Exercise 1



Imagine sharing your birthday with the whole country! That’s exactly what happens every year in Vietnam. The Vietnamese don’t celebrate on the day they were born. Instead everyone gets one year older on the same day – Vietnamese New Year’s day or ‘Tet’. People don’t give birthday presents, but children receive red envelopes with money inside. Children greet older people with the phrase, ‘Long life of 100 years!’

Tet is the biggest celebration of the year in Vietnam – and it can last for a week. Everyone takes to the streets to make as much noise as they can and there are fireworks and lion dances.


Becoming an adult is a very special day for girls in South America and it happens on their fifteenth birthday – the Quinceañera.

In some places, such as parts of Mexico, the father or another relative gives the girl her first pair of high heels as a symbol of becoming a woman. The birthday girl, or quinceañera, often gives out fifteen candles, one to each of the fifteen most important people in her life.

Then there is a meal and dancing. The quinceañera’s first dance is always with her father.


In Japan everyone has a day off to celebrate the world’s biggest twentieth birthday party.

The second Monday of January every year is ‘Coming of Age Day’ or ‘Seijin no hi’ – the day all twenty-year-old Japanese become adults.

Men wear suits and girls dress in beautiful kimonos, which they often have to rent or borrow because they’re so expensive. A ceremony is held in the local government office and afterwards the new adults can party with their friends and family.


Your 100th birthday is a big day in any country, but it’s even more special in the UK – you get a card from the Queen! Don’t forget to let her know though – the Queen is a busy woman, so you or your family should apply before the big day.

Each card she sends contains a personal greeting – when twins reach 100 years old together, each one gets a slightly different message. The oldest person who has ever received a birthday card from the Queen was 116 years old.

A. Read the article. What do the numbers refer to? (Sometimes there is more than one possible answer.)

1      15      20      100

B. Read the article again and answer the questions.

For which celebration do people …?

1   wear clothes they can’t afford to buy

2   need to request something

3   both give and receive something

4   have a party that goes on for several days

5   wear special shoes

6   not go to work so they can celebrate



1:   Vietnamese New Year, or ‘Tet’, when everybody gets one year older

15:   the age a girl becomes a woman in Latin America; the birthday girl often gives out 15 candles

20:   the age when Japanese people become adults

100:   the age when people in the UK receive a birthday card from the Queen; on New Year’s day in Vietnam, children greet older people with ‘Long life of 100 years!’


1 20, Japan   2 100, the UK   3 15, Latin America   4 1, Vietnam

5 15, Latin America   6 20, Japan

Exercise 2

Hi Martina,

How are you? We haven’t seen you for ages! Hope you’re well and you’re enjoying your new job. This is just to say that we’re having a barbecue at the weekend. Are you free on Saturday and, if so, would you like to come? People are going to arrive around eight o’clock. Everyone’s bringing something for the barbecue. Do you think you could bring something?

It would be lovely to see you and have a chance to chat.

Best wishes,


Hi Bill,

How are things? I hope the cycling trip went well – you had good weather for it!

Are you doing anything on Saturday evening? We’re having a barbecue and inviting a few people. Can you come? It’d be great to see you!

Everyone is bringing something. We’ll make some salads, but could you bring some meat for the barbecue?



A. Barbara sent emails inviting people to her barbecue. Read the emails and answer the questions.

1   Has Barbara seen Martina recently?

2   When is the barbecue?

3   What do Martina and Bill need to bring to the barbecue?

B. Who do you think Barbara sees more often? How do you know?



1   no

2   Saturday, around 8 o’clock

3   Martina: something (for the barbecue) Bill: meat


Bill because she knows what activities he did recently. She says she hasn’t seen Martina for ages.

Exercise 3


with film director Julia Fitzgerald

7:15 am   The sun is shining, and I’m going to put my tracksuit on and go for a run. I love this time of the day as it’s so peaceful and quiet down on Venice Beach.

10:00 am   I’m going to a film premiere tonight so I have to look my best. I’ve arranged to meet my friend at an indoor shopping mall in Santa Monica, but she’s not here yet. It’s a modern place with lots of great shops and some pretty little cafés. I’d like to buy a new dress. It’s crowded today, so I’m sure we’ll be here all day!

1:15 pm   We’ve stopped for lunch at an ordinary LA diner. I haven’t bought anything yet, but all this walking around is making me hungry. I’m going to get a burger and fries.

2:20 pm   My friend’s taking me to a huge new department store, which sells everything. She thinks we’ll find something in here.

3:05 pm   Success! I’ve found a gorgeous red dress and matching high heels. We’ve decided to celebrate with coffee and cake at my favourite outdoor café near the beach.

4:22 pm   I’m in a taxi now. I’ve got an appointment at the hairdresser’s at 4:30 pm. I hope I won’t be late. I think I might be!

6:35 pm   I’m nearly ready. Shall I wear the gold bracelet and necklace or the black one? I can’t decide. The car is coming at 7:00 pm so I have a bit of time.

7:15 pm   We’re driving up to the theatre for the premiere. It’s crowded and noisy as everyone is hoping to see all the stars. It’s my first time at a premiere so I’m so excited. It’s going to be a brilliant night!

A. Read the magazine article. Put the events in the correct order that Julia does them.

……   Arriving at the theatre

……   Getting a new outfit

……   Going to the hairdresser’s

……   Having lunch

……   Meeting my friend

..1..   Running on Venice Beach

B. Read the magazine article again. Are the sentences true or false?

1   There are lots of people on Venice Beach in the morning.

2   Julia thinks she will spend all day shopping.

 There are lots of people at the shopping mall.

 Julia doesn’t want to have lunch until she’s bought a new dress.

5   Julia is looking forward to the evening because she has never been to a premiere before.

C. Complete the sentences with the correct forms of the verbs in brackets.

1   Julia …is meeting… her friend at the shopping mall today. (meet)

2   At 1:15 Julia is …………… lunch. She …………… anything yet. (have, buy)

3   At 4:22 Julia …………… the hairdresser’s in a taxi. (go)

4   At 6:35 Julia …………… to go out. (get ready)

5   At 7:15 she …………… at the theatre. (arrive)

D. Write an email to a friend about your plans for the weekend. Remember to include:

•   where you are going

•   what you are going to do

•   who you are going with

•   what you think will happen.



6, 4, 5, 3, 2, 1


True: 2, 3, 5; False: 1, 4


2   going to have, hasn’t bought / has not bought

3   is going to / ‘s going to

4   is getting ready / ‘s getting ready

5   is arriving / ‘s arriving

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This