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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: 12 October 2016

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Creepy Clown Hoax Becomes Epidemic

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • creepy: scary
  • hoax: joke, trick
  • epidemic: something that is spreading uncontrollably
  • incident: an event (often problematic)
  • prankster: one who plays a joke on someone else
  • no laughing matter: not funny

Creepy Clown Hoax Becomes Epidemic

A clown hoax that began in the United States is spreading across the globe and becoming an epidemic. of clowns trying to scare people began late this summer in South Carolina and are now being reported in Canada, the UK, and even . A number of incidents have been reported of clowns scaring children and even adults into and dark places. Some of the reports describe clowns that are holding and running up to cars. Professional clowns say the pranks are no laughing matter. Some pranksters have been down and even shot after trying to frighten people.

Comprehension Questions

  1. Where did the first clown hoaxes take place this year?
  2. What are the creepy clowns doing?
  3. Why is it dangerous to be a creepy clown?

Discussion Questions: Why are so many people afraid of clowns? Would you laugh or scream if a clown ran up to your car window?

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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