HomeListening Sub-skills Practice for Cambridge English: Advanced & Proficiency (2)

TASK 1

In the Listening paper, the information in gapped sentences may be presented in a different way to the recording. You need to complete the sentences with the words that you hear. Listen to a short text about coffee and click the TWO sentences that match the information you hear.

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[spoiler title=’Transcripts & Explanations’ style=’orange’ collapse_link=’true’]

For many of us, life without coffee would be unthinkable. The energizing effect of the coffee bean plant is thought to have been discovered in the northeast region of Ethiopia. The cultivation of coffee first took place in the Arab world, with the earliest credible evidence of coffee drinking dating from about the middle of the 15th century. Today it is one of the most traded commodities in the world, and the daily international consumption of coffee has been estimated at 2.25 billion cups!

Modern scientific studies have examined the relationship between coffee consumption and a range of medical conditions. But there seems to be some dispute as to whether coffee has any specific health benefits. It remains such a controversial drink that recently 15% of Americans were reported to have given it up for health reasons. It is well known, for example, that coffee can disrupt sleeping patterns, but only if consumed in fairly large quantities. Some claim that coffee causes headaches while others insist that it can relieve them. It seems that coffee prevents the human body from absorbing iron easily, so drinking too much of this beverage could lead to an iron deficiency. On the positive side, students may be interested to know that drinking coffee can assist us in memorizing information – provided it is related in some way, but not if the information has little obvious connection.


The Arabs were the first people to grow coffee as an agricultural crop.
The speaker says The cultivation of coffee first took place in the Arab world.

There are different opinions on the connection between headaches and coffee.
The speaker says Some claim that coffee causes headaches while others insist that it can relieve them.

× 2.25 billion cups of coffee are produced worldwide every day.
The speaker gives this figure as the daily international consumption of coffee.

× There is widespread agreement about the positive effects of coffee.
The speaker mentions some dispute as to whether coffee has any specific health benefits.

× 15% of Americans have trouble sleeping because of their coffee intake.
the speaker says that this percentage of Americans have given it up for health reasons.

× Drinking too much coffee can cause an overdose of iron levels in the body.
The speaker mentions that it could lead to an iron deficiency

× Students are particularly good at remembering information after drinking coffee.
The speaker says that this is only true for information that is related in some way, and not true if the information has little obvious connection.

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TASK 2

It is important to try and predict the kind of information that you will listen to. Read the gapped sentences below from a listening task about tea. Choose the piece of information which could logically complete each gap.

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TASK 3

In the Listening paper, recordings often contain information that is close to the answer you need but not correct. Listen to five extracts from a talk about a fruit called the breadfruit. For each question, choose the best answer. The other answers are distractors.

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[spoiler title=’Transcripts & Explanations’ style=’orange’ collapse_link=’true’]

  1. Although it is popular in the Caribbean – particularly Jamaica, where it was introduced in the 1790s – the breadfruit is a native of Pacific islands such as Hawaii, where it has long been an important part of the diet of people there. It has also spread to parts of Africa. 
  2. There are over a hundred different types of breadfruit. One variety is a rather attractive pink colour, but the vast majority of them are green on the outside. However, when the fruit is ripe it tends to be a yellow colour. Interestingly, it can be eaten at all stages of its development and can even be consumed when raw, though most people cook it. Some – though not all – breadfruit have seeds which can also be eaten. 
  3. The breadfruit was regarded as a ‘comfort food’ – something filling and nutritious to make you feel better, and many people in Hawaii grew up with the food. Some chefs today are experimenting with new ways of cooking the fruit and are suggesting it is roasted, but traditionally it was steamed. It was served and eaten at all times of the day. 
  4. There is now a campaign to make this fruit more popular because of its supposed health benefits. You see, it is extremely rich in calcium, iron and other minerals which provide valuable nutrition. Agricultural experts look at it in a more practical way. They point out that the tree has the advantage of needing little care and attention from farmers. They are even more impressed by the fact that this attractive tree, which can grow to the great height of 26 metres, has a long life, bearing good quality fruit for about 60 years, and so can be very profitable for you and your family in the long term!
  5. However, persuading new people to start eating the breadfruit might be a struggle. Its texture and smell are quite like fresh bread and rather attractive, but some critics are less keen when they actually eat it, claiming it reminds them of undercooked potatoes! There is no wonder there isn’t much enthusiasm for the campaign to get the fruit accepted more widely as an interesting alternative to existing staples.

the Pacific
The speaker mentions that breadfruit is popular in the Caribbean and that it has also spread to parts of Africa but does not say that it is originally from these places. The speaker says it is a native of Pacific islands such as Hawaii.

yellow
The speaker mentions One variety of breadfruit that is a rather attractive pink colour and adds that the vast majority of them are green on the outside. However, the speaker also says that when the fruit is ripe (mature) it tends to be a yellow colour. 

steam
The speaker mentions new ways of cooking the fruit such as chefs suggesting it is roasted. However, the speaker adds that traditionally it was steamed. This suggests that this is the most frequent method of preparing it. 

long life
The speaker calls the breadfruit an attractive tree and says that it can grow to the great height of 26 metres. However, the speaker says that the reason why farmers like growing the tree is that it has a long life, bearing good quality fruit for about 60 years, and so can be very profitable. 

undercooked potatoes
The speaker mentions existing staples and says that the texture and smell of breadfruit are quite like fresh bread, but they do not say that breadfruit tastes like either of these. The only reference to taste is when the speaker mentions some critics who claim that it reminds them of undercooked potatoes!

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References
Acknowledgements

All authors must admit to a dependence on the work of others. We are no exception. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to all the publications and reference sources that we have consulted and adapted for educational purposes. It would also have been quite impossible to have produced the material on this website without adapting a variety of authentic resources that we have regularly referred to. While every effort has been made, it has not always been possible to identify and cite the sources of all the material used or to trace all copyright holders. We will be happy to omit any contents or include any appropriate acknowledgements when they are brought to our notice.

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