1. Listen to an interview with Monica Sharpe, a researcher into the psychology of money. Answer the questions.
1 Does winning lots of money make you behave badly?
2 Does having lots of money make you happy?
3 Does buying things make you happy?
2. Tick (✓) the points Monica makes. Listen again and check.
1 Most people who get a lot of money spend it all quickly.
2 We enjoy hearing stories about people who won the lottery and then lost all their money.
3 Suddenly having lots of money usually has a negative effect on you.
4 Most people feel much happier just after they win money.
5 In the long term, being rich doesn’t always make you happier.
6 It’s better to spend money on things you can own, like houses and cars.
1 no 2 No, but it won’t stop you being happy, either. 3 no
2 ✓ 4 ✓ 5 ✓
PRESENTER Monica, we often hear stories about lottery winners who were unhappy or who spent their money unwisely.
MONICA Yes, that’s true, you often read about lottery winners whose lives turned bad. For example, the Griﬀiths family recently – that was a big story. They won £1.8 million on the lottery and they spent it all on houses and cars and I don’t know what else. And they ended up losing all their money, and soon after that their marriage broke up – it was a very sad story. And you do certainly hear stories like that.
P So does suddenly having a lot of money really influence people’s behaviour? Or are these just isolated or unusual cases which make a good story?
M They’re just isolated cases. In fact winning doesn’t usually have a negative influence on people. Of course, people like to believe that winning money leads to disaster because that makes them feel better about not winning. But the idea that winning a lot of money causes misery is actually a myth, it’s simply not true.
P There have been studies done on this, haven’t there?
M Yes, that’s right. According to most studies, suddenly having a lot of money is just as likely to have a positive eﬀect on you as a negative eﬀect. And most people don’t in fact spend all their money.
P Can you give us some examples?
M Yes. For example, a recent study in Britain looked at how much of their money people spent if they won the lottery. And it found that people spent a lot in the first five years, but very few people spent all the money in their lifetime, only about 2–3%.
So most people do spend a lot, but they save a lot as well. And then there was an interesting study in California, and they measured how happy people are as a result of winning the lottery. And they found that people get very happy when they win, which isn’t surprising, but as they adjust to the idea of being rich and go back to normal again after a few months – they end up feeling just the same as before. So over the long term, getting richer doesn’t actually aﬀect how happy you are, you just stay the same … but with more money, of course.
P So, if you’re happy anyway, you’ll stay happy even if you get rich, is that the message?
M Yes, that’s right. Money won’t make you happy, but it won’t stop you being happy either. And studies have also shown that it depends on how you spend the money. So people who buy lots of things, like clothes or houses or cars, are often not very happy. As soon as you’ve got a car you want a better car and so on, so that doesn’t make you happy for long. But spending money on experiences usually results in longer-term happiness.
M Yes, for example, going on the holiday of a lifetime or doing something you’ve always wanted to do. That’ll make you happy while you’re doing it, and it’ll make you happy later because you also have good memories of it. So it’s a better way to be happy.
P OK, so there we have it. When you win that £5 million, forget the cars and the new house, and go for a long holiday instead.
3. Listen to Alphonso and Dragana. Which of the topics below do they talk about?
lifestyle attitude to life daily routine work money leisure
4. Are the sentences true or false? Correct the false sentences. Listen again and check.
1 They both used to work.
2 They didn’t have much money.
3 The baby hasn’t changed his attitude to life much.
4 She’s from a big city in Croatia.
5 She didn’t enjoy being in Berlin.
6 The experience has changed her attitude to other cultures.
Alphonso talks about lifestyle, attitudes to life, work, money and leisure.
Dragana talks about attitude to life.
2 F – they both had good jobs and they had a small flat in town, so they didn’t need to care about money very much
3 F – he’s become a bit more cautious than he used to be
4 F – she’s from a fairly small town
5 F – she had a good time there
ALFONSO For me, the thing that’s changed my life most is having a baby. Things are just completely diﬀerent now. We used to go out a lot, we used to travel as well, we’d go somewhere diﬀerent every year, and we didn’t use to care much about money, we both had good jobs and we had a small flat in town so we didn’t need to care about money very much. But now of course the baby’s the most important thing, so I’d say I’ve become a bit more cautious than I used to be. I used to be quite an adventurous person, I used to take all kinds of risks without thinking much about it. Whereas now I think more about having a family, having a home, having a steady job, things like that. Sounds terribly boring, doesn’t it, but it doesn’t feel boring!
DRAGANA A very big change in my life was going abroad to study. I grew up in Croatia in a fairly small town and I went to university there. But then I had a chance to go to Berlin for a year to study. And of course I had a good time there and I made new friends, but I think it also changed the way I look at life. Before I went I was quite shy and not very self-confident and I had quite a protected life, I suppose, and then in Berlin I had to look after myself and also adapt to a new culture, of course. And as a result of being there, I think I no longer see everything from a Croatian point of view but more internationally, so I’m much more open to diﬀerent ideas than I used to be, I would say – I hope so, anyway.
1. Listen to Miranda, who trained at a drama school, and Fred, who trained at a football academy. Which sentence describes their experience best?
1 They both enjoyed the training, but felt they missed a part of growing up.
2 They weren’t sure about the training, but they know they’ll do well anyway.
3 They weren’t sure about the selection process, but they feel they did well during the training.
2. Listen again. Are the sentences true or false?
1 During the audition process she had to perform scenes from plays twice.
2 She was confident she would get into drama school.
3 All her tutors were tough.
4 The school was flexible when she wasn’t sure if she wanted to continue training.
5 His parents were unsure whether he should join the academy.
6 They knew they would have to sacrifice a lot of time to help Fred.
7 He was surprised to find that he enjoyed analysing football matches.
8 He felt disappointed for his friend, Jack.
1 T 2 F – she thinks she was lucky to be selected.
3 F – one teacher was really relaxed.
4 T 5 T 6 F – he says no one knew how diﬀicult it would be.
7 T 8 T
MIRANDA I think the hardest part of drama school was actually getting into it. The audition process took for ever. First of all we had to perform two scenes from plays – one modern, one Shakespeare. Then we got called back to do the scenes again. I was supposed to prepare a song as well, but they forgot to let me know. So I just sang the first song that came into my head – can’t even remember what it was. After that, there was a workshop for a day where they made us work on new scenes from plays and do movement and voice classes. After all of that I felt really lucky to get selected. There’s no doubt the training was very thorough, I mean, we did everything – the usual voice and movement classes, but also specialised things like learning how to pretend to fight on stage – I really enjoyed those classes. The tutors were all very diﬀerent – some were really strict and tough. For example, we had a movement teacher and in her class we weren’t allowed to talk or use our voices in any way. That was really diﬀicult. But our voice teacher was really relaxed – she was cool. During my second year I went through a bit of a diﬀicult time because I wasn’t sure if acting is what I really wanted to do. I mean, drama school is a huge sacrifice. The training sort of swallowed my life – like, I lived it every single moment of the day. I kind of felt like I wasn’t having what you’d call ‘a normal life’ for a 20 year-old. The school was really flexible about this and they let me take a couple of weeks oﬀ to make up my mind. I decided to keep going and I’m glad that I did. I graduated last year and I’ve got an agent and I’ve just got a small part in a production at the Royal Shakespeare Company. So I guess you could say I’m on my way …
FRED I got into a football academy when I was eleven years old. I was playing at my local club and a scout from a professional club saw me and invited me to play in a trial match. I was really excited about this. My parents had their doubts – they were worried about me not having a normal childhood – but they could see this was a pretty unique opportunity, so they let me do it. Dad was really pleased about one thing: we were allowed to see all the club games for free. But I don’t think any of us really understood just how diﬀicult a commitment it would be. Mum and Dad were more or less forced to act as my chauﬀeurs and they had to drive me to practice three times a week and then to a match every Sunday. I had to do this and keep up with my school homework at the same time. And that meant I often wasn’t allowed to go out and play with my friends when I wanted to. Still, in the academy we had the best coaches and there’s no doubt that my playing got so much better. We also used to watch videos of matches all the time and analyse the strategy of the diﬀerent players. I enjoyed this a whole lot more than I thought I would. In fact, one of the coaches once told me that this is one of the reasons why I stood out from some of the other boys in the academy. It’s a really competitive environment and at the end of every year, there were some boys who were forced to give it all up because they didn’t get invited back for the following year. I had one mate, Jack. We started at the same time, but when we turned 16 and it became possible for some of us to earn a salary Jack wasn’t selected. And it was like the previous five years were all for nothing. And he was like my best mate and I really missed him. I did get selected though, and now I’ve got a full professional contract, so things are pretty good. Did I have a normal childhood? No, probably not. I kind of regret that, but then I’ve been given an opportunity, haven’t I? I guess you can’t have it both ways.
1. Listen to Part 1. Who are they talking to?
2. Answer the questions. Listen again and check.
1 Whose photos are they?
2 What does the tutor especially like?
3 What’s the topic for the next assignment?
Becky is showing the tutor photos that she and Tessa took for the project.
1 Becky’s and Tessa’s
2 close-up shots, sharp details and clear colours
BECKY Now let’s have a look at some of the most successful ones. Tessa took this one.
TESSA We really like the way the light is hitting the tree.
B And here’s a similar shot, but from a diﬀerent angle with a plane crossing the sky. We got some close-ups of flowers. We managed to get some good shots of daﬀodils.
T The light was really good for this one.
B And we were lucky and managed to get a couple of wildlife shots. Here’s a shot of a swan that Tessa took, And finally … my shot of a squirrel.
B Thank you for listening.
TUTOR OK, thank you, Becky and Tessa. Some very good work. There were some interesting close-up shots there, very sharp details and clear colours. Yes, a very good first assignment. Well done, both of you. OK. Now for your next assignment … Bridges. Pick a bridge that you like. Photograph it and then write an essay to go with it. OK? We’ll see how you get on. You’ve got one month.
3. Listen to Part 2. Answer the questions.
1 What are Becky and Tessa talking about?
2 Where is Becky going next?
4. Who thinks these things, Becky (B) or Tessa (T)?
1 Bridges are an interesting topic.
2 The theoretical part of the course is boring.
3 She is missing information for the essay.
1 college, a presentation, the next assignment
2 to the café
1 B 2 T 3 T
BECKY That went quite well.
B It was fun. So, bridges for the next assignment.
T Yes, bridges. So boring.
B Oh, I don’t know, it’s not that boring. All that fantastic architecture. That could be quite interesting.
T Yeah, maybe you’re right, I’m not sure. But there’s all that theory for the essay. I didn’t take any notes in yesterday’s lecture.
B Don’t worry, I took loads of notes. You can borrow mine.
T Can I?
B Sure. Come round to the café later and I’ll give them to you. Must go now. Bye!
5. Listen to Part 3. Which of these is the best summary of what happens?
1 Becky gives Tessa a coffee and some books she found in the library. Then they talk about the wedding. Then Tessa notices Phil and asks who he is.
2 Becky gives Tessa her lecture notes, then they talk about the wedding. Then Tessa meets Phil and they talk about his book.
6. Are the sentences true or false? Discuss the false sentences – what actually happens?
1 Becky gives Tessa her lecture notes and some photos.
2 Tessa is grateful to Becky for her help.
3 Becky wants Tessa to be their wedding photographer.
4 Tessa refuses because she thinks she’s not good enough.
5 Phil finishes typing and saves what he’s written.
6 Phil asks who Tessa is.
7 Tessa wants to read Phil’s novel.
1 T 2 T 3 T
4 F – she accepts
5 F – he accidentally deletes the chapter
6 F – he doesn’t, she asks who he is
BECKY Here you are. My lecture notes.
TESSA Ah great, thanks.
B And these …
T Thank you.
B And here are some other notes I made earlier.
T Ah, OK, thank you. Plenty to read here.
B It’s not too much, is it?
T Um, well … no, thank you. You’ve saved my life.
B Don’t worry, that’s OK. I’m more into the theory than you are.
T You can say that again. I hate it.
B By the way, Tom and I were sorting out the details of the wedding last night.
T Oh yeah?
B And we thought – well, if you’re interested – we’d love you to take the photos.
T Me? Are you serious?
B Yeah, why not?
T Well, I’m not … I don’t think I’m good enough.
B Oh, don’t be silly. Of course you are. Oh, will you? Please?
T Well, yes, if you want me to. I mean … I’d love to.
B Great. Better get back to work.
PHIL Oh no. No!
B What is it, Phil?
P I’ve just deleted the whole chapter. I only meant to delete the paragraph.
B Oh no.
T Who’s that?
B That’s Phil. He’s always here. He’s writing a book. Well, trying to, anyway. When he isn’t accidentally deleting his work!
T A writer … that’s interesting.
B See you later.
T Becky tells me you’re writing a book.
P Sort of.
T That’s great. I like books.
T I’d like to see what you’ve written, anyway. I’m sure it’s really good.
P Thanks. I haven’t written much yet.
T Ah well, I’d better let you get on, bye …
P Bye …
1. Listen to three people talking about living in the places in the photos. Which topics do they mention?
meeting people the climate
food and drink
the culture of the country
speaking the language
2. Listen again. Answer these questions about each speaker.
1 What did they like?
2 What did they find difficult?
3 How was it different from their own country?
Eva: meeting people; the climate; the culture
Nick: the culture; speaking the language; meeting people
Jean: meeting people; the culture; speaking the language
1 It was new, exciting; a good experience; a lot to see.
2 getting to know people, the cold weather
3 It was a big city; cold in winter; people do things indoors.
1 He stayed with a family; got to know lots of people; the people were friendly.
2 learning the language (at first)
3 not as beautiful as his home town but people were friendlier
1 He had a good salary, so he had a good time; it’s a beautiful country; people were friendly and hospitable
2 getting to know the culture
3 people had a diﬀerent lifestyle; he spent his time with other foreigners (expatriates)
EVA I got a chance to go to Toronto in Canada for a year to work for my company – I didn’t have to go there, but I chose to go because I thought it would be interesting. And it was a great experience. And, of course, at the start it was all new and exciting, and there was so much to see, so many places to go out. I’m from quite a small town in Colombia, so it was a huge diﬀerence. The most diﬀicult thing, I think, was getting to know people. I think in a big city everyone’s busy with their own life, you know, everyone’s in a hurry. It was really hard to meet people and make friends. Also, because it’s really cold in winter, nothing goes on outside in the street, everyone does things indoors in their own homes and that’s quite a big diﬀerence. Sometimes you walk down a street and you think, where is everyone? And it was so cold, that really aﬀects your mood, it makes you just want to stay indoors and as a result I felt quite lonely sometimes. So yes, it was a good experience, I’m very glad I went there, but I was quite glad to come back home again and see all my friends.
NICK I got a job teaching English in a town called Katowice in Poland. When I first went there I was very lucky, because I stayed with a family who didn’t speak English, so I was really forced to speak Polish. It was very diﬀicult at first, I couldn’t understand a word. But because I learned Polish, I very quickly got to know lots of people. I think a key to understanding a country is to learn the language – without that you only ever meet the people who speak English and you can’t ever get to know the culture. Another thing is that people often go to places that are beautiful to look at, and that’s fine if you’re a tourist. But to live in a place, I think what it looks like is the least important thing. People are much more important. For example, I come from a very beautiful old town in England – it looks great in photographs, but there’s not much going on there. Where I was in Katowice, it’s just a big industrial town, nothing special about it, but the people were very friendly and welcoming, so I very quickly felt at home there and I had a really good time. I was supposed to stay there for three months but I ended up staying for a year!
JEAN I work for a large engineering company and I went to work in Oman, in the Gulf, for a year. And I had a very good time there. I had a good salary so I ate out a lot and, at weekends, I went diving and swimming and went on trips into the mountains or the desert. It’s a very beautiful country. So, as I say, I had a good time there, but I don’t feel I ever really got to know the culture. I never got under the surface of it, so as a result I remained an outsider. People were very friendly, very hospitable, and I spent some time with the local employees who worked with us – we often went out together. But I suppose because the culture is very diﬀerent and you’re working hard every day, it’s easier to spend your time with other foreigners, so my friends were mostly Europeans. I know it’s not a good excuse, but it’s what most foreign visitors do – they end up in a group of expatriates and have their own lifestyle, and that results in them being like a separate community. Maybe I should have tried harder to learn Arabic, I did try to learn a bit, but I never learned to speak it well enough to have a real conversation with people.
1. Listen to some interviews with university graduates. How many are unhappy with their final results at university? Tick (✓) the correct answer.
1 one student
2 two students
3 three students
4 all four students
2. Listen again and tick (✓) the correct answers.
1 What do we learn about Carl’s summer?
a He studied a lot during this period.
b He had to buy a lot of books.
c He was very busy at work.
2 Why did Carl find his experience at university difficult?
a He had to pay a lot for the course.
b He has a young family to look after.
c He had to work and study at the same time.
3 Why did Samantha mention the fact she had three exams in two days?
a To show that this was really the only difficulty she had.
b Because she is unhappy with the university administration.
c To explain how little control you have over your timetable as a student.
4 Why didn’t Luke get the final mark he wanted?
a He had a bad cold during the last two exams.
b His performance in his final two exams wasn’t strong enough.
c He was seriously ill on the day of one exam.
5 Which of the following opinions does Luke express?
a He doesn’t think that you should have to take an exam if you are seriously ill.
b He is sure he would have got the mark he wanted if he hadn’t been ill.
c He thinks the university shouldn’t consider illness only on the day of an exam.
6 Which of the following statements best matches something Jane says?
a You need to get a lot of sleep to succeed at university.
b It’s harder to get a degree if you don’t have friends or family who have studied at university.
c It’s better to go to university before you’re 40.
7 What do we learn about Jane’s work situation?
a She hopes she will get a chance to progress more at work now that she’s finished her course.
b She’s found a new job since she finished her university course.
c She thinks it’s going to be hard to find a job even though she now has a university degree.
1 a 2 c 3 a 4 b 5 c 6 b 7 a
REPORTER I’m here on the grounds of the University of South Norwood, on a day that many of the students here will remember for a long time – graduation day. I took the chance to speak to some of them today about this – you could maybe call it a life-changing day.
OK, so I’m here with Carl. How are you feeling today?
CARL Pretty happy! It’s not been easy. I had to work really hard this summer, a lot of revision, a lot of time spent in the library or in my room with a pile of books in front of me. It was all pretty gruelling really.
R Was it worth it?
C Oh, yeah, definitely. I feel great today. All the hard work paid off, I suppose. It’s really been a struggle at times – I’m a full-time student, or I was, but I also had to work in a restaurant for 20 hours a week to support my studies. So it was a challenge sometimes. But today, being here with my family and getting my diploma – it’s great, and it’s why I put all that effort in.
R Great, well, congratulations!
C Thank you.
R So, Samantha, are you happy today?
SAMANTHA Of course! It means I’ve finished university now and I can go and find a job!
R So how has it been? It must have been a lot of work for you to get through.
S Well, yeah, I suppose. It’s been tricky sometimes, but it’s never been a struggle. I found most parts of my course quite straightforward. I always did quite well in my exams, so it wasn’t a big problem really. The only thing was that I had to do my last three exams in two days – that was quite demanding. But in the end, you just do it – you’re forced to really, there’s no choice.
R Enjoy your day.
R OK, so we’re going to speak to Luke. How are you feeling?
LUKE OK, I suppose. Yeah, pretty good.
R You’re not happy that you’re graduating today?
L Yeah, I am happy. But I’m a bit disappointed as well. I didn’t get the grade I was hoping for, so today, well I’m happy, but I’m also a little bit … sad, I suppose.
R Sorry to hear that. Do you want to tell us what went wrong?
L I don’t know really. In my last two exams, I just didn’t get very good marks, and that influenced my final grade for my whole degree. I had a really bad cold in the week before those last two exams, so I think that affected me a bit. But unless you’re seriously ill on the day of the exam itself, the university doesn’t take things like that into account. I don’t think it’s right because it probably had an effect on my performance in those two exams.
R Well, I hope you enjoy your day despite your disappointment.
R So, Jane, how are you feeling right now?
JANE I feel great! And relieved! It means I can relax a bit.
R What kinds of things will you remember about your time at university?
J Mainly being tired, I think! It’s been a pretty punishing time. As you can probably tell, I’m a bit older than most of the students graduating today. I was 40 when I decided to go to university. None of my friends had ever gone to university, nobody in my family. So that really stretched me, really challenged me. But that’s also why I wanted to do it.
R And what’s the future for you now? Have you found a job yet?
J Well, I already had a job – I never gave it up. But hopefully, having a degree will open up a few more opportunities for me at work. I was a bit stuck before, I think.
R Thanks, and best of luck.
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- 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 – Chance