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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: 18 July 2018

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Obama Kicks Off 100th Birthday Celebration for Nelson Mandela

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • former: in the past
  • kick off: to start
  • legacy: something that was left or given from a person who lived before
  • bizarre: very strange
  • a positive note: a moment or statement that is hopeful rather than negative

Obama Kicks Off Mandela’s 100th Birthday Celebration

South and freedom fighters around the world celebrated the birth and life of Nelson Mandela this Wednesday. Mandela’s has been recognized as Mandela Day since 2010, but this year marked 100 years since the former South African president’s birth. Barack Obama kicked off the celebration in Johannesburg with a lecture reflecting on past and honouring Mandela’s legacy in promoting democracy and human rights. In Obama’s first major appearance since leaving office, he used the to comment on today’s “uncertain times,” calling the current news cycle “head-spinning and bizarre” and warning that human progress is at risk. Obama ended on a positive note, telling young people to “Keep . Keep marching. Keep building. Keep raising your voice.”

Comprehension Questions

  1. Why was Mandela Day special this year?
  2. What was the main topic of Obama’s lecture?
  3. How did Obama end his lecture in South Africa?

Discussion Question

At the Mandela Day event, Obama concluded that “Every generation has the opportunity to remake the world.” What can today’s youth do to make this world a better place for the next generation?

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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