Monthly News Digest Online comes to you from EnglishClub.com Dateline: 1 September 2009

Story #1

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #1: Paula Abdul Quits American Idol
After on the panel of American Idol, Paula Abdul announced that she was the most popular show in America. The announcement came via Twitter, where Paula wrote "With sadness , I've decided not to return." Viewers had been speculating about whether or not Paula Abdul would stay with the show after a second female judge was added to the panel last year. Paula Abdul, who had been with the show since its debut, did not give any reasons for her to leave. The show will continue a new season with former judges, Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, and Kara DioGuardi. The host, Ryan Seacrest, also reportedly signed a dollar deal to stay on the show for the next 3 years.

Comprehension Questions: Story #1

  1. How long did Paula Abdul work on American Idol?
  2. Why did some people think that she might leave?
  3. What reason did Paula give for quitting the show?

Discussion Question:
Paula Abdul is known as the kind and nurturing judge on American Idol while Simon Cowell is known as the critical judge. Which is more important in a talent show, criticism or encouragement?

Story #2

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #2: South Korea Holds State Funeral for Former President
Over 20, 000 people gathered in to pay their respects to the former leader of South Korea, Mr Kim Dae Jung. Mr Kim died on after falling ill with pneumonia. A massive photo of Mr Kim, who was president from 1998-2003 was on display during the . This was only the second state funeral to ever have been held in South Korea. Mr Kim will be remembered as the first South Korean leader to meet North Korea's leader Kim Jong II since . In 2000, Mr Kim was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in relations with North Korea.

Comprehension Questions: Story #2

  1. Who was Mr Kim Dae Jung?
  2. What will Mr Kim be remembered for in history?
  3. What award did Mr Kim receive?

Discussion Question: Are state funerals common in your country? Who deserves a state funeral and why?

Story #3

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #3: Usain Bolt Victorious Again
Olympic pride and joy, Usain Bolt, broke world records for both the 100 and 200 race at the world championships in Germany this month. The city of honoured the sprinter by offering him a large piece of the original Berlin Wall. Painted on the large slab was his image alongside the words New WR. Following the competition, Usain Bolt told reporters that his in life was to be a legend in his sport. Bolt will reportedly donate the gift to his in Jamaica.

Comprehension Questions: Story #3

  1. Where were the world championships held?
  2. What gift was Usain Bolt given in honour of his achievement?
  3. What was Usain Bolt's dream in life?

Discussion Question: Usain Bolt broke his own world records which he set at the Beijing Olympics. Which do you think is more exciting to an athlete, breaking your own record or breaking someone else's record? Why?

Story #4

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #4: iPhones to be Sold in China
This August, Apple Inc. a deal with Chinese mobile carrier, China Unicom to bring the iPhone to China. China Unicom is China's largest mobile phone carrier, and currently serves approximately 140 million people. Talks between Apple and the world's largest mobile phone carrier, China Mobile Ltd (CML), broke down earlier this year. While CML has over 470 million users, China Unicom hopes the deal with Apple will increase its subscribers significantly. Reports suggest that when the iPhone goes on sale in China later this year it will comply with government regulations and have its WiFi functionality .

Comprehension Questions: Story #4

  1. How does China Unicom currently compare to China Mobile Ltd?
  2. What does China Unicom hope will happen in the future?
  3. What will likely be different about the iPhones sold in China?

Discussion Question: Do you think it is important for people to have access to the Internet at all times? Why or why not?


ANSWER CHECK

Story #1: Paula Abdul Quits American Idol
After 8 years on the panel of American Idol, Paula Abdul announced that she was quitting the most popular show in America. The announcement came via Twitter, where Paula wrote "With sadness in my heart, I've decided not to return." Viewers had been speculating about whether or not Paula Abdul would stay with the show after a second female judge was added to the panel last year. Paula Abdul, who had been with the show since its debut, did not give any reasons for her decision to leave. The show will continue a new season with former judges, Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, and Kara DioGuardi. The host, Ryan Seacrest, also reportedly signed a multi-million dollar deal to stay on the show for the next 3 years.

Comprehension Answers: Story #1

  1. Paula Abdul worked on the show for eight seasons.
  2. A new female judge was added to the panel last season.
  3. She did not give a reason for leaving the show.
Story #2: South Korea holds State Funeral for Former President
Over 20, 000 people gathered in Seoul to pay their respects to the former leader of South Korea, Mr Kim Dae Jung. Mr Kim died on August 18th after falling ill with pneumonia. A massive photo of Mr Kim, who was president from 1998-2003 was on display during the ceremony. This was only the second state funeral to ever have been held in South Korea. Mr Kim will be remembered as the first South Korean leader to meet North Korea's leader Kim Jong II since 1953. In 2000, Mr Kim was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in improving relations with North Korea.

Comprehension Answers: Story #2

  1. Mr. Kim dae Jung was president of South Korea from 1998-2003.
  2. He will be remembered for his talks with North Korean leader, Kim Jong II.
  3. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2000 for his efforts to improve relations with North Korea.
Story #3: Usain Bolt Victorious Again
Jamaica's Olympic pride and joy, Usain Bolt, broke world records for both the 100 and 200 metre race at the world championships in Germany this month. The city of Berlin honoured the sprinter by offering him a large piece of the original Berlin Wall. Painted on the large slab was his image alongside the words New WR. Following the competition, Usain Bolt told reporters that his goal in life was to be a legend in his sport. Bolt will reportedly donate the gift to his training camp in Jamaica.

Comprehension Answers: Story #3

  1. The world championships were held in Germany.
  2. Usain Bolt was given a decorated piece of the Berlin Wall.
  3. The sprinter's goal in life was to become a legend.
Story #4: iPhones to be Sold in China
This August, Apple Inc. reached a deal with Chinese mobile carrier, China Unicom to bring the iPhone to China. China Unicom is China's second largest mobile phone carrier, and currently serves approximately 140 million people. Talks between Apple and the world's largest mobile phone carrier, China Mobile Ltd (CML), broke down earlier this year. While CML currently has over 470 million users, China Unicom hopes the deal with Apple will increase its subscribers significantly. Reports suggest that when the third generation iPhone goes on sale in China later this year it will comply with government regulations and have its WiFi functionality removed.

Comprehension Answers: Story #4

  1. China Unicom is the second largest mobile phone carrier in China while China Mobile Ltd is the largest in the world.
  2. China Unicom hopes to get many more subscribers by offering the iPhone.
  3. The WiFi functionality of the third generation iPhone will likely be removed before being sold in China.