Listening task 1: Information

A Listen. People are talking about Hawaii. What are the topics? Circle the correct answers.

1   a. clothing styles

     b. hairstyles

2   a. work

     b. relaxation

3   a. transportation

     b. vacation

4   a. music

     b. dance

Answer & Audioscripts

1 a   2 b   3 a   4 a

Audioscripts in B below

B Listen again. Circle the correct information.

1   Many businesses have Aloha Mondays / Fridays.

2   Hawaii has a lot of spas / hotels.

3   Tourists / Traffic can be a problem in Honolulu.

4   The hula is a traditional song / dance.

Answer & Audioscripts

1 Fridays   2 spas   3 Traffic   4 dance



Man:   Everybody seems more easygoing in Hawaii. For example, on Fridays, many businesses have “Aloha Fridays.” That means you can come to work in casual clothes: flowered dresses for women, called muumuus, and for men, colorful, flowered shirts called aloha shirts. In the summer, when it’s hot, you can wear shorts to work, too – of course, nice-looking shorts. It’s easier to work when you feel relaxed and comfortable.


Woman:   There’s a lot to do here in Hawaii; tourists definitely won’t get bored. Most people come here just to relax and get away from their stress. Hawaii has a lot of spas where you can go to get a massage. And there are lots of beautiful places to go outside and get some exercise. Just being out in nature is relaxing. Sometimes you can smell tropical flowers in the air – it’s almost like aromatherapy! Some places even sell herbal tea made from Hawaiian flowers and plants. You should try some!


Man:   Honolulu, the capital city, is getting more and more crowded these days, so it can be a little stressful. One way people deal with traffic is to ride scooters. Scooters use gas, but not as much as cars use. And they’re smaller – about the size of a bicycle – so they can move around cars easily. Scooters aren’t very fast, though, so it’s better to use them on smaller roads.


Woman:   People ask me what kind of music is popular here. A lot of people know about traditional Hawaiian music, and dances like the hula. Traditional Hawaiian music is still popular here, but mostly with people my parents’ age. Kids my age listen to the same music all kids listen to – rock music, hip hop, music like that.

Listening task 2: Graduation day

A Listen. A man is talking about high school graduation events in Hawaii. Number the pictures from 1 to 5. (There is one extra picture.)

Answer & Audioscripts

1 wear caps and gowns   2 sing songs

3 get a diploma   4 wear leis   5 have a party

Audioscripts in B below

B Listen again. Circle the correct information.

1   Girls and boys wear the same thing / something different.

2   Teachers / Students write one every year.

3   Students receive these from their parents / the principal.

4   This tradition is old / new.

5   This happens at school / a restaurant.

Answer & Audioscripts

1 the same thing   2 Students

3 the principal   4 old   5 a restaurant



Interviewer:   So, as Director of Student Activities, you’re in charge of the high school graduation at Mid-Pacific Institute in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Bill:   That’s right. I’ve been running graduations for about five years now. You know, here in Hawaii, high school graduation is really a big deal. It’s important, but it’s also a lot of fun.

Interviewer:   Do students dress up for graduation? I mean, do they wear anything special?

Bill:   Oh, yes. Hawaii is a relaxed place, sure, but graduation is kind of a formal event. Students wear traditional caps and gowns – you know, long robes that go over your clothes. Both girls’ and boys’ caps and gowns are white. Then over the gowns they wear a green sash with the year and the emblem of the school. Green and white are our school colors, but many schools wear black caps and gowns.


Interviewer:   What actually happens during the ceremony?

Bill:   Well, all of the graduating students sing two songs. Here at Mid-Pacific every graduating class writes its own song, an original song written by the students themselves, so they sing that. This year it was called “How Can We Say Good-bye?” And this year, the students played the music for the song, too.


Interviewer:   OK. So what happens next?

Bill:   Well, then it’s time for the students to get their diplomas – the actual piece of paper that says you’ve graduated. They come up on stage one at a time, shake hands with the principal, and he gives them their diplomas.

Interviewer:   What does the diploma say on it?

Bill:   It has the name of the high school, the student’s name, of course, and the date and the principal’s signature.


Interviewer:   Do you think there’s anything else special about a graduation in Hawaii that’s different from other parts of the United States?

Bill:   Oh, yeah, the leis. Friends and family members give the students leis.

Interviewer:   Leis – those necklaces made of flowers?

Bill:   Yes. Students all wear leis. It’s an old Hawaiian custom. They smell really wonderful. These days, some people give leis made of candy, or even money, but I like the flower ones best. They’re more traditional, more Hawaiian. So by the end of the graduation ceremony, students have so many leis around their necks, they can hardly move!


Interviewer:   So, what other events take place at graduation? Do students have a party or anything?

Bill:   Oh, yes. We have something called “Project Grad.” It’s a party that the school gives for the graduates, with music and really great food, dancing, and some games and prizes.

Interviewer:   Does it take place at school?

Bill:   No, we rent a really big restaurant, or someplace like that in town. It’s at a different place every year.

Interviewer:   How long does the party last?

Bill:   All night! Hey, you only graduate from high school once. You should enjoy it.

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