Listening 1

You will hear people talking in eight different situations. For questions 1-8, choose the best answer A, B or C.

1   You hear a girl talking about a new film.

      Why does she want to see it?

      A   to have a better understanding of the novel it is based on

      B   because her friends have recommended it

      C   because she likes action films

2   You hear a man talking about a car journey he made recently.

      Where was the biggest traffic jam?

      A   coming out of London

      B   near the airport

      C   getting off the motorway

3   You hear a woman talking about a present.

      What was she given?

      A   a piece of clothing

      B   some jewellery

      C   a drawing

4   You hear a boy talking about his favourite footballer.

      Which team does he play for?

      A   Arsenal

      B   Liverpool

      C   Birmingham

5   You hear a man booking theatre tickets by phone.

      How much will they cost altogether?

      A   £73

      B   £75

      C   £78

6   You hear a woman talking about moving to Scotland.

      How did she feel when she met her neighbours?

      A   pleased they were so friendly

      B   annoyed because she couldn’t understand their accent

      C   surprised that they treated her like a foreigner

7   You hear a radio advertisement for a museum.

      What period does the special exhibition deal with?

      A   the 1940s

      B   the 1920s

      C   the 1950s

8   You hear two friends talking about a television programme they have both seen

      What sort of programme was it?

      A   a quiz show

      B   a documentary

      C   a soap opera

Answer & Audioscript

1 A   2 B   3 A    4 A   5 C   6 C   7 B   8 C


1   You hear a girl talking about a new film.

I know the film is supposed to be fantastic, but normally I wouldn’t bother going to see one like that. I mean, this isn’t the kind of film that usually appeals to me. The story is based on a book by Hemingway that we’re reading in class this term, and I thought that watching the film would make the book clearer to me, so I think I’ll go next weekend. I don’t think any of my friends have seen it, so I’ll see if any of them would like to come with me.

2   You hear a man talking about a car journey he made recently.

I don’t know what the problem was. This wasn’t the bottleneck you get when you come off the motorway, and anyway we were travelling towards London, not away from it. I must have been stuck there for over an hour, hardly moving at all, feeling frustrated and anxious that I wouldn’t make it in time. I mean it’s not as if there was any other way of getting there, so I had to just hope for the best. It took me two hours to reach the airport, although it was only a couple of miles away!

3   You hear a woman talking about a present.

It really was a lovely surprise. I thought she was thinking of getting me something else, because she’d asked me what sort of earrings I liked, so I wasn’t expecting a dress – and such a lovely one, too! I think the colour really suits me – she’s an artist, you know, and she says she’s going to paint me in it, and give it to me when she’s finished! Isn’t that exciting? It was so nice of her to make the effort. It’s obvious she’d put a lot of thought into it, you know. And of course, I’m delighted. Let me get it, and you can see for yourself!

4   You hear a boy talking about his favourite footballer.

I thought it was going to be a big mistake, when he got that transfer from Liverpool They’d been going through a bad patch these last two seasons, but they were a good team and I thought he should have stayed. Anyway, it turns out I was dead wrong! He’s been getting better and better since he signed with Arsenal, and he scored a hat-trick in the last match! Now I wonder whether Birmingham will try to sign him next season because I’ve heard they’re very interested in him at the moment.

5   You hear a man booking theatre tickets by phone.

A:   Good morning. Do you have any tickets left for this evening’s performance?

B:   Let me just have a look. Well, the rear stalls and circle are completely sold out. There are a few seats left in the front stalls. How many tickets do you want?

A:   Just two.

B:   Yes, I can give you two in the third row … they’re £39 each.

A:   £39? I see. All right, I’ll take them.

B:   That makes a total of £78. I’ll have to ask you to pick them up here by 6.30. And your name is …?

6   You hear a woman talking about moving to Scotland.

News travels fast in a small village, I suppose, so everyone seemed to know before I got there that I’d be teaching at the local school. Whether that made the villagers more formal in the way they treated me – for the first few months at least – I really don’t know. I gathered from the way they spoke that they regarded me as quite foreign because I came from London, and this did startle me for a while. It’s different now, however, I’m pleased to say, and I’ve made quite a few friends …

7   You hear a radio advertisement for a museum.

It was an interesting decade, not least as far as music and fashion were concerned. It was a time of wild enthusiasm, but also laid the basis for the future. The 1920s were the dawn of our modern age, when people were still looking back at the previous century. We’ve recently displayed furniture and paintings from the 1940s and ‘50s, but you’ll see that this is very different. Don’t miss the Central Museum’s special exhibition. It starts on Monday and will run until after the summer holidays. In fact it will be on until October 15th. Don’t miss it!

8   You hear two friends talking about a television programme they have both seen

A:   I thought the last bit was really great, didn’t you?

B:   Yes. I’d never have guessed what was going to happen; I mean, everyone thought Molly was miles away on an expedition to Antarctica, and then she walks into the room right at the end, except it’s not Molly at all – it’s her twin sister!

A:   Right! You know, that’s what makes some soap operas really great – you just have to watch the next episode to find out how it all works out! My mum’s always telling me they’re a load of rubbish, and that I should watch things like documentaries instead. And then she’ll sit down and watch a quiz show!

Listening 2

You will hear a radio interview with a doctor called Ann Winters, who is an expert on memory. For questions 24-30, choose the best answer A, B or C.

24   Ann compares the human memory to a hard drive because

      A   both can be negatively affected by external factors.

      B   both can be trained to expand and improve.

      C   both can store an unlimited number of images.

25   We are told that people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease

      A   don’t understand the mechanism of life.

      B   can’t remember who they are.

      C   forget how to perform simple tasks.

26   Research has shown that people who have mentally active jobs

      A   will never develop Alzheimer’s disease.

      B   are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

      C   are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

27   Apparently, our memories are harmed by

      A   doing too many physical exercises.

      B   devices designed to help us remember things.

      C   forcing ourselves to try to remember too much.

28   Ann says we can remember things if we

      A   connect them with a physical object.

      B   look at them very carefully first.

      C   encourage people to remind us about them.

29   The technique Ann describes works best for people

      A   who like pictures.

      B   who are used to abstract thought.

      C   who can visualise ideas well.

30   Doing crosswords is an example of activities that

      A   can prevent ageing.

      B   can extend life expectancy.

      C   can delay memory decline.

Answer & Audioscript

24 A   25 C   26 C   27 B   28 A   29 C   30 C


Interviewer:   Today on Mind Matters I’m talking to Dr Ann Winters, an expert on human memory. Ann, welcome to the programme. Now, I suppose the first question everyone would ask is: what exactly is the human memory?

Ann Winters:   Well, like so many apparently ‘easy’ questions, the answer isn’t very simple at all! Basically, the human memory is a compartment in our brain, where we store images, rather like the hard drive in a computer – though we can’t confirm the brain’s limitations yet in terms of available storage space! Like a hard drive, however, our memories can become infected by viruses or even wiped out by accidents. But the comparison breaks down when we consider that we can train our memories to expand and work better – which computers can’t manage … yet!

Interviewer:   When you talk about memory being infected, do you mean by a disease?

Ann Winters:   Yes. For instance, people suffering from a physiological disease like Alzheimer’s forget things that happened in the past and they also forget how to perform straightforward tasks, like tying their shoelaces. This is of course, frustrating for both sufferers and care-givers alike. It can also be extremely difficult for family members who are no longer recognised by patients.

Interviewer:   Yes, indeed. But is there anything that can be done for sufferers?

Ann Winters:   Well, the good news is that brain exercises can keep the brain young. Research has shown that people who were more successful in education, and have more mentally active jobs, have a lower risk of developing the disease. It’s quite a startling discovery, actually, and one that fascinates me.

Interviewer:   Yes, that’s certainly very interesting. So, how can someone exercise their brain – by thinking a lot?

Ann Winters:   In a way, yes! Everyone has times where they feel overwhelmed because there are too many things to remember to do and something inevitably gets forgotten. But you can practise using your memory, which not only exercises your brain but also improves your ability to remember things. Unfortunately, a lot of devices in modern life are designed to make sure we don’t forget things, which can make our brain more idle and weaken our memory.

Interviewer:   Would you give us examples of how to exercise our memory?

Ann Winters:   Sure. There’s a very simple technique, although it works better for some people than for others. Whatever you want to remember, think of a physical thing it reminds you of. If I want to remember a date from history – let’s say 1066, the date of the Battle of Hastings – I might think that ‘battle’ reminds me of ‘bottle’. So I think of a bottle with the number 1066 written on the label, and I just picture that bottle in detail in my mind.

Interviewer:   Why is it easier to remember a physical thing than a sentence such as ‘the Battle of Hastings was in 1066’?

Ann Winters:   Because our brains are better at recalling pictures than abstract thought. That’s why I said it works better for some people than for others; some people are particularly good at seeing pictures in their minds – visualising ideas – and they are the ones that can remember things best using this technique.

Interviewer:   Is there anything else we can do to protect our brains?

Ann Winters:   You simply have to exercise your brain regularly with new, enjoyable and interesting activities, like learning a new language or playing a new computer game. One of the most successful activities – though it doesn’t appeal to everyone – is doing crosswords, which makes the brain more efficient.

Interviewer:   I’ll bear that in mind! Ann Winters, thanks very much for taking the time to be with us today.

Ann Winters:   You’re very welcome.

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