it’s most important national treasure in a fire. A blaze broke out in the 600-year-old Namdaemun, or Great South

    Gate, in central Seoul on Sunday night. It was the country's most famous landmark and a symbol of great national pride. Police suspect an arsonist started the fire, which reduced the monument to ashes. Many Seoul residents gathered to watch in horror as

    firefighting teams fought a losing battle against the flames. More than 100 firefighters tried to put out the inferno, but the flames got the better of them and the centuries-old wooden structure. Initial

    attempts at extinguishing the fire seemed to have succeeded.

    However, shortly after midnight it reignited and the whole structure collapsed in ruins and came tumbling to the ground. The Yonhap news agency said a taxi driver saw a man in his 50s at the gate minutes before the blaze started.

    The loss of the Namdaemun has left South Koreans in shock. One

    citizen at the scene described his heart was burning along with the burning gate. The gate, surrounded by gleaming modern buildings, was an icon of South Korea’s history. All school children learn about its importance and develop a lifelong pride in it. An onlooker, housewife Lee Mimi said: "It feels like the pride of the nation and hope is lost and crumbled." A spokesman for President Roh Moo-

    Hyun told of his nation’s grief over the destruction of the gate: "It

    was our heritage, more significant and more symbolic than any other cultural asset," he said. Korea’s Cultural Heritage Administration said in a statement: "We are deeply sorry. No words can express our sadness." An Administration official promised it would rebuild the

    gate, which would take three years and cost $21 million.

    More free lessons at 2

    thSouth Korea loses national treasure in fire 12 February, 2008



    1. FIRE: Walk around the class and talk to other students about fire. Change partners often. After you finish, sit with your original partner(s) and share what you found out.

    2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

     national treasures / landmarks / national pride / arsonists / firefighters / ruins /

    shock / gleaming modern buildings / icons / heritage / sorrow / sadness

    Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently. 3. PREDICTION: With your partner(s), use all of the above words and phrases to make your own story of what you think is in the article. Change partners and share your stories.

    4. WORLD TREASURES: Talk with your partner(s) about the following treasures of the world. Where are they? Rank them in order of the most important. How else could you rank them? Share your ideas with others.

    a. _____ The Pyramids

    b. _____ The Taj Mahal

    c. _____ Big Ben

    d. _____ Machu Pichu

    e. _____ The Eiffel Tower

    f. _____ Sydney Opera House

    5. MY TREASURES: With your partner, talk about which of the items below you would save from your burning house and risk injury (or worse). Grade them from 10 (= worth risking your life) to 1 (= let it/them burn).

    ; your photographs ; your passport and other documents

    ; your computer ; your savings of $20,000

    ; your pet ; all of your clothes

    ; your English homework ; other ________________________

    6. ICON: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘icon’. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.

    More free lessons at 3

    thSouth Korea loses national treasure in fire 12 February, 2008 _______________________________________________________________________ BEFORE READING / LISTENING 1. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these

    sentences are true (T) or false (F): a. T / F Fire has destroyed a centuries old gate in South Korea’s capital. b. T / F The gate was the most famous and important site in the country. c. T / F Police suspect faulty electrical wiring started the fire.

    d. T / F A taxi driver was seen at the gate seconds before the blaze began. e. T / F The gate was in the middle of many other ancient ruins.

    f. T / F Very few Korean children outside of the capital know of the gate. g. T / F A heritage spokesperson expressed sadness using many words. h. T / F The gate will take three months to reconstruct.

    2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article:

    1. blaze a. first

    2 arsonist b. past

    3. initial c. falling

    4. extinguishing d. eyewitness

    5. tumbling e. symbol

    6. shock f. firebug

    7. icon g. sorrow

    8. onlooker h. trauma

    9. grief i. fire

    10. heritage j. putting out

    3. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article

    (sometimes more than one combination is possible): 1. A blaze a. against the flames 2 a symbol b. express our sadness 3. Police suspect an arsonist c. modern buildings 4. firefighting teams fought a losing battle d. pride in it 5. the whole structure collapsed e. cultural asset 6. surrounded by gleaming f. broke out 7. an icon of g. of great national pride 8. develop a lifelong h. started the fire 9. more symbolic than any other i. in ruins 10. No words can j. South Korea’s history More free lessons at 4

    thSouth Korea loses national treasure in fire 12 February, 2008