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The Mona Lisa
G : What are you looking at, Billy?
B : This is a copy of my favorite painting. It’s the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci.
G : Why is that your favorite painting?
B : Well, there are a few things that make the Mona Lisa great. First, she has no eyebrows. Second, she has a really beautiful smile. Most of all, I like the soft colors of the painting. Have you seen the Mona Lisa before? It is a very famous painting!
G : Of course! I’ve seen the painting a few times before. But I never noticed that her eyebrows are missing. I wonder why she has no eyebrows. Do you know why?
B : At the time da Vinci painted it, it was fashionable for young Italian girls to shave off their eyebrows. Every girl wanted to be fashionable.
G : Wow! That’s really interesting! In what year was the Mona Lisa painted?
B : I think it was painted sometime between 1503 and 1505.
G : I wonder what a modern Mona Lisa would look like.
B : She might have purple hair!
G : Once upon a time, there was a poor, kind man named Bang Yi. He had a rich but greedy brother. One day, Bang Yi asked his brother to give him some grain seeds to grow. His greedy brother gave Bang Yi some poisoned seeds.
Only one plant grew from the poisoned seeds, but Bang Yi was very happy. He took good care of the plant. Then, one afternoon, a bird came and stole the plant. Bang Yi chased the bird into the forest. In the forest, he saw two monsters using a magic stick to turn rocks into food. Bang Yi hid behind a big rock and watched the monsters. The monsters ate a lot of food. Soon, they became very sleepy. When the monsters had fallen asleep, Bang Yi took their magic stick. He became very rich!
Bang Yi’s greedy brother went to the forest to find a magic stick for himself. The angry monsters saw him. They chased him deep into the forest. The greedy brother was never seen again.
W: Friends are an important part of our lives. They help us in many ways. Do you tell your friends that you are glad they are your friends? Everyone should tell their friends that they are special.
Did you know that there is now a special day just for friends? This day is called National Friendship Day. The first Sunday in August was chosen to be National Friendship Day in 1935. This holiday is not as big as Christmas or New Year’s Day. However, it is still a special day.
People are usually too busy to visit their friends often. But this day is different. On this day, people take time to tell their friends how much they care. They write cards or send emails to their friends. They may also call their friends, no matter how busy they are. People hug their friends or spend time with them.
There are many ways to show you care. You need not wait for a special day. Call your friends right now!
An Outdoor Exhibit
M: Do you like photographs?
W: What kind of photos?
M: Photos of plants and animals, for example. Or mountains and oceans.
W: The sort of photographs a nature magazine would publish.
M: That’s right.
W: Of course! I love nature photos. They are very beautiful.
M: Some of them are very colorful.
W: Yes. Most nature photos are so interesting. Sometimes, I buy nature magazines just for the photos.
M: Me, too. I like taking nature photos with my camera. But they are not very good.
W: My photos are not good, either. Famous nature magazines only publish very good photos.
M: That’s true. People must be very talented to get their photos published.
W: Yeah. Why are we suddenly talking about photographs? Is there an exhibit somewhere?
M: How did you guess? There is an outdoor exhibit going on right now.
M: Yes. Nature photographs from all over the world are on display.
W: That sounds great! I would love to see it.
M: Me, too. Would you like to go with me?
W: Sure. How about Sunday morning?
M: OK! It will be fun to see all those photos!
People Are Different!
W: There are more than six billion human beings in the world. Each one is different from all the others. No two people look exactly alike. People from one country may look the same in general. But they are not totally alike.
Most people in Vietnam have straight black hair and black eyes. But they all look different. People in America have straight hair, curly hair, or wavy hair. Their hair may be black, brown, yellow, or red. Some people have brown or gray eyes. Some have blue or green eyes. Even people in the same family look different from each other!
We all think differently. We all like different things. We like different kinds of food and different kinds of music. We also like different styles of clothing.
Wherever you are, you are different from everyone else. Nobody else looks just like you. Nobody has your thoughts or your talents. There are more than six billion people on Earth, but none of them are exactly like you. You are one of a kind!
- Listening Practice Through Dictation Level 4 – Topic: Travel and Transport
- Listening Practice Through Dictation Level 4 – Topic: Sports and Health
- Listening Practice Through Dictation Level 4 – Topic: People and Work
- Listening Practice Through Dictation Level 4 – Topic: School and Family
- Listening Practice Through Dictation Level 4 – Topic: Leisure and Entertainment
- Listening Practice Through Dictation Level 4 – Topic: Art and Culture