photo Tara Benwell Listen to News with Tara Benwell - Instructions:
1. Preview the vocabulary and read the gapfill text.
2. Play the news report and try to fill in the blanks.
3. Answer the comprehension questions by writing full sentences.
4. Use the discussion question to write an essay or discuss the story with other students.
5. Click "show Answers" to see the full text.
6. Pretend to be a news anchor by reading each story out loud.

dateline: 08 February 2011

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Christina Aguilera Flubs Anthem at Superbowl

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • flub: to make a mistake
  • music icon: a person who represents the best of his or her genre; superstar
  • rampart: protective wall
  • gallantly: bravely
  • relentless: unforgiving
  • ream: to open a hole widely

Christina Aguilera Flubs Anthem at Superbowl

Christina Aguilera, one of America’s top music icons, flubbed the national anthem at the opening ceremony of Super Bowl XLV. Instead of “O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming,” she sang, “What so proudly we watched at the twilight’s last reaming.” Aguilera apologized to Americans saying that she got lost in the . The crowd cheered her on but Americans were relentless when criticizing her on the social media networks. After being chosen to be this year’s singer, Aguilera admitted that she had been the anthem since she was . Other singers who have flubbed the words of The Star Spangled Banner have called their experience one of life’s most embarrassing moments. The Superbowl is one of the most programs of the year on American television.

Comprehension Questions

  1. What did Christina Aguilera do wrong?
  2. How did Americans react?
  3. What does the report say about the popularity of this annual football game?

Discussion Question: Would a celebrity be excused for being “human” if this had happened at a public event in your country? What is your most embarrassing moment?

show Answers

Written and recorded by Tara Benwell for EnglishClub
Tara Benwell is a Canadian freelance writer and editor who specializes in materials and articles for the ELT industry.
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