|1. weekend||21. D|
|2. plasdeco||22. B|
|3. clear||23. A|
|4. late/unreliable||24. H|
|5. cheaper||25. F|
|6. messy||26. E|
|7. designs||27. B OR E IN EITHER ORDER|
|8. expensive||28. B OR E IN EITHER ORDER|
|9. painting||29. A OR C IN EITHER ORDER|
|10. ladder(s)||30. A OR C IN EITHER ORDER|
|11. B||31. common|
|12. C||32. woodland/woods/forest(s)|
|13. A||33. tail|
|14. B||34. grey/gray|
|15. C||35. humans/people|
|16. C||36. memory|
|17. I||37. hearing|
|18. H||38. birds|
|19. D||39. year|
|20. G||40. water|
|Level||Band||Listening Score||Reading Score|
Legend: Academic word (?) New word
You will hear a woman, who has just moved into the area, talking to a neighbour about problems she is having in her house.
Oh, hi Ruth. How are you?
I’m sorry to bother you, Alastair, but I’ve been having some problems.
Oh. Come on in ... What’s happened?
Basically, I had a leak from one of the pipes in the bathroom and water started coming through downstairs and the kitchen ceiling’s badly stained. I’ve got the leak fixed temporarily but I wasn’t happy with the plumber and I wanted to ask your advice.
Of course ... Well, the first thing I’d say is make sure you choose a local company ... that way if things go wrong you’re close by and it just makes things easier.
Let me write this down ... Right. Yes. The plumber who fixed things yesterday was from quite far away but I chose him because his advert said he did emergency repairs.
Well, fair enough ... you needed something in a hurry. But another piece of advice I’d give is try to avoid calling anybody on weekends . That’ll really bump up the prices. Leave it till Monday, if you can.
Well, yes ... I think I can do that because the temporary fix should hold. And obviously I’ll need the ceiling plastered and eventually re-decorated.
So who would you recommend? Is there a directory?
Well, there’s quite a good website covering this sort of work. It’s www. plasdeco .com. Is that with a K? a C, P-L-A-S-D-E-C-O dot com.
Got it. Well I’ll try and have a look at that.
Yes, it gives price and quality comparisons.
Oh, that’ll be useful, but I find personal recommendations really helpful as well ... you know, you can find out whether you can rely on the company.
Well, I know a couple of reasonable plumbers and also some plasterers.
Man: There’s a company called Peake’s Plumbing ... now they’re a father and son team. They’re really friendly and they tell you information you need in a clear way ... you know, so they really understand what the problem is.
Woman: Right, well that’s good to know. Are they reliable?
Man: Well, that’s a down side - every single time I’ve used them they arrive late . And friends have said the same thing.
Woman: But is the work good quality?
Man: Absolutely ... Another one is John Damerol Plumbing Services - he’s very good.
Woman: How do you spell the surname?
Woman: Right ... got that. And does he do high quality work?
Man: Well, it’s fine, you know, but I wouldn’t say that was his main point. Basically he comes out cheaper ... you know ... than other people.
Woman: I sense there’s a ‘but’ ... is he unreliable?
Man: Oh ... he comes when he says he’s coming BUT he’s not very courteous and he has the tendency to be messy ... you know so you have quite a bit of clearing up to do.
Woman: Hmmm ... OK.
Man: So it’s up to you ... they’re both good workers and they won’t cheat you.
Woman: Right. And you said you knew some plasterers?
Man: Yes a company called Simonson Plasterers did our living room last year ... we chose them because we wanted some fancy work on the ceiling - around the lights.
Woman: So they can do a variety of designs ?
Man: You’ve got it. But it comes at a premium because they are more expensive ... you know ...
Woman: ... than the others ...
Man: Yes ... Or you could go for a one-man firm called H.L. Plastering ... Harry Lester - he’s fine - very reliable, if all you want is a simple job ...
Woman: Do either of them do painting for you if you want ... ? After the plastering’s dried out of course.
Man: That’s what I was going to say. But I should explain that Harry’s quite old now and so he avoids doing jobs which involve tall ladders ... you know.
Woman: But my kitchen isn’t too bad for that ... I’d have to ask him if he’s prepared to do it.
Man: Yeah sure.
Woman: So I’ll start by looking at the website.
Man: All those companies are on there ... with their phone numbers etc ...
Woman: Thanks ever so much ...
You will hear the Education Officer in a museum giving a talk to school students who are about to start a one-week work placement in the museum.
Good morning and welcome. We’re really pleased that you’re going to be joining us next week for your work placement. Now, each of you will already have met the member of museum staff assigned to supervise you. In this short talk today I’ll be giving you more general information which will be relevant to all six of you. Your normal working day is nine to five p.m. but on Monday, because it’s your first day, we’d like you to arrive at quarter to nine . Please note, though, that you’ll finish at the usual time.
A lot of you have been asking what you should wear for work. Well, you may have noticed that we’re not exactly a formal institution so you’d really be out of place if you wear smart attire like a suit. If you go out on a trip with us, then we’d like you to wear a museum cap ... it has our logo on and we feel it helps people recognise you. But, on a day-to-day basis in the museum itself we say put on your own casual clothing because you’ll be doing lots of dusty, messy work!
Now, we don’t have an enormous number of rules but work placement is an excellent preparation for the real world of work and we expect you to be very punctual and reliable. If you’re not well or there’s been a hold-up then what we ask you to do is ring the museum receptionist ... he will be in the museum well ahead of opening time and he’ll inform your own personal supervisor in the museum. If you’re away for more than one day, we’ll inform your school tutor . they’ll obviously need to make a note of your absence and follow up if necessary.
But most of all we hope you really enjoy yourselves during the placement. Students say they have a lot of fun, whether it’s working with kids in our art workshops held every Monday or, the most popular, when they go out on our out-reach work to residential homes , recording elderly people’s memories of school days for our oral history project.
So we hope you feel excited by the prospect of starting next week and well prepared. Your personal supervisor will be there to help you with our health and safety requirements when you start next week and your supervisors will also brief you about the background to the museum, summarising all the huge amount of information on our website. In the next couple of days it might be worthwhile if you get hold of evaluations and other notes made by students who’ve worked with us before you can get a lot of pointers from them.
Now before I finish today, I wanted to help you find your way around the museum. When you start next Monday, the first thing you’ll need to do is sign in. Come through the main entrance and you’ll see the main staircase straight ahead. To the right of this is the statue of the horse and just behind that is a door - go through that and that’s the sign-in office . Now, on the first day you’ll be working in Gallery 1. You find this as follows ... in the central courtyard area, close to the entrance, there’s a large chest where visitors put donations for the museum. The door just behind that leads to Gallery 1 . The workshop you’ll be taking part in starts at eleven o’clock but if you want to go in earlier you can get the key and let yourself in. The key box is quite hard to find. Walk behind Reception and it’s between the large gallery and the bookshop.
I haven’t mentioned breaks, lunch etc. Unfortunately our cafe’s closed at the moment so your best bet is to bring a packed lunch. We tend to have our sandwiches in the kitchen area ... go round the reception desk and you’ll see a small circular cabinet - the door to the kitchen area is just behind that.
Now everyday, we put up notices about what’s happening in the museum. Your supervisor will brief you but if you want to check up on details, look on our staff noticeboard. This is in the corner of the play area - at the back, on the wall of Gallery 3.
If you have any questions, I’d be happy to ...
You will hear a business studies student called Sam talking to his tutor about an IT project he is going to do for a local company called Turners.
Hello Sam, come in and sit down ...
You’re here to discuss your company-based IT project aren’t you?
Yes ... I’ve been to see the Manager and he’s given me a lot of ideas about projects that the company would find useful. But I wanted to ask your opinion about them before I choose one.
Yes, that’s fine. Now this company’s called Turners isn’t it?
That’s right. It’s a small engineering company - they make machine components for trade use. They’re well established - they started in nineteen seventy-six - but they’re a bit old fashioned.
OK ... And what kind of projects did Turners suggest you could do for the company?
Well, they want some improvements made to their customer database . The one that they’ve got at the moment isn’t very useful in some ways. I had a quick look at it ...
That would be a very straightforward project, and it’d be simple enough to evaluate, but I don’t think you’d get enough out of a project like that. You wouldn’t learn anything new.
Well another project they suggested is to do with their online sales catalogue . At the moment customers can look at their products but they can’t actually order them online, which must affect their competitiveness. But I said I thought it would take too long, it’s quite a big task .
You’re right. It’s too much for the time you’ve got. It’s a pity though.
Then they want some help with their payroll system . At the moment the way they calculate pay involves a lot of manual accounting. I suggested they could have a system where employees register electronically when they arrive and leave work, so the hours they do could be transferred automatically.
I think you’d get a lot out of a project like that - it would extend your skills but it wouldn’t be too much to take on. A student did something similar a couple of years ago, but this is slightly different.
Well, then they need help with their stock inventory . They do everything manually ...
Yes! And it takes so much time.
It’s probably very inaccurate too ... An electronic inventory would probably be the biggest single benefit for the company . I’m surprised they haven’t had it done before.
I know! Then they wanted to improve their internal security . The Manager had visited other companies where the staff use swipe cards to access various areas of the building ... It sounded useful, but the trouble is, I’m not really sure how to do it.
Well, I think you’re right in that assessment. At the moment it’s probably a bit beyond your level of knowledge . Is that all?
Just one more ... Customer Service . They want to be able to collect feedback from their customers in a more systematic way. At the moment it’s a bit of a mess, and they probably lose business as a result.
Would that involve you going to see customers at their own premises? Because in that case you might have to do a fair amount of travelling, and that would incur expenses that haven’t been agreed with these companies.
I never thought of that ...
Well it might not be a problem, but it’s something that needs clarifying ... Well I hope that’s been helpful in narrowing down the options?
Yes it has, thanks. I’ll be able to make a decision now. But while I’m here, can I talk to you about coursework?
Sam: I’m not very happy about the way our group assignment is working. There are some problems .
Tutor: Oh dear. Are people just not getting on with each other? That’s the worst thing ...
Sam: Actually we’re all friends, it’s not that, but when we’re having a discussion about the assignment one or two people end up doing all the talking, and the rest don’t say anything. It’s a bit frustrating, because we need plenty of debate ...
Tutor: Well that’s a common observation. You’re studying in a group with people from all over the world , and you all have your own ways of participating. In some places students are more used to listening than talking, and vice versa.
Sam: Mmm. I suppose you’re right ... I’ll try to remember that ...
Tutor: Does everyone pull their weight as far as sharing the workload is concerned?
Sam: I’d say they do, yes. And our group elected a leader. She’s very good at making sure no one’s overloaded ... But personally I feel that there are just too many of us in the group . Whenever we try to arrange a meeting there’s always at least one person who can’t make it. It’s not anyone’s fault. It’s just that we’ve all got slightly different timetables.
Tutor: Well I’m glad you’ve talked to me about it. Feedback is always useful. Is there anything else you’re concerned about?
Sam: There are a couple of problems with lecturers that all the students are talking about ...
Tutor: Last semester we had negative feedback about the way lectures were organised. There were several occasions when the wrong room had been booked, or the same room had been booked twice ... that sort of thing. Is that still a problem?
Sam: That hasn’t happened at all as far as I know ...
Tutor: Oh good, it’s sorted out then.
Sam: But ... I don’t know the reason, but some of the staff often turn up late , so we miss ten or fifteen minutes of our lecture time ... It might be because they’ve been copying handouts for students, I think there’s a queue for the machine sometimes ...
Tutor: Well I’ll look into that. Thank you for telling me. Anything else?
Sam: The other thing is that it can be very difficult to get to see a lecturer individually . They’re all very supportive and friendly when you do manage to find them, but often they’re not in their office, even at times when they’re meant to be available for consultation.
Tutor: OK ... That’s helpful ... Now before you leave, let me...
You will hear a wildlife expert giving a talk to a group of bird lovers in the UK about a species called the Tawny Owl.
Good evening everyone. You’re all likely to be familiar with pictures of the tawny owl, because of all the owl species in the UK it’s actually the most common one. But the chances are that you’re more likely to have heard one than actually seen one, as it’s also strongly nocturnal. This means that it normally ventures out at night.
So what kind of habitat does the tawny owl prefer? Well, a survey carried out in the nineteen eighties confirmed that this owl is most likely to be found in woodland . If you look at a map of tawny owl distribution across Britain, you’ll only see gaps in the treeless marshy areas of eastern England, and in some of the more upland parts of north-west Scotland. However, you can sometimes find populations of tawny owls in urban areas too, either in parks or in large gardens.
The tawny owl shows some obvious adaptations to its natural habitat. For example, both its wings and its tail are short, which helps it to manoeuvre through the trees. Also the bird’s plumage is a mixture of brown and grey , and this provides suitable camouflage for when the owl perches up against a tree trunk. Then, there are its large eyes. The tawny owl's visual capacities are considerably better than those of humans , and although it can’t see in complete darkness, it’s sufficiently well equipped to be able to navigate its way around woodland on all but the most overcast nights. Another factor that contributes to the tawny owl's success as a hunter, is its excellent memory of the layout of different areas. If you combine this ability with the owl’s strongly territorial and sedentary nature - most populations of tawny owl are 'sit and wait’ predators - you realise that it has a good opportunity to predict where prey might be found. Finally, as well as having large eyes, the owl’s sense of hearing is excellent, and this helps it to locate potential prey as it sits on its perch.
Turning now to the tawny owl’s diet ... Woodland tawny owls feed mainly on mammals, especially small ones such as wood mice and bank voles. But they’ll also take things like frogs, or bats or even fish, if they happen to be available. In urbanised landscapes, the owls seem to prey more on birds . So there are some differences there.
Let’s just look briefly now at survival rates in the tawny owl. Young tawny owls face a difficult time once they leave home, and two out of every three are likely to die within their first year . So with such high mortality levels it’s a good job that established breeding pairs can produce young over a number of seasons, and maximise their chances of passing their genes on to the next generation of owls.
I’ve already mentioned the sedentary nature of the tawny owl. But it’s not just adult tawny owls that are sedentary in their habits. Young birds, dispersing away from where they were born, rarely move far - the average distance is just four kilometres. There also appears to be some reluctance to cross large bodies of water - the owl is absent from many of the islands around our shores, with only occasional sightings in Ireland and the Isle of Wight off the south coast of England.
Right, well, now I’ll show you some photographs that have been taken in ...