Part II Listening Comprehension (25 minutes)
Tape Script of Listening Comprehension
Directions: In this section, you will hear three news reports. At the end of each news report, you will hear two or three questions. Both the news report and the questions will be spoken only once. After you hear a question, you must choose the best answer from the four choices marked A), B), C) and D). Then mark the corresponding letter on Answer Sheet 1 with a single line through the centre.
Questions 1 and 2 will be based on the following news item.
Kenyan police say one person was killed and 26 injured in an explosion at a bus station in central Nairobi. The blast hit a bus about to set off for the Ugandan capital Kampala. Last July, the Somali group al-Shabab said it was behind the blasts in the Ugandan capital which killed more than 70 people. Will Ross reports from the Kenyan capital.
The explosion happened beside a bus which was about to set off for an overnight journey from Nairobi to the Ugandan capital Kampala. Some eyewitnesses report that a bag was about to be loaded on board, but it exploded during a security check. Windows of the red bus were left smashed, and blood could be seen on the ground beside the vehicle. Just hours earlier, Uganda’s police chief had warned of possible Christmas-time attacks by Somali rebels.
1. What is the news report mainly about?
2. When did the incident occur?
Questions 3 and 4 will be based on the following news item.
Woolworths is one of the best known names on the British High Street. It’s been in business nearly a century. Many of its 800 stores are likely to close following the company’s decision to call in administrators after an attempt to sell the business for a token £1 failed.
The company has huge debts. The immediate cause for the collapse has been Britain’s slide toward recession, which has cut into consumer spending. However, the business had been in trouble for years.
Known for low-priced general goods, Woolworths has struggled in the face of competition from supermarkets expanding beyond groceries and a new generation of internet retailers.
Many of the store group’s 25,000 employees are likely to lose their jobs. Some profitable areas such as the DVD publishing business will survive.
3. What do we learn about Woolworths from the news report?
4. What did Woolworths attempt to do recently?
Questions 5 to 7 will be based on the following news item.
Cairo is known for its overcrowded roads, irregular driving practices and shaky old vehicles, but also for its air pollution. In recent months, though, environmental studies indicate there have been signs of improvement. That’s due in part to the removal of many of the capital’s old-fashioned black and white taxis. Most of these dated back to the 1960s and 70s and were in a poor state of repair.
After new legislation demanded their removal from the roads, a low interest loan scheme was set up with three Egyptian banks so drivers could buy new cars. The government pays about $900 for old ones to be discarded and advertising on the new vehicles helps cover repayments.
The idea has proved popular with customers ― they can now travel in air-conditioned comfort and because the new cabs are metered, they don’t have to argue over fares. Banks and car manufacturers are glad for the extra business in tough economic times. As for the taxi drivers, most are delighted to be behind the wheel of new cars, although there have been a few complaints about switching from black and white to a plain white colour.
5. What change took place in Cairo recently?
6. What helped bring about the change?
7. Why do customers no longer argue with new cab drivers?
Directions: In this section, you will hear two long conversations. At the end of each conversation, you will hear four questions. Both the conversation and the questions will be spoken only once. After you hear a question, you must choose the best answer from the four choices marked A), B), C) and D). Then mark the corresponding letter on Answer Sheet 1 with a single line through the centre.
W: Morning, this is TGC.
M: Good morning. Walter Barry here, calling from London. Could I speak to Mr. Grand, please?
W: Who’s calling, please?
M: Walter Barry, from London.
W: What is it about, please?
M: Well, I understand that your company has a chemical processing plant. My own company, LCP, Liquid Control Products, is a leader in safety from leaks in the field of chemical processing. I would like to speak to Mr. Grand to discuss ways in which we could help TGC protect itself from such problems and save money at the same time.
W: Yes, I see. Well, Mr. Grand is not available just now.
M: Can you tell me when I could reach him?
W: He’s very busy for the next few days – then he’ll be away in New York. So it’s difficult to give you a time.
M: Could I speak to someone else, perhaps?
W: Who in particular?
M: A colleague for example?
W: You’re speaking to his personal assistant. I can deal with calls for Mr. Grand.
M: Yes, well, could I ring him tomorrow?
W: No, I’m sorry he won’t be free tomorrow. Listen, let me suggest something. You send us details of your products and services, together with references from other companies and then we’ll contact you.
M: Yes, that’s very kind of you. I have your address.
W: Very good, Mr….
M: Barry. Walter Barry from LCP in London.
W: Right, Mr. Barry. We look forward to hearing from you.
M: Thank you. Goodbye.
Questions 8 to 11 are based on the conversation you have just heard.
8. What do we learn about the woman’s company?
9. What do we learn about the man?
10. What is the woman’s position in her company?
11. What does the woman suggest the man do?
M: You’re going to wear out the computer’s keyboard!
W: Oh, hi.
M: Do you have any idea what time it is?
W: About ten or ten-thirty?
M: It’s nearly midnight.
W: Really? I didn’t know it was so late.
M: Don’t you have an early class to teach tomorrow morning?
W: Yes, at seven o’clock. My commuter class, the students who go to work right after their lesson.
M: Then you ought to go to bed. What are you writing, anyway?
W: An article I hope I can sell.
M: Oh, another of your newspaper pieces? What’s this one about?
W: Do you remember the trip I took last month?
M: The one up to the Amazon?
W: Well, that’s what I’m writing about—the new highway and the changes it’s making in the Amazon valley.
M: It should be interesting.
W: It is. I guess that’s why I forgot all about the time.
M: How many articles have you sold now?
W: About a dozen so far.
M: What kind of newspapers buy them?
W: The papers that carry a lot of foreign news. They usually appear in the big Sunday editions where they need a lot of background stories to help fill up the space between the ads.
M: Is there any future in it?
W: I hope so. There’s a chance I may sell this article to a news service.
M: Then your story would be published in several papers, wouldn’t it?
W: That’s the idea. And I might even be able to do other stories on a regular basis.
M: That would be great.
Questions 12 to 15 are based on the conversation you have just heard.
12. What is the woman’s occupation?
13. What is the woman writing about?
14. Where do the woman’s articles usually appear?
15. What does the woman expect?
Directions: In this section, you will hear three passages. At the end of each passage, you will hear some questions. Both the passage and the questions will be spoken only once. After you hear a question, you must choose the best answer from the four choices marked A), B), C) and D). Then mark the corresponding letter on Answer Sheet 1 with a single line through the centre.
In today’s class, we’ll discuss Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved. As I’m sure you all know, Morrison is both a popular and a highly respected author, and it’s not easy to be both. Born in 1931, Morrison has written some of the most touching and intelligent works on the African-American experience ever written by anyone, and yet to call her an “African-American writer” doesn’t seem to do her justice. In many ways, she’s simply an American writer—and certainly one of our best.
Beloved is a truly remarkable work. It was recommended for nearly every major literary prize, including the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and it in fact won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1988. Morrison herself is distinguished for having won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1993.
What makes Beloved unique is the skillful, sure way in which Morrison blends intensely personal storytelling and American history, racial themes and gender themes, the experience of Blacks with the experience of all people everywhere, the down-to-earth reality of slavery with a sense of mysterious spirituality.
We’ll be paying special attention to these themes as we discuss this work. I’m particularly interested in your views on the relative importance of race and gender in this book. Is it more important that Sethe, the main character, is black or that she’s a woman? Which contributes more to her being? What does Morrison tell us about both?
Questions 16 to 18 are based on the passage you have just heard.
16. What do we learn about Toni Morrison?
17. What honor did Toni Morrison receive in 1993?
18. What does the speaker tell us about Sethe, the main character in Morrison’s novel Beloved?
The topic of my talk today is gift-giving. Everybody likes to receive gifts, right? So you may think that gift-giving is a universal custom. But actually, the rules of gift-giving vary quite a lot, and not knowing them can result in great embarrassment. In North America, the rules are fairly simple. If you’re invited to someone’s home for dinner, bring wine or flowers or a small item from your country. Among friends, family, and business associates, we generally don’t give gifts on other occasions except on someone’s birthday and Christmas. The Japanese, on the other hand, give gifts quite frequently, often to thank someone for their kindness. The tradition of gift-giving in Japan is very ancient. There are many detailed rules for everything from the color of the wrapping paper to the time of the gift presentation. And while Europeans don’t generally exchange business gifts, they do follow some formal customs when visiting homes, such as bringing flowers. The type and color of flowers, however, can carry special meaning.
Today we have seen some broad differences in gift-giving. I could go on with additional examples. But let’s not miss the main point here: If we are not aware of and sensitive to cultural differences, the possibilities for miscommunication and conflict are enormous. Whether we learn about these differences by reading a book or by living abroad, our goal must be to respect differences among people in order to get along successfully with our global neighbors.
Questions 19 to 21 are based on the passage you have just heard.
19. What does the speaker say about gift-giving of North Americans?
20. What do we learn about the Japanese concerning gift-giving?
21. What point does the speaker make at the end of the talk?
Hetty Green was a very spoilt, only child. She was born in Massachusetts, USA, in 1835. Her father was a millionaire businessman. Her mother was often ill, and so from the age of two her father took her with him to work and taught her about stocks and shares. At the age of six she started reading the daily financial newspapers and opened her own bank account.
Her father died when she was 21 and she inherited $7.5 million. She went to New York and invested on Wall Street. Hetty saved every penny, eating in the cheapest restaurants for 15 cents. She became one of the richest and most hated women in the world. At 33 she married Edward Green, a multi-millionaire, and had two children, Ned and Sylvia.
Hetty’s meanness was well known. She always argued about prices in shops. She walked to the local grocery store to buy broken biscuits which were much cheaper, and to get a free bone for her much loved dog. Once she lost a two-cent stamp and spent the night looking for it. She never bought clothes and always wore the same long, ragged black skirt. Worst of all, when her son Ned fell and injured his knee, she refused to pay for a doctor and spent hours looking for free medical help. In the end Ned lost his leg.
When she died in 1916 she left her children $100 million. Her daughter built a hospital with her money.
Questions 22 to 25 are based on the passage you have just heard.
22. What do we learn about Hetty Green as a child?
23. How did Hetty Green become rich overnight?
24. Why was Hetty Green much hated?
25. What do we learn about Hetty’s daughter?
Part II Listening Comprehension