Listen to Gary and Melissa talking about Christmas traditions and choose the option a, b or c which best completes each sentence. 0 is an example.
a) has just returned from her Christmas holidays.
b) is going to spend two weeks in the US.
c) will leave in two weeks’ time.
1 This year Melissa is most looking forward to
a) her family seeing her new-born baby.
b) seeing a new member of the family.
c) seeing her mom again.
2 The time Melissa is going to spend in US
a) will be relaxing.
b) will be busy.
c) is long enough.
a) always goes to US for Christmas and sometimes in summer.
b) doesn’t always manage to travel to US every year.
c) visits the States once a year.
4 In Melissa’s family
a) they leave the Christmas presents in a special place.
b) they open the most important present on Christmas Day.
c) they open most presents on Christmas Eve.
5 For Christmas
a) her mom used to leave oranges as a gift.
b) her mom used to leave pineapples as a gift.
c) they have duck or ham for their Christmas dinner.
6 Melissa teaches … in Barcelona.
b) young kids
c) English and Catalan
a) comes from a small town.
b) doesn’t really find the time to enjoy Barcelona’s cultural life.
c) feels intimidated by big cities.
Today I’m talking to Melissa, who is from the United States but lives in Barcelona. In a couple of week’s time she’ll be flying back to the USA for Christmas. I asked her why she thought it was important to go home...
Well I think it’s important to be with family, I mean that’s what the holiday season is about, is to be with the people that you care about and the people that you love. At least for me anyway.
And what are you looking forward to the most?
Actually, this year, I mean, other than, apart from seeing my mother, I’m really excited I get to see my new baby niece this year, my first niece, so I’m super-excited about that.
And how long will you spend back home?
In total it’ll be eleven days back in the States.
Do you feel that’s not quite long enough?
Well, for the things that I want to do it’s – I’m going to be running, you know trying to see everybody and do everything. It’s not going to be relaxing it’s going to be run run run.
The whole time.
How often do you try to get back home to the States?
Ideally, I like to do it one...twice a year. Usually I only get to do it once a year, either at Christmas or in the summer, and whenever it’s not ideal at all I don’t get to go for two years so...
Tell me about some of your traditions back home in the States.
For Christmas? Well my family is actually a little strange because my father’s family came from German background, and they always did Christmas on Christmas Eve, and my mother came from an English background, and her family always celebrated on Christmas Day. So my family, usually on Christmas Eve we get to open one present – in my immediate family we get to open one present – and then the next day we get to open the rest of them, and enjoy it that way. And also, something that I notice that, you know, that is not done here in Spain is that we have Christmas stockings and my mother really enjoys finding gifts to put in the Christmas stockings. One year for example, she always gave oranges, and the oranges would always end up back in her kitchen and she asked, “Why doesn’t anybody ever eat the oranges?” And we said well they were hard to peel and you know we just don’t really – it’s just not – we don’t enjoy the oranges. And so the next year she tried to put a pineapple, because I like pineapples so much, she tried to put a pineapple in my stocking! And so that was a Christmas tradition that she started and now every year for Christmas I get a pineapple instead of an orange! So that’s a family tradition that we have, and usually we have Christmas dinner of course, and depending on the family – my family we do turkey, but other families do ham or duck or, you know, different things, but my family we do, we do turkey.
So you live in Barcelona.
Yes I do.
So what do you do?
I am an English teacher at a bilingual nursery school.
OK what does that mean? What do you do?
Basically I go to the nursery school and my job is to help the children learn English by doing everyday routines, you know, putting on their shoes, washing their faces; we do activities in English such as, you know, painting or storytelling, in English and in Catalan, so my job is to do the part in English.
And how do you feel about living in Barcelona?
I enjoy living in Barcelona. I come from a very small town, so for me Barcelona is the big city. And all the museums and all the cultural events that they have – it’s very exciting for me to get to see that, and get to go and enjoy that.
OK. Melissa thank you very much.
You’re welcome very much.
1B 2B 3B 4A 5A 6B 7A