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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: 09 June 2015

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The Decline of Voice Mail

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • convenient: making life easier
  • on the decline: not used or done as often as before
  • impolite: rude; not having good manners
  • retrieve: to get
  • time consuming: taking up a lot of one’s time
  • landline: a telephone phone service that transmits communication using physical cable wires

The Decline of Voice Mail

It wasn’t long ago that voice mail was considered a convenient that you could add to your home phone service in place of an . Today, this service is on the decline and is often considered inconvenient or even impolite. This is because retrieving voice mail is more time consuming than reading a or email. In addition, most mobile phone plans only offer minimal for voice mail, which causes a person’s inbox to fill up very quickly. Many people no longer use a landline in their home or office, and mobile phone users admit it often takes 24 hours or more before they check their voice mail. Tech experts say that if more phone service providers begin offering voice-to-text features, they may save voice mail from completely .

Comprehension Questions

  1. How has our opinion of voice mail changed in recent years?
  2. Why does a voice mail inbox fill up quickly on a mobile phone?
  3. What other phone feature might save voice mail from dying out completely?

Discussion Questions: Is the decline of voice mail a sign that spoken language is also at risk of dying out?

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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