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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: 30 December 2014

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‘The Interview’ Tops Charts on Christmas Day

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • assassination: planned murder (especially of an important figure)
  • top the charts: to rank first in a listing
  • hacker: a computer specialist who breaks into the back end of a computer network in order to steal private information
  • confidential: private
  • cyberattack: an online security attack

‘The Interview’ Tops Charts on Christmas Day

‘The Interview’, a by Sony Pictures about the assassination of North Korea’s leader, topped the charts on Christmas Day after being unconventionally online and in a of independent theatres. The traditional release of the film was cancelled after hackers Sony’s computer systems last month and released emails and other confidential information. The hackers also threatened to attack major theatres that showed the film, causing Sony to cancel traditional release. North Korea has denied involvement in the cyber attacks.

Comprehension Questions

    1. What is ‘The Interview’ about?
    2. Why did major theatres decide not to show the film?
    3. What was North Korea’s response following the cyber attacks?

Discussion Questions: Who do you think is behind ‘The Interview’ cyber attacks? Do you think this whole thing could be a publicity stunt by Sony? Will the unconventional release of this film be the new norm?

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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