1. Listen. Complete the sentences.
WHAT ARE YOUR CHANCES?
Chance of living to be 100 (man): 1 in _________
Chance of living to be 100 (woman): 1 in _________
Chance of having a road accident: 1 in _________
Chance of winning the lottery: 1 in _________
Chance of being in a plane crash: 1 in _________
2. According to the speaker, how can you increase your chances of doing these things? Listen again and check.
1 surviving a plane crash
2 getting to the airport safety
3 living to be 100
Chance of living to be 100 (man): 1 in 6
Chance of living to be 100 (woman): 1 in 4
Chance of having a road accident: 1 in 8,000
Chance of winning the lottery: 1 in 18 million
Chance of being in a plane crash: 1 in a million
1 Sit at the back of the plane or over the wing, near the exit.
2 The safest way to travel is to take a train to the airport.
3 Live in a country with modern medicine, like Japan.
Lots of people get scared when they fly and they’re sure the plane’s going to crash, but in fact it’s one of the safest ways to travel. The odds of a plane crashing are only about 1 in a million and obviously they’re much less if you use an airline with a good safety record. It’s very unlikely that your plane will crash, but even if it does you’ll probably be fine, because 95% of people in plane crashes survive. If you sit at the back of the plane or over the wing, near the exit, your chances get even better. So, if you’re worried about getting on that plane, don’t be, because you’ll almost certainly survive the journey. You’re more likely to have an accident in the car going to the airport – your chances of having a road accident are 1 in 8,000. So the safest way to travel is to take a train to the airport and then fly. More good news is that you have quite a good chance of living to be 100, especially if you don’t worry too much. According to a recent report, in richer countries of the world, women who are 25 now have a 1 in 4 chance of reaching their 100th birthday – men of 25 only have a 1 in 6 chance, not quite so good. But the chances are getting better all the time, so a girl born now has a 1 in 3 chance of living to 100 and a boy has a 1 in 4 chance. Of course, this depends on what country you’re in. In some countries like Japan the chances are even higher and modern medicine may well make the chances higher still during your lifetime. So, that’s the good news. You probably won’t die in a plane crash and you, or at least your children, could live to be 100. But the bad news is, you almost certainly won’t win the lottery. The chances of winning a big prize in the lottery are only about 1 in 18 million – so that’s extremely unlikely.
1. Martha’s going to Antarctica to do research on Adelie penguins. She talks to her friend Joe about her work. Listen to answer the questions.
1 How well does Joe understand Martha’s research?
2 Are his questions serious or light-hearted?
3 What do we learn about the personality of the penguins?
4 Why is the research important?
2. Listen again. Number the actions in the correct order from 1 to 5.
___ the eggs are laid
___ tags are put on the penguins
___ penguins get into pairs
___ Martha arrives in Antarctica
___ penguin chicks are born
1 not very well
3 They’re full of attitude and can be quite aggressive.
4 The research can tell scientists a lot about what’s happening in the Antarctic ecosystem as well as the rest of the planet.
1 penguins get into pairs
2 Martha arrives in Antarctica
3 the eggs are laid
4 penguin chicks are born
5 tags are put on the penguins
JOE So, when are you oﬀ?
MARTHA Monday of next week.
M Sure is – this time next week I’ll be settling into my accommodation.
J So, I mean, what is it you’ll be doing? From what I understand … well, you’re going down there to keep your eye on some penguins. Is that it?
M Well, I suppose that’s one way of looking at it!
J Yeah, but, you know, what will you be doing on a daily basis?
M Well, I’m not entirely sure, but I think I’ll be doing similar things every day. It’s more or less a question of observing the penguins – counting them, taking photos, checking tags on some of them – that kind of thing.
J OK – so, just kind of standing around in the cold?
M Yes, well, that’s the downside of the job. That and the attacks.
J What? From polar bears?
M Erm … at the South Pole? No, from penguins.
J You mean those sweet little birds attack you?
M Oh yes, they’re full of attitude – if you get too close.
J And will they be waiting for you when you get there?
M Well, of course – they know I’m coming.
J Very funny. So, there they are – Mr and Mrs Penguin about to play happy families and …?
M Yeah, so, by the time I arrive the penguins will already have got into pairs and then, by the middle of November, each pair of penguins will have laid two eggs.
J You just watch them sit on their eggs? That must be … ‘really interesting’.
M I’m sure they’ll do something to keep me entertained.
J And then?
M Well, by the end of December, most of the chicks will have arrived and then after about three weeks we put metal tags on them.
J Unless you get attacked by those nasty, aggressive parents.
M We have our methods of defence.
J Sounds scary. OK, this is all very interesting, but, I mean, why? Why’s it useful to know what these penguins do? It sounds like they kind of do the same old thing year after year.
M Nothing wrong with predictable – we scientists like that – but sometimes there can be changes, like maybe there are fewer chicks or maybe the parents aren’t able to feed the chicks and not as many survive. This can tell us a lot about what’s happening in the Antarctic ecosystem.
J Like what exactly?
M Ah, I’m a scientist – I never jump to easy conclusions.
J That’s no fun.
M But, in a general sense, if there are changes in the number of penguins or changes in their behaviour, this can tell us that there has been a change in the climate of some sort. It’s part of the evidence – the bigger picture, if you like. The work I’ll be doing is just a small part in a big project that’s been going on for some time. But because Antarctica is such an unspoilt environment the changes that take place there can tell us a lot about what’s happening on the rest of the planet.
J And you get to hang out with those cute little penguins.
M Yeah, well … it’s just one big penguin party.
J Sounds pretty cool to me.
1. Listen to Part 1. Put four of these events in the correct order. One event doesn’t appear in the scene. Which is it?
___ Sam talks about money.
___ Becky offers to help.
___ Phil finishes his chapter.
___ Phil asks about Tessa.
___ Phil suggests staying open longer.
2. Answer the questions. Listen again and check.
1 Why is Sam worried?
2 What are the problems with serving meals?
3 Why does Phil think serving meals is a good idea?
4 What does Phil want to know about Tessa?
1 Phil finishes his chapter.
2 Sam talks about money.
3 Phil suggests staying open longer.
4 Phil asks about Tessa.
1 The café isn’t making enough money.
2 They need to hire a cook and set up the kitchen properly.
3 It will bring extra money.
4 If she goes to the same college as Becky.
BECKY Phil? We’re closing.
PHIL Nearly done. I’m just finishing this chapter. That’s it – done. See you tomorrow, then. What’s wrong, Sam?
SAM The usual. Not enough money coming in. I need to do something to get more customers.
P Hmm, you could stay open longer? In the evenings? You could serve meals. I’d eat here.
B You practically live here anyway. But it’s an idea, why not?
S It’d be a long day.
B You could do just Friday and Saturday to start with.
S Hmm, I’d need to hire a cook. Set up the kitchen properly. On the other hand, the extra money would be good … I don’t know.
B Anyway, time to go. Are you ready, Phil?
P Yeah, coming. Bye, Sam.
S See you.
P Umm … that friend of yours … Curly hair …
P Tessa. Is she at college with you?
B Bye, Phil.
3. Listen to Part 2. Which of these topics are Sam and Emma talking about?
money problems staying open later Sam’s birthday
hiring a cook investing money in the café
4. Listen again. Make notes about the ideas Sam and Emma discuss. What are the positive and negative points for each idea?
money problems, staying open later, hiring a cook, investing money in the café
Idea: stay open Friday and Saturday evenings and serve food
Reasons to do it: get more business, people often ask if the café is open in the evenings
Problems: invest more money, have to put in a proper kitchen/hire a cook
EMMA Bad day?
SAM The café. We’re not making enough money.
E Come on, you’re doing fine. Mid-week, it’s bound to be slow.
S I’m just worried. We’ve put all our money in this. I don’t want to lose it.
E No, of course you don’t. I can see that.
S Phil had an idea today.
S Stay open Friday and Saturday evenings and serve food.
S Of course, the trouble is we’d have to invest even more money – money that we haven’t got.
E Yes, but the good thing about it is, it might be a way to get more business.
S Well, we’d need to put in a proper kitchen, and that’ll probably cost a fortune. And we’ll have to hire someone to cook. People do often ask if we’re open in the evening, so there is a demand … I don’t know, it’s a big risk …
E I think it’s a lovely idea. I know the perfect person to do the cooking.
S You? Seriously?
E Why not? Promise I won’t charge much!
5. Listen to Part 3. Who suggests doing these things (Sam or Emma) and what do they say about it?
1 have live music
2 get students to play music
3 have photo exhibitions
4 ask people to read poems and stories
6. Which of these adjectives and phrases describe Emma? Which describe Sam?
full of ideas cautious in making decisions
enthusiastic worried about the future
careful with money fair to other people
1 Emma. She thinks they could get locals to play at the weekend.
2 Sam is concerned by the cost. He thinks they could probably get some students to do it for free.
3 Emma. Sam thinks they could ask Tessa to do it for free.
4 Emma. Sam thinks Phil would do it for free.
Emma: full of ideas, enthusiastic, fair to employees
Sam: cautious in making decisions, worried about the future, careful with money
EMMA And maybe we could do a few other things.
SAM Such as?
E Well, how about entertainment? We could have live music, get locals to play at the weekend.
S Hmm, that might be worth a try … if they didn’t cost too much. In fact, we can probably get some students to do it for free.
S If we give them some food or something.
E Sam! You should pay them. That’s not fair!
S Hmm, maybe you’re right.
E Or display paintings or photos.
S That’s not a bad idea. Becky could help with that, or Tessa.
E I know what you’re thinking.
E Look, if you want to use Tessa’s photos you should pay her for them. What I mean is, that she can display them and we can sell them.
S Hmm …
E Or readings. Have poetry readings.
S Hmm, that’s a possibility … I know who you’re thinking of …
S And he’d definitely do it for free. What?
1. Listen to the news reports and match them with photos a-d. What key words helped you decide?
2. What did the news reports say about these topics?
1 farmland – cattle – villages – rivers
2 around Boston – the Boston to New York highway – residents
3 the weather in March – emergency supplies – the rice harvest
4 winds – residents – food and shelter
a snow b flooding c drought d a hurricane
1 photo b: under water, higher ground, cut oﬀ, rescued, rain, river levels, rise
2 photo a: temperatures dropped, –25°C, abandon their vehicles, cut oﬀ, not to go out, below –20°C, heavy snow
3 photo c: lowest (rainfall) ever, three days of rain, emergency supplies of water, dry weather, harvest threatened
4 photo d: winds of over 150 km an hour, strike the coast, provide food and shelter, abandon their homes
1 Large areas of farmland were under water and cattle had to be moved to higher ground. Several villages were completely cut oﬀ and fire services rescued 53 people from their homes. More rain is expected, so river levels may rise further over the next few days and there is a chance that larger towns will be aﬀected …
2 Temperatures around Boston dropped to –25°. Drivers on the main Boston to New York highway had to abandon their vehicles and several small towns were entirely cut oﬀ. Residents were warned not to go out unless absolutely necessary. Temperatures are likely to remain below –20° at least until the weekend, with further heavy snow expected …
3 March is normally one of the wettest months in the region, but this year’s rainfall was the lowest ever recorded, with only three days of rain in some parts of the country. Emergency supplies of water were brought into areas most badly aﬀected. According to a government statement, if the dry weather continues the rice harvest could be severely threatened.
4 Winds of over 150 kilometres an hour are expected to strike the coast on Tuesday evening, and residents in coastal areas have been advised to leave. Centres have been set up in towns further inland to provide food and shelter for families who were forced to abandon their homes.
1. Listen to a conversation between two friends, Andrew and Fan. Tick (✓) the things they talk about.
1 a new supermarket
3 air travel
4 food choices
6 animal conservation
2. Listen again and tick (✓) the correct answers.
1 What is unusual about the supermarket Fran mentions?
a It has very low prices compared to other supermarkets.
b It sells different kinds of things from most other supermarkets.
c The way it sells things is different from other supermarkets.
2 Why wouldn’t Andrew want to use a supermarket like this?
a He thinks it would be too time-consuming to shop there.
b He doesn’t want to have to use his car to get there.
c He thinks it’s safer if products in the supermarket use packaging.
3 What problem does Fran not mention relating to the use of packaging?
a The pollution it causes when it is manufactured.
b The risk it causes to animals if they eat it.
c The fact that it is often not dealt with properly after it has been used.
4 What does Fran say about the idea of never using a car?
a It’s probably impossible.
b It’s difficult, but not impossible.
c Most people wouldn’t agree to do it.
5 Which of the following statements is true about Andrew?
a He didn’t know about the positive environmental impact of vegetarianism.
b He doesn’t agree with people not eating meat.
c He is going to try to reduce the amount of meat he eats.
6 Which of the following statements best summarises Fran’s views on the environment?
a We need to discuss what we can do to help the environment more often.
b People in general aren’t doing enough to help the environment.
c People will probably start changing their behaviour when they realise how serious the situation is.
7 How hopeful is Fran about the chances of new technology solving environmental problems?
a very hopeful
b generally hopeful
c not very hopeful
1, 2, 4, 5
1 c 2 a 3 b 4 b 5 a 6 b 7 c
ANDREW What’s that you’re reading on the Internet, Fran?
FRAN It’s just a news story. It’s about a supermarket chain. It has most of the products that a normal supermarket has, but it doesn’t sell anything with packaging – so nothing’s sealed in plastic, not fruit, not vegetables, not even meat or eggs.
A Really? How does that work?
F Well, you just take along your own bags, or boxes, or whatever.
A Oh, I see … Isn’t that a bit complicated?
F Or you can actually get bags there. But then you bring them back and use them again and again.
A Well, I suppose it sounds like a good idea. But I don’t think I’ll be going to a supermarket like that by choice.
A Well, when I do the shopping I just want to get everything done quickly. I don’t want to have to worry about bringing my own boxes or packing things myself.
F But it’s much more environmentally friendly!
A Sure, I imagine it is, but I’m too busy for that kind of thing. And anyway, I already do quite a lot. I’m aware that we have to think about global warming, so I don’t use the car too much, I throw litter in the bin, I turn the tap off when I’m brushing my teeth, that kind of thing.
F I really don’t think that taking some extra bags to the supermarket is going to take you that much time! Just think of all the damage that’s caused by plastic packaging. Producing it pollutes the Earth’s atmosphere and that’s the kind of thing that causes climate change.
A Well …
F But it’s not just that – it has a big impact in general. A lot of packaging ends up in the sea, in rivers …
A I know. You’re probably right. I suppose I’m probably just a bit lazy.
F Well, I know it’s not easy. But there are lots of things I think we could all do to reduce our carbon footprint …
A Like what?
F Well, only taking public transport, for example. Never using the car.
A Not easy.
F I know, but there’s a difference between ‘not easy’ and ‘impossible’. Or we could all become vegetarian.
A Does that help the environment?
F Yes, because producing meat actually uses a lot of energy and water, much more than producing vegetables.
A Does it? Oh. I’d no idea.
F And it takes up more space, too. More land, I mean, to farm all those big cows …
A Well, I guess that could be a good reason to cut down on meat. But do you really think people are going to be happy to change their lifestyles like this?
F No, that’s my point. We could all do more, but we don’t. We just talk about what we should do.
A Personally, I think there’s a chance that technology will save us. You know, if we’re able to come up with technology that doesn’t harm the environment, like electric cars, factories that don’t pollute the air, really efficient machines that don’t use much energy …
F Yeah, there’s always that hope, but I think we’ll have destroyed the planet before we manage to come up with smart enough technology.
A I suppose we’ll see. I’m not as pessimistic as you, though.
F Well, one thing’s for sure – if we don’t start to deal with the problem, then people on this planet will be paying for it for a long time.
- Practice English Listening B2 Exercises – Possibilities
- Practice English Listening B2 Exercises – Discoveries
- Practice English Listening B2 Exercises – Dilemmas
- Practice English Listening B2 Exercises – City living
- Practice English Listening B2 Exercises – Around the globe
- Practice English Listening B2 Exercises – Life lessons