A. Listen to Yoshiko, Diego, and Suzanne talking about their school experiences. Answer the questions.
1 What examples does Yoshiko give for how she is typical? In what way is she different?
2 What are three ways that Diego’s life is typical? In what way doesn’t he follow the crowd?
3 Does Suzanne give an example of how her life is unconventional? If so, what is it?
B. Listen again. Do Yoshiko, Diego, and Suzanne believe they are typical or different from most people their age?
Answers & Audioscripts
1 Yoshiko is typical because she goes to high school five days a week and has similar interests to most of her friends. She’s different because she spent six years living outside of Japan.
2 Diego is typical because he goes to school at seven every morning, he studies or plays sports after school, and on the weekends he likes to get together with friends. He doesn’t follow the crowd because he likes to do his own thing sometimes.
3 Yes. Suzanne explains that her life is unconventional because she goes to a school for the arts.
In some ways, small ways, I’m just a typical Japanese teenager. I go to high school five days a week, just like everyone else. I have interests similar to most of my friends. A bunch of us joined the sports club at school. Right now, it’s our volleyball season. When the weather gets nicer, we’ll start track. And, oh, I love hip-hop music. It drives my parents crazy!
There’s one big way I’m different, though. I spent almost six years living outside Japan. My father’s company transferred him overseas – to Mexico – and of course we went with him. Fitting in to a foreign culture was really tough at first, but I guess I’m lucky in a way. I learned to speak Spanish fluently, and I made a lot of good friends there. We still email each other almost every day. So you can see that I’m really quite a bit different from my classmates!
I don’t know. My life is pretty typical, I think. I head off to school at seven in the morning, and school finishes early afternoon. After school, I usually study or play sports. On weekends, I like to get together with my friends. We usually hang out in one of the shopping malls. Everyone just shows up there on Saturdays and Sundays. It’s a lot of fun . . . most of the time.
I think one way I’m kind of different is that I like to do my own thing sometimes. I don’t always want to hang out with the group, you know? My friends always want me to hang out with them, but I don’t always listen to what they say. I guess you could say that I think for myself. Sometimes it makes my friends upset, but too bad – that’s just the way I am. But really, overall, I think I’m pretty typical for my age.
I guess I worry about the same things other kids my age do . . . you know, grades, and getting along with my parents, and stuff like that. I guess I’m doing OK in school, but I have to study really hard. I just want to make sure that my grades are good enough so I can get into a decent university. I’m pretty much like everyone else. I go to classes, attend club meetings after school, and then do my homework at night. Weekends are great because I get to sleep late. And, uh, oh yeah, I’m also a member of the orchestra at school. I play the violin.
My school is a little different from most schools in the U.S., though. We study all the core subjects, like most other students. In the morning, science, math, English, history – the usual stuff. But unlike most schools, we study things like music, dance, and art in the afternoon. See, I go to a special school for the arts. A lot of us have dreams of becoming dancers or singers someday. That’s why we spend so much time learning the arts. So, yeah, I guess my life is pretty different from most kids my age.
A. Listen to Dominique, Carla, and Wayne talking about their personal concerns. What kind of problem solver is each person?
B. Listen again. What are two things each person did to solve their problem?
Answers & Audioscripts
Dominique: She read consumer magazines and did research online. She also read the classified ads to find a used car.
Carla: She wrote a few important questions to ask each job candidate. She gave herself five minutes to decide.
Wayne: He asked everyone for an opinion about where he should go. After that, he searched the Internet for the best price.
I used to see something I liked and I would just buy it. But now, I’m saving for my future. I mean, someday I want to own my own home. Anyway, I find making expensive purchases quite difficult. Probably because now I don’t want to make a mistake and get stuck, especially for something that costs a lot of money, like a car. So, when I bought my car, I knew I just couldn’t go to a used car lot and choose one! No impulse buys for me! I needed a lot of time to think it over and consider the options. So, first, I read consumer magazines and did research online to see how the cars were rated. I wanted to know the average prices and safety records of different cars. I mean, you never know. And once I decided which one I liked, I read the classified ads until I found someone who was selling one used. I suppose you could say that my approach takes a lot of time, but once I make up my mind, I feel secure in my decisions. It’s so different from the way I used to be.
I’m in charge of hiring new staff for my department at work. Recently, I had to hire someone for a pretty important position in the company. Now, I had it narrowed down pretty quickly to two people, Tony and Max. It was a little harder after that because they had very similar résumés. And they were both really impressive during the interview.
Now, I have to admit that I hate to waste time making decisions. So here’s what I did. First, I wrote down a few important questions and called each person right away to talk to them one last time. Then I hung up the phone, looked at the clock, and gave myself five minutes to decide. It didn’t even take me that long. Tony had said he would work for less money than we were offering, so I hired Max. I didn’t want to hire someone who was willing to settle for less.
The way I see it, you just have to go with your instincts – that is, you do what you think is best and then just hope that it works out. I mean, we all get strong feelings about things, and usually, those feelings are right. The important thing is to act quickly! I’ve been pretty lucky so far. The people I’ve hired have all worked out – no major problems yet.
Now I know why I never used to get anything done. I used to try and make important decisions all by myself, but I would just get really confused. It was like the more I thought about something and considered all the options, the more frustrated I got. I could sit and analyze something forever. My friends say that I can always see both sides of everything, which makes it hard to decide on anything! You can imagine how irritated my friends must have been with me. I finally got tired of never accomplishing anything. Now, when I have to make an important decision, I talk to a lot of people and get their input.
When I was deciding where to spend my winter vacation last year, I asked everyone for their opinion. Basically what I did was pose this question: “Where would you go in December if you had three weeks?” I listened to all the answers and then made my decision. And then, after that, I searched on the Internet for the best price. You might think I’m strange, but it worked. Based on everyone’s advice, I went to Miami. I had an amazing vacation and I got a great deal, too!
A. Listen to the phone conversation between Tony and Annie. What is Tony’s agency doing? Choose the correct answer.
a They’re exploring the possibilities of using cell phones in advertising.
b They’re analyzing the effectiveness of their advertisements.
c They’re working to improve a company’s image.
B. Listen again. Match the roles on the left with the personality types on the right.
1 Solver ___
2 Team manager ___
3 Explorer ___
4 Analyst ___
5 Motivator ___
Answers & Audioscripts
1 d 2 b 3 e 4 a 5 c
Annie: Hi, Tony.
Tony: Hi, Annie!
Annie: So, how was the first day of work at the advertising agency?
Tony: Actually, it was really interesting.
Annie: Really? What happened?
Tony: Well, our agency was just hired by a new client. It’s a cell phone company, and they want to change their whole image. It’s a huge project, so my boss is putting together a team of people to work on the project. The first thing we did was a test to see what sort of team role we’re best at.
Annie: I guess your boss needs a lot of creative people for the project, people who are really innovative.
Tony: Well, not only creative people. Apparently, the most effective teams are a mixture of five different personality types. They call them STEAM teams.
Annie: Really? Steam like S-T-E-A-M? What are the five types? What does STEAM stand for?
Tony: Well, as you said, he needs creative people. You know, somebody who’s able to solve problems creatively. That person is called the Solver, which is the S in STEAM.
Tony: Then you need a Team Manager. Somebody good at organizing everybody, and very patient. It’s not the most exciting role, but it’s very important. The Team Manager is the T.
Annie: I see.
Tony: Then you need somebody really resourceful and willing to explore all the possible alternatives. That’s the E – the Explorer.
Annie: OK, what does the A stand for?
Tony: The Analyst. That’s someone really good at analyzing situations and who is also very disciplined.
Annie: And the M?
Tony: The Motivator. That’s someone really enthusiastic and passionate, someone who motivates the rest of the team; someone really energetic.
Annie: So, which one are you?
Tony: Guess. You know me.
Annie: No, I don’t want to guess.
Tony: Come on. Guess.
Annie: OK. Well, I think you’re very responsible and sensible. You’re very calm. I think you’re probably a Team Manager. Am I right?
Tony: No. I’m a Motivator. Anyway, I’ll tell you more later. I’ve got to go right now and . . .
- 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 – Chance