Venera, An English Teacher From Tajikistan

Meet Venera. She’s from Tajikistan. In fact, this is a great way to meet Tajikistan itself, a country that few people know about. You can learn some of Tajikistan’s recent history from Venera’s talk.

Step 1

Some words you should investigate before you listen to the audio below: civil strife, break out, freelance, shooting, skirmishes, take care of.

Listen and decide which of these sentences are true.

(1) Tajikistan was not a part of the USSR.
(2) It has always been safe to go outside.
(3) There was shooting on the streets.
(4) Teachers were paid decent wages.
(5) Life was simple and easy during these years.

Step 2

Do the following gap-fill. Sometimes you have to fit two words into a blank; that’s because the words form strong partnerships.

My name is Venera. I (1)________ be a high school English teacher. But then the (2)________ (3)________ broke out, so we had to (4)________ at home for a couple of years ’cause there was much shooting, (5)________. It was very dangerous to go (6)________.

When we were not paid any (7)________ I had to take care of my sons, so I (8)________ that and started giving (9)________ English lessons, and now I’m a (10)________ English interpreter/translator. My name is Venera. I’m from Dushanbe, Tajikistan. I like my place, my country.

Key: (1) used to, (2) civil, (3) strife, (4) stay, (5) skirmishes, (6) outside, (7) salaries, (8) quit, (9) private, (10) freelance

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