President Obama and Raul Castro - level 2

President Obama and Raul Castro - level 2

16-12-2013 06:00

President Obama went onstage to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela. Before giving the speech, he extended his hand to Cuba’s leader, Raul Castro.

Castro shook his hand and smiled back. The handshake is a gesture that reflects Nelson Mandela’s spirit of reconciliation.

It is very rare for US presidents to shake hands with Cuban leaders. Not counting this one, there has been only one handshake since the Cuban Revolution. It was at the United Nations in 2000. Bill Clinton and Raul’s brother, Fidel, shook hands.

Difficult words: pay tribute (to admire and agree with someone publicly), extend (move forward), reconciliation (becoming friends again).

You can read the original story and watch the video in the Level 3 section.

How to improve your English with News in Levels:



  1. Read all today's articles and translate all words which you don't understand.
  2. Read the articles from the day before and see if you remember all new words.


  1. Listen to all today's news.
  2. Stop the video after every sentence and repeat the sentence.
  3. Repeat point 2 for the news which you listened to the day before.


  1. Answer the questions under today's news and write them into the comments.
  2. Chat in the  Chat room for at least 2 minutes. You can write about today's news.


  1. Choose one person from the SKYPE section.
  2. You can talk about today’s news or you can answer questions from
If you want to know how to learn English effectively, please visit

1) Watch this video about News in Levels

2) Practice your English every day for free!

We will send you articles from News in Levels every day to your email. You can stop them at any time.