Read and understand the article. If you may have any difficult words to pronounce and words you cannot understand, always ask your teacher.
*Teachers will divide the article into 2-3 paragraphs to help you understand and check the pronunciation of the difficult words.
*Read the words carefully.
- score /ˈskoɚ/ (v.) to get points, goals, runs, etc., in a game or contest
- home run /ˈhoʊm ˈrʌn/ (n.) a hit that allows the batter to go around all the bases and score a run
- cooperate /koʊˈɑːpəˌreɪt/ (v.) to work together : to work with another person or group to do something
- lively /ˈlaɪvli/ (adj.) very active and energetic
- diplomat /ˈdɪpləˌmæt/ (n.) a person who represents his or her country’s government in a foreign country : someone whose work is diplomacy
* Read the text below
MP3 Download (right-click or option-click and save)
(1) American English is full of colorful expressions. One such expression is to “touch all bases.” It comes from the sport of baseball.
(2) There are four bases in baseball — first, second and third. The fourth is home plate. Together, the bases form a diamond shape. When a baseball player hits the ball, he must run to each base — in order — and touch it with his foot. It is the only way to score a point. If the player hits the ball and fails to touch all the bases, the point will not be counted.
(3) The importance of touching all the bases was shown at the start of the 1974 baseball season.
(4) Hank Aaron was a player with the Atlanta Braves team. He was seeking the record for hitting the most home runs. A home run is a ball that is hit over the wall. Aaron needed just one home run to equal the record held by Babe Ruth, the greatest hitter in baseball history. Aaron got that home run the very first time he had a chance to hit the ball. He sent the ball over the wall that surrounded the playing field. That gave him 714 home runs — the same as Babe Ruth.
(5) After that day, baseball fans held their breath every time it was Hank Aaron’s turn to hit. When would he hit home run number 715?
(6) The wait was not long. In the second week of the season, Aaron again hit the ball over the wall. He had beaten Babe Ruth’s record. But first, he had to run around the four bases. The other players on his team watched carefully to make sure he touched each one. If he did not, the home run would not have counted. There would have been no new record.
(7) So, to “touch all bases” means to do what is necessary to complete an activity.
(8) The expression is used in business and politics. No business deal or political campaign is really complete until you discuss all the issues involved or, as it is said, until you “touch all bases.”
(9) Even professional diplomats use this expression, as well as others that come from baseball. A diplomat in reporting on negotiations with diplomats from different countries may say they “touched all bases” during many hours of talks. This means they explored all issues involved in the situation. Perhaps they did this after expressing hope that they could “play ball” with each other — meaning that they could learn to cooperate.
(10) Sports reporters write about fast-moving, lively events. They must develop a way of writing that goes straight to the point. Their duty is to give the reader a complete picture of the event in as few words as possible. They must “touch all bases” as quickly as they can.
*Let’s talk about the article base on the questions below
- Do you like baseball? What are the popular sports in your country?
- What is your least favorite sport? Why?
- What is the importance of playing sports? What do you think sports would be like 10 years from now?