Ellie S Success By Langbourne College

As I glanced at the house in the distance, tears welled up in my eyes. How could I ever have known that my wish to be reunited with my parents would be met with such grief and hostility?

"This was the worst natural disaster in the last thirty years," said Robert Albert, meteorologist for Channel 5 News. Schools and businesses are expected to remain closed until Thursday.

A spokesman for the construction company stated that the two injured builders would receive the best medical attention at the company's expense. "We will take strict safety measures to ensure unfortunate incidents like this will not occur again in the future."

4 Replace each of the underlined words/phrases in the sentences below with synonymous ones from the list.

led to a public outcry, far-reaching repercussions, widespread fear, make a bid, fruitless, gave his seal of approval, wary, put paid to

1 The Education Minister agreed to the new government proposals to reduce subsidies to universities.

2 A Royal Air Force officer is planning to try to break the world land-speed record.

3 A fire at Weston nuclcar power station has caused a lot of worry among local residents.

4 Attempts to promote non-biodegradable detergents have made ajoiof people very angry due to the threat such products pose to the environment.

5 Residents were advised to be cautious of anyone acting suspiciously.

6 Accusations of embezzlement ruined the senator's hopes of running for president next year.

7 The Prime Minister's decision to raise taxes will have a serious effect on the lives of many Britons.

8 The police have appealed to the government following their unsuccessful attempts to stamp out crime among street gangs.


Read the following models and; a) say which is a news report and which is a narrative; b) give the paragraph plan for each model; c) say which requires a headline; and d) decide which model: i) is formal in style; ii) mentions the writer's feelings and reactions; iii) contains passive forms and direct speech; iv) includes rhetorical questions; and v) contains short forms.

A huge explosion shook the centre of Chunswick yesterday afternoon. The event occurred shortly before five o'clock when a petrol tanker caught fire in Breakerton Road. Several people were killed in the explosion, which also caused extensive damage to nearby buildings.

Seven people, including three young children, died instantly in the explosion and fifteen others were later taken to hospital suffering from serious burns. The blast also destroyed the fronts of three buildings as well as a number of vehicles parked near the stationary tanker. Fortunately, the flames did not reach the underground storage tanks at the nearby service station.

Fire experts report that the explosion occurred after a burning cigarette was dropped into a puddle of petrol which had leaked from a pipe feeding petrol from the tanker into one of the service station's storage tanks. This verdict has been confirmed by several eyewitnesses, who claim to have been alarmed at the sight of the tanker's driver smoking a cigarette next to his vehicle while the filling process was in progress.

A spokesman for BALCO, the petrol company involved, has expressed deep regret at the incident. He added that all of the explosion's victims would receive compensation for their physical and emotional suffering.

It was pleasantly sunny when 1 set off on my ^^shopping trip. I thought I would escape the constant hassle and commotion of the city centre by taking a detour along Breakerton Road. How was I supposed to know this was a bad decision?

Breakerton Road had really changed a lot since the last time I was there. It seemed to have become one big car park with all kinds of vehicles cluttering up the pavements. The air was thick with the stench of exhaust fumes.

Was it stupidity or plain misfortune that made me choose that café on Breakerton Road for a cup of coffee? Once inside, I couldn't relax, because of the noisy traffic outside and the powerful smell of petrol from the service station next door. As I was sipping my coffee, 1 could see a tanker parked outside. I was alarmed to notice petrol seeping from a loose pipe onto the pavement. I felt a chill run down my spine and signalled to the waiter to bring me the bill.

As I was leaving the café, a couple of men were pointing agitatedly at the ground and then up to the tanker. The tanker driver seemed to take no notice of them as he stood at the back of the tanker smoking a cigarette. The next moment the ground was ablaze. Huge flames leapt up into the air. Thick black clouds blurred my vision. The noise was unimaginably loud, the impact immediate and ferocious. 1 remember the sudden flash of light. An instant later I was unconscious.

1 don't know how I feel about it now. It was several days before I regained consciousness and learned that I was one of the lucky few who survived. I don't know if I should think of it as a terrible accident or search for someone to blame as so many others are doing. But 1 do know that things will never be the same.

6 Read the following notes from a reporter's notebook, and the brief news report which was written using these notes. Underline and number the notes in the order they appear in the news report, then say why the writer has not included the other information. Finally, give a suitable headline for the news report.

Millionaire missing - kidnapped?? - Raymond Bradley (53) 15, victoria St, Keswick Police:

■ abducted 17.45, Friday 17th Sept

■ possible involvement of organised crime syndicate - Bradley contributed to anti-drug fund

■ suspect car found abandoned on shore of Lake Windermere

■ investigations continuing wife (Candice. 48):

■ offering reward of £50,000 for info

■ "l never believed it could happen. It's like a nightmare."

■ "The criminals are trying to get back the money they lost on drug sales."

Daughter (Wendy. 15):

- "He is the kindest man in the world. He was only trying to do some good, and now this happens."

Jeremy Walsh (witness. 38):

■ "I saw him being pushed into a dark red vauxhall cavalier by a tall, dark-haired man in a black suit."

7 Now read the notes below concerning a different event, decide which information you will include, and write a news report of about 150 words, with a suitable headline.

-Trevor Johnston I22) ■a, Chatham Way, sturmnster

-won gold medal for loom in Sal championships yesterday

- university student

- broke previous record by 0.13 sec. . only athlete from Sturminster ever to win a medal -engaged to be married next summer

-celebration organised by Mayor for next Sunday

There is increasing concern for the safety of millionaire Raymond Bradley, who is believed to have been abducted from outside his home in Keswick on Friday afternoon.

He was last seen being pushed into a dark red Vauxhall Cavalier by a tall, dark-haired man in a black suit at about 5.45 pm on Friday. The vehicle was later found abandoned on the shore of Lake Windermere.

The police suspect that an organised crime syndicate may be responsible for Mr Bradley's abduction, since he had recently helped to fund a scheme aimed at ridding the area of illegal drugs. His wife, Candice, fears that local dealers might now be seeking compensation' for their losses.

Mrs Bradley is offering a reward of £50,000 for any information leading to the safe return of her husband. Meanwhile, the police are continuing their investigations.


Bruce Anderson .


8 Read the following opening paragraphs from news reports, and rewrite them by putting the verbs into the passive.

1 Children discovered a suspicious-looking package in a city-centre shop yesterday. The shop owner called the police, who sent a bomb-disposal team which successfully defused the package.

2 The council closed down a well-known restaurant in Laycock last week after they found a mouse in the kitchen. Health officials warned the owner that he could not reopen the restaurant until it met the required standards of cleanliness.

3 A man held passengers on a Manchester bus captive for an hour on Monday afternoon. Police later removed the kidnapper, who was unarmed. They believe the man was making a protest about public transport services in the area.

4 An amateur has broken the world record for windsurfing across the Channel. The mayor of Longbridge congratulated 25-year-old Dean Travers upon his return home on Thursday. Dean had completed his record-breaking trip in near-perfect conditions two days previously.

9 Rewrite the following sentences in reported speech, using the reporting verbs from the list below. Each verb should only be used once.

announced, commented, denied, objected, refused

1 The Prime Minister said yesterday. "A new tax will be introduced from 1st January."

The Prime Minister announced yesterday that a new tax would be introduced from 1st January.

2 "That is not a matter I am prepared to discuss," the witness said to reporters.

3 "I don't like the fact that known criminals are released on bail while awaiting trial," said the judge.

4 Mr Bingley said, "I have never seen this woman before in my life, let alone tried to assault her."

10 Look at the following writing task instructions, then answer the questions below.

a) The newspaper you work for has asked you to write a news report covering a recent tragedy when an aeroplane crash-landed in the desert. Write the news report b) As a reporter you have been sent to interview twin brothers who were separated at birth and reunited thirty years later. Write a news report in about 150 words for the newspaper.

c) Choose two of the headlines below, and write two news reports of about 150 words each:


• What headlines could you use for the first two news reports?

• Which of the following information would you include in the introduction of each news report: what/where/ when/ who/why?

• Which details would you include in the main body of each new« report, and in what order?

• How would you end each news report?

11 Now choose tasks a) and b) or, task c), and write a complete paragraph plan with notes. Then write the news reports in about 150 words each.

5 The spokesman said, "It's worth noting that this is the largest crowd ever to have attended a Cup Final."

Q. Reviews

1 E3 You "ill hear part of a programme in which critics discuss films appearing on TV. Look at the table below, then listen to the cassette and till in the missing information. Finally, using the information, describe the film.

Story theme: a brother who finds out he's got an autistic brother after he inherits money Star(s): Hoffman and Cruise

Acting: superb

Characters: very 5)

Recommendation: don't 6) !t

A review is a speca! type of article written for publication in a magazine, newspaper, etc, giving a bnef description and evaluation of a film. book. play. TV/radio programme. etc. It may be formal or semi-formal in style, depending on its intended readership, and is usually written using present tenses. A successful review should consist of.

a) an introduction which mentions the title, the type of book;play/film/etc. the setting (when/where), the theme, the main characters, etc.;

b) a main body of two or more paragraphs containing the main points of the plot (without revealing the ending), and evaluating such features as the acting writing style, direction, characters, etc.. and c) a conclusion which includes an overall assessment of the work and/or a recommendation, usually with justification.

You may also be asked to give reasons why someone should see the film/play or read the book, how it has influenced you. etc. Note that the number and length of paragraphs vanes depending on the topic.

Useful Language

To begin reviews:

This well-written/informativei'fascinating/lhought-provoking book is ... The film/book/play/etc is set in .../tells the story of .../is based on ... The film/play stars .../is directed by ../is the sequel to...

To end reviews:

You should definitely see/read .../Don't miss it/You might enjoy ... Ail in all. it is well worth seeing/reading, since... On the whole, I wouldn't recommend it. in view of the fact that ... It is a classic of its kind/It is sure to be a hit/best seller...


Paragraph 1

background - type of story, setting, theme, main characters

Main Body

Paragraph 2

main points of the plot Paragraph 3 comments on various features e.g. acting, plot, characters, etc Paragraphs 4-5* explanation, reason/ example


Final Paragraph overall assessment of work/recommendation

* The exact number and division ot paragraphs will depend on the specific requirements of each writing task.

Useful Language

To explain the plot:

The plot revolves around .../involves .../focuses on .../has an unexpected twist.

The story begins with .../unfolds/reaches a dramatic climax when ...

• Evaluating various features:

The play/film/series has a strong/star-studded/mediocre cast.

The acting is moving/powerful/excellent/weak/disappointing/unconvincing.

The lot is 9r'PPin9/dramatic/fascinating/suspense-filled/fast-moving. far-fetched/predictable/confusing/dull/unimaginative.

The script/dialogue is touching/witty/hilarious/boring/mundane.

It is beautifully/brilliantly/sensitively written/directed.

2 Read the model below and identify the topic of each paragraph. Then, choose the most suitable word from those on the right to complete each of the numbered spaces in the model.

A student from your college has just won first prize in a national competition for young writers. Write a review for the college newspaper giving a brief summary of the book and saying why you think other students might enjoy it and learn from it.

Ellie's Success by Langbourne College's own second-year student,

Katie McLean, is at)

which has just won a major national writers' competition, and deservedly so. It is a 2)

story 3) in northern

England during the early part of this century which tells the

4) of a young woman, Ellie Turner, in her struggle to make herself known in the business world which was so dominated by men at that time. Her neighbour and childhood friend, William Thompson, causes her the greatest difficulties of all.

The story begins with Ellie being left a considerable sum of money in her grandfather's will. Subsequently, she decides to set up a catering business as a means of earning a living, making use of her abilities as a good cook. The 5)

follows Ellie's ups and downs as she tackles problem after problem to make her dream come true, until, despite great opposition from friends, family and acquaintances, she finally achieves her goal.

The tale is 6) , with episodes which are both

7) and 8) , and retains the reader's interest throughout. It gives a 9)

insight into life in the early 1900's and the hardships encountered by people at that time.

Ellie's Success is well 10)

reading, if you enjoy period fiction. It can teach the reader about fair play, or lack of it, in the business world and provides a welcome break from set literary texts and coursebooks.

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