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LESSON TWENTY-FOUR HERE!
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On the morning of April 11, 2000, Dave Crisp started searching a farmer’s field near Frome, Somerset, in England, with a metal detector. He was hoping, at best, to find a silver coin or two to add to his collection. But man, was he in for a surprise. What he unearthed that day turned out to be one of the largest coin hoards ever found. Fifty-two thousand 1,700-year-old Roman coins, valued at a whopping half a million pounds, were discovered in a ceramic pot buried in the field! What a find! In today’s lesson, entitled Finders, Keepers, you will learn about how, during the 16th to 18th centuries, gold and silver and other precious commodities were transported from the New World (the Americas) to Europe. You will also learn about why modern-day amateur and professional treasure hunters have identified the Florida coastline as a “hotspot” for finding sunken treasure and striking it rich. Listen carefully to the passage and then answer the questions that follow. It’s always a good idea to take notes as you listen, but remember: don’t let your note-taking distract you from your listening.
Listen and Learn
Lesson Twenty-Four PASSAGE ONLY TRACK:
A thrilling tale of buccaneers and buried gold, Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1883 adventure novel Treasure Island has greatly influenced how we perceive pirates. Say the word “pirate” and in our mind’s eye we are apt to see a one-legged seaman wearing an eye patch and singing “Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum,” with a squawking parrot perched on one shoulder. And thanks to Stevenson, we’ll also most likely conjure up images of tropical islands and buried treasure marked with an “X” on old parchment maps. But all that buried treasure stuff … well, it’s pretty much pure fiction. In fact, only one pirate ever hid his treasure in this way, Captain William Kidd, who, in 1698 (or so legend says), buried his loot on Long Island before sailing into New York Harbor.
So if you’re thinking about going treasure hunting and getting your hands on some pirate spoils, dry land is not the place to do it. Instead, say professional treasure hunters, start scouring the ocean floor for shipwrecks. And history buffs warn that your chances of finding a sunken pirate ship are very rare. You’d have much better luck looking for one of the many merchant ships and royal fleet vessels that succumbed to the Atlantic Ocean’s fury and sank to “Davy Jones’s Locker,” carrying troves of gold and silver to the bottom with them.
Soon after Christopher Columbus’s first voyage to the Americas in 1492, the entire New World itself became a treasure trove of sorts, a bountiful source of tobacco, silk, spices, sugar, silver, gold, gems, and other precious commodities. Every year, fleets of Spanish galleons set out across the Atlantic, and, after arriving in the Caribbean, sailed up and down the South American coast filling their holds with priceless goods to take back home to satisfy the desires of Europe’s rich and royal.
By the 1560s, the Spanish government had instituted a convoy system, called the Treasure Fleet, to guarantee the safe transport of these invaluable items and to keep them out of the hands of … you guessed it—pirates. But the weather often proved to be a more formidable foe. On the evening of July 30, 1715, the 1715 Treasure Fleet encountered a hurricane near present-day Vero Beach, Florida. High winds and angry waves tossed eleven of the twelve treasure-laden cargo vessels onto rocky reefs, sinking them to the ocean floor. Pirate and other ships rushed to the site to get in on the initial salvage. But only a small portion of the wealth was ever recovered. Today, much of the wreckage is still scattered over a wide area along Florida’s east coast. Some artifacts, including the occasional gold coin, still wash up on the beach from time to time.
Like many Florida treasure hunters, 51-year-old carpenter William Bartlett dives as a hobby. So on July 30, 2015, when he joined a team of scuba divers from a Florida-based treasure-hunting and salvaging company, Bartlett didn’t have high expectations. But on his third dive of the day, he literally struck gold. A mere fifteen feet offshore at Vero Beach, in shallow sand just one meter below the ocean’s surface, Bartlett and the team found and recovered $4.5 million worth of Spanish gold coins, including nine rare Royal Eight Escudos valued at $300,000 each. In a remarkable coincidence, the discovery came to the day on the 300th anniversary of the 1715 Treasure Fleet’s sinking.
Contracted treasure hunters like Bartlett are typically granted a generous percentage of their haul—after the state of Florida takes its 20% cut, of course. Still, not bad for a day’s work! By the way, according to Florida law, any treasure that washes up on the beach is “finders, keepers”—something to think about on your next trip to Disney World.
LISTENING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS
Listen to Listen and Learn Lesson Twenty-Four LISTENING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS track:
Today’s listening comprehension questions are of various types. Follow the instructions for each question. Feel free to pause and listen several times if needed.
1. Decide if this statement is true or false.
Robert Louis Stevenson’s depiction of pirates in his adventure novel Treasure Island has greatly influenced how modern-day people perceive pirates.
2. Choose the best answer to this question.
According to legend, where did Captain William Kidd bury his treasure in 1698?
a) Captain William Kidd buried his treasure on Treasure Island.
b) Captain William Kidd buried his treasure on a tropical island in the Atlantic Ocean.
c) Captain William Kidd buried his treasure on Long Island before sailing into New York Harbor.
d) Captain William Kidd did not bury his treasure. His ship sank off the coast of New York state.
3. Write a brief answer to this question.
Where do professional treasure hunters and history buffs say is the best place to search for long lost treasure?
4. Select the TWO choices that complete this sentence and make it true.
Soon after Christopher Columbus’s first voyage to the Americas in 1492, ______________________, and _________________________.
a) Europe’s rich and royal began traveling by ship to the New World to buy precious commodities.
b) the entire New World became a bountiful source of tobacco, silk, spices, gold, silver, and other precious commodities.
c) Spanish ships began sailing to South America to fill their holds with valuables to take back to Europe.
d) Spanish ships sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to bring silver, gold, and other precious European commodities to the settlers of the New World.
5. Decide if this sentence is true or false.
The Spanish government instituted a convoy system for its Treasure Fleets to protect them against pirates.
6. Decide if this sentence is true or false.
All but two of the ships that made up the 1715 Treasure Fleet sank off the coast of Florida after being caught in a hurricane.
7. Write a brief answer to this question.
Who was involved in the initial salvage of the 1715 Treasure Fleet soon after it sank, and how much of the invaluable cargo was recovered?
8. Write a brief answer to this question.
Like many Florida treasure hunters, 51-year-old William Bartlett dives as a hobby. What is his actual profession?
9. Choose the better answer.
Which of the following two statements better describes the conditions under which Bartlett and his fellow divers discovered the gold from the 1715 Treasure Fleet?
a) On the third day of his diving expedition, Bartlett discovered the gold buried in sand about fifteen feet below the ocean’s surface near Vero Beach in Florida.
b) On his third dive of the day, Bartlett discovered $4.5 million worth of Spanish gold a mere fifteen feet offshore at Vero Beach, in shallow sand just one meter below the ocean’s surface.
10. Write a full sentence answer to this question.
How much of the gold will Bartlett get to keep for himself?
LISTENING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS and ANSWERS HERE!
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KA WORDCAST: Listen and Learn! Lesson TWENTY FOUR
KEY VOCABULARY WORDS
Be sure to listen to the Key Vocabulary bonus track. This will help you improve your understanding of the passage itself and give your vocabulary a big boost.
A thrilling tale of buccaneers and buried gold, Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1883 adventure novel Treasure Island has greatly influenced how we PERCEIVE pirates.
In the sentence above, PERCEIVE is a verb that means to see or regard someone or something in a particular way. Synonyms for this usage include consider, appraise, size up, interpret, and judge.
Johnny’s teacher at first PERCEIVED him as being quite aloof and stuck-up, but she soon learned that he was just shy and a boy of few words.
Though a riding accident put Tim permanently in a wheelchair, he doesn’t PERCEIVE himself as disabled and continues to take part in various Paralympic sports.
While you may believe that you are a hard worker and deserve a promotion, others may not PERCEIVE you in the same way.
The First Lady is widely PERCEIVED by the press to be the driving force behind many of the President’s most important decisions.
PERCEIVE also means to become aware or conscious of something, or to realize or understand something. Similar words and phrases include recognize, come to know, figure out, deduce, and ascertain.
Research reveals that newborn babies cannot PERCEIVE colors other than black and white for the first several months.
Until his editor pointed them out, Carl had been unable to PERCEIVE the continuity flaws and plot holes in his first full-length novel.
PERCEPTION is a related noun that has several uses. For one, PERCEPTION refers to the idea, image, or belief you have about something based on how you see and understand it. Synonyms include conception, opinion, view, and judgment.
“I’m afraid you have a mistaken PERCEPTION of the role of the teacher in our school,” the principal told the recently hired instructor. “So I’m going to have to let you go.”
There is a general PERCEPTION among parents that the school is too driven by test results and does not place enough emphasis on physical education, music, and other fine arts.
PERCEPTION also refers to your natural ability to see, hear, and smell things through the senses.
Scientists say that color PERCEPTION varies from person to person, and that what one person sees as red could very well be perceived as blue by someone else.
With one eye covered by a patch, my depth PERCEPTION was impaired, so I gave up driving until my infection cleared up.
Finally, PERCEPTION can also refer to the ability to understand the true nature of something or to be keenly aware of one’s surroundings. Synonyms for this usage include insight, intuition, understanding, astuteness, cleverness, and shrewdness.
For a first-time crime novelist, the young author showed great PERCEPTION into the workings of the minds of both serial killers and the police who try to track them down.
Absorbed in my own thoughts, I walked all over town with little or no PERCEPTION of what was going on around me.
Keen PERCEPTION is the key to a keen memory.
PERCEPTIVE is an adjective that describes people who have the ability to understand or see things quickly and clearly, especially things that are not obvious. Synonyms include insightful, intuitive, observant, clear-sighted, astute, and clever. Some informal synonyms include on the ball, switched on, and with it. PERCEPTIVELY is the adverb form of PERCEPTIVE.
Be careful what you say in front of your children. Children these days are far more PERCEPTIVE than we give them credit for.
As a writer, I aspire to more than just writing clearly. My goal is to write more gracefully, more wittily, and more PERCEPTIVELY.
Instead, say professional treasure hunters, start SCOURING the ocean floor for shipwrecks.
To SCOUR in this sentence is used somewhat figuratively or metaphorically to mean to search a place thoroughly in order to find something. Some synonyms and phrases include comb, hunt through, sift through, and go through with a fine-tooth comb.
Our judges are currently SCOURING the country for new, young talent to showcase on the next season of American Teen Idol.
After weeks of SCOURING local second-hand shops, my daughter and I finally found the perfect dress for her to wear for her role in her middle school’s production of My Fair Lady.
Kenny SCOURED his apartment for ages but could not find his car keys anywhere!
My neighbors the Alcott sisters SCOURED the Internet looking for any information that could link their ancestry to American literary icon Louisa May Alcott.
Millions of dollars have been spent SCOURING a six-thousand-mile stretch of the Indian Ocean for signs of the lost airplane, but Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 is still listed as “missing.”
But SCOUR in its most literal usage (it comes from the Latin word for “clean” or “cure”) means to clean the surface of something by rubbing it with a rough or hard material. Scrub and polish are the nearest synonyms.
With this new Miracle Cleanser, you’ll never have to SCOUR another greasy, blackened pot or pan ever again.
As part of their disciplinary training, Japanese elementary pupils must SCOUR the school’s floors with a heavy brush almost every day.
Before we moved out of our apartment, we SCOURED the oven, the stovetop, and all the other kitchen appliances with Brillo pads and toothbrushes.
If you’re thinking about participating in the annual Tough Mudder Mud Race, you’ll need more than just a washcloth to SCOUR all the mud off of your skin afterwards.
Soon after Christopher Columbus’s first voyage to the Americas in 1492, the entire New World itself became a treasure trove of sorts, a BOUNTIFUL source of tobacco, silk, spices, sugar, silver, gold, gems, and other precious commodities.
In the sentence above, BOUNTIFUL is an adjective that means large in quantity. Abundant, plentiful, and inexhaustible are the nearest synonyms.
Vermont apple growers report that we can expect a BOUNTIFUL apple crop this year because the weather this summer has been ideal for growing.
Those who frequent Grandma Jo’s Diner in Hackensack, New Jersey, say the food is both delicious and BOUNTIFUL.
For avid skiers, a BOUNTIFUL snowfall at the end of November is a big reason to celebrate.
Since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, archaeological looting has destroyed much of the country’s BOUNTIFUL historical treasures and national archives.
BOUNTIFUL also means generous and unselfish, as in these examples.
Although he was not a wealthy man himself, Vicar Michael was exceedingly BOUNTIFUL to his parishioners and other members of the small village community.
The noun BOUNTY, on which BOUNTIFUL is based, is sometimes used to mean generosity, as in:
Thanks to our mysterious benefactor’s BOUNTY, the school can now afford to buy the computers we need for our new coding course.
And BOUNTY can also refer to nature’s generosity.
The first settlers in North America were awed by the almost limitless BOUNTY of the land.
By the 1560s, the Spanish government had INSTITUTED a convoy system, called the Treasure Fleet, to guarantee the safe transport of these invaluable items and to keep them out of the hands of … you guessed it—pirates.
In the sentence above, INSTITUTE is a verb that means to introduce or establish a new system, scheme, or policy. Start, initiate, put in place, set up, launch, and set in motion are some good equivalents.
After the high school’s administration INSTITUTED a new, stricter dress code, students demonstrated their anger by showing up to classes in pajamas.
In February 1942, during World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt INSTITUTED a year-round Daylight Saving Time called “War Time,” which lasted until the last Sunday in September 1945.
New company managers tend to INSTITUTE new policies and rules in the workplace as a way to exercise their power and show that they are in charge.
As far as I’m concerned, all movie theaters should INSTITUTE a complete cell-phone ban during show times and fine anyone caught using one.
(In formal writing, the noun form, INSTITUTION, is often used to mean beginning or inception, like this:
The INSTITUTION of Tokyo’s new laws for bicycle riders began on June 1, but the laws are still rarely enforced.)
The verb INSTITUTE also means to begin legal proceedings in court, as in:
Peter contacted his lawyer and INSTITUTED divorce proceedings when he learned that his wife had secretly racked up thousands of dollars in credit-card debt.
Dissatisfied with the judge’s ruling, the defense attorney intends to INSTITUTE an appeal for his client.
INSTITUTE is also a noun that refers to an organization with a particular purpose. Most INSTITUTES are connected to education, science, or a specific profession. The building used by an INSTITUTE is also called an INSTITUTE, as in the third example below. Organization, establishment, institution, academy, society, circle, and fellowship are some synonyms.
Phoebe’s aspirations of attending an art INSTITUTE to study interior design were realized when she was awarded a full scholarship to Cornish College in Seattle.
For Melina, teaching children from disadvantaged, inner-city neighborhoods proved to be more satisfying than working for a private research INSTITUTE.
I have a meeting at the INSTITUTE at 3:00, so why don’t I meet you in the lobby at 2:30?
The noun form INSTITUTION has a couple of other uses. Firstly, like INSTITUTE above, an INSTITUTION is a large, important organization such as a university, bank, or foundation that has a particular purpose.
Someday, Angela hopes to work in the National Design Museum of the Smithsonian INSTITUTION.
Educational INSTITUTIONS are often exempt from having to pay service tax.
We require all our teachers to hold a degree from an established higher-education INSTITUTION and do not consider candidates with degrees from on-line colleges.
An INSTITUTION is also a building where people with special needs, such as someone with a mental illness or physical disorder, are taken care of.
Recent studies have revealed that only about four percent of the country’s over-60s live in INSTITUTIONS that provide round-the-clock care.
Girl, Interrupted is a best-selling memoir by American author Susanna Kaysen about her experiences as a teenager in a mental-health INSTITUTION during the 1960s.
Finally, an INSTITUTION is sometimes used informally to refer to a well-established and familiar person, object, entity, or custom. It means something similar to icon or giant.
You must know who Oprah Winfrey is. She’s an INSTITUTION in the talk-show world and one of America’s most recognizable faces.
Marks and Spencer is a British INSTITUTION, but the iconic retailer has faced troubled times in recent years.
But the weather often proved to be a more FORMIDABLE foe.
Someone or something that is FORMIDABLE inspires fear or respect because that person or thing is impressively large, powerful, intense, or challenging. Intimidating, daunting, and foreboding are some good substitutes. Look at the following examples.
Although he was quiet and withdrawn in the classroom, in debate, Damon was a FORMIDABLE and worthy opponent.
During the 1800s, American settlers moving westward over the Rocky Mountains had to overcome many FORMIDABLE obstacles.
The President faces the FORMIDABLE task of persuading his cabinet to approve his new gun-control bill.
Learning 300 characters in time for my Japanese Kanji final exam is a FORMIDABLE assignment, but I am determined to master them.
Asking a girl out on a date has always been a FORMIDABLE challenge for Leonard, who suddenly turns shy and tongue-tied around women.
Pirate and other ships rushed to the site to get in on the initial SALVAGE.
In the sentence above, SALVAGE is a noun that refers to the rescue of a damaged or disabled ship and its cargo from loss at sea. The cargo saved from a wrecked or sunken ship is also called SALVAGE. Rescue and recovery are the closest equivalents.
The SALVAGE operation had to be called off due to bad weather conditions.
Jonah left his job to start a company that specializes in maritime SALVAGE, ship repairs, and commercial diving services.
There’s a museum in Cape Cod that exhibits SALVAGE collected from the pirate Captain Black Sam Bellamy’s sunken ship Whydah.
SALVAGE taken from the ship that sank in the river was auctioned off over the weekend.
SALVAGE also refers to any act of saving something that has been or is likely to be damaged or lost, as in:
Thanks to a new medical procedure, Hank’s surgery was a success and resulted in the SALVAGE of his damaged heart.
As a verb, SALVAGE means to save a ship, aircraft, or other property damaged in a fire, flood, or other accident from further damage or loss by saving parts, cargo, or property. Rescue and recover are some good synonyms.
The Coast Guard diving team is trying to SALVAGE some of the cargo from the ship that sank off the coast of Texas.
Investigators were able to SALVAGE the flight recorder from the wreckage of the airplane that crashed into the Cascade Mountains.
We were only able to SALVAGE a few photographs and books from our home before an electrical fire burnt it to the ground.
Grant discarded most of his daughter Jessica’s things after she ran away from home, but his wife Melanie managed to SALVAGE two boxes of the girl’s most precious belongings.
SALVAGE also means to stop a bad situation from being a complete failure. Retain, preserve, and win back are some good substitutes.
There was nothing Robert could do or say to SALVAGE his relationship with his son, whom he’d abandoned many years ago.
If Manchester United wants to SALVAGE this season and be in the running for this year’s cup, they’ll have to up their game and win the next twelve matches.