Funeral Plans and Cemeteries

> Back to In the Community

Part 1Listen and Read: Listen to the recording, answer the questions, and then read along with the audio recording.

My father passed away about two years ago, but our family often goes to the cemetery to pay our respects to his memory. During the burial service at the cemetery, our church leader offered a prayer, and some of the family said some parting words. It was heartbreaking to see my mom in so much pain after losing her best friend and companion for so many years. After the service, the casket was lowered into the ground and covered, and then a headstone was placed over the grave with an inscription of my father’s name, date of birth and death, and his favorite short poem. My mom’s name was also inscribed on the headstone because she will eventually be buried next to my father. Today, we often go to the cemetery and clean the headstone, leave freshly-cut flowers, and recount stories about his life. No one is ever really gone as long as their memory lives on within you.

Part 2: Discussion

Describe a typical cemetery in your country and then discuss how people honor their dead. Do they visit a cemetery on specific holidays throughout the year? Do people leave anything or do anything at the grave?

Part 3: Role Play

Over the weekend, the wife and son of your teacher died in an unfortunate traffic accident. Your teacher is absent from school for some time, and upon his return to work, you see him in the hallway. Express your condolences and support.

Part 4: Online Investigation

Burial and/or memorial services for honoring the dead vary depending on the practices of individual families as well as the influences of culture and religion. Choose a country which interests you of which you have little knowledge and then search the Internet to understand their funeral practices better. How are these similar or different than your own?

Part 5: Online Listening Practice – From Randall’s Other Web Sites

 Randall’s ESL Cyber Listening Lab – Listening, Speaking, and Discussion