Test Reading Comprehension Pirate Radio

August 8, 2017 | Author: Angel Angeleri-priftis. | Category: Bbc, Radio, Broadcasting, Media Formats, Television
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Student’s Worksheet

Date :



 Find the English equivalents of the following words . Use a dictionary if necessary


a- ondes : airwaves b- diffuser : broadcast b- spot publicitaire : commercial c- radiodiffuseur : broadcaster  Now scan the text to select all the other words or expressions related to radio and music, then give their meaning. RADIO

disc jockeys = disque-jockeys

programs = émissions

tunes = airs

signal = signal

bands = groupes

station = station


news = les informations

playlist = liste de lecture / sélection

READ FROM l. 1 to l . 7

What does BBC stand for ?  It stands for the British Broadcasting Corporation. Nickname given to the BBC at the time ?  “auntie”  a) Use the context to guess the meaning of “ were owned “ ( l.2) (several possible answers ) . were the property of / were controlled by b) Find words or phrases that are the equivalent of :  at the beginning : at the dawn  forbidden : banished  tasteless and boring (1word) : bland (fade/sans reflief / insépide) 

 What do you learn about the BBC Monopoly


The BBC owned the airwaves.

? Organize your notes . … What was not broadcast

“a bland if nourishing diet of news, information, light entertainments and children’s programs” (l. 4-5)

rock ’n’ roll music

READ FROM l. 8 to l . 28

 a) Pick out

words and phrases related to protest and illegal behavior .

“rebellious” (l. 8) • “illicit” (l. 12) • “took to” (l. 9) • “out of British authorities’ legal reach” (l. 15) • “pirates” (l. 19) • “a crime” (l. 25) • “unlicensed” (l. 26)

b) Find the equivalents of :  simplement : merely  hors de portée : out of reach  ancrés au large de : anchored off  époque : era  a) “ The pirates’ off-coast locations strategically put them in international waters – and thus out of British authorities ‘ legal reach “ ( l.14-15 ).  Use one color to underline where the pirate radios were located, use another colour to highlight the reason

for this choice. Rephrase the sentence :  The broadcasters were based on ships anchored in waters that were not dominated by Great Britain. Thus, the authorities could not forbid them to broadcast unlicensed music.

Who is who ? Pick out the name of : a- a boat : Mi Amigo b- a commercial radio : Radio Caroline c- three rock bands : The Hollies, The Rolling Stones, The Dave Clark Five   Radio Programmes : Use your answers to Question  and compare what was broadcast on British radios in the 1960s. 

BBC RADIO - news - information - light entertainment - children’s programs

PIRATE RADIOS - the biggest bands of the period - commercials - playlists largely lifted from American Top 40 stations

In March 1964, the first UK offshore pirate station “Radio Caroline” went “on the air” . (= être à l’antenne)


 What solution(s) did the government find to get rid of these pirate radios ? Pick out a sentence from the text. The government voted a law against them. “In 1967 the British government made it a crime to supply music, commentary, fuel, food and water – and, most significantly, advertising – to any unlicensed offshore broadcaster.” (l. 25-27)

In August 1967 the “Marine Broadcasting Offences Act “ outlawed offshore stations. From 1967 to 1968, the British Government managed to close all off-shore radios one by one.

Read the last paragraph . Who can be regarded as the “winner” in this conflict ? Justify .

The pirate radios can be regarded as the “winner” because, in the end, a pop station was created by the BBC and many disc-jockeys who worked for pirate stations ended up working for the BBC. A few years later, commercial radio stations were legalized in the United Kingdom.

Why were off-shore radio stations called “pirate radios” ?

They were called “pirate radios” because they were the only means to fight against the domination of the British Broadcasting Corporation. They were formed by activists who bypassed the law to broadcast American music.

What made pirate radios so attractive ?

Pirate radios were very attractive in the 60s because they played the popular rock ’n’ roll music that was blaring from American radios. At the time, all the radio and TV stations in Britain, except for one television network, were owned by the BBC. This national broadcasting company aired a variety of programs including news and light entertainment, but no more than 6 hours of pop music a week. Pirate radios filled this gap, supplying a steady stream of pop, including songs by many very popular British bands, like The Rolling Stones, which were being played on American Top 40 stations, but not on the BBC.

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