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Changing plans

Listen to two people talking about changing their plans to practise and improve your listening skills.

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.

Preparation

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Listening A2: Changing plans – preparation

Put the words in the correct groups.

1 / 12

a concert

2 / 12

a play

3 / 12

a theatre

4 / 12

a cinema

5 / 12

a ballet

6 / 12

a band

7 / 12

a gallery

8 / 12

a musician

9 / 12

a show

10 / 12

a group

11 / 12

an artist

12 / 12

an opera house

Your score is

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Transcript

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Francesco: Sachi? Sachi? Sachiko! 

Sachi: Francesco! Is everything OK?

Francesco: Yes. Yes. Sorry, I saw you and I was across the street … I ran.

Sachi: I see. What’s up?

Francesco: Do you have the tickets … for the play?

Sachi: No, I don’t. I’m going to buy them this afternoon.

Francesco: Oh good, good. Listen, don’t buy tickets for this Friday.

Sachi: Oh? Why not?

Francesco: I can’t go to the theatre on Friday. Something’s come up. I have a concert this Friday.

Sachi: Another concert? But you said …

Francesco: I know, I know. I’m sorry. I forgot.

Sachi: Francesco! 

Francesco: How about next week? Are you free then? I can definitely go next Friday.

Sachi: Francesco. You did this two weeks ago, remember? I had cinema tickets for the new Marvel movie and you changed the plans then too. For band practice.

Francesco: I know, and I …

Sachi: We also missed my favourite dance group. Because your band was playing at some child’s birthday party.

Francesco: It was my nephew’s birthday …

Sachi: Ha! 

Francesco: OK, why don’t we go out for dinner before my concert? Then, next Friday we can go to the play.

Sachi: Oh …

Francesco: Come on, Sachi. Just this one more time.

Sachi: OK, but promise me next Friday. OK?

Francesco: I promise. I promise!

Task 1

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Listening A2: Changing plans – 1

Listen and choose Francesco (the man) or Sachi (the woman) to complete the sentences.

1 / 8

________ runs across the street.

2 / 8

________ is going to buy tickets for the play.

3 / 8

________ can't go to the play this Friday.

4 / 8

________ is a musician.

5 / 8

________ isn't happy about the situation.

6 / 8

Two weeks ago ________ had tickets to the cinema.

7 / 8

________ likes dance shows.

8 / 8

________ suggests that they go out to dinner.

Your score is

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Task 2

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Listening A2: Changing plans – 2

Match the sentence halves.

1 / 6

I can't go to

2 / 6

How about

3 / 6

Are you

4 / 6

I can definitely

5 / 6

Why don't we go

6 / 6

I'm sorry,

Your score is

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Changing a meeting time

Listen to two colleagues arranging a meeting to practise and improve your listening skills.

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.

Preparation

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Listening A2: Changing a meeting time – preparation

Match the phrases with the definitions.

1 / 6

to change the time or date of a meeting

2 / 6

to have a meeting at a later time or date

3 / 6

to have a meeting at an earlier time or date

4 / 6

to say that a meeting will happen

5 / 6

to say that you will go to a meeting

6 / 6

to decide that a meeting will not take place

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Transcripts

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Lucy: Hi, Anna. Do you have a minute to talk about the meeting next Tuesday?

Anna: Sure. We said 11, didn’t we?

Lucy: Yeah, we did. But I have a bit of a problem with the time. Would it be possible to move it?

Anna: Oh, I see. We could postpone it to the afternoon, to 1 p.m., for example. Or bring it forward to earlier in the morning. What would suit you?

Lucy: Could we make it 9 o’clock? That would really help me. I have another important meeting in the central office at 12.

Anna: No problem. It’s important you’re there.

Lucy: Thanks a lot, Anna.

Anna: Do you need help with any preparation? Did you get the agenda I sent out?

Lucy: Yes, I did. And no, that’s all fine, thanks. My report is ready and I’m looking forward to presenting it.

Anna: Great.

Lucy: I can tell Sven about the time change. I’ll see him later.

Anna: Don’t worry about telling Sven. I’ll send an email to everyone to confirm the time has changed and with an updated meeting invite.

Lucy: Great. Thanks, Anna.

Anna: OK. I’m happy that works for you. We really need you there and it’s good we don’t have to cancel it.

Lucy: See you then. Have a good weekend in the meantime.

Anna: You too.

Task 1

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Listening A2: Changing a meeting time – 1

Choose the sentence that is correct.

1 / 6

The meeting time

2 / 6

Moving the meeting

3 / 6

The new meeting time

4 / 6

The agenda

5 / 6

Lucy's presentation

6 / 6

Telling the other people

Your score is

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Task 2

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Listening A2: Changing a meeting time – 2

Complete the sentences with the words.

1 / 6

1. I sent an ___________  with the topics for the meeting.

2 / 6

2. Could we ____________ the meeting to a later date?

3 / 6

3. Could we ____________the meeting forward to an earlier time?

4 / 6

4. The project has been stopped. So we need to  ____________ the meeting.

5 / 6

5. I'll send a meeting  ______________ with the time and place.

6 / 6

6. I'll ___________ the invitation when I get it.

Your score is

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Finding the library

Listen to a conversation about the university library to practise and improve your listening skills.

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.

Preparation

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Listening A1: Finding the library – preparation

Match the words with the definitions.

1 / 6

a place where people can use or borrow books, newspapers, CDs, etc.

2 / 6

something you wear over your ears to listen to music

3 / 6

the process of writing down students' information at the start of the academic year

4 / 6

a big room with many seats where students listen to teachers

5 / 6

a room or building where people work

6 / 6

a talk to teach many people about a subject

Your score is

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Transcript

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Student: Hi. Excuse me.

Student B: Yes?

Student: Where’s the library?

Student B: The library? It’s next to the registration office.

Student: Ah … sorry, I’m new. Where’s the registration office?

Student B: No problem. See the big building over there?

Student: Yes.

Student B: OK, so that’s the lecture theatre. Next to that, on the right, is the registration office. And next to that is the library.

Student: I see. Thanks!


Student: Hello?

Librarian: Hello.

Student: Is this the library?

Librarian: Yes, it is. Quiet, please.

Student: Oh, sorry. Thank you.

Librarian: Can I help you?

Student: Er, yes, please. I want to borrow some books. What do I need?

Librarian: You need a library card. Here’s the application form. You can take up to six books maximum today.

Student: OK. Six books.

Librarian: Yes. You have two weeks to read the books. Then you bring them back.

Student: And if I’m late?

Librarian: Every day you are late there is a fee of fifty pence.

Student: OK, 50p a day. Er, anything else?

Librarian: Mobile phones must be switched off in the library. You can bring your laptop, but please use headphones to watch videos or listen to music.

Student: OK, great.

Librarian: And you can’t bring food or drink.

Student: No food, no drink. And …?

Librarian: And please speak quietly! People are working here.

Student: Oh! Oh, OK. Thank you.

Librarian: You’re welcome.

Task 1

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Listening A1: Finding the library – 1

write the number of the events in the order you hear them.

1 / 1

  1. The students asks for some books.
  2. The librarian gives the students an application form.
  3. The students asks someone for directions.
  4. The librarian explains the rules

Your score is

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Task 2

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Listening A1: Finding the library – 2

Complete the sentences with the words.

1 / 9

1. The big building is the _____________ theatre.

2 / 9

2. The library is next to the registration _____________.

3 / 9

3. You need a library __________ if you want to borrow books.

4 / 9

4. You can take out __________ books.

5 / 9

5. You can keep library books for __________ weeks.

6 / 9

6. For every late day, you have to pay ____________ pence.

7 / 9

7. Mobile phones must be switched ____________

8 / 9

and you cannot have ___________ or drink.

9 / 9

8. Please speak __________ in the library.

Your score is

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Business cards

Listen to four people talk about their jobs to practise and improve your listening skills.

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.

Preparation

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Listening A1: Business cards – preparation

Match the words with the definitions.

1 / 8

a person who works in a job to get experience

2 / 8

machines that doctors use

3 / 8

a job that is not for a long time

4 / 8

the main programmer

5 / 8

a person who leads other people in a company

6 / 8

the highest level of university education

7 / 8

the person at the top of a company

8 / 8

'Limited', a kind of a company that has private owners

Your score is

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Transcript

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A

A: Hello, Doctor Miller. It’s nice to meet you.  

B: Please call me Peter.

A: OK. Are you a medical doctor? It must be helpful when you sell medical equipment.

B: Actually, no. My doctorate was in electronic engineering, but it’s still helpful for me when I sell our equipment.


B

Good morning, everyone. I’m happy to be here today to tell you about our new project. My name is Alessandro Rossi. I’m the project leader on the Starlight programming project.


C

Pleased to meet you. Here’s my card. My real name is Megumi Tanaka, but people who are not from my country think it’s difficult to say my name, so I use another name, Meg, when I’m working internationally.


D

Hello, everyone. My name’s Andres Mulligan. I’m very happy to be joining this team for the next few months and learning more about research and development.

Reading text

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1.

DX Medical Equipment LtdDr Peter Miller
Sales Director






2.


*Space10 Designs*
Alessandro Rossi
Lead Programmer





3.

Global Engineering ConsultsMegumi Tanaka
Product Manager





4.

MaXtin LtdAndres Mulligan Jr
Intern, R&D team





Task 1

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Listening A1: Business cards – 1

Are the sentences true or false?

1 / 6

Peter Miller is not a medical doctor.

2 / 6

Peter sells machines for hospitals and doctors.

3 / 6

Starlight is the name of Alessandro's company.

4 / 6

Alessandro is the manager of the company.

5 / 6

Megumi thinks her real name is difficult to say.

6 / 6

Andres is a not permanent member of the team.

Your score is

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Task 2

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Listening A1: Business cards – 2

Match the sentences to the people who said them.

1 / 4

My doctorate was in electronic engineering.

2 / 4

I'm the project leader.

3 / 4

I use another name when I'm working internationally.

4 / 4

I'm happy to be joining this team for the next few months.

Your score is

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A lecture about an experiment

Listen to the lecture about a science experiment to practise and improve your listening skills.

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.

Preparation

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Listening B2: A lecture about an experiment – preparation

Complete the text with the correct form of the word in brackets.

Text:

Pitch is the name (give) to a black substance that can be manufactured from petroleum, coal tar or plants. It was
(original) used in road construction, boat- (build) and waterproofing roofs. It is known for its viscosity (being semi-fluid), its (sticky) and its (elastic). In fact, pitch is the world's (thick) known fluid. An experiment to let drops of pitch form and then fall has been going for 92 years without
 (interrupt).

1 / 7

Pitch is the name ________(give) to a black substance that can be manufactured from petroleum, coal tar or plants.

2 / 7

It was (original) used in road construction,

3 / 7

 boat- (build) and waterproofing roofs.

4 / 7

It is known for its viscosity (being semi-fluid), its (sticky)

5 / 7

 and its (elastic).

6 / 7

In fact, pitch is the world's  (thick) known fluid.

7 / 7

An experiment to let drops of pitch form and then fall has been going for 92 years without  (interrupt).

Your score is

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Transcript

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In today’s lecture we’re going to be talking about experiments, and I thought it might be interesting for you all to learn about the world’s oldest continuously running laboratory experiment that is still going today. In fact, it holds the Guinness World Record for being the longest-running experiment. This experiment began in 1927 and has been going ever since.

It’s called the ‘pitch drop’ experiment and it was created by Professor Thomas Parnell at the University of Queensland, Australia. Parnell was the university’s first physics professor, and he wanted to show in this experiment that everyday materials, such as pitch, can have quite surprising properties.

You see, when pitch is at room temperature, it feels solid. You can easily break it with a hammer. However, it isn’t in fact solid. At room temperature, pitch is many billions of times more viscous than water, but it’s actually fluid.

In 1927, Professor Parnell took a sample of pitch. He heated it and poured it into a glass funnel. He allowed the pitch to cool and settle – for three years. He then turned the funnel upside down and cut the top off it.

Since then, the pitch has slowly dropped out of the funnel. How slowly? Well, the first drop took eight years to fall. It took another forty years for another five drops to fall. Today it’s been almost 90 years since the experiment started. Only nine drops have fallen from the funnel. The last drop fell in April 2014 and the next one is expected to fall in the 2020s.

The experiment has a tragic story associated with it. Professor Parnell died without seeing a pitch drop. His replacement, Professor John Mainstone, became responsible for the pitch drop experiment from 1961. He held the job for 52 years, and missed seeing the drop fall three times – by a day in 1977, by just five minutes in 1988 and finally in 2000, when the webcam that was recording the experiment suffered a power outage for 20 minutes, during which time the pitch dropped.

The pitch drop experiment is something we can all participate in now. There’s a live web stream that allows anyone to watch the glass funnel and wait for the fateful moment. A similar experiment to the Queensland pitch drop was set up in Dublin, and the video of the moment the pitch actually dropped went viral on the internet. It’s interesting to see how a very slow event can spread news so quickly.

Task 1

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Listening B2: A lecture about an experiment – 1

Choose the correct answers.

1 / 6

The pitch drop experiment is …

2 / 6

The creator of the experiment wanted to …

3 / 6

Pitch is a substance …

4 / 6

The first time a drop of pitch fell was …

5 / 6

Which of the following sentences is not true about Professor John Mainstone?

6 / 6

In the year 2000, …

Your score is

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Task 2

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Listening B2: A lecture about an experiment – 2

Complete the sentences with one to three words and/or numbers

1 / 6

1. When pitch is at room temperature, you can break it _________________ .

2 / 6

2. Professor Parnell put pitch into a glass funnel, let it cool, then turned it ________________ and cut off the top.

3 / 6

3. In total, only_________________ have fallen from the funnel.

4 / 6

4. The next pitch drop is expected to fall in _______________.

 .

5 / 6

5. In 1988, the scientist responsible for the experiment missed seeing the pitch drop by ____________________.

6 / 6

6. The speaker notes it's interesting how news about a slow experiment can spread ______________________.

quickly|fast|so quickly|so fast|very quickly|very fast

.

Your score is

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A digital detox podcast

Listen to the podcast about doing a digital detox to practise and improve your listening skills.

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.

Preparation

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Listening B2: A digital detox podcast – preparation

Put the words in the correct group.

1 / 12

monitor

2 / 12

access the internet

3 / 12

browse websites

4 / 12

interact on social media

5 / 12

smartphone

6 / 12

show a notification

7 / 12

satnav

8 / 12

buzz

9 / 12

display

10 / 12

screen

11 / 12

show an alert

12 / 12

laptop

Your score is

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Transcript

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Presenter: So, we’re back in the studio. Welcome back, everyone. My name’s Rick Walker. From our laptops to our televisions, from the displays on our smartphones to those on our satnavs, we are in front of screens all the time. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to disconnect completely? To choose not to have access to the internet? If you have, you may be in need of a digital detox – a total switch-off from all things digital. The idea of people taking a digital detox is becoming more and more popular, especially amongst young people – and today we’re joined by someone who’s tried a number of digital detox activities and is here to give us some advice about it. Amanda Vince, welcome to the studio.

Amanda: Thank you very much.

Presenter: So, Amanda, you work for a fashion magazine in London, right? I guess your work means you need to be online a lot.

Amanda: Oh, yes. Apart from the hundreds of emails I get every day, I’m always browsing fashion websites, as well as online videos. I also need to be very active online, especially on Twitter and Instagram – sharing what we’re doing in the magazine, interacting with designers, photographers, influencers … it never stops, literally. Then of course there’s my friends and family to keep in touch with online too, and for me, my work grew out of my passion, so friends and work colleagues aren’t two totally separate groups of people and it all gets a bit messy online sometimes. I think I’m online for at least 12 hours a day.

Presenter: So, how did you get the idea for a digital detox?

Amanda: I read a book about it, called Log Off: How to Stay Connected after Disconnecting. The author’s name is Blake Snow. That book gave me some really good advice and made me think about trying to change some of my digital habits. I started with removing distraction.

Presenter: What do you mean by that?

Amanda: That means turning off alerts, buzzes, alarms or notifications of any kind. I had notifications set up for everything, and it meant I was always being forced to look at my phone. Removing all of them except for important contacts helped me focus immediately. The book also made a really good point, that we should ask ourselves ‘Why?’ every time we take out our phone. I realised that most of the times I looked at my phone were because I was trying to avoid or ignore something else happening right in front of me. It was an automatic habit.

Presenter: I have to confess, that happens to me too. But what else are you going to do when you’re standing in line at the bank or waiting for your train?

Amanda: OK, yes, I’m the first to admit that it’s great for helping time go by. But speaking personally, I found I wasn’t just checking my phone to kill time when I was alone. I was also doing it with friends or family around.

Presenter: Hmmm … right. Well, so far, this doesn’t sound too drastic. Turning off notifications and becoming aware of when we use our devices. That sounds easy.

Amanda: Yes, it’s the first step. Once we begin to realise just how much of a grip our devices have on us, then we’re ready to really take the next step. First, my partner and I did a weekend with absolutely no screens. She found it easier than I did. For me, it was a little bit scary at first but it turned out to be a pretty rewarding experience.

Presenter: A whole weekend, huh? I don’t know if I could …

Amanda: I think everyone has to do this at their own pace. If a weekend feels too much, maybe just try for an evening. Then work your way up to more. I guarantee, once you’ve tried it, you’ll want to try it again. We’re going to try for a whole week in the summer.

Presenter: OK, let’s pause there then and see what our listeners have to say. You can call us here directly, or send us a message on any of our social media channels … oops, should I be saying that? Anyway, more after the break. 

Task 1

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Listening B2: A digital detox podcast – 1

Choose the correct answer.

1 / 8

The radio host says that a digital detox ...

2 / 8

Which sentence is not true about Amanda Vince's job?

3 / 8

What is the name of the book that influenced Amanda?

4 / 8

The first step in a digital detox is to get rid of distractions, such as ...

5 / 8

Amanda removed notifications from ...

6 / 8

The book also suggested that ...

7 / 8

Amanda and her partner ...

8 / 8

Amanda believes that a digital detox ...

Your score is

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Task 2

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Listening B2: A digital detox podcast – 2

Put the words in order to make phrases.

1 / 6

wondered - like? - it - what - Have you - ever - would be

2 / 6

What - you - by - mean - that? - do

3 / 6

too. - confess, - that - have to - happens - I - to me

4 / 6

first - to - that. - the - admit - I´m

5 / 6

sound - drastic. - This - too - doesn´t

6 / 6

next -  step. - the - to - take - You´re - ready

Your score is

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An interview about listening skills

Listen to the English teacher talk about listening to practise and improve your listening skills.

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.

Preparation

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Listening B1: An interview about listening skills – preparation

Match the words with the definitions.

1 / 8

To confess

2 / 8

To break something down

3 / 8

Sweat

4 / 8

To pretend

5 / 8

A strategy

6 / 8

High stakes

7 / 8

To summarise

8 / 8

Paperwork

Your score is

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Transcripts

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Presenter: So, today’s expert teacher is Gabriella, a university English teacher from Leeds. Gabriella, hi and thanks for joining us today.

Gabriella: Thanks for having me!

Presenter: So, I have to confess today’s topic is something I am really bad at: listening. Most people say speaking is the most stressful part of learning a new language but, for me, with my B1 German, speaking isn’t so bad. At least I’m in control of it. But listening … woah … people speak so fast and it’s like my brain just shuts down. Am I just really strange and bad at listening? Tell me, honestly, I can take it.

Gabriella: No, you’re not strange. In fact, it’s really common. You know, in exams most people do pretty well in speaking compared with listening. Of course, exams are a different situation from real life because in an exam you can’t ask for something to be repeated or explained. You usually have just one or maybe two opportunities to listen to the dialogue and then it’s gone.

Presenter: Right, but in real life I feel stupid always saying, ‘Sorry, can you repeat that, please?’, especially if I still don’t understand even when they repeat it. And people out there listening, I hope you don’t do this – quite often the person just repeats what they said equally as fast and I’m still lost!

Gabriella: They do, don’t they? In real life, you’ve got two strategies. One is to pretend to understand and get out of the conversation as fast as you can.

Presenter: Yep, sounds familiar!

Gabriella: But, obviously that’s not going to help if it’s a conversation with high stakes. It might have important consequences. I mean, if you’re just chatting with a stranger at the bus stop, it doesn’t matter. But imagine you’re at a government office or a bank, trying to find out what paperwork you need to get your ID or open a bank account. What can you do then?

Presenter: I hope you’ve got the answer, Gabriella, because I’m coming out in a cold sweat just thinking about either of those situations!

Gabriella: The other strategy is to summarise what they said.

Presenter: But how can you do that if you didn’t understand what they said?

Gabriella: Ah, well, you only start the summary, so you might say, in German in your case, ‘OK, so the first thing I have to do is …?’ and make it a question. Or, for example, ‘And which office is that again?’ Break it down into smaller questions and the other person will naturally start answering them. That way you’re controlling the conversation a bit more.

Presenter: I get you …

Task 1

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Listening B1: An interview about listening skills – 1

Are the sentences true or false?

1 / 6

The interviewer finds speaking the most difficult.

2 / 6

Gabriella thinks, in some situations, people can find speaking easier than listening.