Part III Listening Comprehension
Directions: In this section, you will hear 8 short conversations and 2 long conversations. At the end of each conversation, one or more questions will be asked about what was said. Both the conversation and the questions will be spoken only once. After each question there will be a pause. During the pause, you must read the four choices marked A), B), C) and D), and decide which is the best answer. Then mark the corresponding letter on Answer Sheet 2 with a single line through the centre.
11. M: It is such a nice day. Why don’t we have lunch outside?
W: Ok, good idea. Let’s find someplace that’s not too noisy.
Q: What does the woman mean?
12. M. When I left the office, were there any messages for me?
W: Someone did call, but he spoke so quietly that I couldn’t make out what he was saying.
Q: What does the woman imply?
13. M: It’s very kind of you to give me your ticket for the concert.
W: Oh, please, don’t mention it. I am on a business trip this Friday anyway.
Q: What can be inferred about the woman?
14. M: I think I’d better find another person to be my English partner. I don’t think I’m improving.
W: Ha, it’s still too early to give up. Just keep practicing and you’ll get the hang of it.
Q: What does the woman suggest?
15: M: Excuse me, why can’t we spend more time with the issue?
W: The issue will be postponed until next week’s meeting. We can deal with it then.
Q: What can be inferred from the speakers?
16: M: Have you found out which group you’ll work with this semester?
W: I’m in Group Two and I can see already that trouble is on its way!
Q: What can be inferred about the woman?
17: M: You went to the flea market to buy old stamps yesterday, didn’t you? Was there much of a selection to get excited over?
W: Was there ever? I wish I’d brought a bit more cash!
Q: What does the woman imply?
18. M: The tuna tastes terrible. If I could only get it fresh instead of canned.
W: I know. But that would be a rare treat for a supermarket to offer.
Q: What does the woman mean?
Now you’ll hear two long conversations.
M: Background music is supposed to influence your attitudes and put you in the right mood. You’re not supposed to notice it, but it’s just there, in the background.
W: I’m not sure I like that idea.
M: Well, it seems to work. Companies pay millions of dollars every year for background music. It’s supposed to give you a better feeling about yourself and the people around you. Factories use it a lot. It makes the workers happy, and they work better that way. In one factory, music increased production by 4.5 percent.
W: I should think they’d get tired of hearing music all day.
M: They don’t though. One fellow in San Francisco told me, ‘If the music stops, somebody always runs to the telephone to complain.’
W: Now that I think about it, I can’t remember when there wasn’t background music in restaurants and stores.
M: Actually, background music started during World War II when some factories had their own orchestras to keep workers happy and calm. Now, of course, the music is piped in by a machine, and different kinds of music are played at different times during the day. They play faster music at ten in the morning than at eight, for instance, because workers tend to be slower then.
W: What about restaurants? Do they play the same music for dinner and lunch?
M: I don’t know about that, but I do know that hamburger places play fast music. When they started playing faster music, they found that a customer spent only seventeen minutes eating. The time was twenty-two minutes before that.
W: So they have more people coming in and out to buy hamburgers.
M: Exactly. And that’s good for business. You can see why music has become so popular. In Los Angeles, for instance, thirty different companies are selling background music services.
W: I still think there’s something about it that I don’t quite like.
M: I know what you mean, but lots of people wouldn’t agree with you. The Xerox Corporation in Rochester, N.Y. spends more than $80,000 a year for background music. Prisons use it, and farmers use it to keep their cattle calm. It’s even supposed to have an effect on plants.
W: Well, it may calm cattle, but it’s not making me forget I’m hungry. Let’s try to get that waitress to bring us a menu.
Questions 19 to 22 are based on the conversation you have just heard.
19. Where does this conversation take place?
20. What is the purpose of playing background music in a factory?
21. How much did the Xerox Corporation spend every year for background music?
22. Which of the following is true about background music according to this conversation?
W: Good morning. This is Jenny speaking. What can I do for you?
M: Hi, I am calling to complain about the mobile phone I bought from you. I cannot send any short messages to my friends. Sometimes I cannot even receive incoming calls and it always gives others a busy signal. Do you know what the problem could be?
W: Could you please tell me how long this has been happening?
M: How long? Is that the point?
W: Sir, I ask that because it will likely tell me whether the problem is with your equipment or reception.
M: Ok, I get it. Just three days ago. Initially I thought it could be the mobile’s problem but then I realized it was probably caused by the signal.
W: Could you please give the serial number of your mobile phone, so I can check whether there is any problem with the mobile phone itself?
M: Sorry, where is it?
W: The number is on the warranty card and 08381 begins the sequence.
M: Just a minute. Let me see …. Aha, it is 08381823923.
W: Thank you. Please hold and I will get back to you in a minute.
W: Sorry to keep you waiting Sir. I have checked your mobile’s status and everything is fine. It is said by our engineer that it could be due to our network upgrading and your number could be affected. Our apologies for any inconvenience brought to you.
M: Then how long do I have to wait till the signal returns to normal?
W: Well, a couple more days. I tell you what, I will give your feedback to our support center and if the problem still exists after two days, please give us a call and we will help you solve it.
M: Ok, thanks for your help and I really hope I won’t need to call you again for that.
Questions 23 to 25 are based on the conversation you have just heard.
23: Where could this conversation probably take place?
24: What is the man’s problem?
25: According to the woman, what could be the problem?
Directions: In this section, you will hear 3 short 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 2 with a single line through the centre.
The diner, or what we call dining car, is only a humble restaurant, but it has a special place in American life. Diners appear in our novels, plays, poems, and movies. Many artists have used diners as scenes for their paintings. Why are diners so fascinating to us? The diner attracts many different kinds of people. It is a heaven for lonely truck drivers far away from home. Construction workers learn about new jobs in distant cities. Traveling salesman exchange gossip with one another. Teenagers sit in their booths, sipping cokes and eating hamburgers. The people who work in diners are also interesting. Where did the new waitress come from? Will she remain here or will she suddenly leave one day, as the last one did? And is the short-order cook really an escaped convict, fleeing from the law? Everyone comes to the diner for a different reason. Some want to work there, and some want to eat there. Some stay for years, and others stay only for a few minutes. But, for all of them, the diner is a bright, warm stopover between the endless stretches of the open road.
Questions 26 to 28 are based on the passage you have just heard.
26: What do diners here stand for?
27: What kind of clients do diners target?
28: Why do truck drivers like diners?
To be a good teacher, you need some of the gifts of a good actor — the key point is that you must know how to hold the attention and interest of your audience. Watch a good teacher, and you will see that he does not sit motionless before his class: he stands the whole time while teaching; he walks about, using his arms, hands and fingers to help him in his explanations, and his face to express feelings. Listen to him, and you will hear the loudness, the quality and the musical note of his voice always changing according to what he is talking about. However, all this doesn’t mean that he will indeed be able to act well on the stage, for there are very important differences between the teacher’s work and the actor’s. The actor has to speak words which he has learnt by heart; he has to repeat exactly the same words each time he plays a certain part. What he has to do is to make all these carefully learnt words and actions seem natural on the stage. A good teacher works in quite a different way. His audience takes an active part in his play; they ask and answer questions, they obey orders, and if they don’t understand something, they say so. The teacher therefore has to suit his act to the need of his audience, which is his class. He cannot learn his part by heart, but must invent it as he goes along.
Questions 29 to 31 are based on the passage you have just heard.
29: What topic does this text mainly deal with?
30: In what way is a teacher’s work different from an actor’s?
31: What is the main difference between students in class and audiences in theaters?
When someone says, “Well, I guess I’ll have to go and face the music”, it does not mean he is planning to go to a concert. It is something far less pleasant, like being called in by your boss to explain why you did this or that. Sour music, indeed, but it has to be faced. The phrase “to face the music” is familiar to every American, young and old. It is at least 100 years old. Where did the expression come from? The first information came from the American writer James Fenimore Cooper. He said ―in 1851― that the expression was first used by actors while waiting in the wings to go on stage. After they got their cue to go on, they often said, “It’s time to go to face the music”. And that is exactly what they did ―face the orchestra which was just below the stage.
An actor might be frightened or nervous as he moved on to the stage in front of the audience that might be friendly or perhaps unfriendly, especially if he forgot his lines. But he had to go out. So, “to face the music” came to mean having to go through something, no matter how unpleasant the experience might be, because you had no choice. The other explanation comes from the army. Men had to face inspection by their leader. The soldiers worried about how well they looked. Was their equipment clean and shiny enough to pass inspection? Still, the men had to go out, and face the music of the band, as well as the inspection. What else could they do?
Questions 32 to 35 are based on the passage you have just heard.
32: According to the passage, what does the word “music” probably refer to?
33: Who first used the phrase “to face the music”?
34: Why might an actor feel frightened or nervous when going on stage?
35: When is “to face the music” used to describe soldiers?
Directions: In this section, you will hear a passage three times. When the passage is read for the first time, you should listen carefully for its general idea. When the passage is read for the second time, you are required to fill in the blanks numbered from 36 to 43 with the exact words you have just heard. For blanks numbered from 44 to 46 you are required to fill in the missing information. For these blanks, you can either use the exact words you have just heard or write down the main points in your own words. Finally, when the passage is read for the third time, you should check what you have written.
The first English (36) dictionary, called an Alphabetical Table of Hard Words, was published in 1604. The dictionary was (37) actually nothing more than a list of about 3000 difficult words, each followed by a one-word (38) definition. The author, Robert Cawdrey, made no attempt to include everyday words in his dictionary. No one, he reasoned, would ever have to look up a word in a dictionary if he already knew the meaning of the word. During the 1600’s more dictionaries were published. Each followed Cawdrey’s lead and (39) presented a few (40) thousand hard words. Around 1700 one dictionary maker, John Kersey, did define easy words as well as hard ones. But until the 1750’s all dictionaries were rather crude and not very (41) valuable.
A man (42) named Dr. Samuel Johnson changed all this. In 1755 Dr. Johnson produced the (43) first modern dictionary. He included in his dictionary all important words, both easy and hard, and he gave good meanings. He also gave good sentences to show how each word was actually used in speech and in writing. (44) By the end of the 1700’s most dictionary makers had followed Johnson’s lead. Dictionaries were getting better and better.
(45) The 1800’s saw the greatest improvement in the quality of dictionaries. In England scholars planned and prepared the Oxford English Dictionary, a twenty-volume work. One of the most interesting features of the Oxford Dictionary is its word histories. (46) It keeps track of the history of each word from its earliest recorded use up to the time of the printing of the dictionary.