1. Listen and underline the correct answer.

1   Every year, between 3rd and 5th March/May, the local people fly colourful kites.

2   It all started about 430/340 years ago.

3   Everywhere I went I could smell/try cakes and sweets cooking.

4   I noticed that every group/team had different costumes.

5   They wore strings/scarves around their heads.

6   The atmosphere was terrible/fantastic.

7   It made me feel sad/happy to think that I would leave for Tokyo the next day.

Answer & Audioscript

1 May   2 430   3 smell   4 team   5 scarves   6 fantastic   7 sad


The Kite Battles

I’ll never forget my visit to the Japanese city of Hamamatsu. I decided to go at the beginning of May, when the local people have their kite festival. Every year, between 3rd and 5th May, the local people fly colourful kites to bring their children good health, strength and courage. On the way there I read a little about the history of the Hamamatsu Kite Festival. Apparently, it all started about 430 years ago, when the lord of the region sent a huge kite into the sky with his child’s name on it.

When I arrived there, a few days before the beginning of the festival, I was amazed at the preparations involved. Some people were making enormous kites, while others were busy decorating brightly-coloured floats. Everywhere I went I could smell cakes and sweets cooking, ready for the big festival. I couldn’t wait to try them!

On the first day of the festival, the sky was filled with huge, colourful kites. I was so excited that I couldn’t take my eyes off the sky. “The aim of the battle,” explained an old man, “is not to win a prize, but for the teams to show off their skills by knocking the other teams’ kites out of the sky.” He also told me that each team was flying a kite for a family who had recently had their first child. I noticed that every team had different costumes, which were embroidered with elaborate designs to match the ones on their kites. They wore scarves around their heads and they had to wear gloves to protect their hands from the kite strings. The kite teams were mostly men, but hundreds of women and children had come to watch the event. The atmosphere was fantastic, and all around me people kept waving flags, banging drums, playing trumpets and blowing whistles. At the same time, the teams were furiously tugging their opponents’ kites to the ground. I couldn’t help admiring them for putting on such a stunning show.

On the last evening of the festival, I really enjoyed walking around the city centre and watching the floats. People had put an incredible amount of work into making them and they were really beautiful. It made me feel sad to think that I would leave for Tokyo the next day, but I knew that the memories of the kite festival would stay with me forever.

2. Listen and tick (✓) the things which are going to happen at Jane’s party.

1   they / have a buffet

2   Jane’s mum / bake a cake

3   they / go bowling

4   Jane / blow out candles

5   father / make a speech

6   they / play party games

7   they / dance

8   magician / perform tricks

Answer & Audioscript

1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7


Jeff:   Hi, Jane!

Jane:   Oh, Jeff! I’m glad I bumped into you! Do you know about my party on Saturday night?

Jeff:   No.

Jane:   Okay. Well, it’s going to be at the Alpine Hotel …

Jeff:   Sounds like fun.

Jane:   It will be! We’re going to have a buffet with sandwiches and things like that, and my mother is going to bring a cake …

Jeff:   Is she going to bake it herself?

Jane:   Yes, she is!

Jeff:   Mmm – your mother’s a terrific cook! Hey, isn’t there a bowling alley near the Alpine Hotel? Are we going to go bowling?

Jane:   No, Jeff! We won’t have time! Anyway, after I’ve blown out the candles, my father’s going to make a speech.

Jeff:   (sarcastically) Oh, great.

Jane:   Come on, Jeff, it is my birthday, after all.

Jeff:   Yeah, I guess so. So, what else?

Jane:   Um. Ah yes, then we’re going to play some party games, and finally we’re going to have a disco.

Jeff:   Great! So you’ve hired a DJ?

Jane:   Mm-hmm. I wanted a magician to perform some tricks, too, but they’re so expensive. Anyway, it might be a bit childish, so we decided not to have a magician after all.

Jeff:   Never mind, it sounds like it’s going to be a great party.

Jane:   I hope so – and I’m so glad you can come …

3. Listen and answer the questions.

1   What is the writer’s favourite group?

2   What time did the concert start?

3   What was Eddie Easton holding?

4   How did the writer feel after the concert?

Answer & Audioscript

1   The writer’s favourite group is The Runners.

2   The concert started at eleven o’clock (in the morning).

3   Eddie Easton was holding his silver guitar.

4   The writer felt exhausted, but also delighted that he had had the chance to see his favourite band and talk to Eddie Easton in front of 5,000 people.


Unforgettable Moments

      Have you ever been to a rock concert? I went to one last Saturday at Pinecrest, a public park near Bath, and it was fantastic. It was an all-day event with six different bands, including The Runners, my favourite group.

      It was only nine o’clock in the morning when I got there, so I watched as they set up the speakers for the sound system. One of the men working there even asked me to help, so I ran over and gave him a hand.

      The concert started at eleven o’clock, and since I had helped earlier I was allowed to sit at the edge of the stage. I was almost close enough to touch the performers. The best part of the concert for me was when The Runners appeared. I couldn’t believe it when Eddie Easton, The Runners’ lead singer, walked out holding his silver guitar. I felt very excited to be so close to my favourite singer. Everyone started clapping. Eddie stopped right in front of me, leaned over, and told me to enjoy the show. Then he started singing all of his hits. We all joined in with him and danced to the music. The rest of the concert was wonderful, and everybody had a great time.

      Walking home, I felt exhausted, but also delighted that I had had the chance to see my favourite band and talk to Eddie in front of five thousand people.

4. Listen to Jeff and Cathy, then say where they decide to go and why.

Answer & Audioscript

Suggested answers

They decide to go to the theatre to see Romeo and Juliet, because it’s romantic and the theatre company is (said to be) very good.

They decide not to go to the concert at the Palais, because it finishes late, the sound quality at the Palais is awful and the seats aren’t very comfortable.


Jeff:   Where do you fancy going on Friday to celebrate our anniversary?

Cathy:   How about going to see Tony King at the Palais?

Jeff:   What? Is he still going? He must be over fifty years old now! Are the Starbusters playing, too?

Cathy:   Yes. The tickets are quite cheap. They’re only £15.

Jeff:   What time is the concert?

Cathy:   Let’s see … it starts at ten, and finishes at one in the morning.

Jeff:   That’s a little late, don’t you think? I have to teach on Saturday. How about something a bit more romantic? Oh, look – Romeo and Juliet is on at the Queen’s Theatre.

Cathy:   That would be nice … but you’d prefer Tony King, wouldn’t you?

Jeff:   Well, I admit that I used to like him when I was younger, but to tell you the truth, the sound quality at the Palais is awful and the seats aren’t very comfortable, either. Actually, Romeo and Juliet would be wonderful.

Cathy:   OK. Let’s reserve two tickets. They’re £20 each, but it will be worth going. The Burton Theatre Company is said to be very good.

Jeff:   Great! I’ll call the box office now …

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