Exercise 1


Do you find hotels too cold and unfriendly? Do you want to live like a local when you go on holiday? A new generation of websites, such as Airbnb, can help you find privately owned rooms, apartments and houses to rent.

‘Hosts’ create profiles of places to rent. ‘Guests’ can browse the profiles, read reviews written by guests and make reservations online. Prices range from about £25 to £100 per night, depending on the accommodation and the location.

But what’s it like to stay at a stranger’s house when you’re on holiday? And if you’re a host, what’s it like to open your home to people you don’t know? We spoke to some guests and hosts to find out.


Antonia   My friend and I stayed in this amazing modern villa in California for ten days. It had eight bedrooms, a pool and the biggest kitchen I’ve ever seen (in which Jeff, our host, cooked fantastic breakfasts for us!). Jeff was so nice. He gave us lots of information about the local area and invited us to join him for dinner. We ended up becoming good friends – he’s going to come and stay in my house when he comes to Italy next year.

Kumi   I’ve stayed in Berlin a few times, but I’ve always stayed in a hotel. This experience was completely different. I had the whole of the top floor of an old house, and the rent included a bicycle too, which was great for travelling about. The hosts (Karl and Alexandra) were very kind, and we had good conversations every mealtime. They let me use the kitchen, which was great as the restaurants nearby are quite expensive. The shopkeepers in the area knew I was staying at Karl and Alexandra’s and they were all very friendly. I felt like a local by the end of the week!


Roberto   I’ve been an Airbnb host for three years. In that time I’ve met some wonderful people – musicians, families, sportspeople, professors, hikers and students – who’ve needed accommodation for different reasons. They’ve come from different parts of the world and it’s been a pleasure to get to know them. The only problem is that you have to do so much washing and cleaning!

Lisa   Some people worry about theft, but I’ve had more than 100 guests and no one has ever stolen anything from me. Some guests are nicer than others, of course, but on the whole they’ve been charming and friendly. I usually ask people why they’re travelling when they make a reservation. It’s a good way to get to know a bit about them.

Clara   My family has a holiday cottage in Scotland. We decided to rent it out when we’re not using it. It was easy to set up the profile on the website. You have to trust people to treat your property as if it was their own home, but we only accept reservations from guests who have good reviews.

A. Read the introduction of A more personal place to stay and choose the best summary.

1   Airbnb is an advertising website for hotels.

2   Airbnb is a website for travellers and people who have rooms to rent.

3   Airbnb is a travel advice website that has reviews of hotels and restaurants.

B. Would you like to stay in someone else’s home? What would be good or bad about it?

C. Read What the guests say … . Answer the questions. Write A (Antonia) or K (Kumi).

 Who could swim at the place they stayed?

 Who felt ‘at home’ in the neighbourhood?

 Who could easily get around the city?

 Who cooked their own food?

 Who is going to see their host(s) again?

D. Read What the hosts say … . Do they mention the advantages and disadvantages you talked about?

E. Read the texts above again and match the words in bold with the definitions.

 a building that someone owns

 place(s) to stay

 a small house in the country side

 an enjoyable experience

 the crime of stealing something

 an arrangement to stay somewhere (e.g. a hotel room)



2   Airbnb is a website for travellers and people who have rooms to rent.


Good points: it’s cheaper and more personal than other forms of accommodation.

Bad points: it could feel too personal, or it might not be as clean or well organised as a hotel.


1   A   ‘It had … a pool’

2   K   ‘I felt like a local by the end of the week!’

3   K   ‘the rent included a bicycle too’

4   K   ‘They let me use the kitchen’

5   A   ‘he’s going to come and stay in my house when he comes to Italy next year’


Advantages: you meet wonderful people, from all over the world; most people are charming and friendly.

Disadvantage: you have to do a lot of washing and cleaning; you have to trust people to treat your property as if it was their own home.


1 property   2 accommodation   3 cottage   4 pleasure

5 theft   6 reservation

Exercise 2

1   Welcome to Miami! Hope you have a nice stay in the apartment. Here are a few things you need to know …

2   Please make yourselves at home and help yourselves to anything in the kitchen. There’s some chicken in the fridge, and lots of fruit and salad, so that should be enough for a couple of meals. I also got a couple of pizzas for the kids – they’re in the freezer.

3   After that, you’ll need to go shopping. The best place is the Sunshine Center. Go out of the main entrance of the apartment and turn left, and you’ll see it about 100 metres down the road. It’s got a couple of supermarkets, a good bookshop and a few good places to eat. Otherwise, there’s a good place for burgers a bit further down the road. Apart from that, there are some good restaurants by the sea, but they’re a bit further away.

4   By the way, if you do go out in the evening, don’t walk around late at night – the streets round here are not very safe at night, though they’re OK during the daytime.

 Anyway, the car’s in the parking lot, so you can use that for any trips. If you’re going into Miami, another possibility is to take the train, but you’ll find the car easier! You’ll also need the car to go to the beach. The nearest one is Golden Beach, about 15 minutes’ drive away. Another option is Ocean Beach, about 30 minutes further north, which is usually much less crowded. Alternatively, you could try Miami Beach nearer the centre, but it can be difficult to park.

 Enjoy your stay and see you in a fortnight!



A. Read the note above which Sue’s cousin left in the apartment in Miami. Underline the correct words.

 The streets are safe in the daytime / all the time.

 The apartment is in the centre of / just outside Miami.

 The apartment is right next to / far from the sea.

 Jutka will be away for a week / more than a week.

B. Match the purposes a—f with sections 1—6 in the note.

a   to explain options for buying food

b   to give information about going to places further away

c   to finish the note

d   to greet the reader and say what the note is about

e   to give safety advice about the area round the apartment

 to give information about things in the apartment



 in the daytime (section 4)

 just outside (section 5)

 far from (section 5)

 more than a week (section 6)


a 3   b 5   c 6   d 1   e 4   f 2

Exercise 3



DETROIT was at one time one of the most famous cities in the United States, and perhaps even the world. This was the city where Henry Ford built the Ford Motor Company in 1903, and it didn’t take long for Detroit to become known as ‘Motor City’. Later, ‘Motor City’ became simply ‘Motown’, which was, of course, the name given to the popular American music of the 1960s and ‘70s that came out of the city, including The Jackson 5 – the band where Michael Jackson sang such hits as ‘I Want You Back’ and ‘ABC’. Today, however, Detroit is a very different place.


In 1950, the city had a population of 1.8 million and there were nearly 300,000 men and women working in its car factories. Nowadays, that population is just 700,000 and only 27,000 have jobs connected with the car industry. So many people moved out of Detroit after 2001 that by 2010, more than a third of Detroit’s houses, factories and schools were empty. In lots of neighbourhoods, not only was there no more noise from the traffic but there was also no more music. The city was so cold and dark that many people thought the city had died. Then businessmen John Hantz and Michael Score moved in.


Hantz and Score, who both have family connections in Detroit, cared about what was happening there. They also both believed in the same very simple idea – urban farms. Together, they bought lots of empty land in the city and then pulled down 50 old houses. Instead of broken buildings, there are now fields of trees. Once Hantz and Score had succeeded in showing what could be done with all that empty land, lots of other people started to create their own gardens. Men and women who used to build cars and lorries are now planting fruit and vegetables. And now something even better has happened.


In the first ten years of the 21st century, crime increased and many residents became worried about safety on the streets at night. But now, incredibly, crime has fallen and many residents believe this must be due to the new urban farms and gardens. Although it has not been proven whether the new green spaces are the reason that crime has gone down, you can be sure that no one in the city is complaining about it! Perhaps this could be a change other cities around the world could learn from, and it might not be long before ‘Motor City’ becomes known as ‘Green City’.

A. Read the article. Match the paragraphs A—D with functions 1—6. There are two extra functions you do not need.

Paragraph A ………

Paragraph B ………

Paragraph C ………

Paragraph D ………

1   To describe how Detroit changed

2   To explain that education in Detroit has become worse

3   To make a prediction about the future of Detroit

4   To show that Detroit helped a singer become famous

5   To show that Detroit might be improving

6   To show the reader why Detroit is an important place

B. Read the text again and put the information in the correct order of the article.

……   a possible benefit of recent changes to Detroit

……   businessmen whose relatives are from Detroit

……   how old parts of Detroit have changed recently

……   other names for Detroit

……   popular songs that came from Detroit

..1..   a businessman who made Detroit famous

……   the number of people who live in Detroit

……   a famous singer who made records in Detroit

……   the way people might think about Detroit in the future

……   where many people in the city used to work

C. Think about your hometown or another place that you know well. Make notes about:

•   where it is

•   how old it is

•   some famous people who have lived there

•   some things it is famous for / things that you can only find in that place

•   some important changes that have happened there in the last 50 years.

Write a short essay about this place.



A 6   B 1   C 5   D 3


9, 7, 8, 2, 4, 1, 5, 3, 10, 6

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