KA WORDCAST: Listen Up! Lesson 7 HOW WE GIVE

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Lesson SEVEN HERE!

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Entrance exam season is right around the corner, and we’re here to make sure you are 100 percent ready for it.  For the next several weeks, we will be providing you with additional listening material that you can use to practice and improve your aural comprehension skills.

Each week, you will listen to a short passage on a different topic—one that is interesting and useful in its own right, but one that is also the type of topic test-makers love to include on their exams.  Then, after listening to the passage, you will answer ten comprehension questions.  Before we listen to today’s passage, How We Give, here are a few tips:

  • It goes without saying that you should always listen to the passage carefully.  Give it your undivided attention.  That means: no outside distractions.  (A passage-only track is available on the KA Wordcast website so you can listen to the passage a second or third time.)
  • You can make brief notes of key points and details, but don’t let your note taking distract you from your listening.
  • Key vocabulary words are explained in the bonus track.  Each key word is clearly defined and accompanied by common synonyms and antonyms as well as sample sentences that show you how the word is used, and how to use it.  What better way to augment your active vocabulary!
  • The comprehension questions “test” three general areas: FACTUAL CONTENT, LOGICAL INFERENCE, and PERSONAL JUDGMENT.  (These are explained on the website and are available to download.)  The questions come in three different types or formats: MULTIPLE CHOICE, TRUE OR FALSE, and SHORT ANSWER.  The question format will vary, so be sure to listen to the instructions carefully before you answer the questions.

 

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The “Ice Bucket Challenge.” Social media’s contribution to charities.

How We Give

Listen to Listen Up! Lesson SEVEN: PASSAGE ONLY TRACK

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            Traditionally, charity, the act of giving money to help those in need, was a local affair.  People were asked to donate through their religious organization.  Charitable groups solicited contributions door-to-door.  At Halloween, children went “trick-or-treating” not just for candy but also for cash donations for UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund.  But recent advances in communications technology have helped charity “go global.”  Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter have put some fun into giving and made it possible to reach a far broader audience. And our favorite actors, musicians, and athletes have gotten into the act, too, using their “star power” to raise awareness of worthy causes.

            In 1949, Milton Berle, a popular U.S. comedian, kicked off the new era when he hosted the first-ever, all-for-charity TV broadcast.  His “telethon,” as it was called, lasted sixteen hours and raised over a million dollars for cancer research. Jerry Lewis, another famous U.S. comedian, sponsored an annual telethon that, from 1966 to 2010, raised over $2.4 billion for muscular dystrophy.  These “televised fundraising events” spawned similar telethons in many other countries.  This includes Japan, whose yearly “24-Hour TV” broadcast has been raking in charitable yen for almost 30 years.

            In 1984, Band Aid, a “supergroup” made up of British, Irish, and American recording artists, released a song for charity entitled “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”  The record became a number-one hit everywhere, with sales bringing in $24 million for famine relief in Ethiopia.  Then, the next year, charity became truly international with a follow-up concert known as Live Aid.   Held simultaneously in Britain and the U.S., the event was broadcast by satellite to over 150 countries, with nearly two billion people worldwide tuning in.  Hundreds of thousands of viewers made anti-poverty credit-card donations over the telephone totaling some $80 million.

            Today, social networking has become an important, often spontaneous, charity tool.  In 2014, several online campaigns raised money for a variety of causes.  For example, in March, crime-fiction novelist Laura Lippman used Facebook to post a photo of herself without makeup.   Within 48 hours, women around the world were posting their own “No Make-up Selfies.”  Somehow, this simple act became linked to a breast-cancer-awareness site, and the money poured in.  And in summer, in a campaign known as the “Ice Bucket Challenge,” millions of people, including many celebrities, posted photos of themselves dumping buckets of ice over their heads.  They then made a donation to help fight ALS, a nervous system affliction, and “challenged” others to do the same.  The campaign brought in more in one month than had been raised in the entire previous year.

            The Charities Aid Foundation of the U.K. contends that people are generous by nature.  Research supports this: in 2013, one-third of the world’s population made charitable donations.  An old saying goes, “Charity begins at home.”  Technological advances and the spread of social media have given us many more opportunities (and fun ones at that) to be “good Samaritans”—to practice our natural generosity.  And they have made the entire globe our “home.”

 

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Today’s listening comprehension questions will be MULTIPLE CHOICE and TRUE/FALSE based on FACTUAL CONTENT, LOGICAL INFERENCE, and your understanding of key vocabulary words.

Listening comprehension questions fall into three main types or areas to be tested, as explained below:

FACTUAL CONTENT

  • The answer is specifically stated as a detail in the text.

If the text reads, “John Birks Gillespie was born in 1917 in Cheraw, South Carolina,” you might be asked where Gillespie was born or in which year was he born.

LOGICAL INFERENCE

  • The answer may not be directly stated in the text, but can be understood or inferred from the details given. A direct hint may be given, from which you would have to work out the most logical answer (usually based on a MULTIPLE CHOICE or TRUE OR FALSE question).

For example, if the text describes a “hot and muggy afternoon,” you might be asked what season it is. If the text reads, “In 1872, an abandoned railroad track in the mountains of Pennsylvania became the first roller coaster ride in America,” you may be asked a question like:

“The railroad tracks …

  1. were made of poor quality steel.
  2. had not been used for a while.
  3. were dug up and replaced with roller-coaster tracks.
  4. were too damaged to use.

You must use the hints given in the passage to work out the most likely answer.  In this case, the answer, based on “hot and muggy,” to the first question would be “summer,” and the answer to the second question would be B, with the hint being the word “abandoned.”

PERSONAL JUDGMENT

  • The answer is not directly stated in the text and you might have to read more deeply or “between the lines.”

You may be asked to describe a character’s feelings, reactions, or intentions.  For example, if the question is, “How do you know Joanna felt sad on the last day of school?” you would have to find evidence in the descriptive language the author uses.  Perhaps Joanna had tears on her cheeks, or she was walking with her head hanging low, or perhaps she had a frown on her face.

Listen to the question carefully and mark your answer.  Feel free to pause the recording if you need a moment or two to think about the question.

 

LISTENING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS

 

 

1. According to the passage, on which holiday did children go door-to-door asking for donations to support UNICEF, or the United Nation’s Children Fund? 

a) Christmas

b) Halloween

c) International Children’s Day

d)Thanksgiving

 

2. Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter have made it more challenging for charitable organizations to ask for donations.

a) TRUE

b) FALSE

 

3. Listen to the following sentence from the passage.

Our favorite actors, musicians, and athletes have gotten into the act, too, using their “star power” to raise awareness of worthy causes.

In the sentence above, the underlined word “awareness” is closest in meaning to

a) appreciation.

b) judgment.

c) insight.

d) consciousness.

 

4. U.S. comedian Milton Berle hosted the first-ever, all-for-charity televised fundraising event in

a) 1984.

b) 1966.

c) 2004.

d) 1949.

 

5.  Many countries, including Japan, have held telethons to raise money for charity.

a) TRUE

b) FALSE

 

6. Listen to the following sentence from the passage.

The record became a number-one hit everywhere, with sales bringing in $24 million for famine relief in Ethiopia.

In the sentence above, the underlined word “famine” is closest in meaning to

a) food shortages.

b) war and violence.

c) drought.

d) refugee.

 

7. Somehow, the “No Make-Up Selfies” that women began posting on social media sites in March 2014 became linked to

a) ALS research.

b) breast-cancer-awareness.

c) fighting poverty.

d) disaster relief.

 

8. The “Ice Bucket Challenge” campaign brought in more donations in one month than had been raised in the previous year.

a) TRUE

b) FALSE

 

9.  Listen to the following sentence from the passage.

They then made a donation to help fight ALS, a nervous system affliction, and “challenged” others to do the same. 

In the sentence above, the underlined word “affliction” is closest in meaning to

a) allergies.

b) torment.

c) illness.

d) misery.

 

10. Listen to the following sentence from the passage.

The Charities Aid Foundation of the U.K. contends that people are generous by nature. 

In the sentence above, the underlined word “generous” is opposite in meaning to

a) parsimonious.

b) indulgent.

c) liberal.

d) altruistic.

 

 

Now that you have completed today’s listening comprehension exercise, it’s time to check your answers and see how well you did. Answers to today’s listening comprehension questions will follow immediately after the closing jingle , so please stay tuned in. 

Listen to the Listening Comprehension Questions and Answers HERE

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You many also download the lesson in PDF format to keep for your reference.

PDF DOWNLOAD KA WORDCAST Listen Up! Lesson Seven LISTENING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS and ANSWERS


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KA WORDCAST:  Listen Up!  Lesson SEVEN KEY VOCABULARY

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.

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DONATE food to help a family in need.

1. DONATE

Traditionally, charity, the act of giving money to help those in need, was a local affair.  People were asked to DONATE through their religious organization. 

To DONATE means to give money, food, clothes, or other basic necessities to a good cause or a group of people, usually through a charity group or other organization.  Give, contribute, pledge, and bestow are some good synonyms.

Teacher:        How can we, as a school, help those people who have lost their homes in the earthquake?  Any suggestions?

Yuri:               Why don’t we start up a collection for blankets and warm clothing and DONATE them to the Red Cross?

Perhaps we can ask some local businesses to DONATE prizes for the school raffle.

Participants in the Ridgeway Half-Marathon are asked to raise money by signing up sponsors who will DONATE a pledged amount for each mile the participant runs.

You can also DONATE blood or body organs to help seriously ill or injured people who need them.  And you can DONATE your time, labor, or energy to provide help where it is needed.

One thing you can do to help save lives and be a “hero” to someone in need is to DONATE blood to your local blood bank.

By signing the Donor Card on the reverse side of your driver’s license, you are agreeing to DONATE your organs in the event of your accidental death. 

All our firm’s attorneys must DONATE a certain number of hours each month to pro bono clients who cannot afford legal representation.

All the workers are volunteers who DONATE a few hours of their time each week to help build housing for the poor.

A DONOR is someone who DONATES money, food, clothes, and so on to a charity, or a person who DONATES blood for a transfusion or an organ for surgical transplantation.

Please make sure you send out a thank you letter to each of our DONORS.  We wouldn’t be able to run the pet rescue center without their generous contributions.

Roger’s dad will receive a new heart as soon as a suitable DONOR can be found.

A DONATION is something that is given to a person or organization such as a charity to help finance and support the person or the organization’s particular cause.

A DONATION of just $1 a week will feed a child living in poverty.

Nowadays, you can make a DONATION to the charity or charities of your choice by using a smart phone app such as JustTextGiving.  

 

 

SOLICIT for donations by going door-to-door.

2. SOLICIT

Charitable groups SOLICITED contributions door-to-door.

SOLICIT means to ask somebody for something such as support, donations, or information.   It can also mean to try to get or persuade other people to do something such as vote for a political candidate.  To ask for and request are the nearest synonyms.

Students often SOLICIT advertising and commercial sponsorships from local businesses to fund school newspapers, newsletters, and other student publications.

It is against the law to SOLICIT donations door-to-door without a license, so we’ll have to come up with another fundraising idea for the cross-country team. 

Denise:           What’s the gubernatorial candidate’s latest strategy?

Fiona:             Well, feminists have criticized him for being weak on gender equality in the workplace, so we need him to go out and SOLICIT votes among working women.

 

 

UFO sightings SPAWN numerous theories.

3. SPAWN

These “televised fundraising events” SPAWNED similar telethons in many other countries.  This includes Japan, whose yearly “24-Hour TV” broadcast has been raking in the charitable yen for almost 30 years.

In the sentence above, SPAWN is a verb that means to cause something to happen, to generate, or to develop.  Give rise to and bring about are some near equivalents.  In biology, by the way, to SPAWN means to produce or deposit eggs, as in the last sentence below.

Changes to the cafeteria’s lunch menu SPAWNED complaints from students who preferred the more “unhealthy” food options. 

Witnessed by thousands, the unusual flashing lights sighted in the night sky last week SPAWNED numerous theories among UFO enthusiasts.  

Any volcanic activity can SPAWN earthquakes or result in the release of gases before an eruption even occurs.

I used to enjoy those nature shows on TV that featured exhausted salmon swimming heroically upstream and jumping up waterfalls to SPAWN. 

 

 

Whales leaping SIMULTANEOUSLY.

4. SIMULTANEOUSLY

Held SIMULTANEOUSLY in Britain and the U.S., the event was broadcast by satellite to over 150 countries.

SIMULTANEOUSLY is an adverb based on the adjective SIMULTANEOUS, which means happening or being done at the same time.  Synonyms for SIMULTANEOUS include concurrent, coinciding, and synchronized.

The new software enables SIMULTANEOUS searching of multiple sites and databases.

Police are investigating two SIMULTANEOUS arson fires that occurred on opposite ends of Yoyogi Park.

As an adverb, SIMULTANEOUSLY is used like this:

On Saturday morning, students will be taking their EIKEN exams SIMULTANEOUSLY in different venues across the country.

Studio producers are planning to release the third installment of the Hunger Games trilogy SIMULTANEOUSLY around the world.

 

 

Live your life SPONTANEOUSLY!

5. SPONTANEOUS

Today, social networking has become an important, often SPONTANEOUS, charity tool.  In 2014, several online campaigns raised money for a variety of causes. 

In the sentence above, SPONTANEOUS is an adjective that means happening naturally, without being planned or made to happen.  Synonyms include unplanned, unprompted, unforced, unsolicited, ad lib, and impromptu.

Glasgow’s George Square became a SPONTANEOUS food bank this afternoon as peace campaigners spoke about the city’s needy, sparking a deluge of food donations from “kind-hearted” citizens.

Spectators at the stadium broke out into SPONTANEOUS song when the home team scored the winning touchdown.

My SPONTANEOUS decision to buy a scratch lottery ticket yesterday really paid off.  I won $1000!

What made the DJ from last night’s disco so good was that the music he played was SPONTANEOUS and changed to match the mood of the crowd. 

A SPONTANEOUS person is one who has an open, natural, and uninhibited manner, as in:

Bobbi-Jo:       Why did you break-up with Thomas, Meg?  I thought you liked him.

Mel:                He just wasn’t SPONTANEOUS enough.  With him everything had to be planned ahead of time and carried out perfectly.  I’m more of an ad-lib, let’s-just-do-it kind of person.

A SPONTANEOUS person may regret some of the rash decisions he has made, but he will never regret not having enjoyed life to the fullest.

 

 

Some anthropologists CONTEND that beer was a staple diet long before the invention of bread.

6. CONTEND 

The Charities Aid Foundation of the U.K. CONTENDS that people are generous by nature. 

In the sentence above, CONTEND is a verb that means to assert or maintain a position, argument, or opinion.  Claim and insist are some close equivalents.

My English teacher Mr. Lawrence CONTENDS that commas should be used whenever there’s any chance at all that the reader will be confused without one.

Local citizens CONTEND that the proposal to build two hundred new homes in the area will add to the existing shortage of spaces for kids in community schools.

Some anthropologists CONTEND that beer or mead were staple diets among ancient civilizations long before bread was even invented.

To CONTEND WITH is a commonly used phrasal verb that means to deal with a problem or a difficult person or situation.  Handle and put up with are good synonyms.

On the first day on the job, the new teacher found that he didn’t have the right character or temperament to CONTEND WITH a classroom full of energetic, demanding kids.

I sent my daughter Maddie to her room because I could no longer CONTEND WITH her outbursts and temper tantrums.

Gill explained that being a nurse isn’t just about helping sick or injured patients.  He often has to CONTEND WITH angry, violent drunks and verbally abusive next-of-kin. 

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