HomeListening Sub-skills Practice for Cambridge English: Advanced & Proficiency (5)

TASK 1

Being able to listen for gist is an important skill for Parts 1, 3 and 4 of the Listening paper. Listen to four unrelated extracts. For each one decide what main point each of the speakers is making.

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

  1. There’s a certain science behind a pirouette but to the skater it’s more about the feeling. You spin so fast you can’t see, so you learn what it’s like to get the pirouette right by listening to what your body tells you. If you’re even slightly off balance, you’ll just fall over. I couldn’t tell you why I don’t often get dizzy. I suppose you just get used to it over time. I occasionally do get a little bit dizzy and I’ve been doing pirouettes for ten years. But if you get it right, you feel the power of rotation sending the blood rushing to all your extremities. I’ve no idea what speed I’m going at that point but I do know it’s fast.
  2. It seems that some shows give their contestants a little more help than might be expected before they actually take part in auditions. So, there’s more going on in talent shows than you might think. In fact, contestants are not always on a level playing field. That’s not to say all shows do this. Some contestants simply put in an appearance and take pot luck but apparently this is not always the case. And what of the general public, does it make any difference to them? Probably not – after all, what they’re interested in is the talent, not necessarily how the show is put together.

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

[one_sixth padding=”0 15px 0 0″]

Interviewer

[/one_sixth]

[five_sixth_last]

You’re working here now – a country with no real football culture. Do you think a mindset can be developed to form a team fit for the Champions League?

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Footballer

[/one_sixth]

[five_sixth_last]

Yes I do. I don’t believe in limitations. I just believe it’s harder. But there’s no reason why a club like this can’t become a centre of excellence. The only limitations we have are the ones we place on ourselves. I’m sitting here in a beautiful club watching the young lads training. There’s no reason why they can’t be trained to the same level as the Manchester United youngsters. We have to make sure they compete in Europe to test themselves against the best.

[/five_sixth_last]


[one_sixth padding=”0 15px 0 0″]

Man

[/one_sixth]

[five_sixth_last]

For goodness’ sake, you’re not watching that rubbish again, are you?

[/five_sixth_last]

[one_sixth padding=”0 15px 0 0″]

Woman

[/one_sixth]

[five_sixth_last]

Look, I know it’s rubbish but I enjoy it so what’s the harm?

[/five_sixth_last]

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Man

[/one_sixth]

[five_sixth_last]

I don’t know how you can stand it – all the characters just seem to lurch from one crisis to another.

[/five_sixth_last]

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Woman

[/one_sixth]

[five_sixth_last]

But that’s not so very different from real life, is it? Just because you think soaps are a load of nonsense, it doesn’t rule them out as a form of entertainment – far from it, in fact.

[/five_sixth_last]

[one_sixth padding=”0 15px 0 0″]

Man

[/one_sixth]

[five_sixth_last]

Well, it may be your idea of an enjoyable way of passing the time but it’s certainly not mine.

[/five_sixth_last]

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Woman

[/one_sixth]

[five_sixth_last]

That’s as may be but thousands of viewers would choose to disagree with you on that point, so I think you’ve rather lost your argument, wouldn’t you agree?

[/five_sixth_last]

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TASK 2

Being able to listen for detail is important in the Listening paper, especially Part 2. Listen to a footballer talking about the team he plays for. Complete the missing information with one or two words.

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

The most difficult thing about Barcelona is not the way they play but their way of understanding the game. Tactically, I’ve improved under Pep, learning to do the simplest thing, which is sometimes the most difficult thing. But the key is the way we pressure – and the first person to lead the pressure is our best player, Leo Messi. That’s the starting point for an entire philosophy. I never thought a team could do that like we do: from minute one to minute 95. Pep’s greatest success is convincing players, even great players to do that. The only thing Guardiola asked us to do before the 2011 final which resulted in a 3-1 victory over Manchester United at Wembley was not defend but attack – it’s the only way to win, especially against physically strong teams with devastating counterattacks. You can’t let them have the ball: if they have that, you’ve got to get it back. Quickly. After the final, Nemanja Vidic congratulated us, saying we had a spectacular team.

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Listen to someone talking about creating fractures in rock (fracking) to help natural gas to be released as fuel. Complete the missing information below with one to three words.

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[spoiler title=’Transcript’ style=’orange’ collapse_link=’true’]

I believe companies would be foolish not to follow the success of fracking in the USA. Ultimately, it’s about political choices. We’ve just had not a few years but about 30 years of getting our gas from the North Sea, where it’s not caused any problems to anyone. Well, those days are gone. If we want to run gas central heating and run our cars, we have to look to other sources of energy. We could turn Britain into a landscape of hundreds of fracking wells or we could import it from the Middle East. I agree with the green argument that this dash for gas simply postpones the day when we must invest in more expensive renewable energy. In the end, we’re going to run out of fossil fuels. I can’t see another source after this one.

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Listen to a man talking about an animal called a civet. Complete the information below with one to four words.

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

A civet is a catlike mammal found mostly in tropical Asia and Africa. They are territorial creatures and they mark their turf with scent from a small gland. The stuff smells ghastly – it’s one of the stinkiest in the world. But as writer Courtney Humphries learned, it’s also in some of the world’s finest perfumes. For her book ‘The Olfactory’ about the restrictions on perfume ingredients, Humphries visited the lab of French powerhouse fragrance Mane, where she was allowed to sniff civet for herself. The smell is highly diluted because it’s so powerful.

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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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