Exercise 1

A. Listen. Circle the correct answers.

 Jim has been afraid of heights since ___.

      a   he fell from a tall building

      b   he was a teenager

      c   he flew in an airplane

 Jim lost his fear by ___.

      a   taking a class

      b   going to a doctor

      c   taking pictures from a plane

 Jim wants to ___.

      a   go skydiving again

      b   never go skydiving again

      c   take skydiving lessons

B. Listen. Complete the conversation.

Jim:   I went skydiving last weekend!

Flavio:   Skydiving? But wait—you’re afraid of heights!

Jim:   Not anymore! I promised _________ that this year I was finally going to deal with my fear.

Flavio:   Incredible. You must be proud of _________.

Answers & Audioscripts

A

Jim:   So did you have a good weekend?

Flavio:   It was okay. I didn’t do much. How about you?

Jim:   Oh not too much. I went skydiving!

Flavio:   Huh? Skydiving? But wait—you’re afraid of heights! You won’t even look out the window of a tall building!

Jim:   Yup. That was the old me!

Flavio:   What do you mean? What happened?

Jim:   Well, I’ve been afraid of heights since I was a teenager—and I was embarrassed. So, I told myself that I’d do something about it someday.

Flavio:   And you just decided to jump out of a plane?

Jim:   No, I’ve been thinking about this fear a lot lately, and I promised myself that this year I was finally going to deal with it.

Flavio:   OK. Go on.

Jim:   So I signed up for a class. It was for people afraid of heights. And it was really helpful. We talked about our fear, and did some mental exercises. Then the final test was jumping out of a plane. And I did it!

Flavio:   You must be proud of yourself.

Jim:   I am. We each jumped with an instructor. And we all got pictures of ourselves. See?

Flavio:   Incredible! I’ll go with you next time!

Jim:   Next time? Oh no! I am never doing that again!

B

Jim:   I went skydiving last weekend!

Flavio:   Skydiving? But wait—you’re afraid of heights!

Jim:   Not anymore! I promised myself that this year I was finally going to deal with my fear.

Flavio:   Incredible. You must be proud of yourself.

Exercise 2

A. Listen. Circle the correct answers.

1   Flavio ___.

      a   was running late

      b   missed the bus

      c   didn’t make it to work on time

2   People gave Flavio strange looks because he ___.

      a   was rushing out the door

      b   was late to a meeting

      c   shaved only half his face

B. Listen. Complete the conversation.

Flavio:   You’ll never believe what happened last week.

Jim:   Yeah? What?

Flavio:   Well, I got dressed for work in the dark because I didn’t want to wake up Carmen and the baby.

Jim:   Makes sense.

Flavio:   ___________ for the bus, a couple of people ___________ me strange looks.

Jim:   Oh no!

Answers & Audioscripts

A

Jim:   So how are Carmen and the new baby doing?

Flavio:   They’re great! Thanks. Look here’s a picture of the baby.

Jim:   She’s beautiful!

Flavio:   Thanks. Yeah. But she never sleeps! And that means we don’t sleep either.

Jim:   Oh, man. How do you work?

Flavio:   I have no idea. Seriously, half the time I don’t even know my own name. You’ll never believe what happened last week.

Jim:   Yeah? What?

Flavio:   I overslept and was running late. Plus, I got dressed for work—in the dark— because I didn’t want to wake up Carmen and the baby.

Jim:   Makes sense.

Flavio:   So I just grabbed my things and rushed out the door. While I was waiting for the bus, a couple of people gave me strange looks. But I didn’t care. I was half asleep and just worried about making it to work on time.

Jim:   Right.

Flavio:   Then when I was getting on the elevator at work, I got some more looks. I was fully awake by then and starting to wonder what everyone was looking at.

Jim:   Oh no…what were they looking at?

Flavio:   So I tried to look at myself in the elevator mirrors, but there were so many people that I couldn’t see anything.

Jim:   Was it something you were wearing?

Flavio:   Wait. Every time someone got off the elevator, they each gave me a quick look.

Jim:   Oh, man!

Flavio:   Finally, just when I reached my floor, I saw myself in the mirror.

Jim:   What? Come on, tell me.

Flavio:   I was wearing two different shoes.

Jim:   So what? I’ve done that.

Flavio:   And I had only shaved half my face!

Jim:   You’ve got to be kidding! That’s a good one!

B

Flavio:   You’ll never believe what happened last week.

Jim:   Yeah? What?

Flavio:   Well, I got dressed for work in the dark because I didn’t want to wake up Carmen and the baby.

Jim:   Makes sense.

Flavio:   While I was waiting for the bus, a couple of people gave me strange looks.

Jim:   Oh no!

Exercise 3

A. Listen to the podcast. What is it about? Circle the correct answer.

 Experts’ opinions about people’s different learning styles

 How different people learn new skills

 Ways people can learn how to do something without a teacher

 apps and videos that are useful for learning

B. Listen again. Check (✓) all the details that apply.

1   Steve learned how to play the piano by…

a   using an app called 8-Keys.

b   reading all the reviews.

c   playing games that taught him to read music.

d   working on correct finger positions.

e   practicing simple musical chords on his piano.

 buying a real piano.

2   Mary learned how to change the oil in her car by…

a   watching her mechanic.

b   watching many videos.

c   watching one video.

d   memorizing each step on a video.

e   practicing doing each step on real cars.

 imagining each step in her head under a real car.

Answers & Audioscripts

A:   On Education Today, we’re talking about learning styles. As you know, we usually bring experts on the program, but today you’re the experts—because YOU know better than anyone else about how YOU learn. Ok, so if you’ve recently learned something new, give us a call to share your ideas and advice. Our first caller is Steve. What’s your latest learning experience?

B:   Last year I decided to learn how to play the piano. Problem was, I didn’t have a piano, or much money or time for lessons.

A:   Pretty big problems.

B:   Well, no. I found an app called 8-keys, and checked out all the reviews, which were great. So I decided to try it myself.

A:   How does it work?

B:   Through a series of games, it teaches you to read music. You can also work on the correct finger positions. After a few weeks of practicing, I could read and play simple musical chords right on the app.

A:   So can you play a real piano?

B:   I’m not sure! I don’t even have one yet—but thanks to 8-keys, I’ve discovered that I really want to learn. So next week I’m buying a piano to play for real.

A:   What a great idea—using an inexpensive app to find out if you enjoy doing something before spending a lot of money on it.

B:   Exactly!

A:   Thanks, Steve.

A:   Ok, Mary is up next. Mary, are you there?

C:   Yes?

A:   Go ahead.

C:   I didn’t want to pay a mechanic every few months to change the oil in my car—So I taught myself how to do it.

A:   How did you do that?

C:   By watching someone doing it on a video. It was easy.

A:   How many videos did you watch?

C:   Just one…

A:   Just ONE???

C:   Yup, but I watched it over and over again until I memorized every step. Then I got under the car and went through each step in my head. I did that a few times to make sure I was ready. And then I did it for real!

A:   And?

C:   I’ll never pay for an oil change again!

A:   That’s great! Ok, that’s it for today.

Exercise 4

A. Listen the article. Which statement best describes the main idea? Circle the correct answer.

a   Our brain’s ability to remember stories helped early humans to survive.

b   Early humans learned information about other people through stories.

c   Our brains use stories to share and remember information.

B. Listen again. Circle the correct answer.

1   After watching the simple shapes video, most people ____ the shapes.

      a   described the movements of

      b   made up stories about

      c   couldn’t remember

2   Stories helped early humans ____.

      a   find new places

      b   find food

      c   build relationships

3   Bower and Clark learned that people remember things best when information is ____.

      a   written down

      b   in a list 

      c   told as a story

Answers & Audioscripts

THE HUMAN BRAIN AND THE POWER OF STORIES

In a famous experiment, psychologists Fritz Heider and Marianne Simmel made a surprising discovery about the human mind. They created a short film in which simple shapes moved around the screen. Then they asked 34 people to describe what they’d seen. Only one person described the movements of the shapes. All the others invented stories. One person said, “The triangles were in love with the circle.” Another said, “The circle was running away from the angry triangles.” Since then, other researchers have repeated the experiment with similar results. Why did so many people choose to give the shapes human actions and feelings? Many psychologists believe it’s because our brains are wired to look for and respond to stories.

Why are stories so important to us? One answer may be that stories helped early humans survive in a dangerous world. Thousands of years ago, people learned how to stay alive by passing along stories. For example, stories taught them what was safe to eat: “Do you see those berries over there? Don’t eat them! My cousin ate some and got very sick.” Stories prepare us for real situations and let us solve problems before we experience them.

By sharing stories, early humans also learned important information about the people around them. They learned where others were from, how they lived, and if they were friendly. They learned how they thought and felt and then compared these to their own emotions and experiences. In creating these connections, stories helped humans build relationships and work together—giving humans a big advantage over other animals.

In fact, stories are so important that our brains are programmed to remember them over other kinds of information. In another experiment, psychologists Gordon Bower and Michael Clark tested people’s ability to remember information. They gave a group of people a list of ten words and asked them to memorize the list. They gave another group the same list, but asked them to make up stories with the ten words. The group that made up stories with the words were able to remember six to seven times as many words as the other group. Think about the article you are reading now. In six months will you remember the facts, the numbers, and the other details? Or will you remember the story of the circle and the angry triangles?

Exercise 5

A. Listen. What did Luis discover?

B. Listen again. Answer the questions.

 What was the hardest thing Luis ever did?

 What problems did Luis have?

 How did he solve his problems?

Answers & Audioscripts

Hi, I’m Luis. I think the hardest thing I ever did was being on the high school running team with my brother.

My brother really enjoyed himself on the team because he won nearly every race he ran. I was so proud of him. But I wasn’t a fast runner.

One time, when I was training for a race, I felt intense pain in my ankle. Then I found out it was broken! I was so mad at myself that I quit running. But I didn’t want to give up sports.

After my ankle healed, I decided to try playing baseball instead. I practiced a lot and then I slowly got better and better. I joined the baseball team. Over time, I started to hit home runs and my team won games.

In the end, I discovered that I don’t have to be good at everything. I just need to keep looking until I find what I’m good at.

Exercise 6

A. Listen to the conversations. Complete the sentences using the words in the word box and a reflexive pronoun.

blames     disappointed in     helped     mad at     promised     proud of

1   She was proud of herself for winning the race.

2   They were for losing an important game.

3   She was for breaking the vase.

4   He that he would exercise more.

5   They to the sandwiches.

6   He for what happened.

Answers & Audioscripts

1 A:   Congratulations, Cindy! You won!

   B:   I know! I can’t believe it!

   A:   You must feel so proud!

   B:   I am! But I need to sit down!

2 A:   Tough loss, guys!

   B:   Yeah, we really expected to win this game.

   A:   Well, you did your best. And there is always next year.

   B:   I guess so. But, still, we should have won this one.

3 A:   Oh, no!

   B:   Amanda? Are you OK?

   A:   Yeah. But I just broke my favorite vase. I’m so mad! I wasn’t paying attention. I put it on the edge of the table, and, well, it fell.

4 A:   Bye, Mom. I’m going out now.

   B:   Oh! Where are you going? It’s Saturday and it’s 7 in the morning.

   A:   I’m going to the gym. I decided I needed to work out more and I made a promise: I’m going to the gym every Monday and Wednesday after school and Saturday morning. No excuses.

   B:   Good for you!

5 A:   Hi, Jane. Hi, Steve. I hope you guys are having a good time.

   B:   Absolutely. We’re having a great time and we’ve met a lot of your family. They’re all so nice.

   A:   Thanks! They’re good people. So, have you had anything to eat? There’s a ton of food.

   B:   Oh, yes. We just went over to the buffet table and got some sandwiches. They were delicious!

6 A:   Hi, Bill. You look upset.

   B:   I am! I just spoke to Jane and I may have hurt her feelings.

   A:   Oh, no! Did you apologize?

   B:   I did. It was all a big misunderstanding. I was joking around, but I said something really stupid.

   A:   I’m sure it’ll be OK.

   B:   I hope so. I feel awful

B. Listen to the conversation. Write the numbers 1 or 2 to show the order of the actions.

1    ___ starts graduate school

      ___ lives in New York

2    ___ meets wife

      ___ goes to graduate school

3    ___ works at Brown Engineering

      ___ gets married

4    ___ company goes out of business

      ___ looks for a larger apartment

5    ___ hears about a job in Houston

      ___ talks to college roommate in Houston

Answers & Audioscripts

A:   Hey Bill! You’re back in Houston! I can’t believe it’s been ten years. So, I think I heard you went to graduate school in New York.

B:   Yes, that’s right. I moved to New York after college. I worked as an intern at a company that makes drones. While I was living in New York, I started graduate school for electrical engineering.

A:   That sounds pretty challenging.

B:   Yeah, it was. But while I was going to graduate school, I met Jen, my wife. She was an engineering student, too.

A:   You’ll have to introduce me to her!

B:   Definitely.

A:   What did you do after graduate school?

B:   My first job after graduate school was at Brown Engineering in New York. Jen and I got married while I was working there.

A:   That’s great! Brown’s a great company. Why did you leave?

B:   I got a better job—at Zoptics. And about a year later, we had our first child. A boy, Robert.

A:   That’s wonderful! So how was living in New York with a family?

B:   It was expensive! We needed a bigger apartment. But while we were looking for a new apartment, Zoptics went out of business.

A:   I’m sorry to hear that.

B:   Yeah. It wasn’t fun! But when I was talking to my college roommate, Ben Cook—remember Ben? He never left Houston—he told me about this job in Houston. Long story, short, I’m now back, working here in Houston!

C. Listen to each conversation. Circle the correct answer.

 She wants to stop at the store to get ice cream / to get dinner.

 She left her car at the shop to fix her brakes / to get new brakes.

 He is going to France to meet a friend / to learn French.

 She runs to relax / to exercise.

 They’re stopping at the gas station to get coffee / to get gas.

 She’s going to Florida to visit the Kennedy Space Center / to visit her son.

 He got up at 4:00 A.M. to catch his plane to India / to pick up his family.

 She has to go to the store to buy rice / to buy bread.

Answers & Audioscripts

1 A:   Let’s stop on the way home to buy some ice cream.

   B:   Really? I couldn’t eat another thing. That was a big dinner

2 A:   You didn’t drive to work today?

   B:   No, I had to leave my car at the shop to get new brakes.

3 A:   So, I hear you’re going to Europe?

   B:   Yes! I’m going to Paris to study French.

4 A:   Does running help you relax?

   B:   Yes, but I like to run for the exercise. I do yoga to relax.

5 A:   There’s a gas station ahead. Let’s stop to get a snack.

   B:   Perfect. I need a cup of coffee, too.

6 A:   So, why are you going to Florida?

   B:   To visit the Kennedy Space Center. My son loves space. He wants to be an astronaut.

7 A:   I’m so tired. I got up at 4:00 A.M.

   B:   4:00 A.M.! Why did you get up so early?

   A:   To pick up my family at the airport. They’re visiting from India.

8 A:   Hey, I have to go to the store to get some bread. Do we need anything else?

   B:   I think we might need some rice. Let me look. No. Never mind. We have enough rice.

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