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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: 16 December 2014

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Hostage Situation Ends at Australia Cafe

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • take hostage: to hold innocent people in an area by force
  • customer: a person who supports a business
  • agitated: angry and uncomfortable with a situation
  • commando: a special forces officer who is trained to respond to highly dangerous situations

Hostage Situation Ends at Australia Cafe

A gunman entered a cafe in Sydney on Monday, and took 17 people hostage, including employees and customers. The lone gunman ordered some of the hostages to stand by the window and an Islamic flag. At least five escaped during the 16-hour ordeal. This caused the hostage taker to become extremely agitated. After night fell, commandos stormed the building and ended the siege. Two people, as well as the gunman were killed. The gunman was known to police and was out on bail despite a long history.

Comprehension Questions

    1. What type of establishment did the gunman take over, and where was it located?
    2. What does the report say about five of the hostages?
    3. How did the hostage-taking end?

Discussion Questions: This hostage-taker was reportedly out on bail despite a long history of violence. Should people with a long history of violence be considered guilty until proven innocent, rather than the other way around?

show Answers

Written 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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