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photo 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.

Putin Appears After Absence

dateline: 17 March 2015

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • absence: a period of time when a person is away or not seen
  • spark: to suddenly create or set off
  • rumour: an idea that spreads and is based on a guess or lie; not based on truth
  • speculate: to form a theory without evidence
  • cosmetic surgery: a surgical procedure to improve one’s appearance
  • gossip: casual conversations about other people’s lives

Putin Appears After Absence

After a mysterious absence, Vladimir Putin appeared in public in a meeting with Kyrgyzstan’s president. Russia’s president in good health, and there has been no explanation about his absence. His of a key meeting followed by an unusual absence from public view sparked many rumours last week. Some speculated that Putin was cosmetic surgery. Others suggested his young girlfriend had a baby. Many wondered if there had been a revolt inside the Kremlin, or if we was seriously ill or even dead. Putin did not comment on his , but said it would be boring without gossip.

Comprehension Questions

    1. What is the report mainly about?
    2. Name a few rumours that spread during Putin’s absence.
    3. How did the president respond about the rumours?

Discussion Questions: Do you think Putin’s absence was a publicity stunt, or do you think there was a legitimate reason for his absence? Why do you think this received so much attention in the media?

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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