Practice Listening English Exercises for B1 – The News

Getting Ready

Where do you get the news? What kinds of stories interest you? Check (✓) your answers and compare them with a partner.

Where do you get the new?

Often

Sometimes

Rarely

online

newspapers

TV

magazines

radio

other: ________


What kinds of stories interest you?

Often

Sometimes

Rarely

politics

sports

business

entertainment

crime

Technology

travel

other: ________

Show answers

your own answers

Listening 1

These are the beginnings of news reports. What kinds of reports are they? Listen and circle the correct answer.

1   a politics

b business

2   a weather

b traffic

3   a sports

b crime

4   a sports

b business

5   a politics

b entertainment

6   a crime

b weather

Show answers & Transcript

1 b   2 b   3 b   4 a   5 b   6 b

Transcript

1

The stock market in New York suffered heavy losses today. And U.S. exports declined for the third month in a row.

2

Fifteen people were injured in a collision between a tourist bus and a truck on Highway 27 this morning.

3

Police are investigating the theft of a diamond necklace worth $30,000. The necklace was stolen from the Serina Department Store on Saturday.

4

Over 25,000 people turned out last night at Flushing Meadows to watch the finals of the U.S. Open tennis tournament.

5

Seventy-five thousand fans of the group Black Eyed Peas were disappointed last night. The free outdoor concert at Central Park had to be postponed because of heavy rain.

6

A severe snowstorm caused traffic to come to a stop on all major highways. And the airport was forced to close down most of the morning.

Listening 2

Task 1

Read these newspaper headlines and listen to the news reports. Are the headlines correct? Check (✓) the correct answer.

img

1 correct

incorrect

img

2 correct

incorrect

img

3 correct

incorrect

img

4    correct

incorrect

img

5 correct

incorrect

img

6 correct

incorrect

Show answers

1 correct   2 incorrect

3 correct   4 incorrect

5 correct   6 correct

Task 2

Listen again. Are these statements about things that actually happened or things that probably happened? Check (✓) the correct answer.

Actually happened

Probably happened

1 The fire started in a guest room.

2 More than ten people got food poisoning.

3 The students’ vehicle broke down.

4 Jim Wild had a sore throat.

5 The fishing crew sent out a call for help.

6 The baby pandas are very small right now.

Show answers & Transcript

Probably happened

Actually happened

Actually happened

Probably happened

Probably happened

Actually happened

Transcript

1

A fire destroyed the famous Presidential Hotel last night. Firefighters helped all the hotel guests escape safely from the building, although some people lost their clothes and other belongings. Firefighters say the fire probably started in a guest room, possibly because a guest fell asleep while smoking.

2

Government health officials have closed down Ocean Gardens, a well-known local seafood restaurant. More than 10 people came down with food poisoning after eating at the restaurant last week. The officials say that the problem was probably caused by contaminated water in the restaurant’s fish tanks.

3

A group of Japanese students was rescued yesterday after being stranded for 10 days in the Australian outback. The trouble started after a vehicle the students were traveling in broke down. They couldn’t get cell phone reception where they were, so the students had to survive by eating snakes, insects, and berries, and wait for rescuers to find them. Luckily, the students are all recovering well from their harrowing experience.

4

Pop singer Jim Wild didn’t arrive for his concert last night, disappointing over 80,000 fans. A representative of the singer said that he was sick and the concert would be rescheduled for next month. No one knows exactly what Wild’s illness was, but sources say he’s probably just exhausted because he’s been touring for three months straight.

5

Coast Guard boats are searching for a fishing boat with a crew of four, which has been missing for two days. Shortly after the boat left land, it ran into a very bad storm and sent out a message for help. Several private citizens have volunteered to assist the Coast Guard with their search tomorrow.

6

And this just in. Bai Yun, the giant panda at the city zoo, has finally given birth to twin cubs. Zoo officials are delighted at this event, since pandas are very rarely born in zoos. Right now, the baby pandas are very small – about the size of mice.

Listening 3

Task 1

What are these news reports about? Listen and circle the correct answer.

1   a a protest

b an exhibition

     c  a sale

2   a a protest

b an exhibition

     c  a sale

3   a a crime

b a fire

     c  a vacation

4   a an exhibition

b a vacation

     c  a crime

5   a a flood

b a fire

     c  a crime

6   a an exhibition

b a business plan

     c  a protest

Show answers

1 a   2 b   3 b   4 c   5 a   6 b

Task 2

Listen again. Are the statements true or false? Check (✓) the correct answer.

True

False

1 The nurses want lower income taxes.

2 Botero’s work has been shown in this area before.

3 The weather is helping the fire spread.

4 Some of the snakes are still missing.

5 Many people have had to leave their homes.

6 The merger could be good news for travelers.

Show answers & Transcript

1 False   2 False   3 True

4 False   5 True   6 False

Transcript

1

A protest by over 5,000 nurses caused major traffic jams downtown yesterday morning. The nurses protested in front of County General Hospital to demand higher pay and an increase in staffing. They say that major budget cuts have resulted in unfair salaries. And because 20% of nursing staff was laid off last month, remaining nurses have to work longer hours and take care of more patients. Later in the day, hospital management promised to consider their demands.

2

Over 20,000 people so far have visited the national museum to see the collection of works by the popular Colombian artist, Botero. That is the largest number of visitors the gallery has had for several years. This is the first time that Botero’s work has been shown in this area, and the collection includes some of his best-known paintings and sculptures.

3

Several hundred people are fleeing their homes in Los Angeles, California, because of a forest fire burning out of control in the nearby hills. The fire began five days ago. Hot weather, wind, and a very dry summer are helping the fire spread very quickly. Firefighters have come from as far away as Alaska to help put out the flames.

4

A customs official at Kennedy Airport was very surprised yesterday when he checked the baggage of a passenger and found over 50 live snakes, some of them very poisonous. The government believes that the passenger was planning to sell the snakes illegally in the U.S. They would have been worth up to $1,000 each. A few snakes escaped from the suitcases, but airport officials say that all of them were caught within an hour.

5

As a result of the heavy rain over the weekend, city officials fear there may be a flood. Many people living near the river have had to leave their homes. Over 30 families are now homeless. Most of them are staying with friends and relatives. Volunteers worked throughout the weekend to place sandbags along the river.

6

A spokesperson for two of the country’s largest airlines – Northern Airlines and Air International – has announced that the two airlines are discussing a possible merger for next year. If the merger goes ahead and the two companies combine, it could be bad news for travelers. Many business experts think that the new company would certainly raise ticket prices.

Conversation Corner: Talking about current events

Task 1

Listen to the conversation. Write the missing words.

A: Did you ______ ______ ______ last night and see the story about the bank robbery?

B: No, I didn’t. What happened?

A: Three men robbed the bank on Fifth Street. They got ________

B: Wow! That’s a lot of money! I hope the police caught them.

A: Not yet. There’s a ______ ______ for anyone who helps the police capture them!

Task 2

Practice the conversation with a partner. Be sure to say the numbers correctly.

Show answers & Transcript

A: Did you watch the news last night and see the story about the bank robbery?

B: No, I didn’t. What happened?

A: Three men robbed the bank on Fifth Street. They got away with $850,000 .

B: Wow! That’s a lot of money! I hope the police caught them.

A: Not yet. There’s a $15,000 reward for anyone who helps the police capture them!