Exercise 1

1. Listen to the stories of the two people. Which information did you already know?

2. Listen again. Are these sentences true about Rivaldo (R), Stallone (S) or both men (B)?

___  His life was difficult when he was young.

___  At one time in his life, he couldn’t afford to buy food.

___  He sold something that he loved.

___  He wanted to forget about his career after a sad event.

___  He was still poor after he got the job he wanted.

___  Some people did not believe he could be a big star.

___  His success happened very suddenly.

___  He cared about something else more than money.



1   B – Rivaldo – health; Stallone – divorced parents, trouble at school

2   B – Rivaldo – didn’t have enough to eat; Stallone – not enough money to feed dog

3   S – his dog

4   R – his father died

5   R – had to walk to work

6   B – Rivaldo – his coach did not believe he could get fit enough to be a star; Stallone – studio didn’t think he’d be a success

7   S – when he appeared in his own film

8   B – The answer is debatable. Rivaldo wanted to succeed for his father, not the money. Stallone paid $3,000 to get his dog back.


The subject of this week’s one-minute inspiration is Brazilian footballer, Rivaldo. Rivaldo came from a very poor family. They didn’t have enough to eat and so, growing up, he had some serious health problems. As a teenager, he spent his days on the beach, he sold souvenirs to tourists in the morning and played football in the evening.

Rivaldo got on very well with his father, who was sure that one of his three sons would become a professional footballer. But when Rivaldo was only 16, his father died in a car crash. Rivaldo wanted to give up football and didn’t play for a month, but his mother told him he should make his father’s dream come true.

Later that year, he got an offer to join Paulistano, a small football club in his home town. He didn’t get paid much and he sometimes had to walk 15 kilometres to go to training, because he did not have enough money for the bus. He worked very hard at the club but, because of his health problems, his coach did not believe he could get fit enough to be a star.

But Rivaldo proved the coach wrong and became one of the best footballers in the world. He played for Brazil, and helped them to win the 2002 World Cup. He also played for Barcelona, who paid a 26-million-dollar transfer fee for him. Rivaldo dedicates his success to his father who he says was always with him.

One-minute inspiration this week comes straight from Hollywood. Sylvester Stallone grew up in a poor neighbourhood in New York. He had a difficult childhood and, after his parents got divorced, he got into trouble at school. When he left school, he managed to get a degree before looking for work in films.

But Stallone couldn’t get regular work as an actor. In 1975, he was at his poorest. He had got married and his wife was going to have a baby. He got a job at a cinema and another at a zoo to pay the bills, but he didn’t even have enough money to feed his dog. Instead, he sold his dog for $50 to a man outside a shop and walked away crying.

Two weeks later, he was watching a boxing match and he had an idea. In just 20 hours he wrote the script for Rocky. Then he tried to sell it. Amazingly, he got an offer of $325,000 from a film studio but he said no! He told the studio he wanted to play Rocky in the movie, but the studio didn’t think the film would be successful if he did.

In the end, the studio agreed to let him star, but they only paid him $35,000 for the script. As soon as he got paid, Stallone went to see the man he sold his dog to and gave him $3,000 to get it back!

The rest is movie history. Rocky was a big hit. It was nominated for ten Oscars and Stallone got rich and became a star.

Exercise 2

1. Listen to Part 1. Answer the questions.

 Why has Leo gone to the doctor?

 When did the problem start?

2. Listen to Part 1 again. What other information does the doctor get from Leo about his back problem?



1   His back hurts. / He has backache.

2   three/four days ago


it’s very painful

he can’t get to sleep

where it hurts

he hasn’t had an accident

he hasn’t hurt it playing sport

it hurts all the time

he’s spent the last few days in bed

he feels exhausted


Part 1


LEO   Yes.

R   Dr Evans is ready to see you.

 Thank you.

DOCTOR   Come in . . . Please, take a seat. So, what’s the problem?

L   Well, my back hurts. It’s very painful. And I can’t get to sleep.

D   I see. And when did this problem start?

L   About three or four days ago.

D   Hmm. And where does it hurt? Could you show me?

L   Here. This area.

D   Can I have a look?

L   Sure.

D   So, does it hurt here? And here?

L   Yes. Not so much.

D   And here?

L   Yes!

D   And here?

L   Yes!

D   OK. You can sit down again.


D   Have you had any accidents recently?


D   And you haven’t hurt your back in any way? Playing sport, that kind of thing.

 No, no. Nothing.

D   OK.

 I’m quite worried about it. It hurts all the time – when I walk, when I sit down. I’ve spent the last few days in bed. And I feel exhausted.

D   OK. Well, I don’t think it’s anything to worry about.

 Phew. That’s good to hear.

3. Which treatments do you think the doctor will suggest for Leo? Put a ✓ or a ✗. Then listen to Part 2 and check your ideas.

1   stay in bed

2   do the things you normally do

3   stay in the same position for a long time

4   do some exercise

5   take pills for the pain

4. Listen again. Are sentences 1-6 true (T) or false (F)? Correct the false sentences.

1   Leo is going to the gym a lot at the moment.

2   Leo sits down a lot for his job.

3   Leo isn’t taking anything for the pain.

4   Leo has to take two pills every two hours.

5   Leo shouldn’t take more than 24 pills in a day.

6   Leo might need to see the doctor again in a week.



1 ✗   2 ✓   3 ✗   4 ✓   5


1   F (Leo is busy, so he hasn’t been recently.)

2   T

3   F (Leo is taking some aspirin.)

4   F (Leo should take the pills only when he needs them.)

5   F (Leo shouldn’t take more than eight pills in a day.)

6   T


Part 2

DOCTOR   OK. Well, I don’t think it’s anything to worry about.

LEO   Phew. That’s good to hear.

D   But you shouldn’t stay in bed – that’s not going to help.

 Oh dear. Really?

D   No – try to do all the things you normally do, but gently. Don’t stay in the same position for a long time. Maybe go for a short walk.

 OK. That sounds fine.

D   Do you do any exercise?

 Well, I usually go to the gym, but I haven’t been recently. I’m very busy at work at the moment and I just don’t have the time.

 I see. And do you spend a lot of time sitting down at work?

L   Yes, I do. I work in an office, so I spend a lot of time at my computer.

 Right. It’s really important, if you spend a lot of time at a desk in an office, to take regular breaks. And you’ll need to start doing exercise again. When you feel ready.

 OK. Breaks, exercise. Fine.

D   Are you taking anything for the pain?

 Yes, I’ve taken some aspirin.

D   OK, good. And do you have any allergies?

 No, I don’t think so.

D   Good. Well, I’ll give you a prescription for something a bit stronger.

 OK, that’s great.

D   Take these, but only when you need them, after food. No more than two every four hours.


D   And don’t take any more than eight in a 24-hour period.


D   And come back again in a week’s time if it doesn’t improve. I expect you’ll feel a lot better by then anyway.

L   OK, thanks very much.

 I really don’t think it’s anything to worry about.

L   What a relief! Bye.

 Bye now.

Exercise 3

1. Listen to Jeff, Silvia and Lucas. What change did each person try to make? Were they successful?

2. Listen again. Complete the table.





What was their problem?




How did the problem happen?




What did they change?




What was/is the result of the change?






Jeff: stop spending so much money; yes

Silvia: do exercise / get fit; yes

Lucas: get/stay in touch with old friends; yes


 Jeff – needed to save some money;

     Silvia – was unfit;

     Lucas – didn’t have many friends

 Jeff – spent too much, going out for dinner, buying clothes and the latest phone;

     Silvia – didn’t do enough exercise;

     Lucas – friends got married or moved overseas, he was lazy about keeping in touch

3   Jeff – eats at home, asks himself if needs something before buying it;

     Silvia – started going to a dance class;

     Lucas – started to get in touch with old friends

4   Jeff – saved almost £5,000;

     Silvia – fitter, lost weight;

     Lucas – now people call him


PRESENTER   My name’s Jenny Jackson and today we’re talking about how to change your life. In the studio with us today, we have three people who have made changes in their lives: Jeff, Silvia, and Lucas. Hi guys, welcome to the show.


P   So first of all, Jeff. Can you tell us what your problem was? Why did you need to make a change?

JEFF   Well … one day I suddenly realised that if I wanted to buy a new car or my own apartment, I needed to save some money.

P   I see. Why didn’t you have any money?

 Well. I used to spend a lot of money on things that I didn’t really need. So, for example, I used to go out for dinner at a restaurant at least four times a week. I loved getting new things – like, you know, the latest phone, clothes … One weekend I sat down and added up the money I had spent in a month … I was shocked.

P   I can imagine. So what have you changed?

J   Well, now I eat at home most of the time. And I think ‘do I need this?’ before I buy something new. I’ve saved almost £5,000. I’m really pleased with myself.

P   Cool. That’s great. Next up we have Silvia. Silvia, tell us about your change.

SILVIA   Hi, Jenny. Well, my story began when one day I had to walk up a hill. When I got to the top, it was difficult to breathe. I was so unfit! The problem is I really hate most kinds of exercise – you know, running, cycling, swimming … Then this friend said, ‘Why don’t you come to a dance class?’ The first time was so hard, I had to sit down and rest. But … but I enjoyed it … So I went back again … and again. And very slowly I’m getting fitter and losing weight. I climbed that hill again last week – easy!

P   That’s great, Silvia. I really need to get fit myself! Anyhow, last up we have Lucas. Hi, Lucas.


P   So, Lucas, what did you need to change?

L   Well, about six months ago I realised that I had a very small number of friends. But if I thought back … well, seven, eight years ago I used to have a lot of friends. And I asked myself, why is that? Well, some of them got married and had children and their lives sort of went in another direction. And a couple of friends got job offers overseas. But when I thought about it a bit more, well, another answer was I’m a bit lazy – lazy about keeping in touch with people.

 I see. So what did you do about it?

 So, I started to get in touch with my old friends. And then, after that, I had to stay in contact and arrange to meet them again. Now I find that people call me! And the great thing is we still enjoy the things that we used to.

P   Well, thanks so much, guys, for sharing your story with us. It just shows that we can all make that change if we decide to do it!

Exercise 4

1. Listen to the conversation. Complete the table with the names in the box.

Dale George       Lisa Baker       Martin Dowd

Mike Andrews       Stephen Downes




20 years ago












good looking

overweight and unhealthy



didn’t like

is married to the person




he didn’t like

2. Listen to the conversation again and complete the sentences. Write one word in each space.

1   Stephen Downes used to be _________ to Jenny Robertson.

 Jenny wanted Stephen to stop _________ and _________ coffee.

 Lisa Baker has _________ a lot of weight and is a lot _________ than she used to be.

4   Lisa is going to get _________ to a German man.

5   Mike Andrews is a lot _________ than he used to be.

 Dale George didn’t use to _________ Nicola Walker.


ORGANISER   Welcome to the Lindfield School Reunion – a chance for students who finished school 20 years ago to meet again. It’s great to see so many of our old classmates here and I hope that you will all have a brilliant evening. Drinks and dinner will be …

SEAN   I haven’t seen some of these people for at least 20 years. It’s funny to see how everyone has changed.

SARAH   I know. I was just talking to Stephen Downes. Do you remember him? He used to be really good looking. He was the most popular boy in our class.

SE   Yes, I remember Stephen. Is that him over there?

SA   Yes. He’s put on a lot of weight, hasn’t he? Apparently, he just got divorced from Jenny Robertson. She wanted him to go on a diet, and give up smoking and drinking coffee. But you know Stephen, he never liked doing what he was told.

SE   Yes, I remember! So he hasn’t changed that much then. Who’s that attractive slim woman he’s talking to? Isn’t it Lisa Baker?

SA   Yes, I was talking to her earlier. She used to be really overweight, didn’t she? She was telling me that she went on a diet and started getting ft about 10 years ago. She’s a lot more confident now and a lot healthier. She’s just got engaged to a man from Germany.

SE   I’m really pleased to hear that. I used to get on well with Lisa.

SA   Have you seen Mike Andrews yet? You know, little Mike. He used to be really poor and always wore old clothes.

SE   Yes, of course.

SA   He arrived in a brand-new sports car. He started a computer company and got very rich. That’s him talking to Laura Docherty, Emma Alexander and Rachel Edwards.

SE   Wow! He looks great. And he seems to be a lot more popular than he used to be!

SA   Ha, yes. Oh wow, look who’s just arrived! It’s Dale George. With Nicola Walker.

SE   Yes, I saw they’d got together on Facebook. It’s funny. They used to hate each other.

SA   I know. They used to fight and argue all the time. They look really happy now.

SE Yeah. Oh, and what about Martin Dowd? Is he coming? I remember you used to really like him.

SA   Yes, he was very popular. I got in touch with him last month to see if he was going to come. Unfortunately, he couldn’t. He’s getting married this weekend.

SE   Again? Is that his third marriage?

SA   Yes, that’s right. Well, he used to have lots of girlfriends at school. I think he went out with five of the girls in our class.

SE   Well, some people never change.

SA   Yes, that’s true.

O   And now, ladies and gentlemen, please take your seats for dinner.

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