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U.S. Air Traffic Controllers Asleep on the Job (17th April, 2011)

Airport authorities in the USA are looking into the way their air traffic controllers work. This comes after they found another controller asleep in the control tower. This is the seventh time this year. The Federal Aviation Administration said there was a problem with fatigue among controllers. There has been a sharp rise in the number of flights, which means more workers have to work night shifts. This situation leads to pilots coming in to land without guidance from a controller.

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The Associated Press news agency reported that napping on the midnight shift is an open secret. "It has always been a problem," said Rick Perl, a former air traffic controller trainer. "There is no way you can get off at 2 pm in the afternoon and be back at 10 pm at night and get decent sleep,” he said. An aviation spokesperson said: "We are taking important steps today that will make a real difference in fighting air traffic controller fatigue. But we know we will need to do more. This is just the beginning."

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PHRASE MATCH

Match the following phrases from the article.

Paragraph 1

1.

Airport authorities

a.

land

2

they found another controller

b.

in the USA

3.

This is the seventh

c.

among controllers

4.

a problem with fatigue

d.

asleep

5.

a sharp rise in the

e.

time this year

6.

pilots coming in to

f.

number of flights

 

Paragraph 2

1.

napping on the

a.

need to do more

2

It has always been

b.

at 2 pm

3.

an open

c.

the beginning

4.

get off

d.

midnight shift

5.

we know we will

e.

secret

6.

This is just

f.

a problem


LISTENING GAP FILL

Airport authorities in the USA are looking _________________ air traffic controllers work. This _________________ found another controller asleep in the control tower. This is the seventh time this year. The Federal Aviation Administration said there was a _________________ among controllers. There has been a _________________ number of flights, which means more workers have to _________________. This situation leads to pilots _________________ without guidance from a controller.

The Associated Press news agency reported that napping on the midnight shift _________________. "It has always been a problem," said Rick Perl, _________________ traffic controller trainer. "There _________________ get off at 2 pm in the afternoon and be back at 10 pm at night and _________________," he said. An aviation spokesperson said: "We are taking important steps today _________________ real difference in fighting air traffic controller fatigue. But we know we will need to do more. _________________ beginning."


MULTIPLE CHOICE

Airport authorities in the USA are (1) ____ into the way their air traffic controllers work. This (2) ____ after they found another controller asleep in the control tower. This is the seventh time this year. The Federal Aviation Administration said there was a problem (3) ____ fatigue among controllers. There has been a (4) ____ rise in the number of flights, which means more workers have to (5) ____ night shifts. This situation leads to pilots coming in to (6) ____ without guidance from a controller.

The Associated Press news agency reported that (7) ____ on the midnight shift is an (8) ____ secret. "It has always been a problem," said Rick Perl, a former air traffic controller trainer. "There is no (9) ____ you can get off at 2 pm in the afternoon and be back at 10 pm at night and (10) ____ decent sleep,” he said. An aviation spokesperson said: "We are taking important steps today that will make a (11) ____ difference in (12) ____ air traffic controller fatigue. But we know we will need to do more. This is just the beginning."

Put the correct words from this table into the article.

1.

(a)

looked

(b)

look

(c)

looking

2.

(a)

comes

(b)

goes

(c)

leaves

3.

(a)

by

(b)

with

(c)

at

4.

(a)

blunt

(b)

sharp

(c)

cut

5.

(a)

fly

(b)

traffic

(c)

work

6.

(a)

land

(b)

fly

(c)

sky

7.

(a)

nap

(b)

napping

(c)

napped

8.

(a)

open

(b)

closed

(c)

always

9.

(a)

how

(b)

way

(c)

work

10.

(a)

sleep

(b)

bed

(c)

get

11.

(a)

real

(b)

really

(c)

reality

12

(a)

fight

(b)

fights

(c)

fighting


SPELLING

Spell the jumbled words (from the text) correctly.

Paragraph 1

1.

Airport ettosuiihar

2.

the control twoer

3.

the esvtnhe time this year

4.

a problem with ieauftg

5.

a psarh rise

6.

lpstio coming in to land

 

Paragraph 2

7.

news gacyne

8.

the mdinhgit shift

9.

a freomr air traffic controller

10.

An vniatiao spokesperson

11.

make a real dfcfreneei

12.

just the nnenigbgi


PUT THE TEXT BACK TOGETHER

Number these lines in the correct order.

(    )

The Associated Press news agency reported that napping on the midnight

(    )

trainer. "There is no way you can get off at 2 pm in the afternoon and be back at 10 pm

(    )

work. This comes after they found another controller asleep in the control tower. This is the

(    )

flights, which means more workers have to work night shifts. This situation leads to pilots

(    )

coming in to land without guidance from a controller.

(    )

among controllers. There has been a sharp rise in the number of

(    )

seventh time this year. The Federal Aviation Administration said there was a problem with fatigue

(    )

air traffic controller fatigue. But we know we will need to do more. This is just the beginning.”

(    )

at night and get decent sleep," he said. An aviation spokesperson said: "We are taking

(    )

important steps today that will make a real difference in fighting

(    )

shift is an open secret. "It has always been a problem," said Rick Perl, a former air traffic controller

1  )

Airport authorities in the USA are looking into the way their air traffic controllers


WORD JUMBLE

With a partner, put the words back into the correct order.

1.

air     their     way     The     work     controllers     traffic.    

2.

asleep     controller     another     found     They.    

3.

problem    with    There    fatigue    was    among    a    controllers.

4.

sharp     of     rise     flights     in     the     A     number.    

5.

coming     Pilots     guidance     without     land     to     in.    

6.

an     the     is     secret     on     shift     open     Napping     midnight.    

7.

former     traffic     trainer     A     air     controller.    

8.

Be    sleep    decent    get    and    night    at    pm    10    at    back.   

9.

We     taking     steps     are     important     today.    

10.

we     more     will     need     We     to     know     do.    


DISCUSSION (Write your own questions)

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________


WRITING

Write about airplanes for 10 minutes. Show your partner your paper. Correct each other’s work.

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________


HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. AIRPLANES: Search the Internet and find more information about airplanes. Talk about what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Write a magazine article about airplanes. Include imaginary interviews with air traffic controllers and airplane passengers. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.

4. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? Write a newspaper article about the next stage in this news story. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.

5. LETTER: Write a letter to an air traffic controller. Ask him/her three questions about his/her job. Give him/her three of your opinions on increasing safety. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Your partner will answer the questions you asked.

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