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: 17 May 2011

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Kenya’s Marathon Star Falls to his Death

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • affectionately: with love and admiration
  • balcony: an enclosed platform surrounded by a railing
  • possess: to have or to own
  • suicidal: related to the killing of one’s own self on purpose
  • fame: the state of being known by many people; often comes with great wealth

Kenya’s Marathon Star Falls to his Death

Olympic champion and record setter Samuel Wanjiru, known affectionately around the world as “Sammy,” has died. Police says the 24-year-old marathon runner fell from a first-floor balcony at his home near . Whether or not the death was accidental is unknown. The marathon champion was recently accused of illegally possessing a and threatening to kill his wife, and was due in court on May 23rd. His , Federico Rosa, refuses to believe Sammy’s death could have been suicidal. After hearing the news, he told that “the world has lost the greatest runner in living history.” Wanjiru will be remembered for his record-setting gold medal win for at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Comprehension Questions

  1. What did people who loved this runner call him?
  2. Where did the athlete die?
  3. What will Sammy be remembered for?

Discussion Question: While the cause of death is uncertain, it was clear that Sammy was having personal problems related to his fame. What can society do to help young athletes deal with financial and social issues related to sudden fame?

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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