Exercise 1

A. Listen. What is the conversation about?

B. Listen again. Then answer the questions.

 What is Pablo trying to buy?

 Why is the AirEye 2100 a good choice?

 Why can’t Pablo buy it at the store?

C. Listen. Complete the conversation.

Pablo:   What’s your return policy if I buy something online?

Store assistant:   Well, you can either return it here or to one of our other stores, or you can ship it back. Just remember to keep your ___________.

Pablo:   And I can get a full refund?

Store assistant:   That’s correct. ___________ you return it within thirty days and it’s in its original packaging, you can get your money back.

Pablo:   ___________ you’re saying that if I want to return it, I need to return the box as well?

Store assistant:   Right.

Answers & Audioscripts

A B

Store Assistant:   Can I help you find anything today?

Pablo:   Yes, thanks. I’m looking for a drone.

Store Assistant:   OK. I can help you with that. Is there a particular brand or model you’re looking for?

Pablo:   Well, I’d like something that can take great pictures and videos. My friend recommended the AirEye 2100.

Store Assistant:   The AirEye 2100 is a good choice. It’s got the best camera on the market.

Pablo:   Great! Can I take a look at it?

Store Assistant:   Unfortunately, we’re out of stock right now. But you can order it from our website. If you order it by 5 o’clock, it’ll ship to you on the same day.

Pablo:   OK, but what if I don’t like it? What’s your return policy if I buy something online?

Store Assistant:   Well, you can either return it here or to one of our other stores, or you can ship it back. Just remember to keep your packing slip.

Pablo:   And I can get a full refund?

Store Assistant:   That’s correct. As long as you return it within 30 days and it’s in its original packaging, you can get your money back.

Pablo:   So you’re saying that if I want to return it, I need to return the box as well?

Store Assistant:   Right.

Pablo:   Okay, and if I ship it back, do I have to pay the return shipping cost?

Store Assistant:   Yes, unless the drone was damaged or defective when you received it. In that case, we’ll send you a return shipping label and you can ship it back for free.

Pablo:   Ok. Got it. I’ll check out your website later. Thanks for your help!

Store Assistant:   My pleasure.

C

Pablo:   What’s your return policy if I buy something online?

Store Assistant:   Well, you can either return it here or to one of our other stores, or you can ship it back. Just remember to keep your packing slip.

Pablo:   And I can get a full refund?

Store Assistant:   That’s correct. As long as you return it within 30 days and it’s in its original packaging, you can get your money back.

Pablo:   So you’re saying that if I want to return it, I need to return the box as well?

Store Assistant:   Right.

Exercise 2

A. Listen. What is Pablo having trouble with?

B. Listen again. Answer the questions.

 Why does Pablo want to buy a used car?

 What advice does Gina give Pablo?

 What does Pablo plan to do this weekend?

C. Listen. Complete the conversation.

Pablo:   I’m having a little trouble getting a loan.

Gina:   Oh, that’s too bad.

Pablo:   It turns out I have a great credit score, but I don’t have much __________. I’ve only had a credit card for a few years, and I’ve never needed to borrow a lot of money before.

Gina:   So they __________ for the loan?

Pablo:   Well, no. But the guy at the car dealership said that if my overall credit had been better, I __________ qualified for a lower interest rate.

Answers & Audioscripts

A B

Gina:   Hey, Pablo, what are you doing? Are you working through lunch?

Pablo:   No, I’m just looking online for a used car.

Gina:   No kidding? I didn’t know you were shopping for a car.

Pablo:   Yeah, I’ve been thinking about getting one for a while now.

Gina:   Do you really need a car in the city?

Pablo:   Well, no, not exactly. But I’ve gotten tired of taking public transportation. And the cost of renting cars and using ride-sharing services is getting too high.

Gina:   I know what you mean.

Pablo:   Plus, I’d like to be able to go wherever I want, whenever I want.

Gina:   Awesome!

Pablo:   Yeah, there’s just one problem. I’m having a little trouble getting a loan.

Gina:   Oh, that’s too bad.

Pablo:   It turns out I have a great credit score, but I don’t have much credit history. I’ve only had a credit card for a few years, and I’ve never needed to borrow a lot of money before.

Gina:   So, they turned you down for the loan?

Pablo:   Well, no. But the guy at the car dealership said that if my overall credit had been better, I could have qualified for a lower interest rate.

Gina:   So the rate wasn’t that good.

Pablo:   Yeah, and they wanted me to make a pretty big down payment too. I’m not sure that I want to do that.

Gina:   You know, you should definitely shop around. My sister took out a car loan last year. She talked to five different lenders before she found the best deal.

Pablo:   Good to know. I’ll go online and do some more research this weekend.

Gina:   Good luck! Let me know how it goes!

C

Pablo:   I’m having a little trouble getting a loan.

Gina:   Oh, that’s too bad.

Pablo:   It turns out I have a great credit score, but I don’t have much credit history. I’ve only had a credit card for a few years, and I’ve never needed to borrow a lot of money before.

Gina:   So they turned you down for the loan?

Pablo:   Well, no. But the guy at the car dealership said that if my overall credit had been better, I could have qualified for a lower interest rate.

Exercise 3

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

B. Listen again. Answer the questions.

How does the introduction catch the listeners’ interest?

How does the conclusion connect the topic to the listener?

C. Listen again. Answer the questions.

 What was the most famous bizarre crowdfunding campaign?

 How did Mozart use crowdfunding?

 What kinds of campaigns is crowdfunding used for now?

 Why do creators like crowdfunding?

 Why do investors like crowdfunding?

Answers & Audioscripts

Crowdfunding: Here to Stay?

Imagine this. You have a little extra money, and you’re thinking of donating it to a good cause. Would you ever give it to help people count squirrels in a park? Or finance a comedian who wants to pay a skywriter to write a silly joke in the sky?

These might sound like strange ways to spend your money, but they’re actually two real crowdfunding campaigns. The squirrel-counters collected about $4,000. And the comedian raised more than $6,000. He got the skywriter to write, “How do I land,” by the way.

The most famous of all the bizarre crowdfunding projects, though, was started by a guy named Zack Brown, who posted a crowdfunding request for $10 so that he could make some potato salad. He meant it as a joke, but the request went viral, and a month later he had raised, get this, $55,492. He used the money to have a huge party where about 2,000 people came to listen to music, donate money to charity, and, yes, eat a quarter ton of potato salad.

But most crowdfunding is not a joke. And it’s not just a recent phenomenon either. Even Mozart got into the act in the 1780s. He didn’t have enough money to perform a concert of his new music so he asked for donations in advance. To say thanks, donors received copies of the sheet music. In the 1970s, Indian filmmaker Shyam Benegal crowdfunded a movie by convincing people to invest a little money in exchange for onscreen credit. And, in 1999, in one of the first successful online crowdfunding campaigns, British rock band Marillion asked 6,000 fans to pay for their next album in advance. And guess what! The fans donated $60,000—enough to record and promote the music.

Since 2010, crowdfunding has become mainstream, bringing in billions of dollars every year. Much of this money goes to charity, as well as supporting artists, writers, and musicians. People also contribute millions each year to new products, like an innovative watch that uses the energy created by a person’s wrist movements to charge itself.

Some crowdfunding projects never get off the ground because they don’t raise enough money or have strong enough business plans. Occasionally, projects also turn out to be scams. One crowdfunding campaign raised more than $400,000 for a homeless man who had apparently spent all his money to help a couple who had run out of gas. This story later turned out to be false. But despite some risk to investors, the popularity of crowdfunding has exploded. Even some big corporations are running fundraising campaigns for new products before developing them.

If you’re a creator, it’s pretty clear why crowdfunding is so popular. Instead of borrowing money or finding rich investors, you can get many small donations with almost no risk. And it’s a great way to test the popularity of your idea. But why do people donate to these campaigns? Well, when it comes to charity, crowdfunding has made it easy for people to feel like they’re making a difference, even though they’re giving small amounts. Crowdfunding your favorite artists and musicians makes you feel closer to the creative people you admire. And, in terms of products, people love being in on the ground floor of exciting new business ideas.

Experts predict that by 2025, crowdfunding can be helping people and businesses to raise more than $300 billion each year. It may be the case that, in the future, most of the entertainment we’ll enjoy and the items we’ll own will come from crowdfunding campaigns. Crowdfunding is here to stay.

Now, who has some ideas for the next big crowdfunding project?

Exercise 4

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

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

1   How did Leslie’s mood change after she started volunteering?

2   What happens to people’s brain chemistry when they give?

3   How does giving affect people’s blood pressure?

4   Does it matter how or what we give? Why or why not?

Answers & Audioscripts

GIVING REALLY IS GOOD FOR YOU

For weeks after Leslie lost the job she loved, she felt terrible. Then, one day after another disappointing job interview, she passed a homeless shelter and decided on the spot to volunteer there. Just making the decision made her feel good, and since then, her mood has improved a lot.

“I started volunteering because I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives,” she said, “but since I’ve started working here, I feel much better. I think volunteering is helping me more than it’s helping them.”

Leslie’s situation isn’t really that unusual. People often feel good when they give their time, money, or things to a good cause. What is more surprising, though, is that there is a lot of scientific research that proves giving really is good for our mental and physical health.

Better Mental Health

When researchers at the University of Oregon studied the brains of nineteen women, they discovered something interesting. The pleasure areas in the women’s brains lit up, or became more active, when these women chose to donate some money to charity. When we give, our brain chemistry actually changes. Our brains release chemicals, such as serotonin and oxycodone, that make us feel happier.

Giving doesn’t just make us happier. It also reduces our stress. Researchers at Yale University and UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) figured this out by studying the lives of seventy-seven adults. They asked the adults to keep track of two things: how many times each day they felt stressed out and how often they did kind things for others. The people who were kind to others more often were less affected by stress.

Better Physical Health

Being generous doesn’t just affect how we feel. Researchers at the University of California and the University of British Columbia have learned that it can also lower people’s blood pressure. The researchers gave some money to seventy-three adults with high blood pressure. They told half the adults to spend the money on themselves and the other half to spend the money on other people. After six weeks, the people who had spent the money on other people had lower blood pressure than the people who had spent the money on themselves.

Being generous can not only lower our blood pressure, but it can also help us live longer. Researchers at the University of Michigan determined this by studying 423 elderly couples for five years. They  discovered that the elderly people who helped others were more than 50 percent more likely to live longer than those who didn’t.

Giving Can Take Many Forms

Overall, the research showed that it doesn’t really matter how or what you give. Whether you donate millions of dollars to medical research or spend an hour a week talking to a lonely person, you can get the same health benefits.

Now, Leslie is still looking for a new job, but volunteering has given her a whole new perspective on life. “The experience has taught me so much,” she said. “I’m starting to realize that it really is better to give than receive.”

Exercise 5

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

B. Listen again. Answer the questions.

 Why was Misaki excited by the project?

 Who is this product good for?

 What did the creator offer to investors?

Answers & Audioscripts

Kayaking is a great way to exercise, and it’s relaxing, too. Whenever I’m on the water in a boat, I feel so far from the stress of my daily life and much closer to nature.

Right now, my apartment isn’t big enough for a kayak, so I was really excited about this crowdfunding project I found. It raised enough money to build a kayak that folds up like a piece of origami.

The creator of the project came up with the idea when he moved to a new apartment and didn’t have enough space for his kayak. He decided to make one that would fold up and fit in his closet.

To get people to invest in his project, he offered them gifts like T-shirts, waterproof bags, and water bottles. By the end of his campaign, he had raised more than $440,000 from over 700 investors.

Now, his company makes several different kinds of foldable kayaks. They are great for lakes, rivers, and even the ocean. Each one is made from a piece of plastic that can be refolded thousands of times. And they take just minutes to put together!

It’s amazing that someone with a creative idea like a foldable kayak can use crowdfunding to raise money and turn that idea into a reality. I’m glad crowdfunding has made it possible for me to get a boat that can ft in my closet.

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