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: 09 April 2013

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Former UK PM Margaret Thatcher Dies

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • controversial: causing or involving a strong difference in opinion
  • radical: drastic; far from what people are accustomed to
  • Oscar: a US award related to film and acting, an Academy Award
  • proponent: a person who supports and promotes
  • free-market: an economic system with little government control

Former UK PM Margaret Thatcher Dies

Margaret Thatcher, also known as the “Iron Lady”, died on April 8th, at the age of . Thatcher, a daughter, achieved Britain’s highest political position, serving as from 1979 to 1990. She was a controversial political figure who was known for being a tough and radical leader with a strong character. Thatcher took office at the end of the Cold War, and US president Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. In 2011, Meryl Streep won an Oscar for her of Margaret Thatcher in the film The Iron Lady. Thatcher will be remembered for being the first female prime minister of Britain, and for being a strong proponent of the free-market.

Comprehension Questions

  1. During what era did Margaret Thatcher become Britain’s leader?
  2. Why does the reading mention an actress?
  3. How did Margaret Thatcher die?

Discussion Question: Many people have described Margaret Thatcher as an “intimidating” political figure. Do you know someone who is intimidating? Are you personally intimidated by this person? What techniques are used to intimidate people?

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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