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Academic English

“Campaigns and Elections – Script”

Listening Exercise

Listen to the recording on government elections and read along with the conversation. Review the key vocabulary and the sample sentences.

Ladies and gentlemen. Our country has come to a crossroad, and now you have the power to change the political landscape of America. As I have said time and time again, if you elect me to be your face in congress, there are several things I will do to ensure that your needs are met day in and day out across this land.

First of all, I plan on proposing new legislation that will invest more tax dollars in our public schools, not only to meet the needs of today, but to encourage developing minds for the future. Such new funding would be used to hire and retain good teachers, build and renovate new schools, and give great tax breaks to classroom teachers. To accomplish this, I’m proposing no new tax increases, but rather a rechanneling of our existing tax revenue to meet these demands. Now, the incumbent and his staff have been talking about this for years with little progress. I plan to change all of this now.

Second, economic development is on the minds of most of you, particularly with regard to our downtown area. For many years, economic prosperity has been neglected by current government leaders, and I plan to change all of that. I’m proposing a new city center revitalization project that would promote new businesses, new residential areas, and new open green areas to bring people back to the heart of our city. Current leaders have allowed the city to die, preferring to invest in sport arenas in the outlying areas.

And third, I’m proposing the construction of a new light rail train system, to be built over the next decade, to meet the growing demands of better and more efficient transportation for years to come. My opponent and his administration have lacked the vision of long-term solutions, preferring to take a look-and-see approach. Such a short-sighted stance fails to consider the needs of future generations . . . our children and our grandchildren. My generation doesn’t want to be remembered for a road we build today, but for a more visionary transportation system for our future.

And finally, my opponent has cited my inexperience as a reason why you shouldn’t vote for me. However, I’m not a career politician who has lost touch with the everyday needs and concerns of day-to-day people. My work as an educator and business owner has given me a unique perspective on the pains and challenges you face.

If elected, I promise to give my all to my elected position and make sure your issues and concerns are fully addressed at the local and national level.

Thank you.

Vocabulary and Sample Sentences

  • crossroad(s) (noun): a time in your life when important decisions must be made 
    – The company has now reached a crossroad where it must make changes to guarantee its future.
  • ensure (verb): guarantee or make sure something will happen 
    – The government needs to make changes in the welfare system now to ensure that it will be around for generations to come.
  • retain (verb): keep something 
    – The president decided to retain some of his staff after the elections.
  • renovate (verb): repair or rebuild something to make it look new again
    – The city has decided to renovate the downtown library to save money instead of building a new one.
  • rechannel (verb): redirect something like money for another purpose
    – The mayor wants to rechannel additional tax revenue away from park construction to pay for rising education expenses.
  • revenue (noun): money that an organization receives, usually from the sales of goods and services
    – If the company doesn’t generate enough revenue during the holiday season, it will be in serious financial trouble.
  • incumbent (noun): the current elected political official in office
    – Many incumbents were voted out of office due to their political records.
  • neglect (verb): not take care of or pay attention to something
    – Many residents feel that local government leaders neglected the needs of the poor in our city.
  • revitalization (noun): the process of bringing back something to strength or prosperity
    – The city has attempted to develop plans for the revitalization of the downtown area.
  • outlying (adjective): far from the center or middle of a city
    – A new transportation plan needs to be consider to meet the needs of those living in outlying areas of the city.
  • light rail (noun, also used as an adjective): an electric train designed for passengers only
    – The country has a wonderful light rail system throughout the capital.
  • stance (noun): opinion or position
    – Before I vote, I always make an effort to understand the candidates’ stanceon various issues.
  • cite (verb): mention or state
    – The political challenger cited his opponent’s poor voting record on a number of government matters.
  • address (verb): take care or deal with particular issues
    – The president needs to address the needs of homeless children around the country.
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