A. Listen to six people who live in New York talking about life there. Match the speakers to the things they talk about. Which speakers are negative?




gun culture



B. Listen again and complete the notes for each speaker with examples that they give.

1   Yannis from Greece

●   on the subway you see different ________ and hear different ________

●   nobody is surprised if you have a ________ ________

2   Cristina from Croatia

●   the game is too ________ – didn’t understand the ________

●   the atmosphere is too ________

3   Louisa from the USA

●   easy to:

        change your ________ ________

        renew your ________ ________

4   Laura from the USA

●   in Germany, no one helped her with her ________ at the ________ ________

●   in the USA, people ________ ________ for you, and carry things up the stairs in the ________

5   Peter from the UK

●   as an immigrant you can ________ ________ that you couldn’t get back home

●   likes the entrepreneurial ________

6   Sarah from the UK

●   in Europe, people don’t want to ________ ________ themselves

●   it’s up to the police to ________ ________of people and make sure everyone is ________



Speaker 1   multiculturalism  

Speaker 2   sport

Speaker 3   bureaucracy

Speaker 4   helpfulness

Speaker 5   opportunity

Speaker 6   gun culture

Speakers 2 (Cristina) and 6 (Sarah) are negative.


1   faces, accents, strange surname

2   complicated, rules, aggressive

3   phone company, driver’s licence

4   bag, luggage carousel, open doors, subway

5   get jobs, spirit

6   own guns, take care, safe


1   Yannis

Um, so I’ve lived in New York for, uh, twelve years now, and one thing that I think I will always appreciate is the diversity of the place and the people. And every time I go away, it’s so nice to come back here and…and be on the subway and see all the different faces and hear different accents. Erm, and, you know, my English is pretty good, but I have never felt judged here, you know, for having a foreign accent, and nobody is surprised, you know, if you have a strange surname, um, or if you sound different. I have never felt that. And I could say that sometimes in Europe, I did, so… This is one thing that I will always appreciate about living here.

2   Cristina

Um, one thing that, um, I don’t particularly like here is the culture around American football. And maybe this has something to do with me being European and liking, uh, European football – or soccer – um, more than American football. And I did try, um, but I think, uh, the game is way too complicated – though I tried to understand the rules. And I find the atmosphere around American football, I…I just…I find it a bit too aggressive? For example, recently the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl and, um, the celebrations, so to speak, if we can call them celebrations, were more like riots.

3   Louisa

I know from having travelled a lot and having lived overseas, having an Italian husband, it’s very complicated to get sort of bureaucratic tasks done in places like Italy. So I think the one thing that I like most about living in the United States is that things are pretty easy to do, and even living in a big city, it’s, um, it’s easy to get things done. So it’s pretty easy to, you know, change your phone company, and it’s easy to renew your driver’s licence.

4   Laura

Um, something that I like about America is that I find people are very keen to help, even without being asked. ’cause I lived in Germany for four years and I remember every time I flew there, at the airport, I would always really struggle to get my bag off the luggage carousel and no one would ever help me. And every time I flew back home to the US, immediately someone would come over and offer to help. And I’ve noticed the same thing with opening doors, with helping people carry things up the stairs in the subway.

5   Peter

Something I really like about America is the sense of opportunity here. Um, I feel like, as a new immigrant, I’ve been able to come into the country and get jobs that I couldn’t get back home in the UK because I don’t think I would have had the same opportunities there. I think that you can move here and make something of yourself very quickly, and I really like the sort of entrepreneurial spirit there is here – um, the feeling that if you have a good idea and you work hard, you can be successful. I think it really is the land of opportunity, and I really like that.

6   Sarah

I’ve lived in the US for three years, and something that I really dislike about American culture has to be the fascination with guns. Er, growing up in the UK – growing up in Europe – I’ve never seen people really want to own guns themselves. For me, it’s up to the police to take care of people and to make sure everyone’s safe. I can’t understand why a civilian would want to own their own gun and keep it in their house. For me, that means that the country is less safe, not more safe, so that’s something I don’t think I’ll ever be able to understand.

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