Listening Exercises B1 – The News


Exercise 1 

These are the beginnings of news reports. What kind 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

Answer & Transcript

1.

The stock market in New York suffered heavy losses today. 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 singer Elton John were disappointed last night. His free outdoor concert at Central Park had to be postponed because of heavy rain.

6.

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

Exercise 2

Task 1

Read these newspaper headlines. Then listen to the news reports. Are the headlines correct? Check the answer.

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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 boat sank during the storm.

6.  The baby pandas are very small right now.

Answer & Transcript

1.

A fire destroyed the famous President Hotel last night. Fire fighters helped all the hotel guests escape safely from the building, although some people lost their clothes and luggage. 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 the 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. Their radio wasn’t working, either, so the students had to survive by eating snakes, insects, and berries. Luckily, the students are all in good health.

4.

Rock 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 Jim Wild’s illness was, but sources say he probably had a sore throat.

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. The Coast Guard thinks that the boat probably sank during the storm.

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 a mouse.

Exercise 3

Task 1

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

1.  a. a flood

     b. a fire

     c. a crime

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 protest

     b. an exhibition

     c. a sale

6.  a. an exhibition

     b. a business plan

     c. a protest

Task 2

Listen again. Are these statements true or false? Check the correct answer.

  True False

1.  Many people have had to leave their homes.

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.  The farmers support the higher taxes.

6.  The merger could be good news for travelers.

Answer & Transcript

1.

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.

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 fleering their homes in California because of a forest fire burning out of control only a few kilometers away. 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 in the U.S. illegally. 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.

A protest by over 5,000 farmers caused major traffic jams downtown yesterday morning. The farmers were in front of the Federal Building to demand lower taxes on meat and agricultural products. They say that the high taxes make it difficult to earn enough money for their families. Later in the day, government representatives promised to study their demands.

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 raise ticket prices.

Exercise 4

These are the beginnings of news reports. What kind of reports are they? Listen and write the correct letter.

1. __ .

2. __ .

3. __ .

4. __ .

5. __ .

a. politics

b. entertainment

c. sports

d. crime

e. the weather

Answer & Transcript

1) c   2) d   3) e   4) a   5) b

Transcript

1.

Today “Old” Bob ers raced against 300 younger bicycle racers, winning the New Jersey bicycle marathon for his third time. This man is 78 years old. He really is an amazing athlete.

2.

Martha Tudor, the richest woman in the world, was caught this morning stealing a banana from her local supermarket. She told reporters that it's not true. She said she was only borrowing it.

3.

Hi, I'm Will Potter, your weatherman. Today will be cloudy and rainy. Tomorrow's weather will be cloudier and more rainy. And the day after tomorrow, the weather will be the cloudiest and the most rainy!

4.

Abu Dadi was elected president of the tiny nation of Bula Bula last night. While he was celebrating, he broke his foot. His private doctor said he won't be able to walk for six weeks. Luckily, his foot will get better.

5.

The popular singer Mandy Spears played her new song called “I Love Money” at last night's performance at Meadowlands Stadium. Over 50,000 fans attended the concert.

Exercise 5

Listen to the entertainment news program Super Hollywood. Are these statements true or false? Check the correct answer.

True

False

1. Lazy Freddy is a member of Frog Express.

2. Lazy Freddy is dating Naomi Cox.

3. Romantic messages about Naomi were on the band's website.

4. Freddy might date Naomi in the future.

5. Naomi says she thinks Freddy is ugly.

Answer & Transcript

1) True   2) False   3) True   4) True    5) False

Transcript

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Super Hollywood, where we tell you everything about the love lives of the stars.

Lazy Freddy, the lead singer of Frog Express, said that he is not dating the actress Naomi Cox. He says he's just too busy to date anyone right now. Lazy Freddy posted several romantic messages about Naomi on his band's website after he met her at a concert in Seattle. He says, “She's really cool and I love her movies. Maybe I'll date her in the future, but not right now.” Naomi says she thinks Lazy Freddy is cute, and she's waiting for him to call!