Listening Skills (Native English Speakers)
My best friend’s name is Nick. We became friends a few years ago. We are the same age. We live in the same block of flats, so we see each other almost every day.
Nick is a tall thin boy. He has dark hair, large dark eyes, a straight nose and thin lips. He wears spectacles. He is a nice guy. He is very, honest, air, understanding and kind. I trust him a lot and I’m sure that I can rely on him in any situation. He never lets people down. Nick is only 19 but he is very responsible, he finishes whatever he starts. He has only one shortcoming. He is a bit stubborn; nevertheless he is pleasant to deal with.
Nick is the only child and his parents love him very much. His father is a lawyer. He is the most brilliant man I’ve ever met. He knows everything there is to know about the law. His mother is a music teacher. No wonder Nick is so talented. He’s got a very good ear for music. He likes jazz and plays the piano very well.
We spend a lot of time together. We often watch videos or listen to music. Sometimes we go to the cinema or to the theatre, or walk around the centre of Moscow, visiting small cafes, museums, galleries or shops. We talk for hours about all sorts of things (politics, love, teachers, girls). We discuss films, television programmes, and books.
I never quarrel with Nick. But if there is some misunderstanding between us we try to make peace as soon as possible. What I like best about him is that he is always willing to help and share his knowledge, thoughts and feelings. I respect him for his fairness, strong will, intellect and modesty.
I miss Nick when we don’t see each other for a long time. Without him I would feel lonely and uncomfortable. Our friendship helps me feel strong and sure of myself.
Millions of people all over the world spend their holidays traveling. They travel to see other countries and continents, modern cities and ruins of ancient towns. They travel to enjoy picturesque places. Or just for a change of scene. It is always interesting to discover new things, different ways of life, to meet different people to try different food. To listen to different musical rhythms.
Those who live in the country like to go to a big city and spend their time visiting museums and art galleries. Looking at shop windows and dinning at exotic restaurants. City dwellers usually like a quite holiday by the sea or in the mountains, with nothing to do but walk and bathe and laze in the sun.
Most travelers and holiday-makers take their cameras with them and take pictures of everything that interest them - the sights of a city, old churches and castles, views of mountains, lakes, valleys, plains, waterfalls, forests: different kinds of trees flowers and plants, animals and birds.
Later, perhaps years later, they will be reminded by the photos of the happy time they had.
People travel by train, by plane, by boat and by car.
All means of travel have their advantages and disadvantages. And people choose one according to their plans and destinations they have.
If we are fond of traveling, we see and learn a lot of things that we can never see or learn at home, though we may read about them in books and newspapers, and see pictures of them on TV. The best way to study geography is to travel, and the best way to get to know and understand the people is to meet them in their own homes.
The poisoning of the world's land, air, and water is the fastest spreading disease of civilization. It probably produces fewer headlines than wars, earthquakes and floods, but it is potentially one of history's greatest dangers to human life on earth. If present trends continue for the next several decades, our planet will become uninhabitable.
Overpopulation, pollution and energy consumption have created such planet-wide problems as massive deforestation, ozone depletion, acid rains and the global warming that is believed to be caused by the greenhouse effect.
The seas are in danger. They are filled with poison; industrial and nucleus waste, chemical fertilizers and pesticides. The Mediterranean is already nearly dead; the North Sea is following. The Aral Sea is on the brink of extinction If nothing is done about it one day nothing will be able to live in the seas.
Every ten minutes one kind-of animal, plant or insect dies out for ever. If nothing is done about it, one million species that are alive today will have become extinct twenty years from now.
Air pollution is a very serious problem. In Cairo just breathing the air is life threaten¬ing equivalent 10 smoking two packs of cigarettes a day. Thee same holds true for Mex¬ico City and 600 cities of the former Soviet Union.
Industrial enterprises emit tons of harmful substances. These emissions have disastrous consequences for our planet. They are the main reason for the greenhouse effect and acid rains.
An even greater environmental threat are nuclear power stations. We all know how tragic the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster are.
People are beginning to realize that environmental problems are not somebody else's. They join and support various international organizations and green parties. If govern¬ments wake up to what is happening — perhaps we'll be able to 'avoid the disaster that threatens the natural world and all of us with it.
Sports are very popular in Armenia . Physical training and sport houses have become a matter of national importance. Sports are important not only as a health builder and educational factor, but is also an excellent
way to build friendships among nations. Thousands of people in our country go in for sports. Every year our sportsmen take part in international competitions and win championships in bowing, swimming, and track-and- field events, bringing medals to the motherland. Our wrestlers, weight- lifters, tennis-players and bowers have achieved world wide fame.
My favorite sport is tennis and my favorite sportsman is Andre Aghasi who is Armenian but lives in America . He is very handsome and a very popular tennis player known the world over. Tennis is also included in the Olympic Games. The first Olympic Games were held in Greece .
For the audio version of the text click Environmetal Protection .mp3
Reader: Peggy Gray, U.S. Peace Core Volunteer, Gyumri
MY NATIVE TOWN
I live in Gyumri. It used to be the second largest scity in Armenia .They say it was a very important industrial center. There were many factories and big plants in our town. It was one of the more exotic places in Armenia with its old and kind traditions. The disastrous earthquake of 1988 reduced our town to ruins. Thousands of people fell victim to the disaster. Millions of people of good will from different countries gave a helping hand immediately after the earthquake. We are grateful to them for the wonderful school buildings and hospitals they have built. Unfortunately thousands of people continue to live in domics. Many school children go on having their classes in temporary containers. I am sure we shall soon see my native town restored to its former splendor.
For the audio version of the text click My Native Town.mp3
Reader: Peggy Gray, U.S. Peace Core Volunteer, Gyumri