1. Listen to a radio programme about age, talent and success. Answer the questions.
1 What is each person good at?
2 Do you think they always had this talent?
3 What age do you think they were when they became successful?
2. Listen again. Are the sentences true (T) or false (F)?
1 Tsung Tsung first became famous when he appeared on a TV show.
2 As a boy, Messi could play football better than the older boys.
3 A recent study showed that most talented children do much better than other adults when they grow up.
4 Vivienne Westwood used to be a teacher.
5 Bocelli’s solo classical album became an international success when he was in his 40s.
6 Ed believes that talented people don’t usually make mistakes.
Tsung-Tsung could play the piano at three.
Lionel Messi was playing football at five.
Vivienne Westwood became a successful fashion designer in her 30s.
Andrea Bocelli became a famous classical singer at 36.
1 F An internet clip had already made him famous before he appeared on TV.
3 F The study showed that less than 5 % of talented children die very well when they grew up.
6 F He believes they learn from their mistakes.
PRESENTER That was Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee, a piece which was recently performed to a live audience on TV by a six-year-old boy called Tsung Tsung. Tsung Tsung could play the piano when he was three. At the age of five, an internet clip with him at the piano made him famous. Now, he says, he wants to be able to play like Mozart. Our question today is: Do we have to start young to succeed?
We’ve all heard about kids like Tsung Tsung, bright kids who have a particular ability in, say, music, maths or science. But do they grow up to be successful adults? And if you’re over 30 and you haven’t achieved your goals yet, is it too late? Ed Bickley’s been looking into it for us. Ed, what have you found out?
ED OK, well, clearly some talented children go on to do very well as adults. Take Lionel Messi. He started playing football on the street at the age of five. Soon, he was playing against much older boys – and they couldn’t get the ball off him. He was so good that he was able to join the Barcelona junior team when he was 11, and achieved international success at 20. Now he’s one of the greatest players in the world!
P A real success story!
E Yes. But what’s surprising is that most of these talented children when they grow up don’t actually achieve much more than other adults. A recent study followed a group of talented children from 1974 until now. Less than 5 % managed to become very successful adults.
P That does seem surprising.
E And now for the good news! If you haven’t achieved your goals by the time you’re 30, don’t give up! Plenty of people have found success much later in life. British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood’s first job was in teaching. She always wanted to be a designer, but her successful fashion career didn’t begin until she was 30 when she started making clothes for a shop in London called Let it Rock. Then there’s Andrea Bocelli. He’s been able to sing well since he was a child, but he didn’t become a famous classical singer until he was 36. At 41, his album became the most successful classical album by a solo artist of all time, with 5 million copies sold around the world.
P So to do well at something, we don’t have to be good at it at a young age?
E That’s right. In most cases, talent develops with experience. You need to practise, make mistakes, get frustrated, learn from your mistakes, practise more … it’s hard work. You need a lot of patience, a lot of determination. Confidence and a positive attitude help, too. Say to yourself, ‘I can do it!’ And just maybe you will! And don’t worry if your 10-year-old child can’t play the piano. Maybe they’ll be able to do it when they’re a bit older.
P Ed, you’ve given us all hope! Thank you very much.
1. Listen to Part 1. What is Tom offering to do to help?
2. Listen to Part 1 again. Underline the correct answers.
1 Becky is showing Rachel photos of her holiday / house.
2 Rachel asks Becky to take photos for her website / fun.
3 Mark is going to buy / pick up the desk on Saturday.
4 Becky suggests that Mark goes alone / Tom helps Mark.
Tom is offering to help Mark move the desk.
2 her website
3 pick up
4 Tom helps Mark
BECKY And these are the photos. You haven’t seen the ones of our holiday, have you?
RACHEL No, I haven’t. Oh, wow! That’s a great photo. That’s the hotel you stayed in, isn’t it?
В Yes. And there’s the beach. It was only a few metres from the hotel.
R Wow, Becky, these are really good.
В Thanks. I enjoyed taking them.
R They’re amazing. Actually, can I ask a big favour? You know I’m making a new website, don’t you? Well, I need some photos of the shop for it. Do you think you could take them?
В Hmm, I’m not sure. I’m not a real photographer. It’s just a hobby.
R But I really love your pictures. Will you do it?
В Well, if you’re sure. I’d love to.
В So, Mark, Tom told me about your internet shopping mistake. You bought a child’s desk instead of an adult one, didn’t you?
MARK It was an easy mistake to make – could have happened to anyone! Anyway, it all turned out well in the end. Actually, I’m going to get the desk on Saturday.
В Oh, do you need a hand? I’m sure Tom will help.
TOM Oh yes? You’ll need a bit of muscle!
R It would be great if you could, wouldn’t it, Mark?
M Yeah, I was wondering how I was going to move it on my own.
T Why not? But could I ask you a favour in return, Rachel?
R Yes, of course. What?
T I’ll tell you later.
3. Listen to Part 2 and underline the correct words.
1 Tom wants Rachel to help him to ask Becky to marry him / buy a ring.
2 Rachel agrees / refuses to help Tom.
4. Listen to Part 3. What is happening?
1 buy a ring 2 agrees
Tom is helping Mark get the desk.
RACHEL So, what do you need?
TOM Well, I’m going to ask Becky to marry me.
R Wow, that is great news!
T Thanks, but I wondered if you could come with me to buy the ring. I’ve never done this before and I don’t know where to start.
R Yes of course I could. Oh, that is brilliant.
BECKY What are you two gossiping about?
T Oh, nothing!
MARK Go on. Pull it a bit harder.
TOM I can’t, it’s too heavy!
M We’re almost there. Go on.
T No, it’s not going to work.
M All right. Put it down.
T W hat’s it made of?
T Let’s do it together, both sides. Ready?
M All right. One, two, three … No, put it down, put it down.
T Let’s move it across.
M All right. Ready? One, two, three.
T Job done.
1. Listen to three people talking about websites they have used. What is the purpose of each website?
2. Listen again. What do speakers in brackets say about each topic?
1 how she travelled in India (Sheena)
2 her personality (Sheena)
3 earning money (Alya)
4 teaching children (Alya)
5 his skills (Brad)
6 being serious (Brad)
Travel Groups: to contact people who want to travel to the same places as you
Volunteer Community Project: to advertise volunteering jobs
Short Work: to advertise short jobs for a few days or a couple of weeks
1 She travelled with a group of people she’d found on a website.
2 She’s self-confident and an extrovert.
3 You don’t earn money when you volunteer.
4 She’s got a natural talent for teaching children and she’s decided to train as a primary school teacher.
5 He is good at helping out and fixing things. He knows a bit about electricity and plumbing.
6 The family could see he was serious about the job and determined to work hard.
SHEENA Last year, I had some free time and a bit of money to spend. I’d always wanted to go walking and climbing in the Himalayas, but I didn’t want to go on my own and none of my friends wanted to go. So I found a website called Travel Groups, where you can contact other people who want to go to the same places as you, and you can join up and go together as a group. Anyway, I found three other people to go with and we all met in Delhi in north India and we travelled together. It worked out really well. I think websites like this are a good idea because lots of people don’t want to travel on their own, and it works as long as everyone’s reasonably sociable. I’m quite self-confident and I think I’m an extrovert, so I think I’m quite good at getting on with people and making friends.
ALYA I had a few months off after university, so I looked on the internet for volunteer work and found a really good website for last-minute volunteer jobs called the Volunteer Community Project. It was good because you can arrange things straight away and they pay your fares, and you get basic accommodation and food. You don’t earn money, but you don’t really spend much either. I went to London and worked there with young children from problem families. I didn’t have any experience, but that doesn’t matter. You just need to be able to get on with kids and understand what they need. I never realised before, but actually it seems like I’ve got a natural talent for teaching children. So it was a really great experience and now I’ve decided to train as a primary school teacher.
BRAD I really needed to earn some money and I couldn’t get a proper job. Someone told me about this website called Short Work, where people offer short jobs for a few days or a couple of weeks that they need doing, like helping out with things or fixing things for people. I’m quite good at things like that, and I know a bit about electricity and plumbing. I found this advert for a family who’ve got a large house and needed someone to do some basic work on it. So I went along and chatted to them, and they gave me the job. I think they could see that I was quite serious about it and I was determined to work hard. It was really good. I was only there for two weeks, but in that time I managed to clear their garden, mend their garden fence, I painted three rooms for them, and I got their kitchen light working. So not bad for two weeks’ work!
1. Listen to an expert in advertising tell a story during a talk to university students and tick (✓) the correct answers.
1 Where did the story take place?
a in England
b in Germany
c in Russia
2 Why did Frederick want people to start eating potatoes?
a because they were cheap and easy to grow
b because they were the solution to a problem
c because they were very popular with the people
3 Fredrick was surprised that the people …
a did not know how to grow potatoes.
b gave the potatoes to their animals.
c said they could not eat the potatoes.
4 According to the speaker, the story can teach us something about …
2. Listen again. What do speakListen again and correct the information in the sentences. Use the words in the box to help you. You do not need all the words.
animal be successful bread business hungry
meat psychology soldier steal talented
1 Frederick II is sometimes called Frederick the Great because he was so tall.
2 Cheese was the most important part of most people’s diet.
3 Frederick thought that if people had potatoes, they would not be angry any more.
4 People in Kolberg said their children could not eat potatoes.
5 People understood that potatoes were valuable when they saw the gates around Frederick’s garden.
6 People began eating potatoes from Frederick’s garden.
7 Frederick’s plan did not work.
8 Frederick’s plan was an example of good farming.
1 b 2 b 3 c 4 c
1 Frederick II is sometimes called Fredrick the Great because he was so talented.
2 Bread was the most important part of most people’s diet.
3 Frederick thought that if people had potatoes, they would not be hungry any more.
4 People in Kolberg said their animals could not eat potatoes.
5 People understood that potatoes were valuable when they saw the soldiers around Frederick’s garden.
6 People began stealing potatoes from Frederick’s garden.
7 Frederick’s plan was successful.
8 Frederick’s plan was an example of good psychology.
Thank you, thank you. OK! So my talk tonight is called ‘Psychology in Advertising’, but I’m going to start with a little story.
In the 18thcentury, Germany was divided into lots Of different countries and one of these was called Prussia, and the king there was called Frederick the Second. Now this particular king was a really very Talented man. ln fact, he was so brilliant that he is still known as Frederick the Great.
OK, so at that time, the 1770s, hardly anyone in Prussia ate potatoes, because the main meal for almost everyone was bread. But there was a problem with bread: in those days, sometimes the wheat didn’t grow very well, or it grew but then it died before people could make bread from it. And every time that happened, people, especially poor people, would have nothing to eat.
So when Frederick heard about the potato, he thought ‘A-ha! Perfect! If the people can grow these potatoes as well as bread, then no one will ever be hungry again!’
Frederick was so satisfied with this idea that the immediately ordered everyone in the country to start growing potatoes. But to his surprise, they refused. They simply would not touch these potatoes. The people of Kolberg sent Fredericka letter, telling him that potatoes were so disgusting that even their animals couldn’t eat them.
Now Frederick was a very intelligent man, and although there were no psychologists in 1774, he certainly had a talent for understanding the psychology of his people. So he soon came up with a very interesting plan.
First, he planted potatoes in a big field, which he called the ‘Royal Potato Garden’. Next, because it was not just any potato garden, but the Royal potato Garden, he sent soldiers to guard it.
As soon as people saw the garden and the soldiers, they started asking each other ‘What could be in that field that is worth so much?’ And of course, as soon as they found out that the field was full of potatoes, they all wanted some. It was not long afterwards that people started going to the field at night to steal potatoes. Frederick, of course, had expected this to happen. In fact, he had even given secret instructions to his soldiers to pretend that they had not seen the potato thieves and actually let them steal the potatoes, because that was what Frederick had wanted to happen.
There is an important lesson here for people about psychology in advertising.
When Frederick told people they would never be hungry again if they ate potatoes- they were not interested. When Frederick ordered them to grow potatoes- they refused. But when people believed that they were not allowed to eat potatoes, and that they were only eaten by kings and queens, then they immediately wanted to have them. And that’s good psychology.
- 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 – Different cultures
- Practice English Listening B1 Exercises – The natural world