The Reading / Listening - Serena Williams - Level 6

One of sport's greatest ever legends has played her final professional match. Serena Williams bowed out of the US Open tennis tournament on Friday after being defeated in the third round. The 40-year-old showed her customary grit and determination in the gruelling three-hour match. The watching crowd stood and erupted in thunderous applause and an outpouring of love at the moment defeat arrived. "Happy tears" streamed down her face as Ms Williams showed her appreciation to the crowd and waved farewell. In her post-match interview, she said: "I just thank everyone that's here, that's been on my side so many years, decades…literally decades. But, it all started with my parents."

Serena Williams is arguably the greatest tennis player of all time. Her 23 Grand Slam titles, her 319 weeks spent as the world's number one, and her 27 years at the top as a professional are testament to that. However, her achievements have spread far beyond tennis. She has been an inspiration to girls worldwide. Former tennis great Billie Jean King said her "greatest contributions may be yet to come". Current American player 18-year-old Coco Gauff cited Williams as her hero. She said: "The impact you've had on me goes beyond any words that can be put together." Former United States First Lady Michelle Obama said: "I can't wait to see the lives you continue to transform with your talents."

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Serena Williams - Level 4  or  Serena Williams - Level 5

Sources
  • https://sports.yahoo.com/us-open-2022-serena-williams-ends-career-with-third-round-loss-but-her-tennis-legacy-will-only-grow-022257347.html
  • https://www.espn.com/tennis/story/_/id/34459661/serena-williams-exits-us-open-one-greatest-ever-legacy-goes-far-titles-won
  • https://www.bbc.com/sport/tennis/62777226


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice activities, drag and drop activities, sentence jumbles, which word activities, text reconstructions, spelling, gap fills and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)

Warm-ups

1. SERENA WILLIAMS: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about Serena Williams. Change partners often and share your findings.
2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, talk about these topics or words from the article. What will the article say about them? What can you say about these words and your life?
       sport / legend / professional / tennis / tournament / grit / tears / crowd / farewell /
       the greatest / titles / achievements / inspiration / contributions / impact / words
Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. GOAT: Students A strongly believe Serena Williams is the greatest sports star of all time; Students B strongly believe otherwise. Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. THE GREATEST: Who is the greatest ever in these fields? Why? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

qqqqqqq

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Sport

 

 

Business

 

 

Environment

 

 

Technology

 

 

Politics

 

 

Entertainment

 

 

MY e-BOOK
ESL resource book with copiable worksheets and handouts - 1,000 Ideas and Activities for Language Teachers / English teachers
See a sample

5. TENNIS: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "tennis". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.
6. LEGENDS: Rank these with your partner. Put the biggest legends at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • Serena Williams
  • Lewis Hamilton
  • Steve Jobs
  • Nelson Mandela
  • Taylor Swift
  • Neil Armstrong
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Queen Elizabeth II

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. legend a. An extremely famous person, especially in a particular field.
      2. bowed out b. Recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something.
      3. customary c. Withdraw or retired from an activity or role.
      4. grit d. Approval or praise expressed by clapping.
      5. applause e. According to a person's habitual practice.
      6. appreciation f. Courage and resolve; strength of character.
      7. literally g. Exactly.

    Paragraph 2

      8. arguably h. Praised someone for doing something or being great.
      9. testament i. The part played by a person or thing in bringing about a result or helping something to advance.
      10. inspiration j. Possibly; conceivably; maybe.
      11. contribution k. The effect or influence one thing or person has on another.
      12. cited l. Something that serves as a sign or evidence of a specified fact, event, or quality.
      13. impact m. Made a big change in the form, nature, or appearance of.
      14. transform n. The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.

 

Before reading / listening

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if 1-8 below are true (T) or false (F).

  1. The article says Serena Williams is the greatest ever sporting legend.     T / F
  2. Serena Williams will be 40 years old next month.     T / F
  3. There was thunder and lightning the moment Serena Williams lost.     T / F
  4. Serena Williams thanked her parents during a post-match interview.     T / F
  5. Ms Williams spent nearly 320 weeks as world number one.     T / F
  6. Ms Williams was a tennis professional for 27 years.     T / F
  7. A tennis great said the best of Serena is still to come.     T / F
  8. The US' current First Lady can't wait to see what Serena does from now. T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article.

  1. legend
  2. bowed out
  3. grit
  4. streamed
  5. literally
  6. arguably
  7. testament
  8. inspiration
  9. cited
  10. transform
  1. poured
  2. change
  3. proof
  4. retired
  5. guiding light
  6. quoted
  7. icon
  8. precisely
  9. bravery
  10. probably

3. PHRASE MATCH: (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

  1. One of sport's greatest
  2. Serena Williams bowed
  3. The 40-year-old showed her customary grit
  4. The watching crowd stood and erupted
  5. In her post-
  6. Serena Williams is arguably the
  7. her achievements have spread
  8. her greatest contributions may
  9. The impact you've had on me goes
  10. the lives you continue to transform
  1. greatest tennis player
  2. in thunderous applause
  3. with your talents
  4. match interview
  5. be yet to come
  6. out of the US Open
  7. beyond any words
  8. and determination
  9. far beyond tennis
  10. ever legends

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
bowed
appreciation
erupted
literally
final
farewell
grit
moment

One of sport's greatest ever legends has played her (1) _____________________ professional match. Serena Williams (2) _____________________ out of the US Open tennis tournament on Friday after being defeated in the third round. The 40-year-old showed her customary (3) _____________________ and determination in the gruelling three-hour match. The watching crowd stood and (4) _____________________ in thunderous applause and an outpouring of love at the (5) _____________________ defeat arrived. "Happy tears" streamed down her face as Ms Williams showed her (6) _____________________ to the crowd and waved (7) _____________________. In her post-match interview, she said: "I just thank everyone that's here, that's been on my side so many years, decades... (8) _____________________ decades. But, it all started with my parents."

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
inspiration
yet
arguably
transform
great
beyond
testament
cited

Serena Williams is (9) _____________________ the greatest tennis player of all time. Her 23 Grand Slam titles, her 319 weeks spent as the world's number one, and her 27 years at the top as a professional are (10) _____________________ to that. However, her achievements have spread far beyond tennis. She has been an (11) _____________________ to girls worldwide. Former tennis (12) _____________________ Billie Jean King said her "greatest contributions may be (13) _____________________ to come". Current American player 18-year-old Coco Gauff (14) _____________________ Williams as her hero. She said: "The impact you've had on me goes (15) _____________________ any words that can be put together." Former United States First Lady Michelle Obama said: "I can't wait to see the lives you continue to (16) _____________________ with your talents."

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)  One of sport's greatest ever legends has played her ______
     a.  finally professional match
     b.  final professionally match
     c.  final professional match
     d.  final professional matching
2)  bowed out of the US Open tennis tournament on Friday ______
     a.  after been defeated
     b.  after be in defeated
     c.  after being defeated
     d.  after bean defeated
3)  showed her customary grit and determination in the ______
     a.  gruelling three-hours match
     b.  gruelling three-hourly match
     c.  gruelling three-our match
     d.  gruelling three-hour match
4)  Happy tears streamed down her face as Ms Williams showed her appreciation ______
     a.  to the crowd
     b.  to the crowded
     c.  to the crowding
     d.  to the cloud
5)  that's been on my side so many years, ______
     a.  decades...literal decades
     b.  decades...literally decades
     c.  decade...literally decades
     d.  decades...literally decade

6)  Serena Williams is arguably the greatest tennis player ______
     a.  off all time
     b.  of all time
     c.  oft all time
     d.  offal time
7) world's number one, and her 27 years at the top as a professional are ______
     a.  test ailment to that
     b.  tester meant to that
     c.  test a mint to that
     d.  testament to that
8)  Billie Jean King said her greatest contributions may be ______
     a.  yes to go
     b.  yet to come
     c.  yet two come
     d.  yet to go
9)  The impact you've had on me goes ______
     a.  beyond many words
     b.  be yonder any words
     c.  behind many words
     d.  beyond any words
10)  I can't wait to see the lives you continue to transform ______
     a.  with your talents
     b.  within your talents
     c.  with our talents
     d.  with your talented

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

One of sport's greatest ever (1) ____________________ her final professional match. Serena Williams (2) ____________________ the US Open tennis tournament on Friday after being defeated in the third round. The 40-year-old showed her (3) ____________________ determination in the gruelling three-hour match. The watching crowd stood and erupted in thunderous applause and an (4) ____________________ at the moment defeat arrived. "Happy tears" streamed down her face as Ms Williams showed her appreciation to the crowd (5) ____________________. In her post-match interview, she said: "I just thank everyone that's here, that's been on my side so many (6) ____________________ decades. But, it all started with my parents."

Serena Williams (7) ____________________ greatest tennis player of all time. Her 23 Grand Slam titles, her 319 weeks spent as the world's number one, and her 27 years at the top as a professional (8) ____________________ that. However, her achievements have spread far beyond tennis. She has been an (9) ____________________ worldwide. Former tennis great Billie Jean King said her "greatest contributions may be yet to come". Current American player 18-year-old Coco Gauff cited Williams as her hero. She said: "(10) ____________________ had on me (11) ____________________ words that can be put together." Former United States First Lady Michelle Obama said: "I can't wait to see the lives you (12) ____________________ with your talents."

Comprehension questions

  1. What did Serena Williams bow out of?
  2. How old is Serena Williams?
  3. What kind of tears did Serena cry?
  4. For how long did Serena say people had been on her side?
  5. What did Ms Williams say everything started with?
  6. How many Grand Slam titles has Ms Williams won?
  7. For how long was Serena Williams a professional player?
  8. What did Billie Jean King say about Serena's greatest achievements?
  9. Who cited Serena as her hero?
  10. What is Michelle Obama looking forward to Serena changing?

Multiple choice quiz

1) What did Serena Williams bow out of?
a) a meeting
b) her sponsorship
c) the US Open
d) a awards ceremony
2) How old is Serena Williams?
a) 40
b) 39
c) 38
d) 37
3) What kind of tears did Serena cry?
a) happy tears
b) salty tears
c) crocodile tears
d) huge tears
4) For how long did Serena say people had been on her side?
a) 22 years
b) decades
c) ages
d) forever
5) What did Ms Williams say everything started with?
a) a tennis racket
b) a tennis ball
c) the first game
d) her parents

6) How many Grand Slam titles has Ms Williams won?
a) 22
b) 23
c) 24
d) 21
7) For how long was Serena Williams a professional player?
a) 27 years
b) 26 years
c) 28 years
d) 31 years
8) What did Billie Jean King say about Serena's greatest achievements?
a) they were unbeatable
b) they were legendary
c) they are yet to come
d) they were unbelievable
9) Who cited Serena as her hero?
a) Rafael Nadal
b) Michelle Obama
c) Billie Jean King
d) Coco Gauff

10) What is Michelle Obama looking forward to Serena changing?
a) people's lives
b) tennis
c) the US Open
d) the USA

Role play

Role  A – Serena Williams
You think Serena Williams is the greatest legend. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their people aren't as legendary Also, tell the others which is the least legendary of these (and why): Nelson Mandela, Steve Jobs or Queen Elizabeth II.

Role  B – Nelson Mandela
You think Nelson Mandela is the greatest legend. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their people aren't as legendary Also, tell the others which is the least legendary of these (and why): Serena Williams, Steve Jobs or Queen Elizabeth II.

Role  C – Steve Jobs
You think Steve Jobs is the greatest legend. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their people aren't as legendary Also, tell the others which is the least legendary of these (and why): Nelson Mandela, Serena Williams or Queen Elizabeth II.

Role  D – Queen Elizabeth II
You think Queen Elizabeth II is the greatest legend. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their people aren't as legendary Also, tell the others which is the least legendary of these (and why): Nelson Mandela, Steve Jobs or Serena Williams.

After reading / listening

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words...

'tennis'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'legend'.

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • • Share your findings with your partners.

    • Make questions using the words you found.

    • Ask your partner / group your questions.

    2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

    •Share your questions with other classmates / groups. •Ask your partner / group your questions.

    3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

    4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

    5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

    • final
    • bowed
    • grit
    • love
    • crowd
    • years
    • time
    • 27
    • girls
    • 18
    • words
    • talents

    Student survey

    Write five GOOD questions about this topic in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper. When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

    (Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

    Discussion - Serena Williams

    STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

    1. What did you think when you read the headline?
    2. What images are in your mind when you hear the word 'legend'?
    3. What do you know about Serena Williams?
    4. What do you think of tennis?
    5. Is Serena Williams the greatest tennis player of all time?
    6. How much grit and determination do you have?
    7. How do you think Serena felt after the final point?
    8. Do you think Serena should have continued her career?
    9. Is men's or women's tennis more exciting?
    10. What advice do you have for Serena?

    STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

    1. Did you like reading this article? Why/not?
    2. What do you think of when you hear the word 'tennis'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. What do you think of Serena Williams?
    5. Who is the greatest sports star of all time?
    6. Who is greater, Serena Williams or Rafael Nadal?
    7. What are your major achievements?
    8. Who has been your biggest inspiration?
    9. What impact have you made on people's lives?
    10. What questions would you like to ask Serena Williams?

    Discussion — Write your own questions

    STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

    (a) ________________

    (b) ________________

    (c) ________________

    (d) ________________

    (e) ________________

    STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

    (f) ________________

    (g) ________________

    (h) ________________

    (i) ________________

    (j) ________________

    Language — Cloze (Gap-fill)

    One of sport's greatest ever legends has played her (1) ____ professional match. Serena Williams bowed out of the US Open tennis tournament on Friday after being defeated (2) ____ the third round. The 40-year-old showed her customary grit and determination in the (3) ____ three-hour match. The watching crowd stood and erupted in (4) ____ applause and an outpouring of love at the moment defeat arrived. "Happy tears" (5) ____ down her face as Ms Williams showed her appreciation to the crowd and waved farewell. In her post-match interview, she said: "I just thank everyone that's here, that's been on my side so many years, decades... (6) ____ decades. But, it all started with my parents."

    Serena Williams is (7) ____ the greatest tennis player of all time. Her 23 Grand Slam titles, her 319 weeks spent (8) ____ the world's number one, and her 27 years at the top as a professional are testament to that. However, her achievements have (9) ____ far beyond tennis. She has been an inspiration to girls worldwide. Former tennis (10) ____ Billie Jean King said her "greatest contributions may be yet to come". Current American player 18-year-old Coco Gauff cited Williams as her hero. She said: "The impact you've had on me goes (11) ____ any words that can be put together." Former United States First Lady Michelle Obama said: "I can't wait to see the lives you continue to transform (12) ____ your talents."

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     finality     (b)     finalized     (c)     final     (d)     finally    
    2. (a)     in     (b)     on     (c)     as     (d)     of    
    3. (a)     gruelling     (b)     dueling     (c)     drilling     (d)     grilling    
    4. (a)     thunderous     (b)     thunder     (c)     thunders     (d)     thundered    
    5. (a)     brooked     (b)     streamed     (c)     riveted     (d)     channeled    
    6. (a)     lately     (b)     iterative     (c)     literacy     (d)     literally    
    7. (a)     argued     (b)     argues     (c)     arguably     (d)     argument    
    8. (a)     'twas     (b)     has     (c)     was     (d)     as    
    9. (a)     spread     (b)     spared     (c)     speared     (d)     sparred    
    10. (a)     wonderful     (b)     great     (c)     good     (d)     amazing    
    11. (a)     behind     (b)     beyond     (c)     yonder     (d)     beneath    
    12. (a)     on     (b)     at     (c)     with     (d)     as

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. the US Open tennis trtanmnoue
    2. The 40-year-old showed her matucosyr grit
    3. in the urielgng three-hour match
    4. thunderous spepulaa
    5. Ms Williams showed her onractaepipi
    6. lalryielt decades

    Paragraph 2

    1. aglurbay the greatest tennis player of all time
    2. are tetnmetas to that
    3. her eaevitmeschn have spread
    4. an niirtsapino to girls worldwide
    5. her greatest otnntiuscribo may be yet to come
    6. Coco Gauff cetdi Williams as her hero

    Put the text back together

    (...)  on my side so many years, decades...literally decades. But, it all started with my parents."
    (...)  farewell. In her post-match interview, she said: "I just thank everyone that's here, that's been
    (...)  you've had on me goes beyond any words that can be put together." Former
    (...)  out of the US Open tennis tournament on Friday after being defeated in the third round. The 40-year-old showed her customary
    1  ) One of sport's greatest ever legends has played her final professional match. Serena Williams bowed
    (...)  as the world's number one, and her 27 years at the top as a professional are testament
    (...)  down her face as Ms Williams showed her appreciation to the crowd and waved
    (...)  in thunderous applause and an outpouring of love at the moment defeat arrived. "Happy tears" streamed
    (...)  worldwide. Former tennis great Billie Jean King said her "greatest contributions may be yet to
    (...)  Serena Williams is arguably the greatest tennis player of all time. Her 23 Grand Slam titles, her 319 weeks spent
    (...)  United States First Lady Michelle Obama said: "I can't wait to see the lives you continue to transform with your talents."
    (...)  grit and determination in the gruelling three-hour match. The watching crowd stood and erupted
    (...)  come". Current American player 18-year-old Coco Gauff cited Williams as her hero. She said: "The impact
    (...)  to that. However, her achievements have spread far beyond tennis. She has been an inspiration to girls

    Put the words in the right order

    1. the   bowed   US   of   Williams   out   Open   tournament   .
    2. customary   40-year-old   and   The   her  determination  .  grit  showed
    3. The   thunderous   stood   in   crowd   erupted   applause   .   and
    4. her   Williams   appreciation   to   crowd   .   showed   the
    5. that's   side   for   my   decades   .   Everyone   on   been
    6. tennis   the   time   .   of   all   Arguably   greatest   player
    7. weeks   319   spent   world   Her   as   one   .   number
    8. beyond   Her   tennis   .   far   have   spread   achievements
    9. any   words   put   Beyond   together   .   that   can   be
    10. with   your   talents   .   to   Lives   you   continue   transform

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    One of sport's greatest ever / even legends has played her final professional match. Serena Williams rowed / bowed out of the US Open tennis tournament on Friday after being defeated on / in the third round. The 40-year-old showed her customary grit / girth and determination in the gruelling three-hour match. The watching crowd standing / stood and erupted in thunderous applause and an outpouring / pouring of love at the moment defeat arrival / arrived. "Happy tears" streamed down her face as Ms Williams showed her appreciation / appreciate to the crowd and waved / waived farewell. In her post-match interview, she said: "I just thank everyone that's here, that's been on my side so many years, decadence / decades...literally decades. But, it all started with my parents."

    Serena Williams is argument / arguably the greatest tennis player of every / all time. Her 23 Grand Slam titles, her 319 weeks spent as the world's number one, and her 27 years at the top as a professional are testament by / to that. However, her achievements have spread far / for beyond tennis. She has been an inspiration / inspirational to girls worldwide. Former tennis great Billie Jean King said her "greatest contributions may be as / yet to come". Current American player 18-year-old Coco Gauff cited / sighted Williams as her hero. She said: "The impact you've had on me goes / comes beyond any words that can be put altogether / together." Former United States First Lady Michelle Obama said: "I can't wait to see the lives you continue to transfer / transform with your talents."

    Talk about the connection between each pair of words in italics, and why the correct word is correct.

    Insert the vowels (a, e, i, o, u)

    _n_  _f  sp_rt's  gr__t_st  _v_r  l_g_nds  h_s  pl_y_d  h_r  f_n_l  pr_f_ss__n_l  m_tch.  S_r_n_  W_ll__ms  b_w_d  __t  _f  th_  _S  _p_n  t_nn_s  t__rn_m_nt  _n  Fr_d_y  _ft_r  b__ng  d_f__t_d  _n  th_  th_rd  r__nd.  Th_  40-y__r-_ld  sh_w_d  h_r  c_st_m_ry  gr_t  _nd  d_t_rm_n_t__n  _n  th_  gr__ll]_ng  thr__-h__r  m_tch.  Th_  w_tch_ng  cr_wd  st__d  _nd  _r_pt_d  _n  th_nd_r__s  _ppl__s_  _nd  _n  __tp__r_ng  _f  l_v_  _t  th_  m_m_nt  d_f__t  _rr_v_d.  "H_ppy  t__rs"  str__m_d  d_wn  h_r  f_c_  _s  Ms  W_ll__ms  sh_w_d  h_r  _ppr_c__t__n  t_  th_  cr_wd  _nd  w_v_d  f_r_w_ll.  _n  h_r  p_st-m_tch  _nt_rv__w,  sh_  s__d:  "_  j_st  th_nk  _v_ry_n_  th_t's  h_r_,  th_t's  b__n  _n  my  s_d_  s_  m_ny  y__rs,  d_c_d_s...l_t_r_lly  d_c_d_s.  B_t,  _t  _ll  st_rt_d  w_th  my  p_r_nts."

    S_r_n_  W_ll__ms  _s  _rg__bly  th_  gr__t_st  t_nn_s  pl_y_r  _f  _ll  t_m_.  H_r  23  Gr_nd  Sl_m  t_tl_s,  h_r  319  w__ks  sp_nt  _s  th_  w_rld's  n_mb_r  _n_,  _nd  h_r  27  y__rs  _t  th_  t_p  _s  _  pr_f_ss__n_l  _r_  t_st_m_nt  t_  th_t.  H_w_v_r,  h_r  _ch__v_m_nts  h_v_  spr__d  f_r  b_y_nd  t_nn_s.  Sh_  h_s  b__n  _n  _nsp_r_t__n  t_  g_rls  w_rldw_d_.  F_rm_r  t_nn_s  gr__t  B_ll__  J__n  K_ng  s__d  h_r  "gr__t_st  c_ntr_b_t__ns  m_y  b_  y_t  t_  c_m_".  C_rr_nt  _m_r_c_n  pl_y_r  18-y__r-_ld  C_c_  G__ff  c_t_d  W_ll__ms  _s  h_r  h_r_.  Sh_  s__d:  "Th_  _mp_ct  y__'v_  h_d  _n  m_  g__s  b_y_nd  _ny  w_rds  th_t  c_n  b_  p_t  t_g_th_r."  F_rm_r  _n_t_d  St_t_s  F_rst  L_dy  M_ch_ll_  _b_m_  s__d:  "_  c_n't  w__t  t_  s__  th_  l_v_s  y__  c_nt_n__  t_  tr_nsf_rm  w_th  y__r  t_l_nts."

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    one of sports greatest ever legends has played her final professional match serena williams bowed out of the us open tennis tournament on friday after being defeated in the third round the 40yearold showed her customary grit and determination in the gruelling threehour match the watching crowd stood and erupted in thunderous applause and an outpouring of love at the moment defeat arrived happy tears streamed down her face as ms williams showed her appreciation to the crowd and waved farewell in her postmatch interview she said i just thank everyone thats here thats been on my side so many years decadesliterally decades but it all started with my parents

    serena williams is arguably the greatest tennis player of all time her 23 grand slam titles her 319 weeks spent as the worlds number one and her 27 years at the top as a professional are testament to that however her achievements have spread far beyond tennis she has been an inspiration to girls worldwide former tennis great billie jean king said her greatest contributions may be yet to come current american player 18yearold coco gauff cited williams as her hero she said the impact youve had on me goes beyond any words that can be put together former united states first lady michelle obama said i cant wait to see the lives you continue to transform with your talents

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    Oneofsport'sgreatesteverlegendshasplayedherfinalprofessionalmat
    ch.SerenaWilliamsbowedoutoftheUSOpentennistournamentonFrid
    ayafterbeingdefeatedinthethirdround.The40-year-oldshowedherc
    ustomarygritanddeterminationinthegruellingthree-hourmatch.Th
    ewatchingcrowdstoodanderuptedinthunderousapplauseandanoutp
    ouringofloveatthemomentdefeatarrived."Happytears"streameddo
    wnherfaceasMsWilliamsshowedherappreciationtothecrowdandwav
    edfarewell.Inherpost-matchinterview,shesaid:"Ijustthankeveryon
    ethat'shere,that'sbeenonmysidesomanyyears,decades...literallyde
    cades.But,itallstartedwithmyparents."SerenaWilliamsisarguablyth
    egreatesttennisplayerofalltime.Her23GrandSlamtitles,her319week
    sspentastheworld'snumberone,andher27yearsatthetopasaprofessi
    onalaretestamenttothat.However,herachievementshavespreadfarb
    eyondtennis.Shehasbeenaninspirationtogirlsworldwide.Formerten
    nisgreatBillieJeanKingsaidher"greatestcontributionsmaybeyettoco
    me".CurrentAmericanplayer18-year-oldCocoGauffcitedWilliamsas
    herhero.Shesaid:"Theimpactyou'vehadonmegoesbeyondanywords
    thatcanbeputtogether."FormerUnitedStatesFirstLadyMichelleObam
    asaid:"Ican'twaittoseethelivesyoucontinuetotransformwithyourtale
    nts."

    Free writing

    Write about Serena Williams for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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    Academic writing

    Serena Williams is the greatest sports superstar ever.  Discuss.

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    Homework

    1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google's search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.
    2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about this news story. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.
    3. SERENA WILLIAMS: Make a poster about Serena Williams. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. GOAT: Write a magazine article about making Serena Williams the official Greatest Of All Time (GOAT) sports star. Include imaginary interviews with people who are for and against this.
    Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).
    5. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? Write a newspaper article about the next stage in this news story. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.
    6. LETTER: Write a letter to an expert on Serena Williams. Ask him/her three questions about her. Give him/her three of your opinions on the impact Serena has made. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

    A Few Additional Activities for Students

    Ask your students what they have read, seen or heard about this news in their own language. Students are likely to / may have have encountered this news in their L1 and therefore bring a background knowledge to the classroom.

    Get students to role play different characters from this news story.

    Ask students to keep track of this news and revisit it to discuss in your next class.

    Ask students to male predictions of how this news might develop in the next few days or weeks, and then revisit and discuss in a future class.

    Ask students to write a follow-up story to this news.

    Students role play a journalist and someone who witnessed or was a part of this news. Perhaps they could make a video of the interview.

    Ask students to keep a news journal in English and add this story to their thoughts.

    Also...

    Buy my 1,000 Ideas and Activities for Language Teachers eBook. It has hundreds of ideas, activity templates, reproducible activities for:

    • News
    • Warm ups
    • Pre-reading / Post-reading
    • Using headlines
    • Working with words
    • While-reading / While-listening
    • Moving from text to speech
    • Post-reading / Post-listening
    • Discussions
    • Using opinions
    • Plans
    • Language
    • Using lists
    • Using quotes
    • Task-based activities
    • Role plays
    • Using the central characters in the article
    • Using themes from the news
    • Homework

    Buy my book

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    Answers

    (Please look at page 26 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

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