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 part of a radio programme about people who can’t hear musical beats.

      What does the man say about being ‘beat deaf’?

      A   Many who believe they are beat deaf probably aren’t.

      B   Beat deafness is connected with the speed of the music.

      C   Beat deaf people don’t understand the idea of rhythm.

2   You hear two students talking about making a map of their local area.

      What do they agree about?

      A   how difficult it might be to use an online tool

      B   how helpful their geography teacher has been

      C   how important it is to do careful planning

3   You hear two friends talking about a TV programme they have seen.

      What does the woman say about the new salt product?

      A   It is not likely to be successful.

      B   It will not offer value for money.

      C   It may not taste as good as normal salt.

4   You hear a teacher telling her students about a historical novel.

      What is she doing?

      A   describing its relevance to her students

      B   providing detailed information about the plot

      C   explaining why she bought the book

5   You hear a man who is blind talking about experiencing travel through his sense of smell.

      Why is he talking about this?

      A   to persuade us to try out his technique

      B   to describe particular journeys he’s made

      C   to explain how his skill makes him feel

6   You hear a sports coach talking to a cyclist.

      What is the coach doing?

      A   praising the cyclist for her progress

      B   explaining why the cyclist feels a certain way

      C   encouraging the cyclist to eat better foods

7   You hear an author talking to a friend about launching her new book.

      How does the author feel now?

      A   surprised by her publisher’s behaviour

      B   worried about certain arrangements

      C   eager to carry out her plans

8   You hear a sea captain talking to trainees about finding the way at sea.

      What does he say sailors must do?

      A   learn from the mistakes of older sailors

      B   study relevant charts while sailing

      C   be aware of their location at all times

Answer & Audioscript

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


1   You hear part of a radio programme about people who can’t hear musical beats.

A:   What does ‘beat deafness’ mean?

B:   It’s when people can’t hear the beat in music. They can’t move in time to even the strongest beat – I’m not saying they don’t know what rhythm is, though.

A:   I’ve seen those people in my exercise class, when I do aerobics, or whatever, to music – they stop to the left when everyone else is moving to the right.

B:   Well, it’s possible that the people you’re talking about just have a problem with learning a new routine at speed. It’s pretty rare to find people who are genuinely beat deaf-though lots of people tend to think they are, when actually they’re just poor dancers!

2   You hear two students talking about making a map of their local area.

A:   So, we have to make a map of our local area for our next geography lesson.

B:   Where do we start? Our teacher told us to look at that online map-making tool, but she didn’t give too many details about it. Using it might be easier said than done, judging by how complex it looks.

A:   The teacher said it looked harder than it actually is to use but I’m not convinced, either. We need to become really familiar with the area before we start doing anything, I’d say.

B:   Walking around and sketching stuff? I’d rather just get on with it.

A:   OK. Well, I’ll meet you after class.

3   You hear two friends talking about a TV programme they have seen.

A:   Did you see that programme about new food technology?

B:   Yeah. Those hollow salt crystals they can make were amazing – they look like real grains of salt, but aren’t solid. Apparently your mind gets tricked into thinking it’s traditional salt, so you can eat more healthily but don’t notice the difference!

A:   I question whether it can really be as nice as the real thing. And it must be complicated to process …

B:   … so it’s unlikely to make it into supermarkets any time soon. It would be pretty expensive, anyway.

A:   But it might be worth it for the sake of being healthier.

4   You hear a teacher telling her students about a historical novel.

I know you’d rather bury your heads in the latest popular novels than read anything that sounds a bit serious, but I must recommend Chortown. It’s not something I’d normally pick up in a bookshop, and I wouldn’t have read it if someone hadn’t passed it on to me. It’s set 200 years ago, and follows the story of a family living in our town at that time. I won’t spoil it by saying any more, but you’ll love recognising the places that are mentioned. Lots of things have changed since then, but the characters’ lives are strikingly similar to our own.

5   You hear a man who is blind talking about experiencing travel through his sense of smell.

I’m blind, so I rely on my other senses a lot, especially when I travel. It’s all very well asking your companions to describe a scene but I was eager to find my own way of experiencing all the new places I visit. So I decided to focus on smelling them instead. It wasn’t easy focusing my attention this way at first, but now I can recall a place instantly when I smell certain things. Sea spray reminds me of South Africa, and fresh coffee of Colombia. I’m convinced this method makes my travel experiences more intense than if I could see where I was.

6   You hear a sports coach talking to a cyclist.

A:   Are you settling into your new cycling routine?

B:   I love it but it’s tough. I feel hungry all the time, though I’ve put loads of effort into making sure I eat the right things – slow-release carbohydrates and so on. But I keep waking up in the middle of the night starving!

A:   Well, you’re enjoying the training, and you’re on track food-wise, but you have significantly increased the amount of training you’re doing – your body’s bound to want more food. Eating straightaway after training will help to avoid feelings of hunger later in the day when you might be tempted to snack on the wrong things.

7   You hear an author talking to a friend about launching her new book.

A:   Hey! Congratulations on getting your book published! Are you going to have a launch party?

B:   Well, I’ve been so relieved the writing’s finally finished I haven’t given it much thought – it isn’t really my kind of thing, It’d be nice if the publisher organised something but they don’t do that unless you’re an established author …

A:   … yes, who’s making them lots of money! Have you got a decent budget for the party?

B:   It’s not bad. Maybe I could have the party at the Condor Hotel. What I’m concerned about is how to attract publicity. I don’t suppose you have any ideas about who to invite?

A:   Let’s have a think.

8   You hear a sea captain talking to trainees about finding the way at sea.

Today’s session is about navigation – finding your way on the ocean. This is a complex science and even highly experienced sailors who’ve spent years perfecting their navigation skills can still make errors of judgement. It boils down to just two things – knowing where you are and knowing how to get where you want to go. Safely. It’s easy to spend enormous amounts of time poring over maps – this is better done before you set off than during the voyage – that’s when you should be concentrating on what’s happening right now.

Listening 2

You will hear an interview with a concert violinist called Barry Green. For questions 24-30, choose the best answer A, B or C.

24   Why did Barry become a professional violinist?

      A   He was inspired by seeing other people play.

      B   His parents thought it would be a good career.

      C   He realised he was unable to play football professionally.

25   What does Barry say about his life at school?

      A   It was difficult for him to find time to do his homework.

      B   He was fortunate to find academic work relatively easy.

      C   There was little understanding of his desire to be a violinist.

26   What did Barry do after leaving school?

      A   He went straight to music college.

      B   He studied different subjects for a year.

      C   He travelled with other young musicians.

27   What does Barry say about going to music college?

      A   He enjoyed the opportunity to take up another instrument.

      B   He felt he was more talented than the other students.

      C   He found it hard to adjust to the discipline.

28   Why did Barry start playing in public concerts?

      A   He wanted the opportunity to play violin solos.

      B   He was asked to after doing well in a competition.

      C   He knew some of the musicians in the local orchestra.

29   What disadvantage of his current life does Barry mention?

      A   He sometimes forgets what he is supposed to play.

      B   He feels stressed when there are too many people on stage.

      C   He has little time to visit the places where he gives concerts.

30   What does Barry say is positive about his professional life?

      A   He appreciates having been able to fulfil his ambition.

      B   He has the opportunity to spend time with interesting people.

      C   He has a job that will keep him comfortable in retirement.

Answer & Audioscript

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


Interviewer:   I’d like to welcome Barry Green, the successful concert violinist, to our studio today.

Barry Green:   Hello. It’s good to be here.

Interviewer:   Barry, why did you decide to be a violinist?

Barry Green:   It was something I’d been desperate to do since I was about six years old. My parents weren’t musicians, but they let my brother and I to do whatever we liked as hobbies, as long as it didn’t interfere with our education, so we could get what they called a ‘proper job’ if necessary. My brother’s a good footballer, but sport’s never really been my thing. I watched a concert on TV, and after that I was hooked.

Interviewer:   Was it hard to combine this passion with ordinary school life?

Barry Green:   Well we certainly got plenty of homework, and I wasn’t treated any differently just because I had grand ambitions – though I must say my teachers were always very supportive. It probably helped that my marks were always pretty good, without my ever having to make too much of an effort. Not fair, I know! But I always had to get my school work done before any music lessons or practice.

Interviewer:   So what did you do when you left school?

Barry Green:   I thought about studying maths or physics, but then I heard about a youth orchestra that was doing a world tour. They offered me a scholarship so I could afford to go, which was brilliant. When I got back, as I already knew what I wanted to do, it seemed pointless to delay going to music college, so that’s where I went.

Interviewer:   And did you like music college?

Barry Green:   Well, I’d really looked forward to being there, but some of the teachers were far stricter than the ones I had before, and it wasn’t easy at first. I had to learn to play the piano, too, which I felt was a waste of time, as the violin was the only thing I cared about. It did help develop me as a musician, though, which was what I needed – some of the people there had been at special music schools from an early age and I had a lot of catching up to do.

Interviewer:   When did you start playing in professional concerts?

Barry Green:   I didn’t for a long time. I played solo violin in competitions – I had to do a lot of those, and didn’t get anywhere for ages. After I won my first prize, though, the city orchestra invited me to play with them sometimes, though not as a soloist of course. That came later, after I’d won a few more competitions. The other musicians were very kind to me, and playing in the violin section with them was a huge chance to learn – some of them became good friends of mine.

Interviewer:   How would you describe your life these days, Barry?

Barry Green:   Hours and hours of practising, travelling a lot to give concerts but being stuck in hotels that all seem to look the same, rarely having time off to see the sights. … Huge amounts of pressure when I’m on stage, knowing the audience is out there and being afraid I’ll completely forget the notes I’ve spent so long memorising – not that I’ve ever actually done that in a concert. And worrying that I’ll leave my violin on a seat at an airport!

Interviewer:   Is your life as a musician really that tough?

Barry Green:   No, I just like to complain sometimes. I know I’m very lucky to be able to do what I love, and to have achieved what I set out to do as a young child. Not many people get the chance to do that. And bringing something to life that was written two hundred years ago is really something extraordinary and fascinating. I hope I’ll be able to do it until I’m too old to hold a violin any more.

Interviewer:   Thank you very much for talking to us, Barry.

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