Today’s lesson involves pronunciation, reading comprehension and memorization. I am going to read a news article to you, sentence by sentence, phrase by phrase, sometimes word by word, then you are to repeat what you hear. You can choose to read along as you speak the words, but I prefer that you listen (prefiero que escuches) and try to memorize what you hear. (trate de memorizar lo que se escucha) Understand? So turn away from the computer, so you can’t see the screen (no se puede ver las palabras). Let’s start:
On May 10th, 2013, construction workers placed the final piece of a steel spire on top of the One World Trade Center, which now stands at 1,776 feet tall, making it the tallest building in the country and in the Western Hemisphere.
One World Trade Center, also known as the Freedom Tower, is located at the northwest corner of the site of the original World Trade Center. That complex of buildings included two skyscrapers nicknamed the Twin Towers, which were destroyed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Those attacks killed nearly 3,000 people.
Why did the builders make the new building 1,776 feet tall? Because on July 4, 1776, America’s Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, which officially separated the 13 American colonies from Great Britain. When replacing the World Trade Center after the attacks, the new building’s creators wanted to reference America’s fight for freedom, when the country was born.
The 104-story Freedom Tower, set to open in 2014, will have more than 3 million square feet of office space. Floors 100 to 102 will house a state-of-the-art observation deck with sweeping views of New York City.
The 408-foot spire, which weighs nearly 800 tons, will serve as a broadcast antenna for television and radio broadcast channels. A light at the top of the spire will be visible up to 50 miles away on a clear night, and a beacon light will alert airplanes and helicopters.
One World Trade Center is now the third-tallest building in the world. The two structures that surpass it are both in the Eastern Hemisphere. The tallest is in the United Arab Emirates. It measures 2,717 feet. The second-tallest building is in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, which is 1,972 feet tall.
“Today is a proud moment for our city and state as we crown the top of One World Trade Center,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on May 10. “This milestone at the World Trade Center site symbolizes the . . . resilience of our state and our nation.”
OK, now I suggest that you replay the audio and read it along with me again, not looking at the words. Then, do it again, only this time you can read along.
Here’s another suggestion: On your computer, go to File, then click on New Window, then Google “Google Translate.” When you get to a word you don’t know, or think you should know, to understand the story, click pause, look up the meaning of the word, then continue reading.