Exercise 1

A. Listen. What do Michael and Elena talk about?

B. Listen again. Answer the questions.

 What is Michael doing when Elena greets him?

 What happened after Michael sent the schedule?

 Why did the client have a right to be angry?

 Why does Elena say, “You live and learn”?

C. Listen. Complete the conversation.

Michael:   I had a tough meeting with a client this morning.

Elena:   Oh?

Michael:   Yeah, I was supposed to send him the schedule for our new project. I thought I’d emailed everything last week, but it was still in my drafts folder. He was furious.

Elena:   Oh, no. So how’d you __________ it?

Michael:   Of course, I apologized and promised to get him the information right away. I felt bad. I mean, I really __________. I __________ been more organized.

Answers & Audioscripts

A B

Elena:   Hey, Michael. On your way out?

Michael:   Hi, Elena. Yeah, just packing up.

Elena:   OK. I’ll wait for you.

Michael:   Thanks. It’ll just take a second.

Elena:   So, how was your day?

Michael:   Ugh. It was a little rough, to be honest. I had a tough meeting with a client this morning.

Elena:   Oh?

Michael:   Yeah, I was supposed to send him the schedule for our new project. I thought I’d emailed everything last week, but it was still in my drafts folder. He was furious.

Elena:   Oh, no. So, how’d you deal with it?

Michael:   Of course, I apologized and promised to get him the information right away. I felt bad. I mean, I really messed up. I should have been more organized.

Elena:   Well, don’t be too hard on yourself. Everyone makes mistakes.

Michael:   Yeah, I know. The funny thing is, after I sent the schedule, he called me back.

Elena:   Uh-oh. What did he say?

Michael:   He actually apologized for losing his temper. Apparently, he’s been under a lot pressure on this project, and that’s why he overreacted.

Elena:   That was nice of him.

Michael:   Yeah, I thought so. We talked things over and I think everything’s OK now. He approved the schedule and we’re set to start on the new campaign next month.

Elena:   Good.

Michael:   Yeah, but I have to admit that he had a right to be angry. I should have confirmed that he’d gotten the schedule. That’s on me.

Elena:   Well, live and learn.

Michael:   Yup. Live and learn!

C

Michael:   I had a tough meeting with a client this morning.

Elena:   Oh?

Michael:   Yeah, I was supposed to send him the schedule for our new project. I thought I’d emailed everything last week, but it was still in my drafts folder. He was furious.

Elena:   Oh, no. So how’d you deal with it?

Michael:   Of course, I apologized and promised to get him the information right away. I felt bad. I mean, I really messed up. I should have been more organized.

Exercise 2

A. Listen. What do Michael and Elena talk about?

B. Listen again. Answer the questions.

 What is Michael trying to learn?

 What advice does Elena give Michael?

 What has Elena always wanted to do?

 What would be a dream come true for Elena?

C. Listen. Complete the conversation.

Michael:   I’ve been studying Mandarin for a few months now. I’m planning to visit China next summer, and I’d like to be able to speak at least a little bit of the language while I’m there.

Elena:   Wow! I’m impressed! I’ve heard Mandarin can be a tough language to _________.

Michael:   Yeah. It’s something I’ve always wanted to learn. But to be honest, I’ve been struggling to get a handle on it.

Elena:   Well, I imagine it takes a lot of practice to become _________.

Michael:   Right. There are so many characters to memorize. I just _________ I could devote more time to it.

Answers & Audioscripts

A B

Elena:   Hi, Michael.

Michael:   Oh, hi, Elena.

Elena:   Finishing up some work?

Michael:   No, just a little studying. Ni hao.

Elena:   You’re learning Chinese?

Michael:   Yeah. I’ve been studying Mandarin for a few months now. I’m planning to visit China next summer, and I’d like to be able to speak at least a little bit of the language while I’m there.

Elena:   Wow! I’m impressed! I’ve heard Mandarin can be a tough language to master.

Michael:   Yeah. It’s something I’ve always wanted to learn. But to be honest, I’ve been struggling to get a handle on it.

Elena:   Well, I imagine it takes a lot of practice to become fluent.

Michael:   Right. There are so many characters to memorize. I just wish I could devote more time to it.

Elena:   Well, keep at it. You might not see a lot of progress at first, but, step by step, you’ll get better.

Michael:   Mmm. If only I had started learning it when I was younger, I might have made a lot more progress by now.

Elena:   You know, I feel the same way about the tango.

Michael:   The tango?

Elena:   Uh-huh. Ever since I was a little girl I’ve wanted to dance the tango. So last month I started taking lessons.

Michael:   Really? The tango? Wow!

Elena:   Yeah, it’s such a romantic dance. And it’s a great way to relieve stress and stay fit.

Michael:   I’ll bet! Have you ever been to Argentina?

Elena:   No, never. But I’d really love to take a class in Buenos Aires. That would be a dream come true.

Michael:   Lima isn’t that far from Buenos Aires, is it?

Elena:   No. It’s about a 4-hour flight.

Michael:   Then I’m sure you’ll get there someday.

C

Michael:   I’ve been studying Mandarin for a few months now. I’m planning to visit China next summer, and I’d like to be able to speak at least a little bit of the language while I’m there.

Elena:   Wow! I’m impressed! I’ve heard Mandarin can be a tough language to master.

Michael:   Yeah. It’s something I’ve always wanted to learn. But to be honest, I’ve been struggling to get a handle on it.

Elena:   Well, I imagine it takes a lot of practice to become fluent.

Michael:   Right. There are so many characters to memorize. I just wish I could devote more time to it.

Exercise 3

A. Listen. What is the main idea of the talk?

B. Listen again. How does the speaker define or explain the following phrases?

1   kicks the bucket

     _________________

2   less spontaneous

     _________________

3   things I know I can do

     _________________

C. Listen again. Answer the questions.

1   What made the idea of bucket lists more popular?

2   What can be two problems with making a bucket list?

3   What are two things on the speaker’s bucket list?

4   What are two ideas that people can find online?

Answers & Audioscripts

Making a Bucket List

We all have special things that we want to do at least once in our lives, right? Like, “Someday, I’m going to visit the Great Wall of China.” Or “Someday I’m going to write a novel.”

Maybe you’ve already thought about making a list of all the things you really want to do in your life—a bucket list. This term was made popular by a movie about a cancer patient who makes a list of everything he wants to do before he “kicks the bucket”—or dies—and he calls it his “bucket list.” The movie inspired millions of people to put together lists of exciting things they wanted to do and places they wanted to go, while they still could.

Surprisingly, though, there are arguments against making a bucket list. To begin with, making a bucket list might make you less spontaneous, less willing to do things without planning them ahead of time. Let me give you an example. A few years ago, I got it into my head that I had to see Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower. So I took a quick trip to France and didn’t do anything else while I was there because I was so determined to cross climbing the Eiffel Tower off my list. In the end, I’m sure I missed out on taking some interesting side trips that could have come up along the way. There’s a good chance that I would have enjoyed these unplanned excursions more than I enjoyed the view from the top of the Eiffel Tower.

And that’s not the only problem with creating a bucket list. If you fill your list with things that are really hard to accomplish—“I’m going to climb Mt. Everest! I’m going to travel to every continent!”—the list might turn from a source of inspiration to a source of regret. You don’t want to feel like a failure because you’re not doing most of the things on your list!

Now, I try to fill my list with things I know I can do—they don’t cost a fortune and they’re mostly not on the other side of the world. For example, before I die, I plan to learn how to play the piano. There’s a piano in my house that belonged to my grandmother, and it sits silent year after year. Every time I look at it, I remember her playing so beautifully. Maybe I’ll never play as well as my grandmother did, but someday, I’m going to play at least one song.

I also try to include things that will be deeply meaningful and fulfilling. For instance, another thing on my list is meeting all my cousins. My parents didn’t keep in close touch with my family members while I was growing up, so now I’ve got nine cousins in different parts of the world that I’ve never met. I’ve already found most of them on social media and invited them to come visit me.

One of them lives in Australia; another one lives in Dubai. They’ve all invited me to visit them, but it doesn’t really matter whether I go there or they come here. I care more about meeting them than I care about traveling to new places.

If you want to make a bucket list, there are thousands of suggestions online. There are some you might want to add to your list, like sleeping under the Northern Lights, taking Italian cooking classes, or going to a World Cup game. But I always keep in mind that my list is a guide, a reminder of my dreams and ambitions, not a list of things I have to do to feel good about myself. And if my dreams change as I get older, my list can change, too. It’s my bucket, after all.

Exercise 4

A. Listen to the article. What is the main idea?

B. Listen again. Answer the questions, according to the article.

1   Why wasn’t Jiang ever able to do anything important?

2   How did Jiang try to overcome his fear of rejection?

3   What did Jiang learn from trying to get rejected?

4   How is Jiang trying to help others overcome their fear of rejection?

Answers & Audioscripts

Rejection Isn’t Always a TERRIBLE THING

Everyone hates being rejected, whether it’s for a job, a university, or even a date. It’s easy to assume that you were turned down because you weren’t qualified enough, smart enough, or good-looking enough. Most of the time we run away from rejection, never knowing the real reason for it. According to author and presenter Jia Jiang, however, we can overcome it. We can also turn it into a powerful tool that can make our lives better.

Jiang had his first experience with rejection when he was growing up in China. At the age of six, he was one of only three children in his class not to be chosen to receive a special gift. This experience hurt him deeply and made him never want to be rejected again. When Jiang was fourteen, Bill Gates came and spoke at his school, inspiring him to become a successful entrepreneur. He moved to the United States a couple of years later, eager to pursue his dream. By the age of thirty, however, he was no closer to his goal of becoming a global business leader. When he thought about it, he realized that he was always stopped from doing something important by his fear of rejection.

One day, while searching for a solution to his problem on the internet, he found a website called Rejection Therapy. It suggested that people could overcome their fear of rejection by going out and looking for it. He loved this idea and decided to get rejected once a day for 100 days in a row. He made a list of 100 simple ways to get rejected and filmed his experiences.

Two of the experiences in particular had a profound impact on him. On one of the first days, he went to a donut shop and asked to have donuts made in the shape of the Olympic rings. He was shocked and touched when the donut maker actually took him seriously and fulfilled his request.

Another day, he went to a stranger’s house and asked to plant a flower in the stranger’s backyard. When the stranger said no, he stayed and asked why. The stranger explained that he had a dog that liked to dig things up. He recommended that Jiang talk to another neighbor who loved flowers instead. Jiang realized that by talking to the stranger he was able to negotiate with him and gain his trust.

Through his project, Jiang learned that he didn’t need to run away from rejection. In fact, if he stayed and talked, he could turn the rejection into a powerful learning experience. He also discovered that people were often a lot kinder than he had thought.

After the project, Jiang took over the Rejection Therapy website. He also started writing and speaking about his experiences. Since then, he has helped many people to see rejection differently and sometimes even overcome it to get what they want.

Exercise 5

A. Listen. What is the topic of the presentation?

B. Listen again. Answer the questions.

1   Who challenged Misaki to achieve this goal?

2   What did Misaki have to do to achieve this goal?

3   How did Misaki feel about achieving the goal?

Answers & Audioscripts

One of the things that I’m the proudest of is completing a marathon with my brother. Running 42 kilometers certainly wasn’t on my bucket list. But when my older brother challenged me to do it, I knew I had to join him.

It took us about ten months to train for the race because neither of us was very fit at the beginning. The first few weeks we walked more than we ran, but as time went by we slowly improved. We’d go for short runs during the week and longer runs on the weekend. As the months went by, we were running farther and faster.

Along the way, we had to overcome some challenges, like sore feet and tired muscles. There were plenty of days when I wanted to sleep more than I wanted to run. But my brother always encouraged me to get up and go running with him anyway. He inspired me a lot, and I tried to encourage him too.

I’ll never forget the day of the marathon. I was so nervous as we waited for the race to begin. Even now, I can still remember the pain in my legs as I ran up and down the hills, and the energy from the crowd that was cheering for us.

After spending so long imagining what it would be like, we finally crossed the finish line. I was proud of my brother, proud of myself, and proud that we’d so worked so hard together to accomplish our goal.

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