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: 22 March 2017

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Sesame Street Introduces Muppet with Autism

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • Sesame Street: an educational children’s program with puppets and actors that is set in a model neighbourhood
  • Muppet: a puppet character inspired by Jim Henson’s The Muppet Show
  • comfortable in one’s own skin: comfortable with one’s self, does not try to be or act like someone else
  • autism spectrum: a brain development disorder with a wide range of conditions related to social interaction and communication
  • puppeteer: a person who performs the voice and actions of a puppet
  • thrilled: very happy
  • debut: first appearance

Sesame Street Introduces Muppet with Autism

Sesame Street is welcoming a new named Julia, the first Muppet with autism. of the popular television series hope Julia’s character will help young children understand and become more accepting of a variety of behaviours associated with autism. They also hope Julia will help kids with autism feel more in their own skin. In the US, approximately 1 in 68 children is on the autism spectrum. Julia’s puppeteer has a son with autism and is thrilled that Sesame Street has decided to add this character to its show. Julia has already appeared in some Sesame Street , but she will make her TV debut this April.

Comprehension Questions

  1. Who is Julia?
  2. Why did Sesame Street TV introduce this character?
  3. What does the report say about Juia’s puppeteer?

Discussion Questions: Sesame Street has always tried to represent the human experience in its neighbourhood. What other human experiences need representation on Sesame Street? Is there a danger of stereotyping when it comes to characters like Julia?

show Answers

Written and recorded 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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