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 man talking to his friend about his choice of career.

      What does he say?

      A   He wishes his current job was more exciting.

      B   He has plans to change his profession.

      C   He regrets not following his dream.

2   You hear a woman talking about being a student at university.

      Why did she study French?

      A   because her parents wanted her to

      B   because she had enjoyed her visit to the country

      C   because she wanted to become a translator

3   You hear a man talking about acupressure.

      Which of the following does he say acupressure can do?

      A   relieve headaches

      B   change people’s mood

      C   prevent colds

4   You hear an actress talking about her new role.

      What character is she playing?

      A   a bank manager

      B   a mother

      C   a taxi driver

5   You hear two students talking about remembering new vocabulary.

      What do they agree about?

      A   The memorisation technique is boring.

      B   The association technique is time-consuming.

      C   The picture technique is effective.

6   You hear the captain of a plane talking to his passengers.

      Which city are they closest to at the moment?

      A   Brussels

      B   Rotterdam

      C   Amsterdam

7   You hear a woman talking about taking up dancing as a hobby.

      How does she feel about it now?

      A   surprised by the progress she’s already made

      B   very upset by her obvious lack of skill

      C   motivated to improve her ability

8   You hear a man and a woman talking about an author’s latest work.

      What does the woman think is a masterpiece?

      A   the author’s collection of short stories

      B   the author’s latest novel

      C   the author’s latest film script

Answer & Audioscript

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


1   You hear a man talking to his friend about his choice of career.

A:   What would have been your dream job if you hadn’t become an accountant?

B:   I’d have been a professional musician. I grew up playing the cello and I loved performing. I couldn’t think of a more rewarding job when I was at college.

A:   So, why didn’t you follow your instinct?

B:   It was hugely competitive trying to get a place in one of the big orchestras – and to me, if I couldn’t play with the best, there was no point. It’s not that I think I made the wrong decision, though I wouldn’t mind doing something a bit more inspiring. Re-training is so expensive though, and what I do its rewards.

2   You hear a woman talking about being a student at university.

It’s odd looking back on the formative experiences of your life. My decision to study French at university was based purely on the fact that I’d been on a school trip to Paris when I was a kid, and I was absolutely enchanted by the city. I’d never previously intended to study French, or become a translator or use the language for work. In fact, my parents were keen for me to follow in my father’s footsteps and study economics. But they’re proud of my language abilities now, and can see it was the right thing for me to do.

3   You hear a man talking about acupressure.

Acupressure is an ancient Chinese healing method that involves applying pressure to certain parts of the body to relieve pain. It relaxes muscular tension and balances the vital forces of the body. Acupressure can relief from head, neck and shoulder aches, promote healing, and some people say it can even stop you catching colds – though I can’t say there’s any scientific evidence for that as far as I know. I’ll be happy to demonstrate a few techniques in a moment. I just need a couple of volunteers. Thank you, please come and sit here while I …

4   You hear an actress talking about her new role.

Oh, I think it’ll be brilliant playing Marsha! It’s a fantastic character part, it really is! You see, my son in the play robs a bank, and the funny part about the whole thing is that his wife is the manager of the bank. He doesn’t realise it at first because she’s only just been promoted, and she wanted it to be a surprise for him, so she was going to tell him that night. But then he goes in, robs the place and has a taxi waiting for him to get him away from the scene! It’s a comedy of course, and I can’t wait for the opening night.

5   You hear two students talking about remembering new vocabulary.

A:   That was a useful class. I’ve always struggled to remember new words in German.

B:   The association technique made a lot of sense – where you write down words you know with similar meanings.

A:   It takes ages though.

B:   Well, that’s a fair point. I still think I’d prefer it to memorisation – just repeating a word until it sticks – totally uninteresting.

A:   I’ve never minded that, but what I found most helpful was the picture technique – where you relate the sound of the new word to something you know in your own language and think of a picture to represent it.

B:   That wouldn’t work for me – I don’t have a good enough imagination!

6   You hear the captain of a plane talking to his passengers.

Good evening ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. I hope you’re enjoying the flight. We’ll shortly start making our descent into Brussels, where we’ll refuel before continuing with the next leg of our journey. The skies are lovely and clear this evening which means that in a few minutes’ time you’ll be able to see the lights of the port of Rotterdam over to your right if you look out of the window. The bright lights you can currently see to your left are in Amsterdam. No doubt many of you have already enjoyed visiting the city. So, please sit back and enjoy the rest of the flight.

7   You hear a woman talking about taking up dancing as a hobby.

I’ve just started dancing – something I never thought I’d do in a million years! But there’ve been so many of these dance series on TV, I just thought it might be worth a go. The Latin dances are the ones that really appeal to me, so I booked myself onto a course of salsa lessons. The first class didn’t go quite as expected. For some reason, I just thought I’d be a natural, which turned out to be pretty far from the truth. I’ve got two left feet and my coordination was terrible! I came away feeling slightly disappointed but I’m determined to do better next time. Watch this space!

8   You hear a man and a woman talking about an author’s latest work.

A:   Nick, have you read that new book by Zach Park – you know, that brilliant science-fiction writer? I think it really deserves to be called a masterpiece.

B:   You mean Green Apples? Yes, I have read it, actually, and I enjoyed it a lot. I’m a big fan of Zach Park. I’ve read all his novels and collections of short stories, and I think this is his best novel so far. Do you know he’s also written several film scripts, including The Track and All About You?

A:   It doesn’t surprise me. He’s extremely talented.

Listening 2

You will hear an interview with a man called Ray Garrett, who is a professional deep-sea diver. For questions 24-30, choose the best answer A, B or C.

24   Ray became a deep-sea diver because he

      A   lost his job as an office manager.

      B   didn’t enjoy working in an office.

      C   had worked as a diving instructor.

25   What did Ray’s parents think of his new career?

      A   They knew he didn’t have enough experience to do the course.

      B   They thought that he wouldn’t be able to complete the course.

      C   They believed that he didn’t have the strength to do the course.

26   Most of the work that Ray does

      A   is boring but completely safe.

      B   keeps him underwater for over two hours.

      C   is not in very deep water.

27   According to Ray, accidents happen when divers

      A   dive down to the sea bed.

      B   work on shipwrecks at the bottom of the sea.

      C   forget to think about possible dangers.

28   At the moment, Ray

      A   is repairing a ship in America.

      B   is working on a ship that sank off the coast of America.

      C   is looking for a ship that sank 150 ago.

29   What does Ray say about the ship, the SS Union?

      A   It was travelling to the northern states when it sank.

      B   It might have been carrying a valuable cargo.

      C   It sank towards the beginning of the twentieth century.

30   According to Ray, if a shipwreck breaks up, a diver

      A   might be unable to return to the surface.

      B   might suffer from air embolism.

      C   might have to dive too deep.

Answer & Audioscript

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


Interviewer:   This morning, we’ve got Ray Garrett in the studio. Ray, how did you become a professional deep-sea diver?

Ray Garrett:   Well, when I left school, I got a job in a lawyer’s office, and by the time I was 25, I’d worked my way up to the position of office manager. I was good at my job, and it never occurred to me to leave or do something else. When our company was bought out and the local office closed, I started thinking about other jobs. I’d always been interested in scuba-diving, as a hobby, and just about that time I saw an advert in a magazine. A company was looking for people to train as divers, so I put my name down for it.

Interviewer:   You were still living at home with your parents at that point. What did they think of your career change?

Ray Garrett:   When I told my parents about what I was planning to do, my mother wasn’t at all keen; in fact, she and my dad didn’t believe I’d last the three months’ training! Scuba-diving doesn’t take great physical strength or unusual exercise tolerance. All it takes is the desire, plus come basic classroom and in-water instruction.

Interviewer:   So, tell us more about the work you do.

Ray Garrett:   Well, a qualified diver can safely remain underwater for anywhere from a few minutes to over two hours. Most of the work I do now isn’t very dangerous – or very exciting! My job involves working on ships that have to be repaired, so we’re not even very deep under water.

Interviewer:   What are the risks as far as accidents are concerned in your profession?

Ray Garrett:   Working underwater can be dangerous if you don’t take the necessary precautions and especially if we need to go right down to the sea bed, perhaps to do some work on a shipwreck. People have accidents when they stop thinking about the dangers facing them in their job, and I never do that. I never exceed the time limit of my dives, which depends on various parameters like depth, rate of air consumption, and the profile of any dives I have done in the previous six to twelve hours.

Interviewer:   And what are you working on currently?

Ray Garrett:   At the moment we’re doing quite an exciting job: exploring an old wreck! We’re working off the coast of America, examining a ship on the sea bed that sank almost 150 years ago! I absolutely love this kind of work and I never fail to be amazed not only at the wreck itself but at the sea life around it.

Interviewer:   Tell me more about the wreck itself. It was a ship called the SS Union, right?

Ray Garrett:   Exactly. She was travelling from the northern states of American to the south in the mid- to late-eighteen hundreds. For a long time, nobody knew where the shipwreck was, but a team from the University of New Orleans found it last year, using some new sonar equipment. The ship is supposed to have a lot of gold on board – although we haven’t actually found any yet.

Interviewer:   We’ll keep our fingers crossed for you! Finally, what are the effects of deep-sea diving on the body?

Ray Garrett:   Well, the work itself is absolutely fascinating, but the body can be affected in several ways. For example, problems of diving at such depth include de-compression sickness, air embolism, hypothermia and physical exhaustion. On top of that, the ship can break up at any time, which means that you run the risk of being trapped inside. A couple of days ago I had a lucky escape when part of the shipwreck fell, and that’s the sort of thing that can really cause problems for divers. Still, it’s a great profession!

Interviewer:   Ray Garrett, thank you very much.

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