jueves, 1 de enero de 2015

How the Panama Canal was built

BBC News tells us the story of the construction of one of the seven wonders of the modern world.

Self-study activity:
For Básico 2 students, without watching the video (just minimise the window or scroll the screen down, so that you can't see the images), note down all the numbers and figures that are mentioned in the video.

For intermediate students, watch the video and complete the blanks in the transcript below with the missing words.

It has been a hundred years since the first ship sailed through the Panama Canal. In 1881 France began what would become one of the most challenging engineering projects ever (1) ...  . But disease plagued the French (2) ...  and up to a third of workers fell ill. After almost a decade, work (3) ... to a halt.
The canal was sold to the US 15 years later. The French suffered a considerable financial (4) ... . But by the (5) ... of the 20th century, medical knowledge was finally capable of controlling (6) ... of tropical disease.
The American opted for a new elevated lock system which would hoist ships above sea level. Upon (7) ... , the canal had cost a massive $639m, enough to build 85 Titanics. But after 33 years of construction the canal had (8) ... the lives of more than 25,000 thousand people. More than three quarters of these under French control. That’s 500 deaths for every mile of canal, and some believe this (9) ... to be even higher.
It was a colossal (10) ... , a journey from the west coast of America to Europe was cut virtually in half, and from Shanghai to New York by 14%. Two foreign nations were responsible for its construction, but the canal was finally handed over to Panama in 1999. Uniting two oceans for the first time, the canal has played a place in history as one of the seven wonders of the modern world.

1 undertaken 2 workforce 3  ground 4 loss 5 dawn 6 outbreaks 7 completion 8 claimed  9 toll  10 achievement