In this passage, you will hear the following vocabulary:
renown - something many people know about
stood-out - something that is obvious (i.e. Yao Ming stands out because he is very tall.
sponsor - in this passage, companies give money to Yao to say he uses their products
usher - to welcome and show the way, at a restaurant you are usually ushered to your seat by a man or a woman
lucrative - giving a lot of money
well-rounded - good at many different things
transition - change
red tape - things that slow or stop other things from happening, usually to do with paperwork (i.e. It took me 4 hours to open a bank account because of all of the red tape.)
campaign - a business plan to make money
jersey - the shirt worn by a basketball player
Now listen to the passage:
One of China's most renown celebrities is Yao Ming. From humble origins in Shanghai, Yao was born to two basketball-playing parents both standing over 6 feet in height. Yao Ming's mother was once captain of the Chinese Olympic woman's basketball team. As a teenager, Yao played for the Shanghai Sharks where he stood-out in both his skill and his size. The American sporting goods company Nike had also just begun sponsoring the Sharks and became interested in developing Yao as an image for their brand. Yao continued to show a lot of skill and improve and it wasn't long before he was taken to Europe and then the US where he attended basketball training camps.
Coming from these origins and having had these experiences, Yao was quickly ushered into the lucrative world of playing basketball professionally in the NBA. Following a few years of playing in China's national league and his experiences at the 2000 Olympics, Yao had become a well-rounded player and signed a contract to play for the Houston Rockets in America. But this transition did not come without some red tape as the Shanghai Sharks were understandably unhappy about losing their star player.
Today, Yao Ming stands at 7 feet 5 inches. He is the face of numerous advertising campaigns including Coca-Cola, Visa and Apple and is looking to play at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. However despite his enormous fame in China, Yao Ming jerseys are actually not bought as often as his teammate, Tracy McGrady. To this Yao jokes, "they already bought mine".
Now listen to the passage again.
Now answer these multiple choice questions:
Yao Ming's parents are
a) also very tall.
b) not very tall.
c) unusually short.
The Shanghai Sharks
a) encouraged Yao Ming to play in the NBA.
b) strongly discouraged Yao Ming from playing in the NBA.
c) wanted Yao Ming to play in the Olympics.
Nike wanted Yao Ming to
a) play for the Chinese Olympic team.
b) play for the Shanghai Sharks.
c) use their products.
Now listen to these words:
You will use these words in the following sentences. For example, you will hear:At the wedding, he wore a bright red suit and really __________.
You will say:At the wedding, he wore a bright red suit an really stood out.
I want to find a more __________ job. My salary is currently way too low.
Yao Ming is __________ for his basketball playing abilities.
Buying real estate can be very __________ if the market goes up.
He really __________ in high school as his marks were always top of the class.
Her husband __________ at the Christmas party because he drank way too much.
Teaching is a very rewarding profession but sadly is not very __________.
A well-__________ actor is Tom Cruise. I have seen all of his movies.
It is impossible not to know Paris Hilton. She makes herself __________ with her ridiculous behaviour.
If you want a __________ job, you must study hard in school.
China __________ last month as the second largest nation by way of internet usage.