High-achieving teenagers

Listen to the radio interview about high-achieving teenagers and do the exercises to practise and improve your listening skills.

Instructions

Do the preparation exercise before you listen. Then do the other exercises to check your understanding.

Image
Remote audio URL

Transcript

Presenter: Next on the programme we have an interview with someone who has been writing a book about high-achieving teenagers. Welcome, Louise Hardy.
Louise: Hi, it’s lovely to be here.
Presenter: Louise, many of these teenagers who have achieved success and fame early on, have done so through using new technology, haven’t they? Through blogging or using YouTube or Twitter?
Louise: Absolutely, and the greatest example of this is Justin Bieber. As I think everyone on the planet knows, he started off by posting videos on YouTube at the age of 14 and was spotted by a talent scout who worked with the R&B singer Usher. After that he very rapidly became a worldwide sensation.
Presenter: I heard that last year he was said to be more influential than Obama!
Louise: (laughs) Yes, that was because he is number one on Twitter. He has over 35 million followers. There’s a new one every two seconds. A company that analyses social media called Klout said that he is the most influential person in the world because of that. But whether he’s really more influential than Obama, well …
Presenter: Mmmm. All this exposure has negative consequences for young people too, doesn’t it?
Louise: Yes. Although millions adore Justin, a lot of people don’t. One of his videos was the most disliked ever. And he has a big problem with privacy. He’s followed everywhere by the paparazzi, and that’s bad for anyone, never mind a teenager.
Presenter: OK, let’s turn to a very different teenager. Tavi Gevinson was even younger when she began, wasn’t she?
Louise: Yes, she was only eleven years old when she started a fashion blog called Style Rookie. By the way, for British listeners, 'Rookie' is an American word used for a person who is new to something.
Presenter: Thanks.
Louise: On her blog she posted photos of herself wearing unusual combinations of clothes and wrote about them.
Presenter: Some of them were quite weird.
Louise: Well, yes, I suppose a lot of high fashion is weird. Anyway, she quickly built up a huge following, up to 300,000 readers per day, and many of them were adults. Serious fashion magazines interviewed her and sent her to fashion shows in Europe and to meet top designers, like Karl Lagerfeld.
Presenter: Some people didn’t believe she was as young as she was, did they?
Louise: No, one magazine printed an article saying the writer didn’t believe Tavi was only 12, and that upset her. But she bounced back and continued blogging. Then, as she grew older, Tavi became interested in other things besides fashion. In 2011, when she was 15, she started Rookie Magazine, an online magazine for teenagers. In less than a week it had one million readers.
Presenter: I’ve seen it. It’s very impressive, isn’t it? All teenage girls listening, check out Rookie Magazine.
Louise: Yes, I think it’s fantastic and Lady Gaga called Tavi 'the future of journalism'! She employs about 50 writers and photographers – both adults and teenagers – on Rookie, but she is the editor with overall control.
Presenter: And all this time she’s continued to lead a normal life, hasn’t she?
Louise: Oh yes, she lives a very normal life in a small town and goes to school and so on. She’s not even twenty yet. But I think writing and editing are very different from being a performing artist. There’s a lot less pressure from fans and the press. Although some actors, like Emma Watson, seem to manage a private life and getting a normal education.
Presenter: Yes, Emma Watson is now in her twenties, of course, but …

Discussion

Do you think Justin Bieber and Tavi Gevinson deserve their success, or are they just lucky?

Personal online tutoring
EnglishScore Tutors is the British Council’s one-to-one tutoring platform for 13- to 17-year-olds.

Comments

Submitted by GBGBGBGB on Tue, 08/23/2022 - 16:58

In my opinion Justin Bieber and Tavi Gevinson deserve their success, this because they puts their hearts on their works every single day, and for me this is not just lucky! Another thing I have to say is that Tavi and Justin are both young talented people that gives to their followers their ideas in a nice way.

Submitted by strawberry123_ on Fri, 07/08/2022 - 07:58

I think they deserve their success, because they work really hard and they started when they were very young and worked, worked and worked. They didn`t stop no matter what other people said about them

Submitted by KillerMike on Tue, 10/05/2021 - 14:03

despite disliking Justin Bieber, I have to give a prob to him, but who is Tavi Gevinson? In the end of the day, I have to say, they are both young talented people, with their bold mindsets they earn their success in a respectful way.
Profile picture for user Elpro202

Submitted by Elpro202 on Mon, 08/02/2021 - 01:21

Obviously. People who work hard every day to achieve their goals must have success. We all know that luck and a good advertising are crucial to get to more people and become famous but, anyway, they deserve their success.

Submitted by Lich on Sat, 05/29/2021 - 07:10

To be honest, I think Justin Bieber and Tavi Gevinson deserve their success. They achieved success because they were unrelenting. They were ready to get criticized and improve their undertaking. Actually, a bit of luck was also included in their success.
Profile picture for user Kostantinus

Submitted by Kostantinus on Thu, 02/25/2021 - 07:09

I believe, everyone deserves to be successful. It's about the talent and hard working. Practice makes perfect! I think, all people have some talents, they just need to be explored by a person. Don't be scared to try doing something in order to find out the things you really enjoy and have some abilities in. Don't care if someone tells you it's impossible to achieve the success in some exact area. Sometimes people do nothing to become a professional so they will try to make you feel the same as they feel and to be the same as they are. You always should remember that all the people in the world have treir own way and you will find yours. Just keep improve yourself continuuosly and you will be rewarded.
Profile picture for user Kalenkhoe

Submitted by Kalenkhoe on Tue, 08/18/2020 - 13:33

I believe, their talent plus luck got them where they are today. They worked smartly using technology and were consistent. Besides everyone deserves success.

Submitted by BibekSanjeev on Mon, 07/20/2020 - 16:55

I know Justin Bieber as he has a very talented voice and I personally like his songs. But hearing of Tavi Gevinson I think she too deserved fame.
Profile picture for user s1rko

Submitted by s1rko on Sun, 05/24/2020 - 16:27

I believe that they deserve their popularity because few teenagers can boast of their achievements as they do. But it doesn't make sense to equate them with other famous people like Obama. These are generally different people and do different things. I think Justin and Tavi have a great future.

Submitted by jnb2005 on Mon, 01/27/2020 - 16:32

I think that they deserve their success because people wouldn't have noticed them if they didn't have talent, and they both worked really hard so that they were able to have the opportunity of being discovered.

Submitted by Mihael on Wed, 05/01/2019 - 15:40

They are just had lucky life~

Submitted by aaryaibtedafoyez on Mon, 04/08/2019 - 04:30

I think Justin Bieber and Tavi Gevinson deserve their success because they're talented and they tried their best to be more talented. They worked hard so they deserve their success.They made a vigorous effort before becoming famous, Justin with his video on youtube and Tavi with her rookie blog, they're not just lucky but are also talented.

Submitted by Askar100 on Sun, 02/10/2019 - 06:50

in 2019 they are already young people, not teenagers! But I liked this listening material!
Profile picture for user bilko

Submitted by bilko on Wed, 06/27/2018 - 10:58

I agree that both Justin and Tavi are talented but in my opinion, good luck is also a very important factor for becoming famous...
English courses near you