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Dateline: 1 August 2008

Story #1

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #1: Twins Join 'Brangelina' family
Angelina Jolie, movie star wife of Brad Pitt, gave birth to twins this July at a clinic in France. Pitt was by his wife's side when son Knox and daughter Vivienne were delivered by Caesarean section. The famous couple a few years ago that they wanted a big family. Pitt and Jolie already have a daughter together as well as three adopted children from Cambodia, Ethiopia, and . The Oscar winning mom and her new babies managed to out of the hospital without catching the attention of the Paparazzi who were outside.

Comprehension Questions: Story #1

  1. Which famous couple gave birth to twins this July?
  2. How many children do the couple have now?
  3. What were some photographers doing while the mother and babies were in the hospital?
Discussion Question:
Pitt and Jolie have reportedly sold the first photo rights of the twins to an American magazine for 11 million dollars. The money will be donated to charity. Do you agree with this decision?

Story #2

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #2: Higher Gas Prices Saving Lives
US researchers good news this July, after finding that motor vehicle fatalities had plummeted in the past few months. Researchers believe that the dramatic reduction in is directly related to the high cost of oil and the fact that people are driving . In the last few months death rates have fallen from 10-30 percent in numerous states, a trend that is reminiscent of the 1970's Arab oil embargo. Unnecessary travel, including late night trips to buy alcohol, are likely contributing to the motor vehicle fatality in the US, which had been fairly static for the past years.

Comprehension Questions: Story #2

  1. What has drastically reduced recently in the US as a result of higher gas prices?
  2. According to the article, what has fallen by 10-30% in the last few months?
  3. What past event had a similar effect on motor vehicle statistics?
Discussion Question: Do you think gas prices will continue to rise worldwide? Why or why not? How will this affect driving habits in your country?

Story #3

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #3: 'Last Lecture' Professor Dies
Randy Pausch, an professor who inspired millions to live their best life via a YouTube video, died this July. In September , Pausch who was battling pancreatic cancer, was told he had six months to live. Pausch used this news to promote the importance of living. His "last lecture," which was intended for students at Carnegie Mellon university, quickly became a YouTube sensation. Pausch used humour and real life examples to his students to achieve their childhood dreams. Besides being a professor, and a father of three, Pausch was a virtual reality pioneer. One of his most famous is, "I'm dying and I'm having fun."

Comprehension Questions: Story #3

  1. Where did most people hear the 'last lecture'?
  2. What did Randy Pausch die from?
  3. What was the main goal of the 'last lecture'?
Discussion Question: In the 'last lecture', Randy Pausch suggests that people need to decide whether they are going to be a Tigger or an Eeyore. Who are Tigger and Eeyore? (If you don't know do a little research.) Which character are you more like?

Story #4

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #4: Illegal Abortions May be Safer Online
Women who wish to end their unwanted pregnancies in countries where abortion is illegal are turning to the web. 'Women on Web' provides medication to women under ten weeks pregnant who live in over 70 countries where abortions are illegal. In a recent review of "Women on Web" users, the majority expressed gratitude for the safe service. Some claimed that the medication saved them from using unsafe clinics where women often die. A minority required surgical procedures to complete their abortion. While the service worries many physicians, 'Women on Web' defends its success rate, saying that complications are similar to abortions that occur in outpatient settings.

Comprehension Questions: Story #4

  1. Who does 'Women on Web' provide service for?
  2. Why are many women thankful for this website?
  3. What do a minority of 'Women on Web' users require after they take the medication?
Discussion Question: According to the 'Women on Web' homepage, a woman dies from an illegal abortion every 7 minutes. Do you believe that a service such as 'Women on Web' is saving the lives of women who are seeking illegal abortions?

ANSWER CHECK

Story #1

Story #1: Twins Join Brangelina Family
Angelina Jolie, movie star wife of Brad Pitt, gave birth to twins this July at a clinic in southern France. Pitt was by his wife's side when son Knox and daughter Vivienne were delivered by Caesarean section. The famous couple admitted a few years ago that they wanted a big family. Pitt and Jolie already have a daughter together as well as three adopted children from Cambodia, Ethiopia, and Vietnam. The Oscar winning mom and her new babies managed to slip out of the hospital without catching the attention of the Paparazzi who were camped outside.

Comprehension Answers: Story #1

  1. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt (often referred to as Brangelina) had twins this July.
  2. The couple has three of their own children and three adopted children.
  3. Many photographers were waiting outside the hospital in hopes of getting a photograph of the twins.

Story #2

Story #2: Higher Gas Prices Saving Lives
US researchers released good news this July, after finding that motor vehicle fatalities had plummeted in the past few months. Researchers believe that the dramatic reduction in car accidents is directly related to the high cost of oil and the fact that people are driving less. In the last few months death rates have fallen from 10-30 % in numerous states, a trend that is reminiscent of the 1970's Arab oil embargo. Unnecessary travel, including late night trips to buy alcohol, are likely contributing to the motor vehicle fatality rate in the US, which had been fairly static for the past 15 years.

Comprehension Answers: Story #2

  1. There has been a major reduction in car accidents in the US since gas prices have risen.
  2. Death rates have fallen 10-30% in the last few months.
  3. The Arab oil embargo in the 1970's also reduced car accidents and lowered death rates.

Story #3

Story #3: 'Last Lecture' Professor Dies
Randy Pausch, an American professor who inspired millions to live their best life via a YouTube video, died this July. In September 2007, Pausch who was battling pancreatic cancer, was told he had six months to live. Pausch used this news to promote the importance of joyful living. His "last lecture," which was intended for students at Carnegie Mellon university, quickly became a YouTube sensation. Pausch used humour and real life examples to encourage his students to achieve their childhood dreams. Besides being a professor, and a father of three, Pausch was a virtual reality pioneer. One of his most famous lines is, "I'm dying and I'm having fun."

Comprehension Answers: Story #3

  1. Most people heard the 'last lecture' on YouTube.
  2. Randy Pausch died of pancreatic cancer.
  3. The last lecture is an inspirational speech about achieving your childhood dreams.

Story #4

Story #4: Illegal Abortions May be Safer Online
Women who wish to end their unwanted pregnancies in countries where abortion is illegal are turning to the web. 'Women on Web' provides medication to women under ten weeks pregnant who live in over 70 countries where abortions are illegal. In a recent review of "Women on Web" users, the majority expressed gratitude for the safe service. Some claimed that the medication saved them from using unsafe clinics where women often die. A minority required surgical procedures to complete their abortion. While the service worries many physicians, 'Women on Web' defends its success rate, saying that complications are similar to abortions that occur in outpatient settings.

Comprehension Answers: Story #4

  1. 'Women on Web' provides medication for women who are under ten weeks pregnant and live in countries where abortion is illegal.
  2. Many women are thankful that they didn't have to go to unsafe illegal clinics for their abortions.
  3. A minority of users require surgical procedures to complete the abortion after taking the medication.