Listening Part 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 about long-distance swimming.

      What does he like about it?

      A   It contrasts with his normal lifestyle.

      B   It provides him with challenges.

      C   It suits his solitary nature.

2   You hear a woman talking about a film she saw.

      How did she feel while she was watching it?

      A   bored

      B   scared

      C   amused

3   You overhear a conversation in a restaurant.

      The man thinks the dish he’s just eaten was

      A   better than in other restaurants.

      B   a bit spicier than he was used to.

      C   served in a rather unusual way.

4   You hear a man talking about a holiday.

      What does he say about it?

      A   It wasn’t worth the money he’d paid.

      B   The place wasn’t as interesting as he’d expected.

      C   The accommodation wasn’t as good as he’d been told.

5   You hear a woman talking about an old camera.

      What does she regret?

      A   the fact that she didn’t look after it properly

      B   not getting more money when she sold it.

      C   her decision to replace it.

6   You hear a television newsreader talking about his job.

      What does he say about it?

      A   Some of the news items he reports on are a bit dull.

      B   Luck plays a large part in what news is reported.

      C   He needs to plan his news reports carefully.

7   You hear part of an interview with a prize-winning musician.

      How did she feel during the competition?

      A   impressed by the other competitors

      B   disappointed with her performance

      C   confident in her ability to win

8   You hear a man talking about the experience of going to university.

      How did he feel at the start of his course?

      A   shy about talking to the other students

      B   unsure how best to organise his time

      C   surprised by the teaching methods

Answer & Audioscript

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



M:   My interest in long-distance swimming grew out of my gentle weekend splashabouts at the local pool. I found I was starting to do lengths, and then lots of lengths, until finally my friends were going: ‘What? You do how many – two hundred? I don’t believe it!’ People think I do it for the challenge, but actually what appeals more is that it’s so different to everything else I do. My job’s so chaotic that I never have time to stop and think. I do get a bit lonely sometimes, if I’m out there, going across some big lake or whatever, so it’s lovely when everyone’s waiting for me on the other side.


F:   If I’m absolutely honest, I didn’t really enjoy the experience. And I wasn’t even looking forward to going in the first place. I don’t usually find thrillers or horror films very interesting and I always think I can tell what’s going to happen next, making the whole exercise seem a bit pointless. This one, though, was genuinely frightening, partly just because it was just so loud, but there were some real shocks that had you jumping in your seat. There were people near us who were actually laughing, but I think that might have just been to cover up their nerves.


F:   Mine’s delicious. How’s yours?

M:   Yes, it’s good. I’ve never had it before, although I’ve often seen it on menus in other restaurants. The flavours are beautifully combined, and it’s really quite hot – fills the mouth. In fact, I didn’t realise it would be so fiery. I could do with a nice cold drink to help with it. But, yes, it’s good, and you can tell the ingredients are all completely fresh.

F:   Why don’t you have some of my water until the waiter comes back?

M:   Thanks.

F:   It does look pretty on the plate, doesn’t it? Mine’s nice too – would you like to taste a bit?

M:   Please.


M:   Yes, the holiday worked out OK in the end. It exceeded my expectations actually. I guess, because the island was definitely more interesting than I thought it was going to be. When I was booking the trip, though, the travel agent told me what an exceptional hotel it was. I think he went over the top a bit, or perhaps had just never actually been there. Still, I wasn’t going to let that spoil my enjoyment, because basically it was the best one around. The whole package wasn’t particularly cheap, I have to say, but since I had such a good time I can’t really complain, can I?


F:   Ah, that old camera! It was really like a friend – it went everywhere with me, and it had plenty of marks and scratches on it to prove it! I never even bought a case for it or anything, and it worked fine. But it was old technology really and I thought I’d better get a more up-to-date one. So, in the end I sold it for a few pounds – more than it was worth really. I wish I’d held on to it though, because I do miss it. I’ve got album after album full of photos I took with it, and it’s actually quite easy to upload them onto a computer and they look fine.


M:   I love the unpredictability in my job – you just don’t know what the news will consist of until, literally, it’s going out live on air. Throughout the day, stories pour in. Quite a lot of them are just routine and later get set aside, whilst others develop into big news items. Sometimes it’s down to a reporter happening to be in the right place at the right time – you can’t plan world events, so you just hope you’ve got someone on the ground when something happens. We do make kind of loose plans at the start of each day, but any of that might be dropped later if a big story breaks.


M:   So you’ve won the Musician of the Year Award. That must be a great feeling.

F:   Oh yes. I’m still trying to realise it’s true. I know my parents are very proud of me and I’m very lucky to have that level of support and encouragement. I wouldn’t have ever done it without them. I can’t say it’s a great surprise, because for the effort I’ve put in, there had to be a chance I’d win. But as the finals drew closer, and I saw just how good the other performers were, then I started to worry, and now I feel I’ve been a bit lucky, cos I could easily have missed out.


M:   Well, I’ve settled in now, and I feel quite at home. It was all a bit of a shock when I started, though, so different from how school had been. The teachers were all strangers, and did things differently to the ones we’d had in school, but I guess I’d been prepared for that and soon got used to their methods. I lacked confidence socially, though, and somehow everyone else seemed to have been friends already, so I hesitated to approach anyone. I became very focussed on my studies, determined to manage my time well and get high grades. Gradually, I started to mix more. But it took a while.

Listening Part 2

You will hear a woman called Carly Clarkson talking about her career as a street-dance teacher.

For questions 9-18, complete the sentences with a word or short phrase.


Carly mentions lessons in (9) …………………………………… she took as a child, which helped with her street-dancing.

Carly tells people that she regards street-dance as part of her (10) …………………………………… .

Carly decided to take up dancing after seeing a move called (11) …………………………………… being performed.

Carly’s street-dance students can be as young as (12) …………………………………… years old.

The name of the school where Carly is based is (13) …………………………………… .

Carly uses the word (14) …………………………………… to describe her feelings if people don’t appreciate her work.

Carly feels that street-dance is getting better known thanks to the support of (15) …………………………………… .

Carly thinks street-dancing appeals to young people because it is regarded as a (16) …………………………………… activity.

Carly feels that both (17) ………………… and ………………… are needed to succeed as a professional street-dancer.

Carly suggests consulting the (18) …………………………………… as a first step in finding out about street-dancing in your area.

Answer & Audioscript

9 gymnastics   10 culture   11 (a/the) windmill

12 four/4   13 Footsteps   14 frustrating

15 (the) government   16 cool

17 discipline/ambition   18 Internet


Hi there. My name’s Carly Clarkson, and I’m a dancer. I’ve come along today to tell you about the type of dancing I do. It’s called street dancing.

Basically I took up street dancing because other types of dance weren’t available to me. Some of my friends had ballet lessons, or tap-dancing lessons as kids. But we were quite poor so we couldn’t afford anything like that. I did a bit of gymnastics at school, that was useful, but apart from that I learnt on the street. I was quite happy with that because it was part of who I was and it reflected the way I lived. I guess you could say that it was my culture. That’s what I always tell people anyway!

I learnt to dance when I was out on the street with my brothers and their friends – just in the local park. They were really into all kinds of break dancing stuff, and I used to hang out with them. I saw my brother do a move called a windmill, which is a brilliant move, and I just thought: ‘Wow I want to do that.’

And, of course, now I teach street dance and people ask how I got into that. I guess I wanted to be able to give kids opportunities I’d never had myself. I’ve been teaching street dancing for ten years now, and to all sorts of ages. I teach anything from four upwards, but I have taught sixty-five-year-olds. I guess the best age to start is around five years old though.

I teach in different studios. I have my own performing arts school, which is called Footsteps, and that’s where I’m based, but I go out as a freelancer too; going into other studios, to dancing workshops in the community, as well as working with kids in schools too.

So, is it always fun? The answer is yes, mostly. It’s certainly not stressful or anything. But when you teach, you give away a bit of your soul and sometimes people don’t always appreciate how much hard work goes into it. That sometimes can get a little bit frustrating. But, you know, you have to rise above it.

And interest in street-dancing is growing. A number of people have asked why that is. And, you know, it’s partly that you see it now on TV and there’ve been a couple of good films. But I think it’s mostly because of the fact people aren’t getting enough exercise, and so the government is now taking notice. So people like myself are now paid to go out and promote healthy exercise. Maybe it comes better from us than from doctors or sports coaches.

And I suppose, if you want to get young people fit and active again, then you’ve got to do something that’s seen to be quite a cool thing to do, and that’s where street dance comes in. Other types of dance like ballet can be seen as a bit snobby, or contemporary dance is a bit arty, but street-dance isn’t like that.

I’m also sometimes asked whether, for someone who hasn’t got any natural rhythm, it’s possible to become a professional street-dancer? ’ And I’d say definitely. I’m not sure that natural rhythm’s the thing actually, as long as you have good general fitness, you can learn. But you must have discipline and ambition to become a professional. I mean, nine times out of ten you don’t get the job you’re going for. There’s maybe, say, 12,000 street dancers and a hundred jobs, so unless you’re right up there it can be tough.

Finally some advice for any of you thinking of taking up street dance as a hobby. I’d say, see what’s available locally – an Internet search should get some results. Failing that, I’d say go along to your local gym and try and find out what classes are available. If you’re at school or college, ask to have a freelancer like me come in and do sessions at an after-school club or whatever.

So, before I go onto …

Listening Part 3

You will hear five short extracts in which people are talking about a charity running event.

For questions 19-23, choose from the list (A-H) what each speaker says.

Use the letters only once. There is one extra letter which you do not need to use.

A   I feel proud of my latest performance.

B   I don’t think it was very well organised.

C   I felt sorry for the runners who weren’t fit enough.

D   I’m still in pain from an injury I got that day.

E   I was surprised by how many people came to watch.

F   I was disappointed at the amount of money raised.

G   I regret changing my mind about taking part.

H   I was embarrassed to find I’d forgotten my race number.

19   Speaker 1

20   Speaker 2

21   Speaker 3

22   Speaker 4

23   Speaker 5

Answer & Audioscript

19 C   20 A   21 B   22 G   23 E


Speaker one

It’s a very worthwhile event, and one I’m pleased to be involved with. If you just wait around for people to give money to charity, they probably won’t, or won’t give very much anyway. But if you can say, ‘look we’re running all this distance, what do you think, can you sponsor me?’, then people will tend to give quite a bit. You do need to make sure you’re up to the event itself, though. As we were running along, we passed some others who I think hadn’t really put the training in, poor things, and they were suffering a bit. But hopefully they still raised some money by doing it.

Speaker two

Well, it’s held every year, you know? The first time I did it, it was a mistake – I just wasn’t ready and I had to give up halfway through. Very embarrassing. Luckily, there weren’t too many of my friends watching me that year! I’ve since got myself more organised and I do a proper training routine, with the result that last time I got round in my quickest ever time and that’s made me feel pretty good about myself, to be honest. Not least because I raised a fair bit of cash for the charity as well as having a great time on the day and generally keeping fit.

Speaker three

It’s very important that this kind of event takes place, because it’s the only way serious sums of money are going to get raised for the charity. I have to admit to being a little frustrated in some ways, though. Like, you’re supposed to be sent your race number beforehand, so you know where to stand for the start on the day, but this year nobody had received theirs. I mean, that’s typical of how badly the event’s run. Not important maybe, but it’s enough to put some people off taking part. Anyway it was great to see the spectators out in good numbers – they can always be relied on to show up.

Speaker four

It’s a wonderful event, well organised and a lot of money’s generated for a worthwhile charity. I took part for the first time two years ago, and my friends who’d come along gave me a big cheer, which I wasn’t expecting! When it was time for this year’s race, I didn’t feel I was fit enough, so I decided to give it a miss. Then felt guilty and decided at the last minute to enter after all. It was a big mistake because I felt horrible all the way; out of breath, cramp, the lot. I felt a fool, though I did still manage to meet the money-raising target.

Speaker five

My friend encouraged me to do it, and we did our best to get fit before the big day. I didn’t want to crash out before the finish because I’d set myself a goal in terms of the sum I wanted to raise, and didn’t want to let people down. There was pride at stake too, I guess. It must be incredibly complicated in terms of organisation, with so many runners and such an enormous band of spectators along the route – I just couldn’t believe the size of the crowd – it really gives you a boost! I was relieved to finish in one piece and I want to do it again next year.

Listening Part 4

You will hear an interview with a woman called Sally Gartree, who works as an organiser of the three-day Ixford Music Festival.

For questions 24-30, choose the best answer (A, B or C).

24   Sally says that her involvement with the festival began

      A   before her parents were asked to help run it.

      B   when it was first held over twenty years ago.

      C   after she had started attending the event regularly.

25   Sally feels that the biggest change in the festival has been in

      A   the scale of the event.

      B   the atmosphere at night.

      C   the facilities for performers.

26   Sally regrets that some people attending the festival now seem most interested in

      A   how well known the bands are.

      B   trying out different types of food.

      C   the retail outlets selling souvenirs.

27   What does Sally enjoy most about the festival?

      A   the non-stop entertainment

      B   the relaxed attitude of the people

      C   the range of musical styles on offer

28   What would Sally like to change about the festival?

      A   so many people arriving by car

      B   the reliance on good weather

      C   how poorly advertised it is

29   Sally tells the story about the famous rock star to show

      A   how well respected the festival is.

      B   how unreasonable such people can be.

      C   how important the festival was to his career.

30   Sally hopes that in the future the festival will

      A   go on for longer.

      B   be shown on TV.

      C   stay the same size.

Answer & Audioscript

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


Int:   My guest today is Sally Gartree, who works as one of the organisers of the three-day Ixford open-air music festival. Sally, I think you’ve been involved with the festival for quite some time, haven’t you?

S:   Yes! I remember it being set up first some twenty years ago, when I was just a kid, and I think it was fourteen years ago that I went for the first time myself – I made my parents take me – and then I went absolutely every year after that. I was asked to join the team of organisers eight years ago, and I can’t imagine ever stopping now.

Int:   And I guess you’ve seen some changes over the years.

S:   If you look at the festival these days, in the evening, there are twinkling candles and little fires almost as far as the eye can see, spread across several fields – there’s always been a lovely atmosphere once the sun goes down. But in the early days the whole thing fitted into just one field, and it wasn’t a big one either – just enough for everyone’s tents and the stage. That’s been the biggest change. Although of course all the performances were in the open air then too, there was no covered stage.

Int:   Any regrets for the way things have changed?

S:   Not really. And the big-name bands expect high-quality facilities these days. Actually, if you ask me, the performers are perhaps reducing in importance for audiences in some ways, and that’s a shame. There are more and more stalls appearing selling exotic foods and you almost get the feeling that’s what a lot of the crowd have come for. Although there’s always been those who just want the souvenir T-shirt, of course, to say they’ve been.

Int:   But there’s still a lot to be enjoyed, surely?

S:   Definitely. There’s some great music, although I’m not so keen on the way it’s broadened out into pop music myself. But there’s something for everybody at the end of the day. It’s the company that really makes it for me – everyone just seems so calm and ready just to have a good time. These days though, I have to say I tend to wander back to my tent and fall asleep not much after midnight – I can’t keep going all night like some of the others, or like I used to.

Int:   Anything you’d like to change about it?

S:   Well, we can’t control the weather, and it’s been rather wet some years leading some people to suggest moving everything indoors but that would spoil the fun for me. I do wish though that we could persuade more people to leave their cars at home – because congestion’s a real headache. We do state really clearly on the adverts that we’d rather everyone used public transport, but they take no notice. It’s strange because the adverts are quite effective in other ways.

Int:   Any good stories about the stars?

S:   Sure. We’ve had so many musicians here, and a lot of them have gone on to become very famous, whether because of the festival or not I couldn’t say. One guy, I remember – let’s not use his name here – agreed to come back and play for a very modest fee. He played his set, and then some more, and then joined in with some of the other guys, and he just didn’t seem to want to leave the stage. Afterwards he said he just loved being here, and I think a lot of them feel that way about the festival.

Int:   So what of the festival’s future, Sally?

S:   I think we’ve achieved the optimum size actually. The programme of performances is as full as it can get, realistically, and I imagine we’ll always resist the idea of being broadcast on television – because that’s just not what we’re about – so I personally wouldn’t be in favour of expanding things further – though of course that’s not just up to me, and there are those who’d like to go to four days, or bring in another field. I guess we should be happy that it carries on being so successful.

Int:   Indeed. Thanks Sally.

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