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Lesson Practice — Page 1 of 1

Catching the Basic Ideas

For each of the following questions, listen to a speaker talking. Then, answer the questions that follow. The questions are about the speaker’s basic ideas. If you can answer the questions correctly, you have caught the basic ideas. After you answer the questions, click on “Read the Words” to see the words that you heard.

  1. Listen to an elderly gentleman talking.

    Read the Words

    I’m eighty-four years old. I worked for the same company for forty-seven years, until I was sixty-five. I hardly ever missed a day of work! If the company needed me to work overtime, to stay late and get something done, I did it. I even worked on holidays sometimes. I was never late for work, either. The pay was okay — I wasn’t rich, but I made enough money to take care of my wife and children. But now, I’m having a hard time. I get a little bit of money from the government, and the company gives me a little bit of money every month, but it’s not enough. No. It’s not enough. I’m too old to work now, and I don’t have enough money. My kids help me, but they’re having a hard time, too, raising their own kids. It makes me mad, thinking about it. I worked hard all my life for this?

    Which one of the following statements is true? Click on the true statement.

    Read the following statement. Is the statement true or false?

    The old man is angry.

  2. Listen to a middle-aged man talking.

    Read the Words

    I’m quite happy at my job, really, but I don’t want to keep working forever! My wife and I dream of travelling, you know? We want to see some more of the world, we want to get away from all our worries, we want to relax! We want to enjoy ourselves while we’re still young and healthy. Well, we’re not that young any more! But we’re not that old, either! I don’t know, though. We don’t have enough money saved yet, and I don’t think we’re going to be able to save much more. I’m going to have to keep working for another ten or fifteen years, and then my wife and I will be too old to do anything. We’ll be really old.

    Which one of the following statements is true? Click on the true statement.

    Read the following statement. Is the statement true or false?

    The man and his wife want to enjoy themselves before they get too old.

  3. Listen to a middle-aged woman talking.

    Read the Words

    Wow! I never dreamed that it would be so hard to look after my parents when they got old. My parents live with me now, because they need a lot of care. My mom can’t see very well any more, and my dad can hardly walk. I’m very happy that they live with me, because it’s important to me to make them as comfortable as possible. They did a lot for me when they were younger. But it’s very difficult! They need a lot of expensive medications. The medical bills are really high. I have to work more to pay those bills, but then I have to take time off work to drive them to their doctor’s appointments and stuff. Oh! It’s just about impossible. I get really mad at my brother — he’s not doing anything to help me or our parents.

    Read the following statement. Is the statement true or false?

    The woman is happy that her parents live with her.

    Read the following statement. Is the statement true or false?

    It is easy for the woman to take care of her parents.

  4. Listen to a child talking.

    Read the Words

    Grandpa and Grandma live with us now! I love it! They play with me and help me with my homework, and when Mom has to work late, they’re home so I don’t have to have a babysitter. We watch TV together, and I help Grandma find her glasses, but she still can’t see that much so I tell her what’s happening on the TV. Grandpa reads me stories, and Grandma listens too. They go to bed early, like me. Sometimes it’s a problem because Grandma locks the bathroom door and has a really long bath and I can’t get into the bathroom to brush my teeth. But I don’t mind! I don’t like brushing my teeth anyway!

    Read the following statement. Is the statement true or false?

    The child is happy that his grandparents live with him.

    Read the following statement. Is the statement true or false?

    The child does a lot of things with his grandparents.

  5. Listen to the prime minister of a country talking.

    Read the Words

    In the past, in this great country of ours, families took care of the elderly at home. The elderly enjoyed the care and support of their families. But recent years have seen great changes. More and more families are now saying, “We can’t do it. It’s too difficult for us to take care of our parents, our grandparents, in our home.” So, more and more old people are moving into nursing homes and old age homes. And taxpayers are complaining because the government has to ask for more tax money to pay for the nursing homes and the old age homes. In our country right now we have many, many old people who need care. To take care of all of them is a big job. Families can’t do it alone. The government can’t do it alone. We must work together to take care of our elderly!

    Which one of the following statements is true? Click on the true statement.

    Read the following statement. Is the statement true or false?

    It is easy for families to look after old people in their homes.