Adults|Spoken|Intermediate|9. Incredible stories

What do these photos have in common? Read the questions and answer them.

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Answer the questions

  1. What is the most extraordinary true story you have heard or read recently?
  2. Who was involved and what happened?

Read the sentences with the key words. Match the words to the definitions

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pic3_Spoken|Int|L9


Read the stories. Decide which are true and which are false

Man evicted

A German man was evicted from his flat in Berlin because he laughed too much and too loudly. Rudi Bauer, 52, was forced to leave his home after neighbours complained.

New University courses

New degree courses on offer at some of Britain’s universities include: golf at Birmingham, theology and water resources at Oxford Brookes, philosophy and waste management at Northampton University College, and watersports studies at Southampton Institute.

Pea shooting controversy

This year’s World Pea Shooting Championships — contestants shoot dried peas at a soft clay target — take place in Witcham, Cambridgeshire. It is hoped there will not be a repetition of last year’s controversy when the winner used a laser guidance system.

Talking washing machines

Electrolux has just announced the launch of its first talking washing machine, which has gone on sale in India. The company is also developing a cooker which will learn how cooks like to cook their food.

Stuck in the air

A woman on a Scandinavian Airlines flight became stuck to a lavatory seat when she used the vacuum flush while still seated. She was freed when the plane landed.

Save the best till last

Most people think that an index is a boring, but sometimes useful, bit at the back of a book. But it is much more than that. The British Library has just published a collection of the 71 best indexes of all time — from 1427 to the present day.

Back into the records

Grant Melville, 45, has walked into the record books backwards! He climbed Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Britain, making the whole ascent backwards. The climb and descent took 15 hours 37 minutes.


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Discuss these questions

  1. Which story do you find most extraordinary? Why?
  2. Do any similar things happen in your country? For example, have people been evicted from their homes for unusual reasons? Are there any university courses you consider strange? Are there any unusual world championships held in your country?
  3. Think about the people involved in each story. What do you think are the reasons behind their actions?

New University courses

New degree courses on offer at some of Britain’s universities include: golf at Birmingham, theology and water resources at Oxford Brookes, philosophy and waste management at Northampton University College, and watersports studies at Southampton Institute.

Pea shooting controversy

This year’s World Pea Shooting Championships — contestants shoot dried peas at a soft clay target — take place in Witcham, Cambridgeshire. It is hoped there will not be a repetition of last year’s controversy when the winner used a laser guidance system.

Talking washing machines

Electrolux has just announced the launch of its first talking washing machine, which has gone on sale in India. The company is also developing a cooker which will learn how cooks like to cook their food.

Stuck in the air

A woman on a Scandinavian Airlines flight became stuck to a lavatory seat when she used the vacuum flush while still seated. She was freed when the plane landed.

Save the best till last

Most people think that an index is a boring, but sometimes useful, bit at the back of a hook. But it is much more than that. The British Library has just published a collection of the 71 best indexes of all time — from 1427 to the present day.

Back into the records

Grant Melville, 45, has walked into the record books backwards! He climbed Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Britain, making the whole ascent backwards. The climb and descent took 15 hours 37 minutes.


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Complete the table with the words from the texts

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Complete the text below using the correct forms of the words from the list

opponent, repeat, descent, collect, contest, guide, ascent, manager

Make up a paragraph to describe what happened in each picture. Start with: Did you hear about the girl/woman who ….? and use the words and word combinations from the lists

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nine-year old Chinese girl

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whirlwind
  • treetop
  • deposited
  • unharmed
  • sand dunes

Original story

A nine-year old Chinese girl was playing in Songjian near Shanghai, in July 1992 when she was carried off by a whirlwind and deposited unhurt in a treetop almost two miles away. According to a wire report from May 1986, a freak wind lifted up 13 children in the oasis of Hami in Western China and deposited them unharmed in sand dunes and scrub 12 miles away.


bees
bees

after
after the funeral
  • mourner
  • buzzing
  • rooftop
  • in a cluster

Original story

Margaret Bell, who kept bees in Leintwardine, about 7 miles from her home in Ludlow, Shropshire (England), died in June 1994. Soon after her funeral, mourners were amazed to see hundreds of bees settle on the corner of the street opposite the house where she had lived for 26 years. The bees stayed for an hour before buzzing off over the rooftops. The local press ran a photograph of the bees hanging on the wall in a cluster.


voices
voices

health
a brain tumour
  • inflamed
  • operation
  • full recovery

Original story

While on holiday a woman, referred to by the British Medical Journal (1997) as AB, heard two voices in her head telling her to return home immediately. Back in London the voices gave her an address that turned out to be a hospital’s brain scan department. The voices told her to ask for a scan as she had a brain tumour and her brain stem was inflamed. Though she had no symptoms, a scan was eventually arranged and she did indeed have a tumour. After an operation, AB heard the voices again: «We are pleased to have helped you,» they said «Good-bye.» AB made a full recovery.

Watch the video about an incredible dog story. Read the comments and leave yours about 5 facts that strike you most

You know I love animals so much. I love animals and I think they’re smarter than we ever give them credit for. We should respect their intelligence is different than ours. But this is incredible. This is a video. It happened a few days ago, I think, in Alaska. And I’ll just tell you before we start showing it. There’s a state trooper gets a call in the middle of nowhere in Alaska that there’s a house on fire. His GPS is frozen. So, we’ll take it from here.

The dog is waiting right there. We had to cut this down because it ran for a minute and a half. This dog ran, waited on a road for the state trooper. And the state trooper was smart enough to follow the dog. There’s another bend in the road. He follows the dog that way. And like I said we’ve cut it down because it was much longer than is… So, I guess the trooper thinks, «That must be the fire, but it’s just reflective, cause you can see here he almost goes straight. The dog’s still running. He turns the corner and like I said the GPS was frozen, he never would have found this house fire, saved the family. There’s the fire. The dog led them all the way to that fire. And then after the state trooper got there, the dog ran all the way back and waited for the fire truck and led the fire truck all the way to that house as well.

Wow, ha? Amazing! The dog’s name is Buddy and so, Buddy, you know I have a pet food company called Halo. And we’re gonna send Buddy a case of these Liv-a-Littles that dogs love. And he deserves this, ’cause these are like his dids. So, Buddy, actually, Buddy if you could meet UPS truck at the intersection and…


Amanda Mason

God, this made me cry. Dogs are so amazing!!

Katherine Uribe

Unbelievable! There are human beings that aren’t that intelligent… or persistent. God bless this dog.

Zenzi Sage

This dog is a legend even in human terms.


Read the post from the 🔗website with strange stories

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I Had a Strange Experience

I was meditating, only short time maybe up to 5 minutes or so and I tried to keep my mind still and open. Then I went in my bed and suddenly in front of me a window opened. It was a square maybe 20-30 cm each side. In the window there was a flower, it was light blue. It had many, many little blue trombone shape things in it, back of it there was a long leave it was a bit worn, it had spots in it. What I saw was a blue flower, not a picture of a blue flower. I was so surprised I did not do anything, like try to touch it. Then the window closed. What on earth that was? I tried to google internet all blue flowers but there is nothing like that. I am a normal person and I don’t use any narcotic, alcohol etc. I don’t even smoke. Has anyone seen anything like that?

Write a reply using the plan

Plan

  1. Express your opinion on the story and say why you think it’s real/unreal.
  2. Give a couple of reasons why you think the person has seen the flower.
  3. Say if you have had a similar experience of seeing something you couldn’t explain.
  4. Suggest some steps the person can take to investigate the case and uncover the mystery.

Useful language

  • a controversy
  • you never know of course
  • no one can know for certain
  • I can’t tell you for sure
  • I have my own doubts
  • it might be
  • it might not be
  • it could happen

Instructions

  1. Read the topic and the questions carefully.
  2. Plan what you are going to write about.
  3. Write the text according to your plan.
  4. Check your writing before sending it for evaluation.
  5. Learn the rules and see the sample 🔗here.
  6. Please use 🔗Grammarly to avoid spelling and some grammar mistakes.

Урок Homework Курс
  • Extraordinary true story
  • Extraordinary words
  • True and false stories
  • Discussion
  • Lexical contest
  • Second victory
  • Made up stories
  • Incredible dog story
  • Big blue flower

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