1. Listen to three friends talking about The Toughest Place to be a … Taxi Driver. Tick (✓) the things that they mention.
1 The roads in Mumbai were very busy.
2 The roads were in a bad condition.
3 Mason had to drive an old car.
4 There were a lot of traffic jams.
5 Mason couldn’t communicate with the local people.
6 The taxis that Mason drove had no air conditioning.
7 There weren’t any traffic lights.
8 The passengers didn’t like Mason.
9 It was difficult to get passengers.
2. Listen again and complete the sentences with one word or a number.
1 Mason spent ______ years studying maps of London.
2 He spent a ______ learning how to drive in Mumbai.
3 Mason drove ______ different taxis in Mumbai.
4 People in India call taxis with air conditioning ‘______ cabs’.
5 The temperature in Mumbai was in the ______s.
6 Mason used ______ signals to indicate left and right.
7 Pradeep works ______ hours a day.
8 Pradeep earns about £______ a day.
1, 3, 6, 9
1 three 2 week 3 two 4 cool 5 40
6 hand 7 15 8 10
HARRY Hi, Mel!
MEL Ah, there you are! Hi.
GEMMA We were just talking about that programme last night – that Toughest Place to be … Did you see it?
M No, why?
H It was about this London taxi driver …
G Mason something.
H … and he went to Mumbai. It looks like a nightmare – really, really busy roads, and people and cars all over the place! And people – even little kids – walking through the traffic.
M So … what, did the guy have to be a taxi driver in Mumbai? I’ve seen some of that series. It’s such a culture shock for the people when they discover how different their job is somewhere else.
G Yeah. This one was good. Mason was a very likeable guy, you know, and he got on really well with Pradeep, the guy who showed him around. You really wanted him to do OK, and he did in the end. He didn’t find it easy, though. He’d spent about three years in London learning all the street names and where everything was. And then he only had a week in Mumbai to learn the job. And apart from anything else, it was so hot.
M Yeah, I can imagine.
H He drove two different cars and neither of them were ‘cool cabs’ – that’s what they call the taxis there with air conditioning – and the temperature was over 40°, so he was finding it really difficult. And in the old car he had to use hand signals instead of lights to indicate left and right.
M Bit different from London! And did he manage on his own OK?
H Yes, it was amazing, actually. He learned how to get around the city pretty quickly, and he did all right when he went out on his own. He picked up a few phrases of the local language and of course a lot of people in India speak English.
H But there’s a lot of competition, so he had to work really hard to get passengers.
M I guess that’s true for all taxi drivers in Mumbai.
G Well, yeah. It was clear that taxi drivers in Mumbai have to work very hard and don’t earn much money. Pradeep works 15 hours a day to support his family and his brother’s family, and only earns about £10 a day. When Mason went back to London, he collected money to send to Pradeep and his family.
M Wow, that’s really good of him.
H Yeah, so, anyway, I guess we should check out the menu …
1. Listen to part of a radio programme about vending machines in Japan.
1 What food and drink is mentioned?
2 What are the advantages for customers of vending machines over buying things from a shop?
3 What does the reporter think of the hot meal?
1 coffee, bananas, snacks, (instant) noodles, curry and rice
2 It’s quicker and easier.
3 It’s much better than he expected.
PRESENTER Japan has by far the highest number of vending machines per person in the world. In fact it has 5.6 million – that’s one vending machine for every 20 people. These machines sell all sorts of things, from coffee to bananas, flowers and umbrellas. In a busy society, they play an important role. It’s much cheaper for sellers to run a vending machine than a shop. And customers can buy things more quickly and easily from a machine than in a shop. And we’re not talking here just about drinks and cold snacks. Japan also has vending machines that serve hot food, like instant noodles.
Japanese students love curry and rice, it’s one of the most popular meals there, and, sure enough, you can get it from a machine. The meal comes out of the machine hot and ready to eat. It’s more convenient than cooking at home. But is curry and rice from a machine as good as curry and rice from a restaurant? Our reporter Luke went to central Tokyo to find out.
LUKE OK, I’ve just put my 300 yen into the vending machine and I’m waiting for my curry and rice to appear. Hmm, it’s taking a bit longer than I imagined. OK, so my meal is here. I just have to open the packet of steamed rice. Hmm … the curry smells, well, it smells OK, like a lot of instant curries. Right, let me go and find somewhere to sit down and try it. OK, this will do. Well, this is fine. It’s actually much better than I expected. What can I say? I think it might be the best vending machine meal I’ve ever eaten – just not the best curry I’ve ever eaten! For 300 yen – that’s less than two pounds – I can’t really complain. But I think next time I’ll spend a bit more and go to a proper restaurant!
1. Listen to Part 1. Where are Tom and Rachel? What are they doing? What do you think they are talking about?
2. Listen again. Are the sentences true (T) or false (F)?
1 Tom isn’t going to ask Becky to marry him.
2 Tom is going to take Becky to Paris.
3 Mark asked Rachel to marry him at a special place.
4 Becky and Tom used to work together.
They are in a shopping mall. They’re going to look at rings. They’re talking about how and where Tom should ask Becky to marry him.
1 F He is, but he doesn’t know how or where to ask her.
2 F He’s thinking about it, but he hasn’t decided yet.
RACHEL Hi, am I late?
TOM No, you’re right on time.
R So are you ready to go shopping? I am so excited! I still can’t believe you’re going to ask Becky to marry you.
T Well, I’ve been thinking about that.
R Oh no! Don’t tell me that you’ve changed your mind!
T Oh no, not at all. I just don’t know how to do it.
R What do you mean?
T Well, do you think I should take her somewhere special?
R Um, yes!
T Maybe Paris? I was thinking I could propose at the top of the Eiffel Tower.
R Wow! Just like in the movies!
T Do you think that’s too much?
R No, but is it what Becky would really like?
T Um, I just don’t know. What do you suggest?
R Well, if I were you, I’d take her somewhere special.
T Exactly, like Paris.
R I mean special for the two of you! Like Mark took me to the place where we first met. It was really romantic, because he’d clearly thought about it. Where did you two first meet?
T At the office where we both worked.
R Oh OK, but there must be somewhere special.
T Hmm, maybe. How about the restaurant where we had our first date?
R Now that sounds like a possibility. Anyway, let’s go and look for this ring.
3. Listen to Part 2. Which option is most likely?
1 Rachel advises Tom to buy a huge diamond / something that’s Becky’s style.
2 Tom thinks that the rings in the jewellery shop are very expensive / cheap.
3 Rachel and Tom see Becky and say hello to her / hide in the shop.
1 something that’s Becky’s style
3 hide in the shop
TOM So what about the ring? What would you buy? A big diamond, right? So she can show it to her friends?
RACHEL Seriously? Tom, do you know Becky at all? It’s much better to buy something that’s her style. Something that you think she’ll like. She doesn’t need to show off.
T I’m getting this all wrong!
R That’s why I’m here. Come on.
R How about that ring?
T Oh, that’s a nice one.
R It’s £1500.
T I don’t believe it! That’s ridiculous.
R Tom! It’s Becky! Over there.
T You’re kidding! What should we do?
R Quick! Let’s go in.
1. Listen to Jeff, Fabio and Carla. Which places in photos 1-3 are they talking about?
2. Listen again and answer the questions.
1 Why doesn’t Jeff like the atmosphere at expensive restaurant?
2 What does he say about the food?
3 Does Fabio go to cafés alone, or with friends, or both?
4 Why does he like pavement cafés?
5 What does Carla do before she starts dancing?
6 What kind of music does her favourite place play?
Jeff is talking about photo 3.
Fabio is talking about photo 1.
Carla is talking about photo 2.
1 The waiters are unfriendly and you feel you have to talk quietly.
2 It’s good but you don’t often get much on your plate.
4 You don’t have to think about anything – you can just sit and watch the world go by.
5 She orders some food and something to drink.
6 Latin American dances.
JEFF I like eating out, but I don’t really like expensive restaurants. It’s not the money so much as the atmosphere. The waiters are often quite unfriendly and you feel you have to talk quietly, or I do anyway. No one seems to be very relaxed. And the food can be good, but you don’t often get much on your plate. I’d much rather go somewhere where the food’s good and you don’t have to pay so much.
FABIO I love going to cafes, either with friends or on my own. I sometimes take a book or a newspaper to read, or I just order a coffee and sit there. I sometimes start talking to someone, in fact I’ve got quite a good friend who I met in a cafe. We started talking and then found out we both liked the same kind of music. I like pavement cafes best. You don’t have to think about anything, you can just sit and watch the world go by. It’s a great way to pass time, I think, very relaxing.
CARLA I really love dancing, so I often go out with a group of friends to a club in the evening. It’s such a good way to spend the evening. We usually order some food, maybe just some starters and some grilled meat and something to drink, and then we start dancing. There’s a favourite place of mine where they have live music and we all dance Latin American dances like salsa or merengue. It’s quite cheap. You have to pay something to get in, but it’s not much and it’s always full of people, maybe 200 people all dancing. It’s got an amazing atmosphere.
1. Listen to a conversation between three students, Peeraya, Sylvie and Matt, and tick (✓) the correct answers.
1 Which two students are meeting for the first time?
a Peeraya and Matt
b Peeraya and Sylvie
c Sylvie and Matt
2 How do Peeraya and Sylvie know each other?
a They are going to Liverpool together.
b They study English together.
c They met on holiday in Thailand.
3 Peeraya and Sylvie ask Matt to …
a recommend a good, local restaurant.
b explain how to make fish and chips.
c tell them the best place to get a burger.
4 At then end of the conversation, Peeraya and Sylvie …
a agree with Matt’s recommendation.
b ask Matt to recommend something else.
c decide to ask someone else.
2. Listen again. Underline the correct words to complete the sentences.
1 Peeraya and Sylvie are planning a celebration for the end of their English course / their friend’s birthday / passing their English exams.
2 Matt says that he has lived in Liverpool for quite a long time / for quite a short time / all his life.
3 Peeraya and Sylvie will be inviting 18 / 20 / 21 people to the celebration.
4 Sylvie does not want to go to a big / chain / family restaurant.
5 Both Peeraya and Sylvie would like to try British fish and chips / hot and spicy Thai seafood / traditional English dishes.
6 ‘Scouse’ is a traditional dessert / meat dish / vegetarian dish from Liverpool.
7 To get to ‘Sarah is Bistro’ Peeraya should turn right / turn left / go straight on at the cash machine on Double Street.
1 c 2 b 3 a 4 a
1 the end of their English course
2 for quite a long time
3 21 4 chain
5 traditional English dishes
6 meat dish 7 turn right
PEERAYA Hi Matt!
MATT Hi Peeraya, how are you doing?
P Very well, thank you! This is my friend Sylvie, who I’m always talking about.
S Hi, Matt. Nice to finally meet you.
M Hi, Sylvie. You too. So, what are you two up to?
P Well, you know I said in my text message that our English course is almost over.
M Yeah, right. It’s gone really quickly, hasn’t it?
P It really has. Anyway, we’re planning to celebrate with a meal out …
S Yes, but, uh, we don’t really know Liverpool very well.
P So … we were sort of hoping you might be able to recommend some places to eat out?
S That would be really great.
M Yeah, sure. No problem at all. I mean, I’m not From Liverpool either but I’ve lived here for quite a Few years now and so I think I know it pretty well. Um, OK, so how many people is the dinner for?
S Oh, uh, 18 I think?
P Yes, well. There are 18 students in our class But we’d like to invite our teachers, Phillipa and Sarah, too.
S Oh, yes, we definitely want them to come too.
M OK, so that’s dinner for 20 people?
S Yes. Oh, actually, no. I’ve just remembered – Hiromi, one of the students, she wants to bring her husband, Shigeru. Sothatwouldbe21.
M OK, so you’ll need quite a big restaurant then. There’s nothing worse than waiting all night for one poor chef to try to prepare hundreds of starters and main courses.
P Yes, that’s true!
S But, also, we’d like to go to a place that’s, uh, how do you say this in English? Um, we don’t want to go to a big company place. You know, one of those places like ‘Star Noodles’ or ‘Wonderful Burgers’ or any of those kinds of places. We want to go to a, you know, something more like a family restaurant.
M Yes, I know what you mean. You don’t want to go to any chain restaurants.
S That’s right! No chain restaurants.
M Sure. OK, so places to eat out. Hmm. Well, you should definitely look at restaurants in East Village. In fact, if I were you I’d go to The Thai House. It’s a really nice restaurant and their seafood dishes are especially delicious. They’re not too spicy but the food is always really fresh there.
P That sounds nice. But we were thinking that this is an English course, so we’d like to go to an English restaurant.
S Yes. I mean, do you know any places that do British food, or even better, food from Liverpool?
M Ah! I see what you mean
P But not…
P/S Fish and chips!
M Don’t worry! I knew what you meant. Well, it’s probably worth going to Sarah’s Bistro. They do a really good ‘scouse’.
S ‘Scouse’? What’s that?
M It’s a dish that’s local to Liverpool. It’s a kind of lamb stew, really tasty. Although you can get vegetarian scouse there now too.
P That sounds perfect!
S Yes, where is it?
M Well, do you know the traffic lights on the corner of Danielle Street and Porch Road?
M Well, you turn left there and go up Double Street until you see a cash machine. Turn right there and – you’re there!
P Oh, thanks so much, Matt!
S Yes, thank you. That’s great.
M No problem.
- Practice English Listening B1 Exercises – Opportunities
- Practice English Listening B1 Exercises – Entertainment
- Practice English Listening B1 Exercises – Information
- Practice English Listening B1 Exercises – House and home
- Practice English Listening B1 Exercises – The natural world
- Practice English Listening B1 Exercises – Personality