Exercise 1

Listen to a conversation between a student and his guidance counselor. Check (✓) the suggestions the guidance counselor gives.

talking to professors

job shadowing

volunteer work

informational interviews

more classes


Answers & Audioscripts

more classes; job shadowing; informational interviews


Ms. Mooney:   Hello, Ivan! How great to see you. How are your classes going?

Ivan:   Well, OK, Ms. Mooney, but I think I’d rather be studying psychology. I chose civil engineering as my major, but this psychology class that I took was amazing. I’d even stay after class to talk to the professor about the material. I never do that in my other classes.

Ms. Mooney:   That’s great! But psychology is a big change from civil engineering.

Ivan:   Exactly! What if I change majors and regret it later? I’m getting good grades in my engineering classes, but I’m bored. Psychology was really interesting, but it wasn’t as easy. Maybe I should just do what’s easy.

Ms. Mooney:   Don’t do what’s easy. Do what you love. But you only took one psychology class, right? Perhaps you need to learn more about the field. Ivan: So you think I should take more classes?

Ms. Mooney:   Yes, you could. Have you ever heard of informational interviews? That’s an option, too.

Ivan:   What are they?

Ms. Mooney:   You find people with jobs in the fields you’re interested in and sit down with them and ask them about their work. You know, the day-to-day stuff, what they like, what they don’t like, how many years they had to study. It’s like an interview, but just to learn about the job.

Ivan:   That sounds great! So I could talk with a civil engineer and a psychologist?

Ms. Mooney:   Sure. And you could even shadow some of these professionals.

Ivan:   Shadow them?

Ms. Mooney:   Job shadowing is when you follow someone around at their job and experience it from their perspective. Think of it like an internship, but you’re only watching. You can shadow someone for a few hours or several times if you’d prefer. You know, before I became a guidance counselor, I was a banker.

Ivan:   You were a banker, Ms. Mooney?

Ms. Mooney:   Yes, for 10 years. But after doing some volunteer work with finance students, I realized I’d rather help people than crunch numbers. So I did informational interviews and job shadowing, and here I am! And I love being a guidance counselor! So, what do you say? Shall we find some professionals you can talk to?

Ivan:   Yes, please! I need all the information I can get.

Exercise 2

Listen to two other students, Rick and Nia, explain how they learn new words. Who use technology to study? Who organizes words by category?

Answers & Audioscripts

1   Nia uses technology to study by keeping an electronic vocabulary list on her phone.

2   Rick writes words on cards and organizes the cards by category.



I keep a record of new words I come across. Then I make up study cards. I write the word on one side of the card and the meaning on the other side. Oh, and I always include at least one sentence with the word in it. Then I go through the cards whenever I have some spare time – like when I’m waiting for my laundry to dry or on the bus – and study the words until I know them by heart. Every week or so, I organize the cards into categories: You know, I put all the words together that have to do with food . . . or work . . . or home . . . or school . . . whatever I can find that my new words have in common.


I keep a vocabulary list on my phone. It’s organized alphabetically. Whenever I hear or read a new word, I add it to the list. I also try to put down some key information about the word – you know, whether it’s a noun or a verb, and some examples of how it’s used. I go through the list and study the words as often as I can. I really believe that the only way to learn new words – even in your own language – is by memorizing them.

Exercise 3

Listen to James and Sophia describe how they developed two skills. How did they learn? Complete the chart.




1  become an effective public speaker



2  learn to drive



Answers & Audioscripts

 James: took a public speaking course and exercises before speaking

     Sophia: started organizing her ideas better

 James: his dad taught him to drive on a busy street the first day

     Sophia: her mom took her outside the city to learn because parking was impossible in New York City


1   James

James:   I have a huge fear of speaking in front of people. Seriously, I’d rather do anything else. And I’m a lawyer, so it’s all about how you speak and present your case. I decided to take a public speaking course, and the teacher taught me some great tips. By memorizing the first line of my speech, by looking out in the audience and focusing on just one person at a time, and, of course, by practicing a ton in that class, I was finally able to improve. Oh, and I always exercise before a presentation to calm my nerves!

1   Sophia

Sophia:   I love to speak in public. People think if you love public speaking, then it’s easy – but that’s not true. I work for a non-profit organization, so I give lots of speeches to convince people to donate money. I would tell stories and jokes, ask the audience questions, but they wouldn’t donate money. I was too spontaneous, and I wasn’t reaching them. So I started to organize my ideas. By putting my stories at the beginning of my speech and ending with numbers and facts, I had a bigger impact. I’m still spontaneous, but hard facts and data are hard to forget, so I always end with those.

2   James

James:   I remember I was so excited to learn how to drive. I was 15 when my dad gave me my first lesson in a parking lot. He taught me the basics and then wanted me to drive home on a busy street that first day! He said that by learning on the road with other drivers, I would never forget the basics. That was my dad. My mom was another story. She was so nervous that we never left the parking lot! I never practiced with her again. And it took her six months to get in the car with me, even after I got my license!

2   Sophia

Sophia:   I’m from New York City, where most people don’t even learn to drive until they’re older. But not me. I first tried when I was 16 with my mom. I wanted to visit a friend, so we went in my mom’s car. I thought by going slowly, I’d be fine. But I hadn’t thought about parking, and in the city, parking is impossible! After 30 minutes of trying to park and almost hitting two cars, I just wanted to go home. But my mom insisted we keep practicing, so we drove outside the city, where I finally could relax and get comfortable driving!

Exercise 4

Listen to people talk about recent events and activities in their lives. What events and activities are they talking about? What two qualities does each person’s behavior demonstrate? Complete the chart.

 money management



 concern for others


f   self-confidence


Event or activity


1  Kate



2  Mark



3  Iris



Answers & Audioscripts

1   Kate: got into the company she auditioned for; e, f

2   Mark: missed a goal and lost the game; b, d

3   Iris: saved money to take a painting class; a, c


1   Kate

Kate:   I did it! I did it!

Man:   Did what, Kate? What happened?

Kate:   I can’t believe it!

Man:   Kate! Calm down! What happened?

Kate:   I got it! I got into the company I auditioned for!

Man:   Really? That’s fantastic! But I thought you auditioned and didn’t make it.

Kate:   That’s right. And I felt really sad about it for a while because I know I have potential. I started thinking maybe I just needed to work harder, so I started dancing again on my own. And by practicing every day, I got better and better. Then I saw in the newspaper that auditions were being held again. I knew I could do it, so I went in, auditioned, and made it!

Man:   That’s great. Congratulations!

2   Mark

Mark:   I could just kick myself.

Woman:   Come on, Mark, it could happen to anyone.

Mark:   I lost the game for us. All I had to do was kick it past the goalie.

Woman:   Yeah, but that goalie is tough to get by.

Mark:   No way. There was no one in the way. Everyone else was at the other end of the field.

Woman:   Yeah, but we all miss one sometimes.

Mark:   Well, my teammates aren’t going to lose another game because of me.

3   Iris

Man:   Iris, when did you start doing this?

Iris:   Oh, a few months ago.

Man:   What made you start?

Iris:   Well, it was my brother who inspired me. I’ve always wanted to paint or draw, but he was the artistic one. His paintings have been sold for big money at galleries, and, well, I had never even picked up a brush. But I started saving money every month until I had enough for this painting class. I’m so glad I did.

Man:   You’re not bad, you know. I love the colors in this portrait.

Iris:   Thanks.

Man:   Who is it?

Iris:   It’s you.

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