I. Pre-Listening Exercises [Top]

Video game systems like the Game Boy are popular among children and teenagers, but how do children obtain these systems: they receive them as gifts, they earn money and buy them, or they borrow the systems from a friend?

HELPFUL TIP: Many people enjoy playing video games in their free time. However, spending too much time playing might lead to negative physical and social effects. Try to live a balanced life, entertaining yourself in and outside of the house.

II. Listening Exercises [Top]

Listen to the conversation by pressing the “Play Audio” button and answer the questions. Press the “Final Score” button to check your quiz.

1. Why does the father discourage his son from buying a Game Boy?

A. Using it is a simply a waste of time.

B. His son needs to play with friends instead.

C. The game system costs too much.
2. How much can the boy save a month in allowance to buy a Game Boy?

A. $1.25

B. $5.00

C. $7.50

3. What does the boy need to do to earn allowance?

A. He has to get good grades in school.

B. The boy needs to get his chores done.

C. He doesn’t have to do anything.

4. What suggestion does the father give his son for making more money around the neighborhood?

A. delivering newspapers door-to-door

B. selling lemonade to people passing by

C. collecting empty cans from the trash

5. What can we infer from ending of the conversation?

A. The father is going to help buy the Game Boy for his son.

B. The boy feels some disappointment and surprise.

C. The boy no longers wants a Game Boy.

Score =
Correct answers:

Boy: Dad, Dad! Can I have some money to buy a Game Boy?Dad: A Game Boy? Those are too expensive.

Boy: No, they’re not. There only twenty-five dollars. I’ve got forty-two dollars before, but Mom didn’t let me buy one.

Dad: Well, let’s look. Let’s think of some ways so that . . . Hmm. Well, maybe we can come up with some ways that you can earn money.

Boy: Let’s see . . . allowance.

Dad: Okay, well allowance. So, how much money can you make a week with allowance? What did Mom tell you?

Boy: She said that if, umm, you get your work done on time, you can get $1.25.

Dad: Okay, so if you get your work done, you get $1.25. Okay, and what are some other ways that you can earn a little bit more money?

Boy: Umm, let’s see. I could work for people.

Dad: Okay, well, maybe you could come up with some odd jobs. What are a couple of things that you could do to earn some money, maybe around here, in the neighborhood?

Boy: Umm.

Dad: What about opening up a lemonade stand?

Boy: I can try that. That’ll be fun.

Dad: Okay. What else can you do?

Boy: Hmmm. Most the kids on our block like candy, so I can start one of those.

Dad: Okay, so maybe selling some candy. [Yeah.] And, what else?

Boy: Umm. I could . . . umm . . . take out the trash everyday.

Dad: Well, I think you have some ideas, so I guess if you save long, you’ll be able to earn enough money to buy something you want. Sound good?

Boy: Like a Game Boy?

Dad: Uh, something you need, let’s say.

Boy: Uh! (Great surprise and disgust)

Dad: [Laughing]

Key Vocabulary [Top]
  • come up with (phrasal verb): think of an idea or answer
    – We couldn’t come up with any ideas for the weekend, so we just stayed home and played video games.
  • earn (verb): receive money as payment for work that you do
    – I need to earn money to buy more video games.
  • allowance (noun): an amount of money parents give children to spend
    – My parents give me an allowance if I do all my chores.
  • bit (noun): a small amount of something
    – My son wants work a bit longer before he buys a car.
  • odd job (noun): not usual or regular work
    – I had to accept a few odd jobs after I graduated before I found good steady work.
  • stand (noun): a small outdoor store where things are sold
    – I worked one summer at a fruit stand downtown to earn money to pay for college.