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 December 2013

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Russian Punk Band Members Released

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • punk: an aggressive style of rock music that became popular in the 1970s
  • amnesty: the act of pardoning a group of prisoners
  • qualify: to be eligible to receive something; to meet the requirements
  • pardon: forgiveness

Russian Punk Band Members Released

Two female members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot have been released from prison following an amnesty law that passed in . The jailed women both had young children, which qualified them for the pardon. The women were serving a sentence for hooliganism after performing an anti-Putin piece in a Russian in 2012. Their case received attention from human rights activists. One of the band members told reporters that they did not ask for a pardon. She believes their early was meant to make Mr. Putin look good ahead of the Winter Olympics in Sochi this February.

Comprehension Questions

  1. Who was released from prison?
  2. Why was the prison release early?
  3. Why does the report mention the 2014 Olympics?

Discussion Question: These women were scheduled to be released in March 2014. Do you think their early release was likely planned to prevent protests during the Olympics? Why do protests often take place at the Olympic Games?

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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