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: 24 January 2012

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Baby Boom Expected For Year Of The Dragon

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • mythical: not real; used in stories and legends
  • destined: promised a certain future before birth
  • postpone: to put off; to reschedule for a later time
  • conceive: to become pregnant
  • restriction: a rule or policy that limits or controls a person
  • foolish: not smart

Baby Boom Expected For Year Of The Dragon

The dragon, the only mythical in the Chinese zodiac, is considered to be the luckiest birth sign. According to the zodiac, those born in the Year of the Dragon are destined for and success. Since couples can only have a “dragon baby” every twelve years, many postpone or plan their pregnancies for this year. Those wishing to get pregnant will try to conceive by May 2nd, the suggested for having a dragon baby. Doctors in Hong Kong estimate that there could be 10% more babies born in Hong Kong compared to last year. Despite heavy restrictions and fines, many mothers try to give birth in Hong Kong. Some want to avoid China’s one child policy, while others want better quality services and education for their children. Teachers in mainland China say that trying to conceive this year is foolish since dragon babies will lose out on educational opportunities due to the expected.

Comprehension Questions

  1. Why is a baby boom expected in The Year of the Dragon?
  2. Why do many pregnant women from mainland China go to Hong Kong to give birth?
  3. Why do some teachers feel it is foolish to plan for a “dragon baby”?

Discussion Question: Many people become obsessed with the Chinese zodiac. They plan their lives around it. Why do you think some people take the zodiac more seriously than others?

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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