Exercise 1

A. Listen. Circle the correct answers.

 Mario mainly talks about a work meeting / visiting Mexico City / the Mexican team.

 Mario goes to Mexico City a few times a year / every month / once a year.

 Mario hasn’t been on a hot air balloon tour / on a private tour / to a museum.

B. Listen. Complete the conversation.

Mario:   I’m going to Mexico City next week. Have you ever been there?

Eric:   No, but I’m interested __________. What are you going to do?

Mario:   We talked __________ to an unusual restaurant. Every dish on the menu includes insects.

Eric:   That sounds interesting.

Mario:   Yes. I’m excited! We’re also going to visit some museums.

Eric:   Well, I look forward __________ all about it.

Answers & Audioscripts

1   visiting Mexico City

2   a few times a year

3   on a hot air balloon tour


Mario:   Hey, did I tell you I’m going to a meeting in Mexico City next week?

Eric:   Yes, you did and I’m so jealous! I’m interested in learning more about Mexico City. I’ve been to Mexico, but only to some of the beach resorts.

Mario:   It’s a wonderful city, and it has so much history! I go a couple of times a year for meetings, and the team always plans some interesting activities for us.

Eric:   What kinds of things have you done?

Mario:   We’ve gone on guided tours of the Frida Kahlo Museum and the National Museum of Anthropology, and we visited the pyramids at Teotihuacán.

Eric:   That sounds fascinating!

Mario:   Yes, it was! Here. I’ll show you a picture.

Eric:   Wow. That’s so cool.

Mario:   They’re some of the biggest pyramids in the world and no one knows who built them. You can even take a tour of the pyramids in a hot air balloon! I really want to do that sometime.

Eric:   I definitely have to go! Do you have anything fun planned for this visit?

Mario:   Yes! We talked about going to a restaurant where every dish on the menu includes insects.

Eric:   Huh. That’s unusual. I’d be a little worried about eating something like that.

Mario:   I’ve heard they’re very tasty. I’m actually pretty excited about trying them!

Eric:   OK! I look forward to hearing all about it.

Mario:   You bet! I’ll send you some pictures, too.


Mario:   I’m going to Mexico City next week. Have you ever been there?

Eric:   No, but I’m interested in visiting. What are you going to do?

Mario:   We talked about going to an unusual restaurant. Every dish on the menu includes insects.

Eric:   That sounds interesting.

Mario:   Yes. I’m excited! We’re also going to visit some museums.

Eric:   Well, I look forward to hearing all about it.

Exercise 2

A. Listen. Circle the correct answers.

1   How does Eric describe the “Door to Hell”?

      a   different

      b   touristy

      c   famous

2   What does Mario think about the “Door to Hell”?

      a   He is surprised that Eric wants to go there.

      b   He wants to go there, too.

      c   He thinks lots of people probably go there.

3   Why does Eric want to visit Patagonia soon?

      a   He won’t be able to go next year.

      b   He wants to visit before it closes for the season.

      c   He’s afraid that it’s going to become crowded.

B. Listen. Complete the conversation.

Mario:   You like to travel, right?

Eric:   Yes, I do! I like to visit places that are not well known.

Mario:   Really? Like where?

Eric:   I’d _________ go to Patagonia.

Mario:   Patagonia? Wow. I’d _________ hear more about it.

Eric:   OK, sure. But I’m so sorry, I have to go now. I’ll tell you more later.

Answers & Audioscripts

1 a   2 a   3 c


Mario:   You like to travel, right, Eric?

Eric:   I love to travel! But I’m not interested in visiting the touristy places. I prefer places that are not well known. In fact, I have a long list of places I want to visit.

Mario:   Like where?

Eric:   I’d love to go to a place called “the Door to Hell.”

Mario:   “The Door to Hell?” That doesn’t sound very safe! Where is it?

Eric:   In Central Asia.

Mario:   OK, I need to look this up. What is it like?

Eric:   It’s this big crater—you know, a huge hole in the ground—that’s always on fire.

Mario:   On fire? Wow. Why do you want to go there?

Eric:   I don’t know. It’s just so different! There’s no other place on Earth like it! It’s in the middle of the desert.

Mario:   Gee. I wonder why it’s not well known!

Eric:   Ha ha.

Mario:   OK, so now you’ve got me curious. What other places would you like to visit?

Eric:   Um, I’d like to visit Patagonia.

Mario:   Patagonia! That’s in Chile and Argentina, right?

Eric:   That’s right. There are glaciers, and caves where you can see ancient animal bones. I’d like to go soon—I’d hate to go after it gets even more popular.

Mario:   I think you and I have different ideas about what popular means, Eric!

Eric:   Ha ha.

Mario:   Well, I should be going now. I need to get ready for my trip to Mexico City. I still have so much to do!

Eric:   Sure. I’ll talk to you soon, Mario.


Mario:   You like to travel, right?

Eric:   Yes, I do! I like to visit places that are not well known.

Mario:   Really? Like where?

Eric:   I’d love to go to Patagonia.

Mario:   Patagonia? Wow. I’d love to hear more about it.

Eric:   OK, sure. But I’m so sorry, I have to go now. I’ll tell you more later.

Exercise 3

A. Listen to the podcast. Circle the correct answer.

a  people      b  numbers      c  places

B. Listen again. Circle the correct answers.

1   The smallest country in the world has under 100 / 1,000 / 10,000 people.

2   It also has the world’s largest church / palace / park.

3   The largest lake in the world is in Asia / Africa / North America.

4   Aconcagua is more than 22,000 / 28,000 / 32,000 feet tall.

5   The Nile River is shorter / longer / deeper than the Yangtze River.

6   The hottest place in the world is Death Valley / the Sahara Desert / the Australian Outback.

Answers & Audioscripts




1 1,000   2 church   3 North America

4 22,000   5 longer   6 Death Valley

A:   Hello and welcome to “Five Questions”, the quiz podcast! I’m Max Taylor, and today’s topic is world geography. Our contestants are Marc Stevens, from Chicago, and Lola Mendez, from Miami. Hi, Marc and Lola!

B:   Hi, Max!

C:   Hey, Max.

A:   OK. Let’s get started. First question. What’s the smallest country in the world? Lola!

C:   Vatican City!

A:   Correct! Vatican City is less than half a square mile and has a population of under 1,000 people. It’s near the Tiber River and it’s about one-eighth of the size of Central Park in New York City. It’s also the home of the world’s biggest church, St. Peter’s Basilica.

Question two . . . What is the name of the largest freshwater lake in the world?

Yes, Marc.

B:   Lake Baikal?

A:   No, I’m sorry. The answer is, Lake Superior, in North America. It covers 31,700 square miles and crosses the border between Canada and the United States. Lake Baikal, in Russia, is the deepest lake, but it doesn’t cover as much area.

Question three . . . In which country can you find South America’s highest mountain?

Yes, Marc.

B:   Argentina.

A:   That’s right! Aconcagua, which is 22,838 feet tall, is in Argentina. It’s one of the seven highest mountains in the world, and it’s the only one outside of Asia.

Here’s question four. Which of these rivers is longer, the Nile or the Yangtze?

Back to you, Lola.

C:   The Nile.

A:   Correct! The Nile, in Africa, is longer than the Yangtze, in Asia—4,258 miles long versus 3,917 miles long. However, the longest river in the world is the Amazon (in South America), which is 4,345 miles long.

OK, here’s question five. What is the name of the largest sand desert in the world?

Marc, your answer, please.

B:   The Sahara Desert!

A:   Yes, Marc! The world’s largest desert is the Sahara, in Africa. It covers about 3.5 million square miles—which is about the size of the US. However, it’s not the hottest place on earth. That record belongs to Death Valley, in California. The temperature there often reaches 129 degrees F!

So, that makes our final score, Lola, two and Marc, two. You’ll both receive our prize today—a two-year subscription to World Bulletin magazine!

Thanks for joining me on Five Questions, and remember—if you don’t know the answer, guess!

Exercise 4

A. Listen the blog post. Which statement best describes the main idea of the blog post?

 The best hotels are always unique.

b   Unique hotels are often expensive.

 It is fun to stay in unique hotels.

B. Listen the blog post again. Circle the correct answers.

1   Why was the Palacio de Sal made of salt?

      a   It was the best way to attract tourists.

      b   It was hard to find other materials.

      c   It was the cheapest way to build.

2   What kind of view can you find at the Marmara Antalya Hotel?

      a   the jungle

      b   the desert

      c   the sea

3   What was one thing the author would have liked at the Null Stern Hotel?

      a   a ceiling

      b   walls

      c   a bathroom

4   What is one thing all these hotels have in common?

      a   They have great views.

      b   They are in Europe.

      c   They are hard to find.

Answers & Audioscripts




1 b   2 c   3 c   4 a

My World Travels—The Most Interesting Places I’ve Stayed

When I travel, I try to find interesting places to stay. Here are three of the most beautiful and unique hotels from my travels.

The Palacio de Sal (or Palace of Salt) Hotel is truly amazing. It is in the salt desert of Bolivia, at the eastern edge of Salar de Uyuni. What makes this hotel so unique? It is made entirely out of salt! When they first started to build the hotel, building materials were hard to find in the area. But there was plenty of salt. The floor, ceiling, walls, and even some of the furniture are all made of salt. If you’re planning a visit, make sure to stay in a room with a view of the desert. It’s beautiful. And remember one important rule: Don’t lick the walls!

The Marmara Antalya Hotel in Turkey is another great place to visit. Part of this modern hotel is a building that floats in a tank of water. The bottom three floors of this building are completely submerged. The building revolves, or turns in a circle. It is the only hotel in the world that rotates 360 degrees! When I stayed there, I went to sleep facing the pool and woke up facing the sea. I’d love to see those views again! Just remember: Only one building at this hotel turns, so make sure you get a room in the right building.

But there is nowhere more beautiful than the Null Stern Hotel in the Swiss mountains. This hotel is just one “room.” The room has a bed, two small tables, two lamps, and nothing else. And I mean nothing else. There are no walls! There is just a bed, outside, surrounded by mountains and sky. A butler stays nearby, but out of sight, and brings guests their meals. The views of the mountains and the star-filled sky are incredible. But be ready to take a walk if you need to go to the bathroom: There isn’t one at the hotel. I had to use a public bathroom which was five minutes away!

Next week I’ll write about the best free places I’ve ever stayed. You’ll be surprised by how many there are!

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Exercise 5

A. Listen. What does Paula talk about?

B. Listen again. Answer the questions.

 What location is the group going to visit?

 What places does Paula suggest?

 What is one interesting fact about each place?

Answers & Audioscripts


Possible answer: unknown places in Bolivia, her plans for a group of visitors who are coming to La Paz, suggestions about what these visitors might want to do


1   La Paz, Bolivia

2   Valle de la Luna, or Moon Valley; Lake Titicaca

3   Possible answers: Valle de la Luna, or Moon Valley: Parts of the mountains there have been washed away by water, so you feel like you’re walking on the moon.; Lake Titicaca: It’s up in the mountains, and is one of the highest lakes in the world. It is the largest lake in South America.

Hi everyone! It’s Paula. I’m looking forward to your group’s visit to La Paz, here in Bolivia. You said you were interested in seeing some of Bolivia’s more unknown places. I’d love to take you to Valle de la Luna, or Moon Valley. It’s very close to the city of La Paz. Parts of the mountains there have been washed away by water, so you feel like you’re walking on the moon. I’d also like to take you to famous Lake Titicaca. It’s up in the mountains, and is one of the highest lakes in the world. And it is the largest lake in South America. Let me know what you think of these ideas!

Exercise 6

A. Listen to the conversations. Complete each sentence with a preposition and gerund.

 They talked __________ to a North African restaurant.

 Caroline is excited __________ a vacation with her family.

 John is tired __________ for work.

 Jennifer is looking forward __________ home.

 Bruno is nervous __________ on a boat tour.

 Maria thanked Susie __________ her.

 Katie is interested __________ Amy’s vacation pictures.

Answers & Audioscripts

1 about going   2 about taking   3 of traveling

4 to staying   5 about going   6 for inviting

7 in seeing

1 A:   Where should we eat tonight? Didn’t we talk about going to that new North African restaurant?

   B:   Yes, it sounds interesting. They give you a special tea at the end of your meal. Let’s eat there.

2 A:   Do you have any plans for the summer, Caroline?

   B:   Yes, I have a lot going on this summer. I’m really excited about taking a vacation with my family.

3 A:   Hey, John. How’s work going?

   B:   It’s OK, I guess. I’m just a little tired of traveling. I had to travel for work five times last month! It was too much. I’m exhausted.

4 A:   Do you have any exciting weekend plans, Jennifer?

   B:   Actually, no, and I’m really happy about that! This week was so busy at work. I know it doesn’t sound exciting, but I’m really looking forward to staying home.

5 A:   Why do you look so nervous, Bruno?

   B:   I just saw our travel schedule for today. I’m nervous about going on a boat tour because I usually get sea sick. I really don’t want to go.

6 A:   Maria, there’s a new exhibit at the art museum tonight. Would you like to come with us?

   B:   That sounds great, Susie! Thank you so much for inviting me.

7 A:   Your trip to the pyramids sounds amazing, Amy. I’m interested in seeing all of your pictures from your trip.

   B:   Are you sure you want to see all of my pictures, Katie? I took hundreds!

B. Listen to the conversations. Circle the correct answers.

 Yuki’s parents would like / wouldn’t like to see old buildings.

 Mike would love / wouldn’t like to go camping.

 John would love / wouldn’t like to eat Greek food.

 Magda would like / wouldn’t like to swim in Silver Lake.

 Brenda would like / would hate to visit places that are not well known.

 Sam would love / wouldn’t like to go to a modern place.

Answers & Audioscripts

1 would like   2 wouldn’t like   3 would love

4 wouldn’t like   5 would hate   6 would love

1 A:   My parents are visiting this weekend. I’d like to show them around the city.

   B:   That’s great, Yuki. You should take them to all the famous historic buildings.

   A:   I don’t know. Those places are touristy and crowded. My parents love old buildings, but they hate big crowds.

2 A:   How was your trip to the Grand Canyon?

   B:   It was great, Mike, but it was too crowded there. I also went camping in the desert. I enjoyed that much more.

   A:   Really? I’m interested in visiting the Grand Canyon, but I don’t think I’d like to go to camping.

3 A:   What’s your favorite city?

   B:   That’s a hard question, John. I guess my favorite is Athens, Greece because the people are so friendly, and the city is full of ancient buildings and monuments.

   A:   It sounds amazing. I’d love to go there someday. I want to see the city, and I want to eat Greek food!

4 A:   Silver Lake is so beautiful. Maybe we can go swimming there next week.

   B:   I don’t know, Magda. I don’t think you would like to swim there. The water is polluted. It’s really not safe.

   A:   You’re right. I wouldn’t like that. I had no idea! The water doesn’t look dirty.

5 A:   Thanks for showing me around today. I know we don’t have a lot of time. Could you take me to the three most popular tourist attractions?

   B:   Are you sure, Brenda? There are some very interesting places that not many people know about. Wouldn’t you prefer to go somewhere like that?

   A:   No, not really. I’d prefer to see famous places.

6 A:   We have lots of restaurants. What kind of food do you like, Sam? There’s Mexican, Chinese, Italian, and Japanese.

   B: I like everything. It doesn’t really matter what kind of food we get, but I prefer some place clean and modern.

C. Listen to the conversations. Then complete the sentences.

1   Mt. Everest is ________ than Mt. Kilimanjaro.

2   The Caspian Sea is the ________ lake in the world.

3   He thinks that lakes are ________ than ponds.

4   The Sahara Desert is the ________ desert.

5   The hotels on the coast are the ________ hotels in the city.

6   Calgary, Canada is the ________ city in the world.

Answers & Audioscripts

1 taller   2 largest   3 bigger

4 hottest   5 most expensive   6 cleanest

1 A:   Is Mt. Everest a lot taller than Mt. Kilimanjaro?

   B:   Yes, by almost 10,000 feet!

2 A:   I think Lake Superior is the largest lake in the world.

   B:   No. Lake Superior is pretty big, but the Caspian Sea is the largest lake in the world.

3 A:   What’s the difference between a lake and a pond?

   B:   I’m not sure, but I think lakes are usually bigger. Ponds are often pretty small.

4 A:   Which desert is the hottest—the Arabian, the Mojave, or the Sahara?

   B:   It’s definitely the Sahara.

5 A:   Where’s your hotel? Is it on the coast?

   B:   No, it’s a couple of miles away from the coast. The hotels on the coast cost too much. They’re the most expensive hotels in this city.

6 A:   Did you see this list on this blog?

   B:   Yes, I can’t believe Calgary, Canada is the cleanest city in the world.

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