You will hear a conversation between a man and a woman. The conversation takes place in an office.
|MAN:||Hello, Ms. Jeffers? I’m Matthew, your temp, from the agency.|
|WOMAN:||Yes, hello, Matthew. This way please . . . I have you set up here. I’m afraid your task isn’t very challenging, but it’s just for one day. Please have a seat.|
|MAN:||Thank you. What am I to do?|
|WOMAN:||These boxes on your left contain envelopes. The boxes in the middle contain letters. I’d like you to put one letter into each envelope. Make sure you fold the letter like this, so the address shows in the window of the envelope. Then put it in this empty box on your right.|
|MAN:||Would you like me to seal the envelopes as well? If you have a sponge and a little dish of water or one of those dabber things . . .|
|WOMAN:||No, fortunately, we have a machine that will do that.|
|MAN:||Okay. Is that all? I don’t need to answer any phones?|
|WOMAN:||No, your task is simple—I’m sure you’ll be quite sick of it shortly. I apologize in advance for that.|
Now answer questions 1-2.
- Which word best describes the man’s task?
- What is at the man’s workstation?
|WOMAN:||How are you doing, Matthew? Are you ready for a break? I’ll show you where our break room is.|
|MAN:||Thanks! I am ready for a break! You were quite right about the nature of the job! That’s exactly why I hope to obtain regular employment soon. May I ask—do you know if there are any full-time jobs here?|
|WOMAN:||I’m afraid I don’t know. At lunch you could go to the Human Resources department and ask. If there isn’t anything at the moment for you, be sure to ask if you can fill out an application anyway.|
|MAN:||Thank you. May I list you as a reference?|
|WOMAN:||Ask me at the end of the day. If you finish stuffing all of the envelopes, and none of the letters are in backwards, I’d be happy to let you use my name as a reference.|
Now answer questions 3-5.
- What is the man’s role in the company?
- What does the man intend to do at lunchtime?
- What can we tell from this conversation?
|WOMAN:||Hi Matthew, it’s lunch time now!|
|MAN:||Oh, good! My hands are a bit sore, but I think I’m about halfway through.|
|WOMAN:||Yes, it looks like it. That’s good! Do make sure you come find me at the end of the day! Would you like me to show you where Human Resources is?|
|MAN:||Yes, thank you. And, if I may ask, I have music on my phone, and ear buds—would it be against the rules to listen to music while I work this afternoon? I think it would help a bit.|
|WOMAN:||Yes, that would be okay, as long as you keep the volume low enough that no one else hears it.|
Now answer questions 6-8.
- What is the man’s response to the woman’s announcement?
- What does this part of the conversation imply?
- Why does the woman tell him to find her later?
You are about to hear a conversation between two colleagues, a man and a woman. They are in the break room at work.
|MAN:||Hi, Naomi. How are you adjusting to the night shift?|
|WOMAN:||I’m not! I can’t fall asleep during the day—even though I put something over my eyes to block out the light and wear earplugs to block out the noise. So I’m really, really tired.|
|MAN:||I read an article the other day about how the night shift doesn’t fit our natural body rhythms. Most of us are built to rest at night. The article also mentioned that people who work the night shift often have concentration problems and even coordination problems.|
|WOMAN:||Well, then I’m glad we’re cleaners. Imagine operating heavy machinery or piloting a plane at night . . .|
|MAN:||Yes, there are more accidents on the night shift! The article even said that police officers who work the night shift are angrier than those who work the day shift.|
|WOMAN:||I believe that! My daughter asked me yesterday why I was so cranky! By the way, how do you deal with never seeing your family because you work the night shift?|
|MAN:||My parents and siblings are overseas, so it actually works well for me to call them during the day when I’m at home. But I do miss the after-work things I used to do with my friends.|
|WOMAN:||Yes, I guess it’s hard to maintain a social life when you work the night shift. But on the bright side, there are no line-ups in the grocery store!|
|MAN:||True enough! Listen, we’ve got ten minutes left on our break. I’ll make you a cup of coffee to get you through the next couple hours. Do you drive or take the bus home?|
|WOMAN:||Thanks, a coffee would be great. I take the bus.|
|MAN:||Good. Tell the driver what stop you want to get off at and ask him to wake you. That’s what I do. Then you can try to get some sleep on the way home.|
|WOMAN:||I don’t know if I can, but it’s certainly worth a try! Maybe the movement of the bus will rock me to sleep!|
Now answer questions 1-5.
- What are the man and woman talking about?
- Which statement is most likely true?
- What does the man miss?
- Why does the man ask if the woman drives or takes the bus?
- What does the man do at the end to help the woman?
You will hear a conversation between a customer and a worker at a mattress and bedding store.
|MAN:||Hi. Thanks for coming to Mattress and Bedding World. How may I help you?|
|WOMAN:||Hi! I’d like to buy a set of pillows.|
|MAN:||OK! Well, we have a promotion for the holiday season. If you buy two pairs of our new feather pillows, you get one free!|
|WOMAN:||That sounds great, but my husband is allergic to feathers. That’s the reason why we have to get new bedding. He keeps getting itchy eyes. I’m interested in getting some synthetic pillows.|
|MAN:||Ah, I see. Well, we do have the synthetic filling, but there are actually a lot of alternatives you might want to consider instead of feather. Are you looking for a firmer pillow, or a softer one?|
|WOMAN:||Hmmm . . . I’m not sure. These are meant to be a Christmas gift for my husband. What are the different types?|
|MAN:||Besides the synthetic, we have the memory foam and the latex, which are both really comfortable. If you want something good for neck pain, you might consider a micro bead or buckwheat pillow.|
|WOMAN:||Buckwheat? Really? I remember getting a little buckwheat pillow from my physical therapist that I could put in the microwave and put on my shoulder when it was sore. It was really nice, but I don’t know if my husband would like sleeping on it.|
|MAN:||Yeah, you know, I’d only recommend the buckwheat if he really needs it for pain relief. I think your best bet for a nice gift would actually be the memory foam. It’s a little more expensive, but it’s our most popular pillow right now.|
|WOMAN:||I’ve heard a lot about memory foam, but I’ve never actually slept on it. What is memory foam, exactly?|
|MAN:||Well, it was originally developed by NASA. You know, the organization that sends people into space. It’s basically a foam with a cell structure that allows it to form around whatever touches it, and then spring back into shape—so it never loses its shape, unlike some other kinds of pillows. It really is comfortable. I use one myself.|
|WOMAN:||Well, it sounds nice. I think I’ll get these two—one for my husband and one for me!|
|MAN:||Sounds good. Follow me and I’ll ring these up for you. Would you like to take a look at our pillowcases, as well . . .|
Now answer questions 1-6.
- Why does the woman want to buy new pillows?
- Why did the woman have a buckwheat pillow in the past?
- According to the man, which of these is true of buckwheat?
- According to the man, which of these is true of memory foam?
- Which of these options best describes the man’s opinion?
- What will likely happen next?
You will hear a news item about a community power issue.
Due to the high winds over the weekend, many trees came down in our community, several into power lines. Consequently, 100 residents were without electricity for several hours. This is nothing new for most of us, but for Inesh Chandra, the experience was anything but routine. A fallen tree caused a live power line to land in her backyard. Fortunately, when she opened her door to let her dog out before retiring for the evening, it refused to move. Puzzled, she shone her flashlight into the yard to investigate and saw the downed power line, only then hearing the buzzing sound.
Later the next day, Mayor Pine announced that this problem was actually getting worse. He suggested burying all the power lines or cutting down all the trees within 30 feet of a power line. He admitted, however, that both solutions are too expensive to consider, and that the latter would be a shame.
Residents are reminded to exercise extreme caution during a power outage. Any wire on the ground or hanging from a pole should be considered live and be avoided. Fires should be reported immediately.
You will watch a discussion among three people. One woman, Anna, and two men, Paul and George, are on break at work.
|Anna:||Can you believe that announcement today? I mean, I’m still reeling!|
|Paul:||I think everyone in the office is in shock. I mean, three weeks is not enough notice that we’re moving the whole office all the way across town!|
|Anna:||That’s an extra hour of commuting for me each day. I can’t believe they didn’t consult with us beforehand. Do they think that they can just do whatever they want and we’ll just go along with it?|
|George:||I don’t know. I’ve always found management here to be really respectful. I’m sure they wouldn’t do anything like this unless it was absolutely necessary. It makes me wonder if they’re running into some kind of financial problem or something. I mean, I know that the rents in that part of town are a lot cheaper.|
|Paul:||You know, the sales force has been having some real problems. But still, you can’t spring a move like this with only three weeks’ notice. I just moved to a new apartment to be closer to work. I should’ve stayed where I was! Now I have to buy a car.|
|Anna:||What I’m most concerned about is how, during rush hour, am I supposed to make it all the way across town in time pick up my kids at daycare? If I’m one minute past 5:00 pm, I get charged extra.|
|George:||Couldn’t your husband pick them up instead? Or, if that’s not possible, I’m sure that there are other daycares in that neighbourhood.|
|Anna:||No, my husband works later than I do, and it’s taken six months for my youngest, Tara, to get used to the daycare she’s in. The more I think about this, the more I realize I think I’m going to have to get a new job. I just . . . I can’t handle this commute.|
|Paul:||That’s pretty drastic. I mean, up to this latest stunt, this has always been a very good place to work. Don’t get me wrong, I’m upset about the move too, but maybe you should ride it out for a bit before jumping ship?|
|George:||I agree. I’m sure that something can be worked out. Maybe you could change your hours so you don’t have to travel during rush hour. Or maybe you could even work an hour less each day to make up for the commute time. You know, getting paid for an hour less per day is a lot better than not having a job at all!|
|Anna:||You know, maybe you’re right. I think I’ll talk to management first thing tomorrow morning.|
You will hear a presentation about advertising and children.
The increased amount of television advertising aimed at young consumers has led some parents to question whether such targeting has negative consequences. Kathy Chen is a concerned mother of three young children. She recently started a parents’ network that is advocating for constraints on advertisements aimed at children. Chen's personal concern is that advertising to children is unethical because it causes children to nag their parents for products, harming parent-child relations. Kathy Chen also believes that these ads make children feel that they are not socially acceptable if they don’t have a certain product. Children then pester their parents to buy the product for them.
On another level, Chen argues that we should not simply accept that all children are necessarily little consumers. While it benefits major corporations when everyone has been trained from the cradle to consume commercial products, we end up with a society driven by short term desire and greed.
Ralph Greenman, CEO of a large advertising company, disagrees. According to Greenman, children who nag are simply a result of poor parenting. Greenman believes that it is the responsibility of the parent to decide what products to purchase. Furthermore, Greenman argues that advertisements don't make kids feel inferior, but instead help children to fit in with their peers and have good social relations by sharing common styles and products.
Does advertising create a greedy society? Greenman is adamant that it does not. Advertising is about informing and providing people and, yes, children, with choices. With choice comes freedom and our society is a free society.
Greenman also points out that it is not in the public interest to ban children’s ads, because this would reduce the diversity of children’s programs on TV. Advertisements are how most TV stations receive funding. If ads to children were to be banned, then children's programs would be greatly reduced in quality and quantity. Greenman says that state broadcasters who are not dependent on advertising revenue would benefit from such a ban, but this would result in a more limited selection of choice from other channels.
Kathy Chen disagrees. Reducing advertising, she argues, would reduce the quantity of children’s programs but it would increase the quality. If private corporations weren’t producing such programs, high quality, publicly funded educational programs would become more popular.
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