Listening

Warm Up

Helpful Words and Phrases

Listen and repeat.

  1. the summit
    • ex. We saw the sunrise from the summit of Mt. Fuji.
  2. an attempt
    • ex. I finally passed my driving test after three attempts.
  3. vow
    • ex. The new president vowed to lower taxes.
  4. valid
    • ex. Five is not a valid answer. Two plus two equals four!
  5. a source
    • ex. Working long hours can be a source of stress.

Article

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

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American professional rock climber Emily Harrington has become the fourth person ever to free-climb the Golden Gate route of El Capitan in less than a day. She reached the summit of the 2,307-meter mountain after climbing for 21 hours, 13 minutes, and 51 seconds. El Capitan is one of the most difficult rock-climbing sites in the world.

Harrington had free-climbed the mountain several times in the past but never under 24 hours. Free climbing is considered risky because athletes climb with their hands and feet, only using ropes to catch them if they fall. During one of her previous attempts to climb El Capitan, Harrington fell over 15 meters and received a serious head injury. However, she vowed to try again. Harrington said that her previous attempts and regular training helped her prepare for the successful climb.

Harrington admitted that she often feels fear when she climbs, but she said that fear is a valid emotion and should be accepted. Fear can be a source of strength, Harrington explained.

Discussion

Choose a topic and discuss the questions with your tutor.

Fear

  • In your opinion, what are people most commonly afraid of (ex. public speaking, dying)? Why? Discuss.
  • Do you agree that fear can be a source of strength? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Do you think that experience can make people less fearful about something? Why or why not? Discuss.

Risks

  • In your opinion, was it a good idea for Harrington to risk her life to free-climb El Capitan in less than a day? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Why do you think some people like taking risks (ex. to challenge themselves, to set records)? Discuss.
  • Do you think it's possible to live a 100% risk-free life? Why or why not? Discuss.