A. You are going to listen to the first part of a radio news programme. Read a newspaper article about the same incident. The article got eight details wrong. Listen to the news programme again and correct the mistakes.

15-year-old girl found asleep on crane

Yesterday a 15-year-old girl was discovered lying on top of a 30-metre-high crane. A passer-by saw her when he was walking past a building site in Dulwich, south-west London, and immediately called the fire brigade. The police and fire brigade arrived at 1.30 in the morning. At first they thought the girl was suicidal but when a fireman climbed up the crane he realized she was drunk. The fireman crawled along the arm of the crane and carefully put a safety harness on the girl. Then the girl used her mobile phone to call her parents, who came quickly to the building site. The rescue took two hours and the girl was brought safely down from the crane on a ladder.

After talking to her parents, the police discovered that the girl had been sleepwalking. She had left her house during the night, and had been able to get into the building site because the security guard was asleep. Her parents said that it wasn’t the first time that she had sleepwalked, and that she had left the house on several other occasions.


1   a 40-metre-high crane (not 30)

2   Dulwich, south-east London (not south-west)

3   The man called the police (not the fire brigade).

4   The fireman realized the girl was asleep (not drunk).

5   The fireman called the girl’s parents (not the girl herself).

6   The rescue took two and a half hours (not two).

7   The security guard wasn’t asleep (he was watching TV).

8   The girl had never left the house before when she was sleepwalking (not on several other occasions).


And finally on News Today the amazing story of a teenager who woke up this morning and discovered that she wasn’t in bed – she was lying on top of a 40-metre-high crane!

In the early hours of this morning a man on his way to work was passing a building site in Dulwich, South-East London when he spotted the 15-year-old girl lying on the arm of the crane. He immediately called the police on his mobile phone. The police and fire brigade arrived on the scene at 1.30 and at first they were worried that the girl might be intending to commit suicide by throwing herself off the crane. But when a fireman climbed up the crane, he could see that the girl was asleep.

The fireman realized that it could be very dangerous if the girl woke up suddenly. So he crawled along the 21-metre arm of the crane and carefully wrapped the girl in a safety harness before waking her up gently. The girl had a mobile phone with her and the fireman was able to call her parents, who came to the building site straight away. Finally, the girl was brought down from the crane on a ladder.

The whole rescue operation had taken two and a half hours. Her parents were waiting for her on the ground and obviously they were very relieved to see her safe and well. The question everyone wanted to know was ‘why did the girl go to sleep on the top of a crane?’ Well, the answer is that she had been sleepwalking! She had walked out of her house during the night without her parents noticing and sleepwalked to the building site. There was a security guard but he didn’t see her climbing the crane because he was watching TV. The girl’s parents told the police that this wasn’t the first time that she had sleepwalked but that she had never left the house before.

B. You are going to listen to the second half of the programme. Listen and mark the sentences T (true) or F (false). Correct the false statements.

 A sleepwalker can drive a car while he is asleep.

 It is easy to know if someone is sleepwalking or not.

 Sleepwalking is quite uncommon.

 Sleepwalking is most common among young boys.

 Stress can cause people to sleepwalk.

 You should never wake up a sleepwalker.

 A sleepwalker cannot hurt himself.

 People usually sleepwalk for a short time.

 Sleepwalkers don’t remember anything afterwards.

10   Sleepwalking is no excuse if you have committed a crime.


1 T

2 F (sleepwalkers usually have their eyes open so they look awake)

3 F (It’s very common. 18% of the population have a tendency to sleepwalk.)

4 T

5 T

6 F (You can wake up a sleepwalker without any problem, although they may be confused and not know where they are)

7 F (They can trip over chairs, fall down stairs, even fall out of a window)

8 T

9 T

10 F (A man in Canada was recently found not guilty of killing his mother-in-law because he was asleep at the time)


P = presenter, M = Professor Miller

P    Now I imagine some of you are finding this story a bit difficult to believe, so I’ve invited into the studio Professor Miller, who is an expert in sleepwalking. Professor Miller, does this story surprise you?

M   Not at all. I have treated people who have driven cars, ridden horses and I had one man who even tried to fly a helicopter while he was asleep.

P    But how did this girl manage to climb a 40-metre crane?

M   It would have been no problem for her. She would climb the crane just as easily as if she were awake.

P    And would her eyes have been open?

M   Yes, sleepwalkers usually have their eyes open. That’s why sometimes it’s difficult to know if someone is sleepwalking or not.

P    Is sleepwalking very common?

M   Yes. Research shows that about 18% of the population have a tendency to sleepwalk. In fact, it’s much more common in children than in teenagers or adults. And curiously it’s more common among boys than girls. Adults who sleepwalk are normally people who used to sleepwalk when they were children. Adult sleepwalking often happens after a stressful event, for example, after a road accident.

P    People always say that you should never wake a sleepwalker up when they’re walking. Is that true?

M   No, it isn’t. People used to think that it was dangerous to wake up a sleepwalker. But in fact this isn’t the case. You can wake a sleepwalker up without any problem, although if you do, it is quite common for the sleepwalker to be confused, so he or she probably won’t know where they are for a few moments.

P    So if we see someone sleepwalking, should we wake them up?

M   Yes, you should remember that another of the myths about sleepwalkers is that they cannot injure themselves while they are sleepwalking. But this isn’t true. If a sleepwalker is walking around the house, they can trip or fall over a chair or even fall down stairs. The other day there was a case of a nine-year-old girl who opened her bedroom window while sleepwalking and fell ten metres to the ground. Luckily, she wasn’t seriously injured. So you see it is definitely safer to wake a sleepwalker up.

P    How long does sleepwalking last?

M   It can be very brief, for example, a few minutes. The most typical cases are people getting up and getting dressed, or people going to the bathroom. But it can occasionally last much longer, maybe half an hour or even more.

P    And what happens when sleepwalkers wake up? Do they remember the things they did while they were sleepwalking?

M   No, a sleepwalker usually doesn’t remember anything afterwards. So, for example, the girl who climbed up the crane will probably have no memory of the incident.

P    So, is a sleepwalker responsible for his or her actions?

M   A very good question, actually. A few years ago a man from Canada got up in the middle of the night and drove 20 kilometres from his home to the house where his parents-in-law lived and, for no apparent reason, he killed his mother-in-law. The man was charged with murder but he was found not guilty because he had been asleep at the time he committed the crime.

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