LESSON SEVENTEEN HERE!
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In today’s lesson, entitled A Trip of a Lifetime, you will be listening to a passage about some of the exciting, but costly school trips many pupils and students are going on these days. Listen carefully to the passage and then answer the questions that follow. It’s always a good idea to take notes as you listen, but remember: don’t let your note-taking distract you from your listening.
A Trip of a Lifetime
Listen and Learn
Lesson Seventeen PASSAGE ONLY track:
Once upon a time, the school field trip wasn’t really much of a trip. Kids filed dutifully through a local science museum or aquarium, or strolled around a historical battlefield, seeing what they were supposed to see. They called at the local dairy farm or visited a furniture factory. And don’t forget those idyllic days out at nearby scenic spots where kids could get some fresh air, enjoy a picnic lunch, and have a little run-around. The teachers handled everything: mapped out travel routes, organized transportation, arranged “hands-on” things to do. For the children, it was a treat just to get out of the classroom for a day and experience a different learning environment. Milking a cow, picking a jack-o-lantern from a pumpkin patch, climbing a 400-year-old fortress wall—these activities may not have been particularly exciting, but they were welcome novelties nonetheless. And though outings for older children usually involved longer bus or train rides and overnight stays, their scope and level of excitement remained fairly limited.
Not so today. With a huge array of mind-expanding and action-packed excursions to choose from, the traditional field trip has taken on new meaning, and students know it. Educators today must up their game and put together trips that will keep students focused, fascinated, and happy. Rock climbing in the Alps; running high-wire assault courses; hunting for ancient relics and artifacts at an archeological dig: today’s students can partake of adventures that many grownups have only dreamed about.
A primary school in Derbyshire, England, for example, recently offered its second-graders the chance to visit Moscow to learn all about the Russian space program and to meet real-life cosmonauts—at a staggering cost of £1,350 per child. In Leeds, one secondary school organized a seven-night “sports trip” to the Caribbean island of Barbados. Students stayed in a luxurious beach-front hotel, played in football and netball matches against local teams, and spent a day sailing on the high seas on a catamaran. The price tag for this trip? A cool £1,650. Parents who don’t want their children to miss out on such a thrill-of-a-lifetime opportunity are dipping deep into the family’s “vacation fund” to pay for these extravagant journeys.
Capitalizing on this trend toward bigger and better school trips is World Challenge, a multi-national organization that specializes in arranging educational expeditions. Each year, World Challenge brings thousands of junior and senior high school students face to face with cultures, environments, and ways of life that are very different from what the kids are accustomed to. Personal responsibility is at the core of the World Challenge learning philosophy. Rather than asking mom and dad to foot the bill, “challengers” must raise the money themselves. One thirteen-year-old challenger heading to Zambia this summer reached her goal of £2,250 by babysitting, holding bake sales, and doing several paper routes.
What these youngsters gain from the experience is a lot more than just a leisurely two-week holiday. “Laying the foundations for a fulfilling life starts at a very young age,” says one expedition leader. “The organization’s aim is to support and facilitate the development of young minds through life-changing experiences.” By testing the limits of their comfort zone, challengers grow in confidence, resourcefulness, and understanding—essential qualities for future success and life satisfaction.
Does that sound like something you’d like to try? Well, here’s another thing for you to consider: What if you could write on your college application, “I participated in a World Challenge trip to Tonga, where I helped build a water tower”? Now wouldn’t that be impressive?
LISTENING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS
Listen to Listen and Learn Lesson Seventeen LISTENING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS track:
Today’s listening comprehension questions will be TRUE-FALSE and based on FACTUAL CONTENT and LOGICAL INFERENCE. Listen to each question carefully and mark your answer. Feel free to pause the recording if you need a moment or two to think about the question.
1. In the old days, children on a school field trip were likely to visit, for example, a local dairy farm, a historical battlefield, or a science museum.
2. In the past, teachers were responsible for organizing nearly every aspect of a school field trip.
3. Outings for older children have always involved overnight stays in foreign countries.
4. Educators today must up their game and put together trips that will meet the demands of parents who want their child’s college application letter to look impressive.
5. A primary school in Derbyshire recently offered its second-graders a chance to visit a Caribbean island.
6. A group of students from Leeds on a sports trip to Barbados played football and netball matches against local teams.
7. Parents who don’t want their children to miss out on a thrill-of-a-lifetime opportunity are having to take out huge bank loans to pay for extravagant school trips.
8. World Challenge is a British organization that specializes in arranging educational lectures delivered by world travelers.
9. Students who commit to take part in a World Challenge expedition must raise the money for the trip themselves.
10. One expedition leader says that a student who takes part in a World Challenge trip is likely to grow in confidence, resourcefulness, and understanding.
Now that you have completed today’s listening comprehension exercise, it’s time to check your answers and see how well you did. The correct answers will follow immediately after the closing jingle, so stay tuned. Answers are also available on the KA Wordcast website as a separate track. You can also download the lesson in PDF format and keep it for your reference. And be sure to listen to the Key Vocabulary bonus track. This will improve your understanding of the passage itself and give you a bigger, better active vocabulary.
LISTENING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS and ANSWERS HERE!:
You may also download the lesson in PDF format to keep for your reference.
KA WORDCAST: Listen and Learn! Lesson SEVENTEEN
KEY VOCABULARY WORDS
Be sure to listen to the Key Vocabulary bonus track. This will help you improve your understanding of the passage itself and give your vocabulary a big boost.
And don’t forget those IDYLLIC days out at nearby scenic spots where kids could get some fresh air, enjoy a picnic lunch, and have a little run-around.
IDYLLIC is an adjective that means peaceful, happy, or picturesque. Synonyms include perfect, blissful, ideal, and wonderful.
Most of my childhood summers were spent on IDYLLIC beaches, where we spent the days building sandcastles and collecting seashells.
Growing up on an apple and apricot farm in eastern Washington, Natalie had two loving parents who gave her an IDYLLIC childhood.
From our second-story balcony, we have an IDYLLIC view of Mt. Fuji and the picturesque valley below.
I don’t usually think of cities as being IDYLLIC, but that’s how I found Edinburgh, Scotland, a city filled with history and culture where life somehow seems quieter and slower paced.
Milking a cow, picking a jack-o-lantern from a pumpkin patch, climbing a 400-year-old fortress wall—these activities may not have been particularly exciting, but they were welcome NOVELTIES nonetheless.
In the sentence above, NOVELTIES is the plural form of NOVELTY, a noun that refers to a person, situation, or thing that is interesting because it is new or different.
Just being at the Harry Potter Studios was a NOVELTY in itself, but to have Daniel Radcliff pay a surprise visit and join our tour group was like a dream come true.
Jonathan said that at first, hanging out at the beach every day was great, but after a few months, the NOVELTY of living in Hawaii started to wear off.
Electric cars are still something of a NOVELTY, but according to Consumer Reports, sales of e-cars and hybrid vehicles are steadily rising.
A NOVELTY is also a small, inexpensive object, such as a toy or knick-knack. Trinket is the nearest synonym.
If you feel you must buy something from the museum gift shop, why don’t you just get a small NOVELTY like a snow globe or refrigerator magnet?
Rather than trim the Christmas tree with traditional ornaments, Candace decorated it with ethnic NOVELTIES that she had picked up on her many travels.
NOVELTY is sometimes used as a modifier, as in these examples:
The school does offer drama and film classes, but take away this NOVELTY factor, and the curriculum is just your standard array of courses.
Georgia’s been collecting NOVELTY travel stickers for nearly twenty years, and her collection, I hear, is now worth quite a lot of money.
A primary school in Derbyshire, England, for example, recently offered its second graders the chance to visit Moscow to learn all about the Russian space program and to meet real-life cosmonauts—at a STAGGERING cost of £1,350 per child.
Something that is STAGGERING is so great, shocking, or surprising as to be almost unbelievable. Astonishing, amazing, and incredible are the nearest synonyms.
During her writing career, Enid Blyton wrote a total of 762 books—a STAGGERING feat by any standards.
If tuition costs weren’t so STAGGERING, I would go back to university and take a graphics design course.
Steph Curry hit a STAGGERING 55% of his three-point shots this season. Incredible!
A report released by the local police department revealed that there has been a STAGGERING increase in burglary and break-ins in the past twelve months.
The verb to STAGGER has a couple of everyday uses. First, it means to astonish or deeply shock, as in:
Fiona’s really harsh comments about the new school principal STAGGERED all of us who think that Mrs. Claremont is doing a fine job.
I was STAGGERED to learn that greenhouse gas emissions will go up 80% if meat and dairy consumption continues to rise at its current rate.
It STAGGERS me that U.S. politicians are still debating whether teachers should be allowed to carry guns in schools. The answer is “no,” obviously.
STAGGER also means to walk or move unsteadily as if you are about to fall. Synonyms for this usage includes teeter, wobble, stumble, and move clumsily.
We all watched in awe and admiration as the injured runner STAGGERED across the finish line.
It’s been a while since I’ve seen Mrs. Kerr’s oldest son Robert STAGGERING up the hill on his way home from the pub. Do you think maybe he’s quit drinking?
Finally, STAGGER means to arrange events, payments, seating, or working hours so that they do not occur at the same time. To spread out is a close equivalent.
With more than 40,000 runners taking part in the charity event, organizers had to STAGGER the start of the race.
With meetings STAGGERED throughout the day, Ian never got a free moment to take a break and eat his lunch.
The seats in the theater are STAGGERED so that everyone has a good view of the stage.
The bill for my emergency surgery was enormous, and I could never have paid it all at once, but fortunately, the hospital let me STAGGER the payments.
Each year, World Challenge brings thousands of junior and senior high school students face to face with cultures, environments, and ways of life that are very different from what the kids are ACCUSTOMED TO.
The adjective phrase ACCUSTOMED TO, as used in the sentence above, means being in the habit of or used to doing, having, or experiencing something. Synonyms include adapted, adjusted, habituated, familiar with, and acquainted with.
I have never really become ACCUSTOMED TO the hot, humid summers of Tokyo.
Going from primary school to junior high is a big change. It takes awhile to get ACCUSTOMED TO the difference.
“I am not ACCUSTOMED TO having my word questioned,” the headmaster told the ambitious new teacher. “You will not get very far in this school if you continue to challenge me.”
My parents were middle-aged when they had me, and, because their friends were older, I was ACCUSTOMED TO being the only child among adults.
The verb ACCUSTOM (usually used with “to”) means to make someone or something accept something as normal or usual. Synonyms include adapt, adjust, acclimatize, attune, habituate, accommodate, assimilate, and condition. ACCUSTOM is often used with a reflexive pronoun.
I had to take a few moments to ACCUSTOM my eyes to the darkness before I could make out the shapes of the others in the room.
The goal of secondary education is supposedly to ACCUSTOM students to thinking and studying independently, so why are my kids still being subjected to so much mind-numbing rote learning?
On my recent exchange trip to Germany, it took some effort for me to ACCUSTOM myself to my host family’s way of life.
ACCUSTOMED is also an adjective that means customary or usual. Synonyms include normal, habitual, familiar, regular, routine, ordinary, and typical.
Road construction work forced the school bus off its ACCUSTOMED route, so about 50 of our pupils were late for class this morning.
Professor Young took up his ACCUSTOMED position in front of the class, saw that his students were all busily texting and chatting away on cell phones, and suddenly lost his temper.
“Laying the foundations for a FULFILLING life starts at a very young age,” says one expedition leader.
Before we take a look at the adjective FULFILLING, let’s look first at the verb FULFILL (British spelling, FULFIL), which means to gain happiness or satisfaction by achieving or realizing something.
You must make a solid commitment to your studies if you want to FULFILL your dream of going to a prestigious university like Harvard or Cambridge.
They’ve only been playing locally so far, but the members of Mick’s rock band are still optimistic about FULFILLING their ambitions of making it big.
I’m proud of my mom. Her job as a receptionist didn’t FULFILL her, so she quit and went back to college to study to become a music teacher.
FULFILL also means to do or have done something that is required or necessary.
While all of my friends spent the summer before senior year hanging out at the beach and having fun, I had to go to summer school to FULFILL my graduation requirements.
Unfortunately, none of the candidates we interviewed for the teaching position FULFILLS the criteria for the position.
Angie phoned shortly after midnight, FULFILLING her promise to call me as soon as she arrived home safely.
Now back to FULFILLING as used in the sentence from the listening passage above. Here, FULFILLING means causing you to feel satisfied or happy because you have allowed your character or abilities or potential to develop fully. Rewarding is the nearest synonym.
Being a pediatric nurse and looking after newborn babies can be hard work, but is there any career that is more FULFILLING?
Working as a volunteer in a developing country can be very FULFILLING, but if you don’t have the right skills and attitude, it can also be frustrating.
The organization’s aim is to support and FACILITATE the development of young minds through life-changing experiences.
In the sentence above, the verb FACILITATE means to make an action or process possible or easier. Synonyms include enable, aid, and promote.
Although many schools are switching to Montessori-type teaching methods, we believe that traditional, structured teaching is the best way to FACILITATE learning in most pupils.
To help FACILITATE dialogue in the classroom, discussion points are listed at the back of the book.
Donations from the private sector will FACILITATE efforts to develop drugs and vaccines to deal with the Ebola threat.