Listening Comprehension

Section A

Conversation 1

W: Hi, David, I haven't seen you in class for almost two weeks. We thought you had disappeared on holiday early or something.

M: Hi Sarah.Well, it's a bit of a long story,I'm afraid. I got a throat infection last week and had to go to the hospital to get some antibiotics as I really wasn't getting any better.

W:Oh, yeah. There' ve been so many viruses going around this winter. The weather has been so awful for the last few weeks.

M: And, on the way back from the hospital,I slipped on some ice and fell and then had to go to the hospital to get an x-ray because I basically thought I'd broken my wrist. Although thankfully it's not broken.But I need to be careful with it for the next few weeks.

W: Oh, that's too bad.How unfortunate.

M: To make things worse,I managed to fall right in front of four girls from the ninth grade. So, it was utterly humiliated. Plus, the laptop in my bag was broken too.

W: No! What a complete catastrophe! Is the laptop's still under warranty? If it is, then you can easily send it back to the manufacturer and they'll send you a brand new one for free, surely.

M: The warranty ran out three days before I broke it. And all my essays are in there and I need to have them in before we break for the Christmas holidays.

W:Listen, I have the number of a really good affordable computer repair shop at home. My dad has used this guy before and he can work miracles. Let's go back to my house and we can call the repair shop, and you could have some tea and cookies too.

M: Wow.Thanks, Sarah. That would be great. Let me just call my mom and let her know I be home a little bit later.

Q1:What did Sara think David was doing for the last two weeks?

Q2: What happened to David on his way back from the hospital?

Q3: What does Sarah say they should do with the damaged computer?

Q4: What does Sarah say she is going to do?


Conversation 2

M: Welcome to this week's episode of Book Talk. With me today is Heidi Brown,a historian who has written five critically acclaimed books about military history.

W: Thanks for having me, John. I'm so excited to talk about my latest book, which was published last month.

M: So this book is a novel, your first attempt at that genre.And that's a bit of a departure for you.

W: I'd say it's a major departure as it's not just a work of fiction, it's set 200 years in the future.

M: Right. So how did that happen? You spent three decades writing about the past and focusing on the 18th and 19th centuries. And now you're speculating about the future.

W: Well, after years of researching soldiers and chronicling their lives during battle,I just started wondering about other facets of their lives, especially their personal lives.

M: I can see that. Your novel is about soldiers, but it focuses on their relationships, especially the bonds between sons and mothers, and men and their wives.

W: Yes.That focus came about when I still intended to write another book of history,I started by researching soldier's actual personal lives, studying their letters home.

M: So how did that history book become a novel?

W: Well,I realized that the historical record was incomplete.So I'd either have to leave a lot of gaps or make a lot more assumptions than a historian should.

M: But why write a novel set in the future, when your credentials are perfect for a historical novel? As a historian, any historical novel you write would have a lot of credibility.

W:I felt too constrained working with the past. Like what I wrote needed to be fact as opposed to fiction.But writing about the future gave me more freedom to imagine, to invent.

M: Well,having read your book,I'm glad you made that choice to move into fiction.

Q5:What does the man say about the woman?

Q6: What does the woman say about her newly published book?

Q7:What did the woman do before writing her new book?

Q8: What does the woman say about her writing history books?


Section B

Passage 1

Whether it's in the hands of animated polar bears or Santa Claus, there's one thing you'll find in nearly all ads for Coca-Cola, the characteristic glass bottle. Most Americans don't drink soda out of the glass bottles seen in Coke's ads anymore.But this week,the company is celebrating a century of the bottle that's been sold in more than 200 countries. Flashback to 1915, when a bottle of Coca-Cola costs just a nickel as the soft drink gained in popularity, it faced a growing number of competitors, counterfeits,even trying to copy Coke's logo.So according to Coca-Cola historian, Ted Ryan, the company decided to come up with packaging that couldn't be duplicated.A product request was sent to eight different glass makers. Workers at the root glass company got the request and began flipping through the encyclopedia at the local library,Landy gone cocoa's seed.

The cocoa's seed is not an ingredient of the soda. They designed their bottle based on the seeds that shape and large middle. It wasn't overcoat executive's in Atlanta and would go on to receive its own trademark spur collections and earn Coca-Cola an iconic image that made it part of American culture for a century.

It was 100 years ago this week that the bottle earned a package by world war Ⅱ, Coke bottle sales had ballooned into billions. Americans mostly consumed Coke out of aluminum or plastic today, but the glass bottle remains a symbol of America that's readily recognized around the world.

Q9. What does the passage say appears in almost all ads for Coca-Cola.

Q10.Why did the Coca-Cola company decide to have special packaging designed? Q11. What do they learn about the Coca-Cola bottle designed by the root glass company?


Passage 2

Trying to create some measurable improvement in mood.But most of us are reluctant to start these conversations because we presume the opposite. In an experiment, commuters who talk to nearby strangers found that commute more enjoyable than those who didn't. They were asked to predict whether they'd enjoy the commute more if they converse with other people.Intriguingly, most expect the more solitary experience to be more pleasurable. Why is this? Social anxiety appears to be the problem. People's reluctance to start conversations with nearby strangers comes partly from underestimating others' interest in connecting.

The sad thing is that people presume that a nearby stranger doesn't want to converse and don't start a conversation. Only those who force themselves to chat because it was required by the experiment found out what a pleasant experience it could be. Human beings are social animals. Those who misunderstand the impact of social interactions may not, in some context, be social enough for their own well being.You should be chatting with the strangers you encounter. You may occasionally have a negative encounter that might stick in your memory. This is because the human brain is biased to dwell on negative events.But starting conversations with strangers is still well worth the risk of rejection.

It may surprise you that conversing with strangers will make them happier too. The pleasure of connection seems contagious. People who I talk to have equally positive experiences as those who initiate a conversation.

Q12:What does research show about a conversation between strangers?

Q13: What prevents people from starting a conversation with strangers?

Q14: Why does a negative encounter with strangers stick in one's memory?

Q15: What does the passage say the pleasure of connection seems to be?


Lecture 1

The Caribbean islands are divided into two worlds,a rich one,and a poor one. This tropical region's economy is based mainly on farming. Farmers are of two types.One is the plantation owner who may have hundreds of thousands of acres. In contrast, this small cultivator is working only a few acres of land.

Most visitors to the Caribbean are rich.Like the plantation owner. They do not realize or do not want to realize that many farm families barely managed to get by on what they grow.The Caribbean produces many things.Sugar is the main product. Other export crops are tobacco coffee, bananas, spices, and citrus fruits, such as orange lemon or grapefruit.

From the west Indies also come oil,mineral pitch, and many forest products. Jamaica's aluminum or supplies are the world's largest. Oil comes from Trinidad, Aruba and Carolco, but for many of the smaller islands, sugar is the only export.Rum,a strong alcoholic. We just distilled from sugar cane is also an export.

The world's best rum comes from this area. Local kinds vary from the light rums of Puerto Rico to the heavier, darker rums of Barbados and Jamaica. American tourists enjoy stocking up on inexpensive high-quality Caribbean rum while they're on vacation. In correct. the well-known vicar of that name is made for the thick, outer skin of a native orange ever since America's colonial days, the Caribbean islands have been favorite places to visit.

Since world war ll, tourism has increased rapidly because great numbers of people go there. The Islanders have built elaborate resorts, developed harbors and airfields, improved beaches and have expanded sea and air routes. Everything is at the resort, hotel, beach, shopping and recreation, the vacationer never has any reason to explore the island.

As in most places, those who have money live well, indeed, those who don't have money live at various levels of poverty, but here the poor greatly outnumber the wealthy.A visitor will find rich people living in apartments or Spanish houses at the seaside or in the countryside. Their service might include a cook, a maid and a nurse for the children.

Most of the people live well below the poverty level. In towns, they live crowded together in tiny houses. Islanders make the best they can of what they have. Their homes are quite Chevy. Sadly, most tourists never see this side of the Caribbean.

Q16:What does the speaker say about the economy of the Caribbean islands?Question Q17:What is the main product of the Caribbean islands?

Q18:What do we learn about the majority of people in the Caribbean islands?


Lecture 2

Talk to anyone who is a generation or too older, and they would most likely comment that children are most spoiled these days, no one wants to have,or be around demanding, selfish and spoiled children. Those who get bad temper will silently brood when they're not given everything they want immediately.

Paradoxically, the parents of such children courage this demanding behavior in the mistaken belief that by giving that children everything they can, that children will be happy.in the short term perhaps they are right. But in the longer term, such children end up lonely dependent, chronically dissatisfied and resentful of the parents who tried so hard to please them.

Undoubtedly, parents want to raise happy children who are confident, capable, and likable rather than spoiled and miserable.(20) One factor hindering this is that parents can't,or don't spend enough quality time with their kids and substitute. this deficit with Loinbo toys, games, gadgets, and the like.Rather than getting material things, children need parents devoted attention.

The quantity of time spent together is less important than the content of that time. Instead of instantly satisfying their wishes, parents should help them work out a plan to earn things they'd like to have.This teaches them to value the effort as well as what it achieves, allow them to enjoy anticipation.

Numerous psychological studies have demonstrated that children who learn to wait for things they desire are more likely to succeed in a number of ways later in life.

One famous experiment in the 1960s, involved 3 to 6 year old children.They were given a choice between receiving a small reward, such as a cookie immediately.Or if they waited 15 minutes, they could have two.

Follow-up studies have found that those who chose to delay satisfaction are now more academically successful, have greater self worth, and even tend to be healthier.If they failed, children should be encouraged to keep trying, rather than to give up, if they really want the desired result.This teaches them how to handle and recover from disappointment, which is associated with greater success and satisfaction academically, financially, and in personal relationships.And lastly,parents should encourage their children to look at life from other points of view, as well as their own.

This teaches them to be understanding of and sympathetic towards others.

Qualities ?shorter? take them a long way in life.

Q19: What will happen to children if they always get immediate satisfaction?

Q20: What may prevent parents from raising confident and capable children?

Q21: Why should children be encouraged to keep trying when they fail?


Lecture 3

It's not hard to mess up an interview. Most people feel nervous sittig across from a hiring manager,answering questions that effectively opened themselves up for judgement. And your chances of being more carefully considered for the job can quickly go downhill just by saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. The most obvious thing not to do is complain.Employers want to hire positive people. Talking about a previous job negatively raises concerns that you might be difficult to manage,or you might be someone that blames management for your own poor performance. Don't say that you've moved around in jobs because you haven't found the right fit or feel that you were not challenged enough. Statements like these will make you sound aimless and lost. And interviewer may well think why would this role be any different for you.You will probably leave here in six months. It also begs the question of what type of relationship you had with your manager. It doesn't sound like you had open communication with him or her. Managers usually love people who can self-sustain and enable growth through taking initiative, who are strong at following through their work and who bring ideas and solutions to the table. If you were in a management or leadership position when discussing your current role, never take all the credit for accomplishments or achievements. Emphasize your team and how through their talents your vision was realized.Most successful leaders know that they are only as good as their team. And acknowledging this in an interview will go a long way towards suggesting that you might be the right person for the position you are applying for. Lastly, have a good idea of what your role is.And try and convey the idea that you're flexible. Asking what your role will be suggest you will limit yourself purely to what is expected of you.In reality, your role is whatever you make of it. This is especially true in small companies, where the ability to adapt and take on new responsibilities is highly valued.And this is equally important, if you're just starting out. Entry level interviewees would do well to demonstrate a broad set of skill in most interviews. It's important to have a wide skill set, as many startups and small companies are moving really fast. Employers are looking for candidates that are intelligent and can quickly adapt and excel in a growing company.

Q22: What does the speaker say can easily prevent an interviewee from getting a job?

Q23: What should the interviewee avoid doing in an interview?

Q24: What kind of employees do companies like to recruit?

Q25: What is especially important for those working in a small company?