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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 March 2011

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1 Million Books Given Away

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • committee: a group of people working on a project or goal
  • passionate: full of strong emotions
  • assassin: a person who targets and kills people; often kills for payment
  • circulate: to go around; to reach many
  • declining: decreasing
  • boost: something to help raise a person or thing to a higher level

1 Million Books Given Away for World Book Night

World Book Night took place across the UK and Ireland on March 5th. A committee of selected 25 titles to be handed out at the largest book give-away of all time. 20,000 passionate readers who won the book give-away were each given 48 books of a title to give away as they pleased. Volunteers handed out the remaining 40,000 books at various locations including prisons, hospitals, and shelters. A few independent book sellers expressed concern about the event, though most authors supported the literary cause. Margaret Atwood, whose book The Blind Assassin was one of the 25 given away, said that circulating books in this way would create new readers. Atwood joined several authors to read to over 10,000 people in London’s Trafalgar Square as part of the literary event. Organizers hope World Book Night will around the world, and give the declining book industry the boost it needs.

Comprehension Questions

  1. Where did this event take place?
  2. Who gave away the books?
  3. Who was opposed to this literary event?

Discussion Question: Some writers and publishers fear that bookstores and libraries are going to continue to close down just as music stores have. Do you think ebooks and audiobooks are going to kill bookstores?

show Answers

Written 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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