Iron Man gives a boy a bionic arm – level 3

20-03-2015 15:00

He plays a bionic character in a film franchise, but it seems Robert Downey Jr is a superhero in real life, too. Posing as his Iron Man character, the star made this disabled fan’s dreams come true.

“Pleasure to meet you. Have another bionics expert on hand, so I thought I’d drop by.”

“Thank you.”

“Yes, it’s pleasure. Nice bowtie by the way.”


“How were your travels?”

“It was very good!”

“Well, I thought I’d bring one of my gauntlets to match it up with yours and see if everything’s copacetic. You want to have a look?”


Seven-year-old Alex Pring was born with a partially developed arm, seemed a little star-struck when he met his idol, but they soon hit it off.

“Do you know who that is?”

“Iron Man.”

“What’s his name?”



The star then presented his friend with a new gift – a bionic arm of his very own. The 3D replica was even better than the real thing.

“Um, as you can see my light isn’t working. Half the time, you know, I design one of these, it winds up breaking on me. But what I do is I keep working on it. Kind of like you’re working on it with Albert.”

“He keeps working and working until he gets it right.”

“Yeah. I think yours is still a little bit more right than mine because at least, you know…”

“The light’s working.”

“The light works, yeah.”

The arm was made by a volunteer group started by Alberto Manero to make free bionic arms for kids. Downey Jr later took to his Facebook page, calling Alex the most dapper seven-year-old he’s ever met.

“Bang, nailed it!”

Difficult words: bionic (electromechanical or having an electromechanical body part), franchise (a title such as “Iron Man” which is used for marketing), pose (to act), on hand (available), gauntlet (a strong armoured glove), copacetic (in excellent order), star-struck (fascinated by a famous person), wind up (to end up in a certain state), volunteer (a person who does something without being paid for it), dapper (nicely dressed).



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Students, who translate English texts, do exercises and do tests are very good at translating, doing exercises and doing tests, but they have problems with understanding English in real life. In real life, nobody waits for your translation. People usually use simple English when they speak but they use it fast. You have to understand with no translation to your native language. If you translate, you cannot be part of communication because you are thinking about the language too much. These words are maybe hard to read but they are true.

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