Skip to main content

General Listening Quiz

“Our Family History – Script”

Listening Exercise

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

It has been said that learning about the past is a process of learning about oneself, and the study of o family histories can help us understand the past and prepare us to meet the challenges of today. Some North Americans can trace their histories back to Mexico, and this presentation is about one such individual: Ana Maria Cavazos. Ana Maria Cavazos was born on June ninth, 1908, in Reynosa, Mexico. She was the eleventh of twelve children.

Her father, Jesus Cavazos, was originally from Victoria, Texas, but his family moved to Mexico around 1855. As was common in the time, Jesus spent much of his life raising cattle and farming cotton.

Ana’s mother, Juana Castro, was the oldest of six brothers and sisters. Juana and Jesus were married in 1880. Ana’s family moved to the United States during the Mexican Revolution in 1913. Their family experienced much hardship, both financial and physical. Yet in spite of obstacles, many of them triumphed over the forces of exclusion and poverty to emerge as successful farmers and businessmen.

Ana grew up in Texas and met her future husband, Abel Contreras, in 1929. Ana and Abel Contreras were married in 1931 and were the parents of eleven children. The principles of faith, integrity, and family oneness permeated their lives, and have given their posterity a great legacy. Indeed, we can benefit a great deal from our family histories.

Thank you for joining this short presentation.

Vocabulary and Sample Sentences

  • trace (verb): to follow a path
    – My father traced his family back to Mexico.
  • raise (verb): to take care of
    – Maria was raised on a farm in her country.
  • hardship (noun): pain and suffering 
    – Did you experience hardship as you were growing up?
  • exclusion (noun): something that prevents us from doing something or belonging to group
    – I never want to have activities at the exclusion of some people.
  • emerge (verb): to become known as something 
    – Tomohiro emerged as the best student of the class near the end of the semester.
  • integrity (adjective): the quality of being fair and honest
    – We are looking for workers who have integrity in all they do.
  • permeate (verb): to spread through
    – The teacher’s positive attitude permeated the entire class, and everyone was excited to learn.
Try More Free Listening at