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: 19 August 2014

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Robin Williams Had Parkinson’s Disease

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • Parkinson’s disease: a disease of the brain that slowly affects the nervous system and movement
  • depression: an illness in which a person feels hopeless and inadequate
  • circulate: to go around and reach many people
  • fall off the wagon: to start drinking or using alcohol again; to return to a bad habit (or stop a good one)
  • sober: not using alcohol (or drugs)
  • tribute: words or gestures of respect and honour

Robin Williams Had Parkinson’s Disease

In addition to battling depression, Robin Williams had been recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s . His wife, Susan Schneider, revealed this news when began to circulate that the actor, who struggled with alcohol and drug , may have fallen off the wagon. Schneider insisted that Robin Williams was sober, but was suffering from depression that was possibly related to the recent diagnosis. The world-famous comedian committed suicide and was found dead in his home on August 11, 2014. Tributes from fans, friends, and loved ones continue to social media networks.

Comprehension Questions

    1. According to his wife, what was Robin Williams diagnosed with before he committed suicide?
    2. Why did his wife reveal this information to the media?
    3. Why does the reading mention social media networks?

Discussion Questions: What can be done to help people with depression?

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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