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Vocabulary Quiz
sand dunes • big • obsession
barbie • rings
  1. This television program has become a national .
  2. He me up every day when he finishes class.
  3. Hold on a minute. I have to go check on the food on the and make sure it's not burning.
  4. Some of the are white, and some are red.
  5. I'm actually not too on eating meat.
Comprehension Quiz
Answer the following questions about the interview.
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497 Kiwi Summers
Mark talks about popular summer activities in New Zealand.

  • Transcript
  • Audio Notes
Vocabulary notes (text only) explain key vocabulary and phrases from the interview.

sand dunes

Our family would spend five days, swimming, playing in the sand dunes, and just relaxing.

'Sand dunes' are big hills made of sand and are formed by the wind. Notice the following:

  1. The sand dunes look really beautiful at night.
  2. We went sliding down the sand dunes on plastic sleds.

big on

In Australia, they're really big on surfing; do a lot of people surf in New Zealand?

When a group of people is 'big on' something, they really enjoy it or do it a lot. Notice the following:

  1. I have been big on Chinese food recently.
  2. Most of my friends are pretty big on shopping, but I don't like it.

the national obsession

Barbecue is almost the national obsession in summertime.

An 'obsession' is something you are really focused on, almost to the point of being crazy about it. A 'national obsession' would mean that a whole country is really focused on it. Notice the following:

  1. Soccer is a national obsession here.
  2. iPads have been like the national obsession this holiday season.

the barbie

You'd just throw a sausage on the barbie or go to friends' having barbecue.

'Barbie' is a shortened and informal way to say barbeque. Notice the following:

  1. We have been cooking almost every meal on the barbie.
  2. It will be very casual. We are just going to throw some hamburgers on the barbie and drink a few beers.

ring up

Friends would ring up and invite you to have barbecue.

'Ring up' is another way to say 'call on the telephone.' Notice the following:

  1. I will just ring your up later and let you know what the plan is.
  2. He was really surprised when she rang him up and asked him if he wanted to go to dinner.