Exercise 1

A. Listen to a conversation between two friends. What is Karla trying to do? Choose the correct answer.

a   She’s trying to set up her personal profile on a social networking site.

b   She’s using a website to organize a class reunion.

c   She’s replying to messages she got from ex-classmates.

B. Listen again. Are these statements true or false? Choose the correct answer.




1   Karla is intimidated by the website technology.

2   Lucy isn’t sure that the reunion will be completely harmonious.

3   Neither woman liked Andrew very much.

4   Renée’s fashion taste has changed since she was in high school.

5   Mike’s style has changed since he was in high school.



b   She’s using a website to organize a class reunion.


1 False   2 True   3 True   4 False   5 True


Lucy:   Hi, Karla, what are you up to?

Karla:   Hey, Lucy. I’m on this social networking site, and I’m trying to reconnect with people from high school. I’ve started organizing our 25-year class reunion. It’s less than six months away. I really can’t keep putting it off. You’re coming, right?

Lucy:   Of course. So, how’s it going?

Karla:   Well, I ran into a couple of problems at first, but now I’ve figured out how to use the site. It’s really easy. It’s got a neat search feature you can use to find people who went to a specific school in certain years. I’ve already created a profile for the reunion, and I’ve connected with quite a few people from our class. You can see some of their names and pictures here on the screen.

Lucy:   Are you asking everybody from our class?

Karla:   Oh, yes. I think I should. Why?

Lucy:   There were some personality clashes, remember?

Karla:   How could I forget?

Lucy:   Well, they could resurface, that’s all I’m saying.

Karla:   I know. But 25 years is a long time. I think it’ll be OK. In fact, I think it’ll be amazing to reconnect with all these people we haven’t seen in years. And with this search function, I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to find almost everybody’s contact information. It’s really incredible how some people have changed. Just look at this guy. Do you know who that is?

Lucy:   Wait. Don’t tell me. Is that . . . Is that Andrew? Oh! He looks so stuffy now!

Karla:   I know, I know! Back in school he was always Mr. Preppy.

Lucy:   Personally, I was never crazy about his style. And I think he was more like Mr. Arrogant, and, you know, he still looks pretty smug. Look what he’s wearing. Where did he get that suit?

Karla:   Lucy!

Lucy:   I’m sorry, but people like that bring out the worst in me. I got sick of him always putting everyone else down.

Karla:   I know. Me, too, actually. You know this one, right?

Lucy:   Hey! Is that Renée?

Karla:   Yes, it is. She hasn’t changed much, has she?

Lucy:   No. She looks just as bohemian now as she did back in school. She always was a quirky dresser. It’s a nice look. I always admired her – she wasn’t afraid to be herself. Her profile says she’s an artist.

Karla:   And do you remember this guy?

Lucy:   He looks really familiar. Hmm. No, I’m not sure.

Karla:   It’s Mike.

Lucy:   Mike? Wow, he’s looking very formal these days. He used to really hate getting dressed up for anything, even graduation, remember?

Karla:   Oh, yeah . . .

Lucy:   This is so cool, Karla. You’ve done a good job finding everyone.

Karla:   Well, I haven’t found everyone yet, so let me get back to that.

Exercise 2

A. Now listen to the program. What is the main reason Jeffrey gives for superstition among actors? Choose the correct answer.

a   They used to feel isolated from the rest of society.

b   They are insecure.

 They travel a lot.

B. Listen again. Choose the theater superstition you hear in each pair.

1    a   Black cats are considered lucky.

      b   Black cats are considered unlucky.

2    a   A costume is unlucky if a cat has slept on it.

      b   A costume is unlucky unless a cat has slept on it.

3    a   The number 13 is believed to be lucky.

      b   The number 13 is believed to be unlucky.

4    a   It is unlucky to act in the play Macbeth.

      b   It is unlucky to say the name of the play Macbeth.



a   They used to feel isolated from the rest of society.


1 a   2 b   3 a   4 b


Interviewer:   And next, tonight I’ll be talking to Jeffrey Steinhart, theater critic for the Chronicle. Hello, and welcome to Backstage, Jeffrey.

Jeffrey:   Thanks very much, Anna. It’s good to be here.

Interviewer:   So, you’re going to tell us about superstitions in the acting profession. Some people say that it is one of the most superstitious professions in the world. Is that true?

Jeffrey:   Well, clearly there are actors who aren’t superstitious, but there are certainly a lot of superstitions connected to theaters all over the world. There are a few possible explanations for why this might be.

The first, really, is historical. In the past, many of the people who criticized theaters and acting argued that playing a role – pretending to be another person – was wrong. So actors were looked down on in some societies, and I think that the more this happened, the more they felt cut off from society.

Not surprisingly, they developed their own “society” or community. But, obviously, actors move around, they travel, so the theater buildings become “home,” and the superstitions are the same wherever the theater is.

Interviewer:   I see. Can you give us some examples of superstitions in the theater?

Jeffrey:   Well, cats are very welcome in theaters, especially black cats. There is, clearly, a practical reason for this: You don’t want mice running around nibbling the costumes.

But there’s more to it than that. Some actors claim that it is bad luck to wear a costume unless a cat has slept on it. I remember one actor who would leave his costume out on a chair before the opening night, hoping a cat would fall asleep on it.

Interviewer:   Really?

Jeffrey:   Absolutely. And some American theaters will raise the curtain and begin the play 13 minutes after the hour to make sure that they’re lucky with the audience.

Interviewer:   Black cats? The number 13? Those are usually considered bad luck!

Jeffrey:   That’s right. I think it’s another way of saying, “We’re different.”

Interviewer:   Right. And what about certain plays being considered unlucky? Could you tell us more about that?

Jeffrey:   Ah, of course, Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Many actors believe that it is bad luck to even say the name of the play in a theater building, so they call it “the Scottish play,” or sometimes just “that play.” If an actor accidentally says “Macbeth,” he or she will leave the room immediately, go outside, and turn around three times to the right, then knock on the door and ask permission to come back in. This goes back to the first performance in London in 1606!

Interviewer:   That’s interesting. Is “that play” still considered unlucky?

Jeffrey:   Well, some think it is, but it has also done very well on Broadway, so those actors probably think it’s lucky!

Exercise 3

A. Listen to an interview with a parrot expert. She mentions three things that are important for a person to have before getting an African grey parrot. Choose the three basic requirements she mentions.

a   time

b   videos

c   space

d   interest in parrots

e   children

 other birds

B. Listen again. Are these statements true or false? Choose the correct answer.




 It is illegal to import wild African grey parrots.

 Parrots cause asthma.

 Parrots are intelligent and unpredictable.

 Parrots need some time outside of their cage each day.

 Research has been done on African grey parrots talking.

 Parrots can eat all fruits and vegetables.



a, c, d


1 True   2 False   3 True   4 True

5 True   6 False


Host:   Welcome to Pet Expert. Today on the show we have Dr. Amanda Benson with us. Welcome to the show, Dr. Benson.

Amanda:   Thanks, Matt. It’s nice to be here.

Host:   Now, your specialty area is the African grey parrot. What can you tell us about this bird?

Amanda:   Well, first, I’d like to talk a bit about who should have a parrot, cover some of the basics of caring for an African grey, and answer some frequently asked questions.

Host:   Great. But first, I have a question: Is owning an African grey parrot illegal?

Amanda:   No, but it is illegal to import or buy wild birds. So it’s important to buy from a reputable breeder who has bred the bird in captivity.

Host:   All right. So, who should have an African grey as a pet?

Amanda:   The short answer is whoever has the time, space, and interest to take care of a highly intelligent creature. Uh, an exception is people who have asthma. Greys groom their feathers with a dust that’s similar to talcum powder. This may cause problems for people with asthma. Families with children should be aware that while greys make interesting and affectionate pets, they can be unpredictable. They have very strong beaks and have been known to bite.

Host:   You said these are intelligent birds?

Amanda:   African greys are extremely intelligent and become bored quite easily. It’s absolutely vital that they have stimulation and physical interaction.

Host:   Do they need time outside the cage every day?

Amanda:   Yes. Most experts agree that three hours a day is vital. They can stay out all day, as long as they’re supervised. Oh, and they also need toys in their cages – bells, ropes, and ladders are very popular. And there are some excellent videos you can get, which provide the sounds of other birds as well as visual stimulation for the parrots.

Host:   Videos? For birds?

Amanda:   Absolutely. These don’t replace human interaction with your bird, but you can put a video on continuous play when you’re out of the house, for example. Greys need stimulation. For that reason, the cage should be located where the bird can see what’s going on in the household. A light corner of the living room is a good spot.

Host:   What about teaching parrots to talk?

Amanda:   It can be very rewarding and a lot of fun. There’s been some amazing research done on African greys. In fact, it seems as if they are capable of real, meaningful communication.

Host:   Amazing! And what do parrots eat?

Amanda:   Fruit, vegetables, nuts – a varied diet. Some birds are quite fussy; others will eat whatever you give them. It’s important not to give them avocados, though. Avocados can make a parrot very sick or even kill it.

Host:   How long do African greys live?

Amanda:   40 to 50 years is not uncommon.

Host:   Oh, wow! That’s a long-term commitment.

Amanda:   It sure is! People should think carefully before buying an African grey.

Host:   Well, thank you very much, Dr. Benson. And thanks to all . . .

Exercise 4

A. Listen to a lecture about good language learning. Who is the lecture for? Choose the correct answer.

 people who are learning another language

b   people who are going to travel abroad

 people who want to be language teachers

B. Listen again. Choose the compound adjectives that are used to describe good language learners.

1   highly motivated

2   forward-thinking

3   risk-taking

4   pattern-seeking

5   open-minded

6   well-organized

7   well-known

8   self-aware

9   widely recognized



c   people who want to be language teachers


1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8


Professor:   Good morning, everyone. This is the first of three sessions we’ll have on the topic of “The Good Language Learner.”

All of you should have been sent the course work. I hope everyone has had a chance to print out the notes for today and that you’ve all had time to do the reading.

How many of you have the notes and have done the reading? Show of hands? Everyone’s done that? Ah, good, then at least you’ll all know what I’m talking about even if I don’t.

OK, so first, let’s brainstorm some of your ideas about the characteristics of good language learners. I’m interested in hearing about your own experiences and opinions, as well as what you’ve read.

All right, Helen, why don’t you get us started?

Helen:   OK, well, to begin, I think the majority of successful language learners are highly motivated.

Professor:   Good, fine. What else?

Helen:   I think they need to be willing to take risks and to generally be inquisitive.

Professor:   Good. Highly motivated, risk-taking . . . why do you think risk taking is important?

Helen:   Not being afraid to make mistakes means that you’re actually going to be using the language more, I think. You’re kind of experimenting, looking for patterns.

Professor:   OK, pattern seeking. Interesting. Anyone else have some ideas? Uh, Charlie?

Charlie:   I think being open-minded is essential.

Professor:   Open-minded. Why would that be important, do you think?

Charlie:   Well, I think it kind of goes along with pattern seeking, looking for ways things link up, whether or not the patterns are similar in your first language. It’s kind of like creative problem solving.

Actually, I think good language learners need to be a little experimental. I guess that goes along with risk taking. They’re willing to live with not knowing what everything means and how everything works.

Professor:   OK. Do you think that there are strategies that learners need to have in place to actually use this information? Maxine?

Maxine:   I think a lot of good language learners develop their own systems for recording and remembering, um, vocabulary, for example. Being well organized and self-aware are important.

As you say, all successful learners have to be able to make use of the information they get.

Charlie:   Do you think most people learn a language more easily in a classroom or by just picking it up?

Professor:   It depends on the person. And, of course, it depends on how much language learners are exposed to.

OK, to sum up, provided there is plenty of exposure to the language and that the learner has at least some of these characteristics and strategies, language learning will take place whether or not it’s in a classroom.

Let’s go on now to look at what the implications are for the language-teaching classroom. I want you to turn to your textbooks . . .

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