Post Office and Stamps

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

This morning, I went to the post office to take care of some business. First, I bought a sheet of postage stamps to mail some letters that were sitting on my desk. Then, I wanted to send a package to a business associate with some fragile items, so I packaged everything in bubble wrap and enclosed a letter describing the contents. The man at the counter weighed the box, and I had to fill out a form indicating the contents of the box and its value. Finally, I sent a certified letter to a colleague, and he will have to sign for it when it arrives. Certified letters are used to prove that the other person received it. I also have a number of international friends with whom I correspond regularly. Postage for overseas mail costs more than local postage rates, but you can always cut down on postage by sending a postcard instead of a regular letter.

Part 2: Discussion

What are the advantages and disadvantages of sending letters through the post office verses using email? Would you rather receive a handwritten letter or a typed email? Does it depend on who the sender is? How do you feel about electronic postcards?

Part 3: Online Investigation

In some cases, electronic postcards on the Internet appear to be replacing traditional greeting cards sent by regular mail. Search the Internet for two different companies providing such services and compare their features and costs. Then interview three people you know and check their reactions to receiving electronic postcards. Report your results.

Part 4: Online Listening Practice (from