Listening

Warm Up

Helpful Words and Phrases

Listen and repeat.

  1. a pandemic
    • ex. Because of international travel, a local sickness can quickly turn into a global pandemic.
  2. a marble
    • ex. My little brother loves to play with his colorful marbles.
  3. elaborate
    • ex. The plan is very elaborate; it has over 35 steps!
  4. a backstory
    • ex. The character’s backstory explains how he became rich in a foreign country.
  5. root for
    • ex. The parents rooted for their children at the school basketball tournament.

Article

Read the article below and answer your tutor's questions.

Font size 文字サイズ

While many professional sports are being canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, one unique sport is gaining popularity: marble racing. Marble racing is a sport where colorful marbles race to the finish line on detailed racetracks. Unlike many sports, marble racing doesn’t require any physical human interaction, so it’s perfect for the current situation.

Jelle’s Marble Runs is one of the most popular marble racing channels on YouTube. It was created in 2016 by Dutch brothers Jelle and Dion Bakker, who say that their number of subscribers has increased over 999% since March 16 of this year. Jelle spends almost 8 hours each day building elaborate race tracks and inventing storylines. The brothers also organize different events such as the Marbula 1 and Marblelympics.

Many fans say that they especially love the marble race commentators. Greg Woods, the commentator for Jelle’s Marble Runs, talks about the marbles like athletes. They have names such as Comet and Bumblebee, which are based on their color and size. They also have personalities and backstories, and many fans root for their favorites.

Discussion

Choose a topic and discuss the questions with your tutor.

Unique Sports

  • Do you agree that marble racing is a sport? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Do you think that people discovered unique sports like marble racing only because of the pandemic? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Do you think that other unique sports will become more popular too? Why or why not? Discuss.

Things Affected by the Pandemic

  • In your country, what do you think has been most affected by the pandemic (ex. education, business)? Why? Discuss.
  • Do you agree that many events should be canceled because of the pandemic? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Do you think that life will return to normal 100% after the pandemic? Why or why not? Discuss.