Exercise 1

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

B. Listen again. Answer the questions.

 What is Elena doing when Gina greets her?

 What kind of seat did Elena get on the plane?

 What does Elena need to do before she forgets?

 Why doesn’t Elena like to use the airline app?

C. Listen. Complete the conversation.

Gina:   You like sitting next to the window? I prefer an __________ seat myself.

Elena:   Really?

Gina:   Yeah. It’s __________ sitting next to the window. It’s so much easier to get up and move around.

Elena:   True. But don’t you hate having to get up for people when they want to get in or out? That always bothers me.

Answers & Audioscripts

A B

Gina:   Hi, Elena.

Elena:   Hey! Just a second—There! All checked in.

Gina:   What are you up to?

Elena:   I’m getting ready to go to the Toronto office. I have a meeting there tomorrow.

Gina:   Oh, I love Toronto. When do you fly out?

Elena:   Tomorrow morning. My flight is at 10:00, so I won’t have to get up too early.

Gina:   That’s good.

Elena:   Yeah, and I’ve got a window seat, so I can get some sleep if I need to.

Gina:   You like sitting next to the window? I prefer an aisle seat myself.

Elena:   Really?

Gina:   Yeah. It’s more convenient than sitting next to the window. It’s so much easier to get up and move around.

Elena:   True. But don’t you hate having to get up for people when they want to get in or out? That always bothers me.

Gina:   Yeah, but I feel so uncomfortable next to the window. There’s no room to stretch out my legs, and I feel bad asking the other people in my row to let me out.

Elena:   Huh. I guess we’ll never argue over seats if we ever take a flight together!

Gina:   Ha-ha. We’re a good match!

Elena:   Yep! Oh, before I forget—I need to print my boarding pass.

Gina:   Don’t you use the airline app? You can just scan your boarding pass from your phone when you get to security. Using the app is much easier than printing everything out.

Elena:   I know, but I prefer having the piece of paper in my hand. It just makes me feel safer.

Gina:   Ah, I see. Well, I’ll let you get back to work. Have a great trip if I don’t see you before you leave.

Elena:   Thanks!

C

Gina:   You like sitting next to the window? I prefer an aisle seat myself.

Elena:   Really?

Gina:   Yeah. It’s more convenient than sitting next to the window. It’s so much easier to get up and move around.

Elena:   True. But don’t you hate having to get up for people when they want to get in or out? That always bothers me.

Exercise 2

A. Listen. What do Gina and Elena mainly talk about?

B. Listen again. Answer the questions.

1   Where is Elena going next week?

2   What does Elena ask Gina?

3   What did Elena use to do every summer with her family in Peru?

4   What does Elena remember the most about her childhood trips?

C. Listen. Complete the conversation.

Gina:   When I was a kid, my family _________ take the train to visit my grandparents in Chicago every year.

Elena:   Whoa! From New York? That must have been a long trip!

Gina:   _________! It took about 24 hours each way. But it was a lot of fun. We’d play card games for hours. When we got hungry, we’d eat in the dining _________.

Elena:   That does sound fun.

Answers & Audioscripts

A B

Elena:   Hey, Gina! Can I get your opinion on something?

Gina:   Sure, what’s up?

Elena:   Well, I have this conference to go to in Philadelphia next week, and I’m not sure how to get there. Do you think I should rent a car or take the train?

Gina:   Given the choice, I always take the train.

Elena:   Really? Why?

Gina:   Well, for starters, it’s much more relaxing. I don’t have to worry about the traffic on the highway. I can just read or get some work done.

Elena:   True.

Gina:   Plus, I’ve always loved taking the train. It reminds me of my childhood.

Elena:   Oh yeah? How so?

Gina:   When I was a kid, my family used to take the train to visit my grandparents in Chicago every year.

Elena:   Whoa! From New York? That must have been a long trip!

Gina:   Definitely! It took about 24 hours each way. But it was a lot of fun. We’d play card games for hours. When we got hungry, we’d eat in the dining car.

Elena:   That does sound fun.

Gina:   After dinner, we’d go back to our car and turn our seats into beds. I loved falling asleep to the sounds of the train rolling along the tracks.

Elena:   What a wonderful memory! It reminds me of the road trips I used to take with my family in Peru. Every summer, we’d take a trip to visit relatives.

Gina:   I’ve always wanted to explore Peru.

Elena:   Yeah—we had family all over, so some of the trips were really long. To pass the time, we’d sing songs and look out the window as the world went by.

Gina:   Nice!

Elena:   Yeah, but not everything was great. Sometimes my brothers and I argued about the smallest things. My poor parents!

Gina:   Oh…My sister and I did the same thing!

Elena:   Then, there was always something that went wrong, like the time our car broke down and we had to walk for miles to get help.

Gina:   Oh, no! I guess when you look back, those things were half the fun, right?

Elena:   Well, at the time they weren’t, but now I remember them the most.

C

Gina:   When I was a kid, my family used to take the train to visit my grandparents in Chicago every year.

Elena:   Whoa! From New York? That must have been a long trip!

Gina:   Definitely! It took about 24 hours each way. But it was a lot of fun. We’d play card games for hours. When we got hungry, we’d eat in the dining car.

Elena:   That does sound fun.

Exercise 3

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

B. Listen again. Circle the correct adverb of degree to complete the sentence.

 It’s easy to be a bit / quite disappointed with our progress.

 Maybe our ideas about flying have been somewhat / extremely unrealistic.

 We need to be fairly / really careful about saying that things won’t happen.

C. Listen again. Complete the sentences with the correct type of transportation.

 French artists imagined firefighters with __________.

 Popular Mechanics thought we would have personal __________ in our garages.

 In the 1930s, people thought __________ would be a major form of transportation.

 Supersonic __________ didn’t succeed because they were too loud and expensive.

5   H.G. Wells said that we would never have __________.

6   A well-known businessman said __________ were just a fad.

Answers & Audioscripts

Where’s My Flying Car?

Is tremendous progress being made in transportation technology? Of course! But if you grew up on science fiction, like I did, it’s hard not to feel a little let down that we don’t have all the cool stuff we’ve seen in the movies. I mean, it was thought that by now people would be zooming through cities in flying cars, making short trips around town with jetpacks, and taking vacations on the moon, or even better, teleporting instantly from place to place.

It’s easy to be a bit disappointed with our progress, but humans have a long history of making predictions about travel that haven’t come true, especially when it comes to flying. Leonardo da Vinci drew machines with wings like birds that he imagined we could use to fly with one day. And later, French artists imagined firefighters with wings flying to the top of a burning building to put out the flames. In 1951, the magazine Popular Mechanics predicted that many of us would soon have personal helicopters. They would hold two people, run on any kind of fuel, and ft in our garages.

And then there are airships, which have fascinated people for centuries. At one time it was believed that they would become a major form of transportation. The first airship was built in 1852. By the 1930s, they were carrying rich people across the Atlantic and the future looked bright. But then there were a few deadly explosions, most famously the Hindenburg crash, and people lost interest in airships for good.

Another failed experiment, at least so far, has been with supersonic airplanes—planes that fly faster than the speed of sound. When the Concorde jet came out in the late 1960s, it was widely expected that super-fast planes would take over the airline industry. Everyone thought that we’d soon be flying from New York to Tokyo in four hours. But the flights were too expensive for most people, and too loud to fly over cities. Because of these issues, supersonic flights soon lost their appeal. We’re still waiting for those super-fast planes to come back.

Maybe our ideas about flying have been somewhat unrealistic, but the travel predictions that have really failed are the ones that underestimated the impact of new technologies. In 1901, the writer H.G. Wells said that we would never have submarines because the people on them wouldn’t be able to breathe. In 1903, a well-known businessman urged people not to invest in the Ford Motor Company. He said the automobile was just a fad, and that “the horse is here to stay.” In 1920, the New York Times said that a rocket would never work in space, but 50 years later, we had put a man on the moon.

Since we haven’t yet achieved our sci-f future, it may seem like our transportation technologies aren’t going to change as much as they have in the past. But from looking at failed predictions, it should be clear that we need to be really careful about saying that things won’t happen. Maybe you think that jetpacks won’t ever become common, or that humans will never really live on Mars—but they might. The only thing we can really be sure of is that things are going to change, and that none of us knows exactly how. Personally, I’m still hoping for that flying car.

Exercise 4

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

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

1   Why can’t transportation always move in a horizontal direction?

2   What three transportation systems are described in the article?

3   Why might urban planners have to develop new transportation systems in the future?

Answers & Audioscripts

UNIQUE WAYS OF TRAVELING UP AND DOWN

Transportation usually moves people from side to side. Not every city, however, has the right conditions to transport everyone in this way. In places such as Hong Kong, Medellín, and Quebec City, urban planners have had to develop unique transportation systems that carry people mainly up and down.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is an extremely mountainous city, so horizontal movement is limited. It took urban planners a while to find a solution to this problem. Finally, in 1993, they opened the Central-Mid-Levels escalator and moving walkway system. It connects the lower Central district of Hong Kong Island with the higher Mid-Levels district.

At 800 meters (2,600 feet) long, it is the largest outdoor covered escalator and moving walkway system in the world. It is lined with shops and restaurants, so it is not only a practical way to move people around, it is also a huge tourist attraction. In fact, it has been called one of the world’s coolest commutes.

Medellín

In Medellín, Colombia, the problem was slightly different. Urban planners needed to figure out how to help people who lived on the steep hills around the city. These people had a hard time making it down to the main part of the city for shopping, school, and work because there were so few public buses.

The solution turned out to be the Metrocable gondola system. Opened in 2004, this transportation system connects people on the hillsides with other public transportation options in the city. It has already made a huge difference. The first line, Line K, carries about 30,000 people every day, and greatly reduces their commuting time. The city continues to add new lines to the system in order to increase the number of people it serves.

Quebec City

In Quebec City, Canada, the problem was how to link two different parts of the city. Urban planners wanted to connect the Lower Town section with the Upper Town section. These two parts of the city are not far apart, but they are separated by a steep hill.

The Old Quebec Funicular became the solution to this problem. A funicular is a type of railroad that uses cables to move cars up and down. Serving both the residents of Quebec and tourists, it opened in 1879 as a water-powered system and switched to electric power in 1907. Despite stretching just 64 meters (210 feet), it rises 59 meters (194 feet) at a 45-degree angle, making it feel like an amusement park ride. It gives people a fun, more relaxing way of getting from one part of the city to the other.

By 2050, experts predict that there will be 10 billion people on Earth and more than 6.5 billion of them will live in cities. This will create new challenges for the world’s current transportation systems. It is likely that urban planners will have to come up with new systems to help everyone get around.

Exercise 5

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

B. Listen again. Answer the questions.

 How does Junio describe the place in the presentation?

 What three activities does Junio recommend doing there?

Answers & Audioscripts

A couple of years ago, I visited Osaka, a large city in Japan. It’s a very beautiful city with lots of interesting things to do. Three activities I’d recommend in Osaka are seeing a traditional puppet show, riding the Ferris wheel, and visiting Osaka Castle Park.

First, Osaka is famous for its traditional puppet shows. Each of the puppets is a very large, heavy doll. People dressed in black stand behind the dolls and move their eyes, mouth, head, arms, and legs. Another person narrates the story and makes the voices for all the characters. At the same time, a musician plays a Japanese instrument that looks like a guitar. The stories are really dramatic, full of history and romance.

The second activity I’d recommend is riding the Ferris wheel in Osaka Bay. At 112.5 meters tall, it was the largest one in the world when it opened, and it takes more than fifteen minutes to go all the way around. The view from the top is amazing, and some of the cars have a transparent floor, so you can even see what’s below you from up above. At night, the Ferris wheel lights up to display the time and the word “Welcome.” It even shows a picture of what the weather will be like for the next day.

Last, I’d recommend going to Osaka Castle Park. There you can relax, enjoy a picnic, and learn about the castle’s history. The park also has a tea room, a fountain, and stages for outdoor concerts. It’s a popular place in the spring, when the cherry blossom trees are in bloom.

Osaka is a magnificent city with so much to offer. I’d recommend seeing the traditional puppet shows, Ferris wheel, and Osaka Castle Park. But I hope you can explore even more places if you go there.

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