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Taking Risks

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taking risksTaking Risks provides you with the opportunity to discuss how risk-taking behaviour can have a direct or indirect effect on your health, happiness, or other people. These activities are centred around the theme of Identity and Well-being which explores how we learn and adjust to the world around us.

Exercise 1Exercise 2Exercise 3Word ListExtension
Risk-taking behaviour is any action that directly or indirectly has a negative effect on your health, happiness, or other people.

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1. living
2. rush
3. get
4. regret
5. trust, stay


it’s not possible to stay completely safe all of the time, but some people just don’t know when to stop; taking drugs drinking, playing dangerous games and causing trouble. Teenagers, in particular, seem to like living a risky life. Most of us want to have new experiences and sometimes we take risks because we want some extra excitement in our lives. And when we are in danger we get an adrenaline rush and that gives us a bit of a buzz. Then there are times when your mates want you to do something and you do it just to be popular even though you are sick to the stomach with fear.

We call this peer pressure. And of course, some people will do absolutely anything just to get attention. Naturally, if you are drunk or off your head on drugs you won’t even think about the danger in your more likely to damage itself. The trouble is all of your actions have consequences, you will almost certainly regret your behaviour and that might last a long time. Don’t be surprised if other people think you’re stupid they will trust you less and less and your family will worry. You or others may suffer injury or harm it could even be life-threatening and you may face criminal charges causing problems at school and at home. So before you do something risky think about the consequences of your actions to you and others. Review who you’re spending time with. Talk to people you trust if you’re not sure and know how to stay safe. Try to be aware of who you are and what you’re doing. If you’re going to regret it, then don’t do it.

Do you think people who take unnecessary risks for pleasure should expect others to come and rescue them when they are in trouble? Why or why not?

Listen and answer the questions.
1. How did David end up in danger?
2. How did his friend Andrew rescue him?

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1. His sailing boat had hit some rocks in a storm.
2. He put David in a cave then went to find help.


The situation was critical. I was lying in a small cave at the foot of some high cliffs, and from the pain, in my legs, I knew that they were both badly hurt. In the darkness, the waves were crashing noisily against the rocks, and I suddenly realised the tide was coming in fast. The water was rising rapidly, and I had nowhere to go, no way to escape. I didn’t blame my sailing partner Andrew.

Earlier that evening, our boat had been smashed violently against the rocks in the storm. Despite my injuries, Andrew had pulled me to the shelter of the cave. After that, he had climbed across the rocks to try to get help.

The water was now up to my neck and still rising. I shut my eyes and waited silently for the end.

‘David!’ cried a voice. ‘Are you there?’

‘Down here,’ I called out weakly.

Luckily, Andrew had found help and I was rushed to hospital.

Six months later, the phone rang and it was Andrew.

‘Hi, David,’ he said excitedly. ‘Do you feel like a bit of sailing?’

Six sentences have been removed from the article. Choose from the sentences, the one which fits each gap( 1-6). There is one extra sentence which you do not need to use.

Danny Jones, 16, was a few feet off the ground, hanging from the branch of a tall black walnut tree. 'Now we're going to run through the basics,' explained Tim Knight, tree-climbing instructor. Danny stuck his legs out straight, resting comfortably in a specially designed harness. Step by step, Tim showed him how to use the system of ropes and knots to climb high into the tree. 'This is so cool,' Danny called, looking down. 'I feel like Spider-Man.'

Not long ago, most people who attempted to climb high trees did so for specific purposes, like conducting scientific research. Few people had the knowledge and technical gear to get high into the canopies of giant trees. [1} As a result, the activity is becoming more mainstream.

In 1993, Tree Climbers International was set up in Atlanta, in the USA. [2]

You can join groups in countries like the UK, Japan, China and Australia. Cecylia Malik from Poland even challenged herself to climb a tree every day for a year. Then she wrote a book about her experience.

As the popularity of recreational tree climbing has shot up, enthusiasts have also come up with new techniques brought in from other sports like mountaineering and rock climbing. You can now buy better ropes and more comfortable harnesses.

[3] As a result of these sorts of developments, the sport is easier and safer than ever before. Obviously, it's not possible to get rid of all the risks, and there are real dangers.

[4] But done properly, accidents are uncommon and tree climbing is actually a very safe sport - although experts point out that everybody should take a class before attempting to go up a tree.

Tim Knight, who runs a school in California, teaches his students the details of a back-up safety system that the professionals have developed. [5] He explained that his organization had put more than 50,000 people up in trees worldwide, and no one with them had ever had a serious accident.

Besides the climbers, there are also concerns about the well-being of the trees themselves. [6]

That is another reason why Tim Knight stresses the need for training. With proper care and techniques, tree climbing has almost no impact on a tree, and careful climbers spend most of their time hanging from ropes, never touching the tree.

Tim Knight believes tree climbing can bring enormous benefits to people. 'When you can take people into a different, totally unfamiliar environment, you can change the way they see things. You have the potential to change their outlook and really turn their lives around.


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1. There is what climber s call a ‘red line’, above which almost every fall is fatal
2. ‘As far as I’m aware, this is the safest method there is,’ he says.
3. Recently, however, their skills and equipment have become more and more available to amateur climbers.
4. Careless or untrained enthusiasts can break branches, damage the bark and disturb wildlife.
5. One company even sells a kind of tree bed so you can spend the night up in the canopy.
6. The trees in national forests are popular because they’re often taller and more remote

Here are keywords and phrases covered in these activities about taking risks:

  • adrenaline rush
  • branch of a tall black walnut tree
  • bit of a buzz
  • blame
  • canopies of giant trees
  • consequences
  • excitedly
  • face criminal charges
  • harness
  • high cliffs
  • injuries
  • mountaineering
  • peer pressure
  • sick to the stomach with fear
  • suffer injury
  • recreational tree climbing
  • regret
  • risky life
  • scientific research
  • silently
  • suddenly
  • techniques
  • tide
  • trust
  • unfamiliar environment
  • violently
Write a story in 140-190 words in an appropriate style. You see this announcement on your school noticeboard and decide to send a short story.

We are looking for short stories for our English Club monthly magazine. The story should be about a risky activity such as climbing. Your story must end with this sentence: It was an experience I will never forget.

Your story must include:

  • dangerous situation
  • a rescue

Self-assessment checklist

  • Have you included all the required parts and the final sentence from the exam task?
  • Have you included everything from your writing plan?
  • Have you used a range of adverbs to add interesting details?
  • Have you made any grammar mistakes?
  • Are there any mistakes in spelling and punctuation?
  • Have you checked the word count?

Especially helpful are exercises that are focused on a theme or topic as these provide word retention practice so you can be confident to read, write, speak and listen successfully.

Customs and Traditions explores how we celebrate our cultural identity across the globe.

Entertainment and Leisure explores how we spent our free time.

Environment and Nature explores the way humans and animals live, adapt and change on our planet.

Exploring how different societies create roles for people to develop their skills and knowledge.

Exploring how we learn and adjust to the world around us. .

Exploring how we experience the world through our life journeys

The more words you encounter and understand, the broader your day-to-day vocabulary will become. Our word games and puzzles are an excellent way to help to reinforce spellings in your mind.

We add reading and writing exercises on a regular basis. Why not bookmark our site, so you can come back to practice anywhere or at any time of the day?

For this part, you practice how to understand the details of a text, including opinions and attitudes.

For this part, you practice how to understand the structure and follow the development of a text.

For this part, you practice how to find specific information in a text or texts.

In addition, we add listening and speaking exercises in order to practise for this part of the B2 First Exam.

In this part you talk to the examiner about yourself and your life, e.g. your name, school, interests and future plans.

In this part, you talk about two photos on your own which you have to compare for about 1 minute. After you have finished, your partner will be asked a short question about your photo. When your partner has spoken about their photos for about 1 minute, you will be asked a question about their photos.

In this part you express ideas with your partner by looking at a discussion point that the examiner gives you.

This will be available soon.

In this part, you focus on general aspects of a topic with the examiner or you may involve your partner.

This will be available soon.

In this part, you will hear people talking in eight different situations.

In this part, you will hear someone being interviewed.

In this part, you will hear five people talking about different things.

In this part, you will hear an interview.

Cambridge English Examinations:

Cambridge English exams are designed for learners at all levels from the pre-intermediate level Cambridge English: Key (KET) to the very advanced level Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE). These exams give candidates proof of their ability to use English in a wide variety of contexts, relevant to work, study and leisure activities.

A2 Key | B1 Preliminary | B2 First

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