Listening Comprehension Essay Sample

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1) First of all tell me please, what are the most famous UK’s attractions. Name them (Snowdonia, the Lake District, the Giant’s Causeway). Now look at the pictures and say which attraction they describe:

Where is the attraction situated?
2) There are a few theories about the origin of the Giant’s Causeway.
Which of them do you believe?
a) man-made
b) natural formation
c) volcanic activity

Now listen to the text about the Giant’s Causeway. While listening, get ready to answer these questions: 1) Which of these theories about the origin of the Giant’s Causeway was proved to be right? 2) What happened according to the legend of the Giant’s Causeway?

the Country of Antrim
the Bishop of Londonderry
Finn McCool

Text: T h e G i a n t’ s C a u s e w a y is a place of breathtaking beauty, one of the greatest wonders of the world, covered in mystery. It’s located in the County of Antrim in Northern Ireland, in the north-eastern part of Ireland. Its beauty was opened to people by the Bishop of Londonderry who visited the north of Ireland in 1692 and discovered the causeway. Later he spoke about it in Dublin and London and in 1694, a debate started on how it was formed. Theories ranged from men-made to natural formation, but scientists were puzzled by the amazing symmetry of thousands of columns. The mechanism of their formation was not clear until 1771 when a Frenchman explained it was the result of volcanic activity. The columns that make up the causeway were formed about 60 million years ago by cooling lava. While the Bishop brought knowledge of the causeway to a wider world, the first people who probably saw it were the hunters and gatherers who settled in the area after the last ice age (10,000 years ago). It is believed that they travelled around the densely forested north coast by boats and saw the causeway on their travels. Perhaps they created a lot of myths and legends about this area. This is one of them. Once upon a time on the north coast of Ireland, there lived a gentle giant called Finn McCool with his wife Oonagh.

At fifty two feet six inches, which is more than 17 metres, he was a small giant. But across the sea in Scotland there lived a giant called Benandonner, who used to shout that he was stronger and could easily beat Finn McCool if there was no sea between them. So Finn decided to build a causeway (a bridge) out of huge stones across the water, as no boat at their time was large enough to hold a giant. But the work was so hard and Finn was so tired that he fell asleep without waiting for the Scottish giant. Oonagh, Finn’s wife, woke up early the next morning to find Finn sound asleep. Then she heard the sound of huge footsteps and saw the strong Benandonner. He was truly gigantic. She understood that Finn would not win the fight against this Scottish giant.

And she knew that fights aren’t always won on the basis of size and strength. Quick thinking Oonagh covered the sleeping Finn with a dress and hat. “Where’s Finn?” thundered Benandonner, “Where is he hiding?” Oonagh pointed to the sleeping Finn. “Be quiet,” she told Benandonner, “or you’ll wake the child!” Benandonner panicked. If the child was that big, how much bigger might Finn be? He did not stay to see. He quickly went back across the causeway, destroying it behind him so that Finn McCool couldn’t follow him. Believe it or not, but this amazing place is called the Giant’s Causeway. In 1986, the Giant’s Causeway was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a year later it became a Natural Nature Reserve in Northern Ireland. Today it’s Northern Ireland’s most popular tourist attraction.

Listen again and do the following exercises:
1) Put the sentences in the right order:
a) A debate on how it was formed started in 1694.
b) A Frenchman explained it was the result of volcanic activity. c) The Giant’s Causeway was discovered by the Bishop of Londonderry . d) The legend says that there were two giants who challenged (бросили вызов) each other. e) Benandonner thought that Finn was a very big giant and quickly left for Scotland, ruining the causeway behind him. f) The hunters who settled in the area after the last ice age 10,000 ago created a lot of legends about it. g) When Benandonner came for a fight, Finn’s wife Oonagh covered the sleeping Finn with a dress and a hat and said that it was their baby. h) Finn McCool built a causeway across the sea for Benandonner to come and see who was stronger. i) Finn was so tired that he fell asleep.

Keys: c, a, b, f, d, h, i, g, e.
2) Choose the correct answer:
1. The Bishop of Londonderry discovered the causeway in
a) 1792.
b) 1692.
c) 1694.

2. The columns that make up the causeway were formed
a) about 60 million years ago.
b) about 16 million years ago.
c) after the last ice age (10, 000 years ago).

3. The causeway was first seen by
a) the Bishop of Londonderry.
b) Finn McCool.
c) hunters and gatherers.

4. The causeway was built by
a) a giant called Benandonner.
b) a giant called Finn McCool.
c) Finn’s wife Oonagh.

5. The two giants never fought because
a) Oonagh panicked.
b) Finn panicked.
c) Benandonner panicked.
Keys: 1b, 2a, 3c, 4b, 5c.

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