Exercise 1

A. Listen to an early morning news broadcast. What is each story about? Write the correct number.

___ a natural disaster

___ a scandal

___ an unusual family event

___ an epidemic

B. Listen again. Are the statements true or false? Choose the correct answer. Then correct the false statements to make them true.




More people are suffering from TB than ever before.

Standard TB drugs are ineffective in about one-fourth of cases.

The painting Sunflowers was purchased by a large company.

The high price paid for the painting caused a scandal.

The hurricane has trapped some people in their homes.

Tourism in the area hit by the hurricane will not be affected.

The mother left the house to give her children freedom.

The children used food to get their mom down from the tree.

Answers & Audioscripts


a natural disaster: 3

a scandal: 2

an unusual family event: 4

an epidemic: 1


1   False; The number of cases has been decreasing worldwide.

2   True

3   True

4   False; The scandal was caused by claims that the painting was a forgery.

5   True

6   False; The hurricane will have a huge impact on tourism.

7   False; The mother left the house to stop her children from misbehaving.

8   True



It’s seven o’clock and time for the news. First, this just in from the World Health Organization, or WHO. WHO has reported that the global epidemic of tuberculosis, also known as TB, is not as widespread as it was in the past. However, although the number of cases of TB has been decreasing worldwide, this disease is still a problem. According to a recent study, about one-fourth of all known TB cases are untreatable because of new drug-resistant strains of the disease. The drugs previously used to treat TB are simply not working on those strains. WHO has been developing new drugs to combat the problem, and they have an international program to educate people about the dangers of TB.


And now we have a report on a scandal involving famous nineteenth-century painter Vincent van Gogh and one of his most famous paintings, Sunflowers, completed in 1888. The painting was bought by a large multinational corporation for several million dollars in 1987. At that time, a scandal erupted in London over the authenticity of this painting, with many critics claiming that the painting was a forgery. After years of debate, two experts from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam finally authenticated the painting, stating that it is, indeed, a genuine van Gogh.


Next we go to Mexico, where a hurricane pounded Cancún and nearby areas last night, leaving many people homeless. The strong winds and heavy rains made for horrible conditions. Floods and landslides destroyed homes and cars, especially in the beachfront areas. Rescue operations are particularly difficult because streets are blocked, in most cases, by mud. It’s believed that some people are trapped inside their homes and cannot get out. Most people have left their homes and are now safely in temporary shelters. Mexican authorities predict that the disaster is going to have a huge impact on the tourist business in the area this year.


And finally, a story for all you parents out there: How often do your kids push you to your limit, and what do you do about it? One tired and harassed mother from Illinois decided she’d had enough yesterday. Instead of yelling at her children, as she normally would, she decided to leave. She walked out the door and climbed a tree – the tree with her children’s tree house in it, that is. She told her children she had decided to stay in their tree house until they started appreciating her more. She put a sign in front of the tree house that said, “On Strike – No cooking, cleaning, doctoring, banking, or driving until demands met!” The children tried to persuade her to come down, but were unsuccessful. Finally, one of them had the smart idea of baking their mother’s favorite treat – brownies. Well, they must have smelled good because that did the trick. Mom agreed to come down and read the contract her children wrote promising not to fight, along with other promises of good behavior. That’s it for now. We’ll be back in an hour with more news.

Exercise 2

A. Listen to two stories from the Starting Point. Which stories are they?

B. Listen again. Choose the correct ending of each story.

1  a  He found the ring in his pocket.

    b  The jeweler had the ring.

    c  His mother found the ring.

2  a  The conductor helped her.

    b  A passenger helped her.

    c  The door finally opened.

Answers & Audioscripts


1 story/picture 2

2 story/picture 4


1 b   2 c



You see, my mother had this ring. It was kind of old. It had been given to her by her mother, my grandmother. It had been in our family for years. Anyway, my mother asked me to take it to the jeweler to get it repaired. She told me to be very careful with it.

Later that day, I dropped the ring off at the jeweler and ran off to do the rest of my errands. It was a busy day, and I was feeling really stressed. I went back to the jeweler just before they closed, paid for the ring, and raced home. Everything seemed fine.

But when I got home . . . I mean, I was sure I’d picked up my mother’s ring at the jeweler, but then I couldn’t find it when I got home. I checked all my pockets, but all I found was the receipt. The ring wasn’t there. I looked everywhere! You can imagine how panicked I felt. Up until then, I had never lost anything important, so I didn’t know what to do.

Just then, the phone rang. It was the jeweler. He was calling to say I had run out of the store in such a hurry that I’d forgotten to take the ring! The ring was still at the store. So the ring wasn’t lost after all. What a relief!


I had this big meeting at work that day. Really important. I had left for work a little earlier than usual. I always take the subway to work. So, I got to the subway station, and the train was right there. What luck, right? And I got on just as the doors closed.

Well, after a couple of minutes, I realized that my skirt had been caught in the subway doors. I couldn’t pull it out! A woman standing next to me tried to help me, but we still couldn’t get it out. By this time, I was so embarrassed. Other people were staring at me. And my skirt was really stuck.

Well, wouldn’t you know it, the doors to the subway opened on the other side for the next six or seven stations. I had to miss my stop. I just stood there, with my skirt stuck in the door, unable to move. Finally, the doors opened on my side. I was able to leave the train. But now, I was really late.

When I got to work, my boss asked to speak to me. I knew he would never believe why I was late. I felt so stupid! Of course, later, we all laughed about it.

Exercise 3

A. Listen to an interview with actor Dan Carville. What jobs does he talk about?

1   _________________

2   _________________

3   _________________

B. Listen again. Answer the questions.

 Why did Dan lose his job at the department store?

 Why didn’t Dan last long as a painter?

 Why was Dan fired from his job as a taxi driver?

 How seriously do you think Dan took these jobs?

Answers & Audioscripts


 salesperson in a department store


 taxi driver / cab driver


 His boss caught him taking a nap behind the luggage racks.

 He was afraid of heights. He climbed up a ladder, got dizzy, fell, and broke his wrist. He also knocked a can of paint all over his co-workers.

3   He had an accident.

4   He didn’t seem to take them very seriously.


Host:   Welcome back, everyone. We’re talking to Hollywood star Dan Carville. Before the break, we were talking about your life, Dan, before you became a big star. I mean, you didn’t just become a big star overnight. You struggled for many years.

Dan:   You can say that again.

Host:   Tell us a little about it.

Dan:   Yeah, uh, OK. Well, I think I must have worked 20 or 30 different jobs.

Host:   Really? That’s a lot.

Dan:   Well, in the beginning, I couldn’t find steady work as an actor, so I had to do something to put food on the table. You have to eat, right?

Host:   That’s true. So, what kinds of jobs did you have?

Dan:   A little bit of everything, I guess. I worked in a department store, as a taxi driver, and as a house painter, to name a few. I wasn’t good at any of them. I think I ended up getting fired from most of those jobs.

Host:   Oh, yeah? Come on, tell us a few stories.

Dan:   Well, uh, this is so embarrassing, but OK . . . So, one time I was working as a salesperson for a big department store in Chicago – in the luggage department. It was so boring. I mean, we didn’t have many customers during the day, and that’s when I worked. Sometimes, when I got sleepy, I used to lie down behind the luggage racks and take a nap.

Host:   Really? So, what happened?

Dan:   Well, one day I got caught – by my boss. And he fired me on the spot. It was terrible. Then there was the time I decided to get a job painting houses. You know, you have to climb these high ladders to do the job, right? Well, it turned out that I was afraid of heights. The first time I climbed up a ladder, I got dizzy and fell and broke my wrist.

Host:   No!

Dan:   Yes! But the worst thing was that when I fell, I knocked a can of paint over and paint poured down all over my co-workers. So, naturally, I got fired again.

Host:   Again? Really? So, do you have any other stories?

Dan:   Well, you’re not going to believe this, but I got hired as a cab driver. I drove a taxi, but that only lasted a few days.

Host:   Did you get fired?

Dan:   How did you guess? On my third day, I had an accident. Luckily, no one was hurt – my passenger was fine, and so was I. But my boss didn’t think he was so lucky, and that was the end of my days as a driver.

Host:   It seems you’re a little accident-prone. It’s a good thing you made it as an actor!

Dan:   Yes, I guess you could say that.

Host:   Thanks for sharing your stories with us, Dan. Coming up after the break, we’ll talk with Dan about his latest movie, scheduled for release in September.

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