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London in the Sea?

An   intermediate level English resource ~

This document, with exercises and answers, is included in  A Background to English,  a collection of 27 B1 - mid-B2 intermediate English reading texts, with exercises and answers, available from Amazon worldwide, and leading bookstores including Barnes & Noble in the USA and Waterstones in the UK.

Planet Earth is getting hotter, and the level of the sea is rising. This is going to cause massive problems for many seaside cities; and London is one of them.

Many parts of London will be under water by 2060, if nothing is done to protect them.

Finish writing this article!  Twenty words have been left out! Choose the correct word in each dropdown box. Only one word is acceptable in each case. Some choices test vocabulary, others grammar... and some just require logic!
the Thames barrier
The Thames Barrier...Will this still be enough to protect London in 2050?
      London on the Thames, yes; but London in the Sea? No thank you!  Yet this could  happen before 2060,   steps are taken quite quickly, to prevent it.
   As a result of global  the sea level around the south east corner of England is expected to   by 54 cms in just half a century! And  now say that many parts of London will be at serious risk from flooding by the sea   50 years.
   It's not all of London that is in danger; just some parts to the east of the city. And they won't be under water  the time; just when there are very   tides.
    The low-lying suburbs beside the Thames in the  End of London are already protected from   tides by a massive barrier that   right across the river; but more defences will be   along the banks of the Thames to protect a larger   to the north of the river, and further east.  And no-one really   if the existing Thames Barrier will  actually  be enough to protect London, even in 2050.
   The Thames barrier was opened in 1982.   the first ten years of its life, it was   on average, just once a year. Some years it was   closed at all.   2000 and 2013, it was closed an average of   six times a year; and in the year 2013-2014, it was closed 50 times.... in twelve . The level of the sea is getting steadily   that is certain.
   Other towns and low lying areas in the east of England are facing similar problems; and it will take a lot of time, and cost a lot of money, to protect them.
London floods
London - the floods could be coming
   Of course, there have always been occasional very high tides. A thousand years ago, there were big floods around London; and in 1953, before the Thames Barrier was built, over 300 people lost their lives in "the big flood";  but today the dangers are bigger. There are more people, more roads, more infrastructure. In the past, people did not build in places where there was a risk of flooding. Today, in southeast England, land is so expensive, that people build everywhere – even in places that are liable to be flooded.  
  Scientists also say that climate change is going to lead to warmer and drier summers in the south east of England. This will cause major changes in vegetation, and several species of native wildlife will not be able to survive. Wet in winter, hot in summer: is that going to be London in fifty years' time ?
   London faces big problems in the next fifty years; but London is a rich city, which can pay to build the protections that will be needed. London's difficulties are likely to be be very small, compared to the problems that will be faced in some of the world's poorer counties, like Bangla Desh.

Word guide
steps :
measures, actions - prevent : stop - half a century : 50 years - to flood: to cover the land with water - tides: the rise and fall of the ocean -  suburb: exterior part of a city - bank of a river: the side of a river - average : medium - steady : regular, constant -  infrastructure : buildings, roads, services -  are liable to be : will perhaps be - species: variety, sort

Missing words - answers.
The full text, with the correct answers, can be found in the answers section of A Background to English, the new paperback  "best of" B1-B2 intermediate texts from Linguapress.
As well as answers, this collection of 27 texts includes some texts not available online, and access to more audio recordings.

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Student Worksheet

London in the Sea

Replace all the missing prepositions in this extract from the article.  You will need to use the following prepositions
across   along   around   as   at   before   beside   by   by  by    from  from     of   of    on  in   in    to    under    within

      London  the Thames, yes; but London  the Sea? No thank you!  But this could  happen   2060, unless steps are taken quite quickly, to prevent it.
    a result  global warming, the sea level  the south east corner of England is expected to rise  54 cms  just half a century! And scientists now say that many parts of London will be  serious risk  flooding  the sea  50 years.
   It's not all of London that is in danger; just some parts  the east  the city. And they won't be  water all the time; just when there are very high tides.
    The low-lying suburbs  the Thames in the East End of London are already protected  high tides  a massive barrier that stretches right  the river; but more defences will be needed  the banks of the Thames to protect a larger area to the north of the river, and further east.



For answers

   For teachers:

For a short general guide to using reading texts in class, see ► Reading texts - a model lesson plan

Grammar: expressing the future. This text has lots of examples showing how we can express future time in English.  Most of these involve the use of the future tense with will, which is used in the active and the passive, and in affirmative and negative phrases; but there are other ways  of expressing the future too, including the use of going to... Note how the modal verb could expresses future time in the first sentence; and in the second paragraph the expression is expected to also expresses an action in the future.
  Even expressions like are liable to and are likely to express future possibility, though use a present tense to do so.
  For a full overview about expressing the future, see A Descriptive Grammar of English, part 1.3

Pair work: sketches. It is 2050, and large parts of eastern London are under water. Have pupils, working in pairs, imagine an interview between a  journalist and Mayor of London.

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Revised from a shorter item originally published in Freeway, the Intermediate level English newsmagazine.
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intermediate English resource
Level -  easy intermediate.
IELTS Level   4-5

 Flesch-Kincaid  scores
Reading ease level:
75  Plain English
Grade level: 7.5

Intermediate level EFL resource

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New life for Big Ben  with audio

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This resource is © copyright Linguapress renewed 2022
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Photo bottom by Kirsteen
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Originally published in Freeway magazine. Updated 2020.
Multi-copying of this resource is permitted for classroom use. In schools declaring the source of copied materials to a national copyright agency, Linguapress intermediate level resources should be attributed to "Freeway" as the source and "Linguapresss" as the publisher.

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