Lesson 52: Taking Chances

Let's Learn English Lesson 52: Taking Chances
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Let's Learn English Certificate of Completion
Let's Learn English Certificate of Completion


Anna is on a talk show to tell us about her new career move - acting as a tree in the movies. She looks back at the chances she took in the past year and plans for the future. Will she stay in Hollywood or come back to live in Washington, D.C.?


Use this video to learn the new words for this lesson. Then, learn about some new phrasal verbs.

Let's Learn English Lesson 52 Speaking Practice
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Use this video to learn about the blend of two words in the phrase "sit down."

Let's Learn English Lesson 52 Pronunciation Practice
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Anna: Hello, it's Anna! I did it - Washington, D.C. is my home. Looking back over the past year, I’ve done so many amazing things! I have met people from all over the world. I’ve made many good friends. And I have a great job! And I've taken a lot of chances. And now I have some really big news! Wait for it… and 3, 2, 1…
Kelly: Hello and welcome to “Around the Corner and Across the Street from the Actor’s Studio!” Many people dream of becoming actors. But very often, those dreams don’t come true.
Kelly: Well, today we will meet a woman and -- her acting career has really taken off. In fact, she acted in my play, “The Woods Are Alive!” Oh. She really brought the part of Tree Number 15 to life! Let’s give a warm welcome to Anna Matteo!
Anna: Thank you. Thank you so much for having me here.
Kelly: Please, please, sit down. Here, here, let me help you.
Anna: Thanks. Thanks. Wow, it is great to see you again, Director Kelly!
Kelly: It’s great to see you too, Anna. I see you are still wearing your tree costume. Does this have anything to do with your big news?
Anna: Yes. Yes, it does.
Kelly: Well, Anna, please share that news with us.
Anna: Kelly, I will be acting in three movies.
Kelly: That is amazing! Anna, tell us more.
Anna: Well, the first is a science fiction movie. The second is a romantic comedy. And the third is an action movie.
Kelly: That is so great! Let me guess -- you’re playing a tree in all of them!
Anna: Yes! This is what happened. To prepare for your play, I had to find out what it was like to BE a tree in the world. I had to find out where to eat, where to shop, where to meet people and how to get around the city.
Kelly: Amazing. I think big things are going to happen for you, Anna. So, tell me, will you be moving to Hollywood for a career in movies?
Anna: No. I’ll make the movies and then come back. Washington, D.C. is my home.
Kelly: I’m sure your family is very proud.
Anna: Yes, they are. You know, Kelly, not too long ago, I didn’t feel very good about my life. I had to make a change. So, I took some chances. Sometimes I succeeded. Sometimes I failed. But I will never stop trying.
Kelly: Well, thank you for sharing your news and so much more with us, Anna.
Kelly: Until next time …


In this lesson, Anna looks back on how she has learned by taking chances over the past year in Washington, D.C. Have you ever taken chances to learn something new or to meet your goal? Tell us about a chance you took and how it helped you to learn or do something important to you . Write to us by email or in the Comments section.

Click on the image below to download the Activity Sheet to practice phrasal verbs and evaluating. Please note, our activity sheets now can be completed on the computer.

Lesson 52 Activity Sheet
Lesson 52 Activity Sheet

Learning Strategy

Learning Strategies are the thoughts and actions that help make learning easier or more effective.

The learning strategy for this lesson is Evaluate. We use this strategy when we look back at how we have learned and look forward to how we can learn more. In learning a language, we can evaluate how well we are learning and also evaluate how we are using strategies to learn. When we think about which strategies helped us, we know that we should use those strategies again.

In this lesson, Anna looks back at how she took chances in learning to do her job and to live in a big city. She is also looking forward to her new career as an actor. She is taking a chance to go to Hollywood and be in the movies.

Look back at how you have been learning English. What helped you the most?Now look forward. What will help you in the future? Are you taking chances to practice in lots of ways? Write to us in the Comments section or send us an email. Teachers, see the Lesson Plan for more details on teaching this strategy.


Listen to short videos and test your listening skills with this quiz.

Quiz - Lesson 52: Taking Chances

Quiz - Lesson 52: Taking Chances

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New Words

action movie - n. a movie with events that happen quickly and that cause feelings of danger and excitement ​
bring to life - phrase. make or become active, lively, or interesting
career - n. a job or profession that someone does for a long time
come back - phrasal verb. to return to a place
fail - v. to not succeed or to end without success
find out - phrasal verb. to learn (something) by making an effort
get around - phrasal verb. to go, walk, or travel to different places
prepare - v. to make yourself ready for something that you will be doing or something that you expect to happen
proud - adj. very happy and pleased because of something you have done, something you own, or someone you know or are related to
romantic comedy - n. a movie or play that deals with love in a light, humorous way
science fiction - n. a kind of story about how people and societies are affected by imaginary scientific developments in the future
share - v. to tell someone about (your feelings, opinions, or thoughts)
take chances - phrase. to do things even though there could be good or bad results
take off - phrasal verb. make great progress


Free Materials

Word Book
Word Book

Download the VOA Learning English Word Book for a dictionary of the words we use on this website.

Each Let's Learn English lesson has an Activity Sheet for extra practice on your own or in the classroom. In this lesson, you can use it to practice using phrasal verbs and evaluating.

For Teachers


See the Lesson Plan for this lesson for ideas and more teaching resources. Send us an email if you have comments on this course or questions.

Grammar: Phrasal verbs; Review of verb tenses

Topics: Discussing feelings and describing accomplishments

Learning Strategy: Evaluate

Speaking and Pronunciation: Blended form of "sit down"


Now it's your turn. Send us an email or write to us in the Comments section below or on our Facebook page to let us know what you think of this lesson.