Tapescripts for IELTS Listening Sample 3
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C = Counsellor
K = Kate
L = Luki
C: Hi there, Kate. Come on in. How are you today?
K: Fine thanks.
C: Hi, Luki. How're things?
C: Well, as I explained on the phone, I'm a Counsellor here at the Student Services section of the university and I'm interviewing overseas students to help me draw up a guide for new students. So I'd be grateful if you could tell me a little about your time since you've been here in Cambridge.
L: Good idea.
C: Now, Kate let's start with you. OK, um... this is your second semester, isn't It? Could you tell us something about your first impressions of the town when you arrived?
K: Yeah well, first of all, I was struck by how quiet it is here in the evening.
C: Yes, I suppose Cambridge is a quiet place. Where did you live when you first arrived?
K: Well, I went straight into student accommodation; it was a kind of student hostel.
C: Ah right, so you didn't have to worry about doing your own cooking or anything like that?
K: No, but sometimes I wished I had! The food at the hostel was awful.
C: Oh dear. But how were the other students?
K: To be honest I haven’t managed to make many friends even though the place is full. People seem to keep to themselves; they’re not really very friendly.
C: Oh I’m sorry to hear that. Well, what about the actual course? You’re studying… uh?
K: I’m doing a Masters by coursework in Environmental Studies.
C: Ah, right, and how are you finding that?
K: Yeah, well, it’s been pretty good really. I’ve enjoyed the course, but I feel there hasn’t been enough contact with the lecturers. They all seem to be incredibly busy. The only chance I’ve really had to talk to them was on the field trip.
C: Well that’s no good. Could anything be done to improve the course in your opinion?
K: Well… I think it would be helpful to have meetings with lecturers on the course. Say once a fortnight — something like that.
C: Regular meetings. Yes, that could certainly help. Now, Kate, we’ll come back to you in a minute, but I’d just like to ask Luki some questions.
C: Luki, Where are you from?
L: I am from Indonesia.
C: And how did you find Cambridge when you first arrived?
L: Well, I like it here. I think the city is very beautiful.
C: What about your accommodation? Was that OK?
L: Yes, OK. At first, I stayed with a family for three months. They were very kind to me but they had three young children and I found it difficult to study.
C: Right, I see.
L: So after three months I moved out and now I live with two other students in a student house. It’s much cheaper and we like it there.
C: Good, and what about your studies? What are you studying?
L: I’m doing a Bachelor of Computing.
C: Computing. I see. Um, apart from the language difficulties, if you can separate them, how have you found the course?
L: OK, but…
C: Yes, go on.
L: Well, the main difficulty for me is getting time on the computers in the computer room. It’s always busy and this makes it very hard to do my practical work.
C: Yes, I’m sure it would. Can you reserve time in the computer room?
L: No, you can’t… but it would certainly help if we could reserve computer time.
C: Yes. I’ll look into that and see if something can’t be done to improve things over there. Now let’s go back to Kate...
Well, last week we talked about buying camping equipment and today I’d like to talk to you about buying a bicycle. A simple enough exercise, you might imagine, but there are lots of things to look out for to make sure you get the best deal for your money.
Well, the range of bicycles is enormous — there are racing bikes, touring bikes, mountain bikes or just plain ordinary bikes for riding round town. They vary enormously in two basic ways: price and quality. This means that the choice you make will probably be determined by the amount of money you want to pay, your own personal needs, what is actually available or a compromise of all three things. However, in broad terms you can spend anything from $50 to $2,000 on a bike so, you’ll need to know what you are looking for.
Single speed cycles — that is bikes with no gears are really only suited to short, casual rides. Their attraction is their simplicity and reliability. After years of neglect, they still manage to function, though not always too efficiently. If it’s basic transport you’re after then you can’t go wrong. Three speed cycles, on the other hand, are all that is really necessary for most town riding, going to the shops and things like that. Like the single speed bike, they are simple and reliable. If you are going to be going up and down lots of hills, then you’ll probably want something more efficient.
Five and ten speed bicycles are best suited to riding over long distances or hilly terrain and to serious touring, so if it’s serious touring you’re interested in, get a five or ten speed bike. However, it’s worth remembering that the difference in price between a five and ten speed cycle is usually very little and so it’s well worth paying that little bit extra to get the ten speed one. So I would tend to recommend the ten speed bike as the price is similar — however, you’ll be getting better quality components.
Now the next thing we need to look at is size. Buying a cycle is like buying clothes, first of all, you find the right size and then you try it on to see if it fits. Contrary to what you might imagine, the size of the cycle is not determined by the size of the wheels (except in children’s cycles), but by the size of the frame. So you’ll need to measure the length of your legs and arms to get a frame that is the right size for you. Well, that’s all from Helpful Hints for today…
F = Fiona
M = Martin
F: Hi there, Martin. How are you going with your Australian studies tutorial paper?
M: Oh good. I’ve finished it actually.
F: Lucky you. What did you do it on? I’m still trying to find an interesting topic.
M: Well... after some consideration I decided to look at the history of banana growing in Australia.
F: (surprised) Banana growing!
M: Yes, banana growing.
F: (sarcastically) Fascinating, I'm sure!
M: Well, it's not as boring as you'd think. And I wanted to tie it in to the work I've been doing on primary industries and the economy. Anyway, I bet there are a few things you didn't know about bananas!
F: Such as?
M: Such as the fact that bananas were among the first plants ever to be domesticated.
F: Oh, really?
M: Yes, they're an extremely nourishing food.
F: I suppose you're going to tell me the whole history of banana growing now aren't you?
M: Well, it'd be a good practice run for my tutorial next week. I'll do the same for you some time.
F: OK. Fire away. So where were these bananas first domesticated?
M: According to my research, the Cavendish banana, which is a type of banana and the first type to be cultivated here, actually originated in China but they had a fairly roundabout route before they got to Australia.
F: You mean they didnít go straight from China to Australia?
M: No, they didn't. It seems that in 1826, bananas were taken from South China to England.
F: I suppose they would have made a welcome addition to the English diet.
M: Yes, I'm sure. Well apparently there was an English Duke who was particularly fond of bananas and he used to cultivate them in his hothouse, which is where you have to grow them in England, of course, because of the cool climate and they became quite popular in the UK. So he was the one responsible for cultivating the Cavendish banana which was then introduced into Australia.
F: I see. And we've been growing them ever since?
F: Are they hard to grow?
M: Well, yes and no. To grow them in your garden, no, not really. But to grow them commercially you need to know what you’re doing. You see you only get one bunch of bananas per tree and it can take up to three years for a tree to bear fruit if you don’t do anything special to it. But this period is greatly reduced with modern growing methods, particularly in plantations where you have perfect tropical conditions.
F: Right! So what are you looking at? One year? Two years?
M: No, no, around 15 months in good conditions for a tree to produce a bunch of bananas. And once you've got your bunch you cut the bunch and the plant down.
F: So how do the trees reproduce then?
M: Well, bananas are normally grown from suckers which spring up around the parent plant, usually just above the plant. They tend to like to grow uphill or at least that's the common wisdom.
F: So that’s why banana plantations are usually on hillsides, is it?
M: Yes. They grow best like that.
F: That’s interesting!
M: If you plant them in rich soil and give them plenty of water at the beginning of summer, then they should be well advanced by the beginning of winter when growth virtually stops. But in a country like England, they're hard to grow, although you can grow them in a hothouse.
F: But in Australia, it's not difficult?
M: No, though even here, the growers put plastic bags around the bunches to protect them and keep them warm. If you go up to the banana-growing districts, you'll see all these banana trees with plastic bags on them.
F: But how do they stop the bananas going bad before they reach the shops?
M: Well, the banana bunches are picked well before the fruit is ripe. Once you cut the bunch, the bananas stop growing but they do continue to ripen. The interesting thing is that once one banana ripens, it gives off a gas which then helps all the others to ripen so they pretty much all ripen within a few hours of each other.
F: Amazing! So do we export lots of bananas overseas, to Europe and Asia for instance?
M: Well, oddly enough, no. I believe New Zealand takes a small proportion of the crop but otherwise, they're mostly grown for the domestic market, which is surprising when you think about it because we grow an enormous number of bananas each year.
F: Yes, well thank you for all that information. I'm sure the tutorial paper will go really well you certainly seem to have done your research on the subject.
M: Let's hope so.
J = John
D = Diane Greenbaum
J: Good morning, good morning, everyone, and welcome to our regular lecture on health issues. This series of lectures is organised by the Students’ Union and is part of the union’s attempt to help you, the students of this university, to stay healthy while coping with study and social life at the same time. So it’s a great pleasure for me to welcome back Ms Diane Greenbaum who is a professional dietician and who has been kind enough to give up her time, in what I know is a very hectic schedule, to come along and talk to us today.
D: Thank you. Thank you very much, John. May I say it’s a pleasure to be back. Now, stresses at university, being away from home and having to look after yourselves, learning your way around the campus all contribute to making it quite hard sometimes to ensure that your diet is adequate. So today I’m going to talk about ways of making sure that you eat well while at the same time staying within your budget.
If you have a well-balanced diet, then you should be getting all the vitamins that you need for normal daily living. However sometimes we think we’re eating the right foods but the vitamins are escaping, perhaps as a result of cooking and anyway we’re not getting the full benefit of them. Now, if you lack vitamins in any way the solution isn’t to rush off and take vitamin pills, though they can sometimes help. No, it’s far better to look at your diet and how you prepare your food.
So what are vitamins? Well, the dictionary tells us they are food factors essential in small quantities to maintain life. Now, there are fat soluble vitamins which can be stored for quite some time by the body and there are water soluble vitamins which are removed more rapidly from the body and so a regular daily intake of these ones is needed.
OK, so how can you ensure that your diet contains enough of the vitamins you need? Well, first of all, you may have to establish some new eating habits! No more chips at the uni canteen, I'm afraid! Now firstly, you must eat a variety of foods. Then you need to ensure that you eat at least four servings of fruit and vegetables daily. Now you'll need to shop two or three times a week to make sure that they're fresh, and store your vegetables in the fridge or in a cool dark place. Now let's just refresh our memories by looking at the Healthy Diet Pyramid. OK, can you all see that? Good. Well, now, as you see we've got three levels to our pyramid. At the top, in the smallest area, are the things which we should really be trying to avoid as much as possible. Things like... yes, sugar, salt, butter all that sort of thing.
Next, on the middle of our pyramid we find the things that we can eat in moderation. Not too much though! And that's where we find milk, lean meat, fish, nuts, eggs. And then at the bottom of the pyramid are the things that you can eat lots of! Because they're the things that are really good for you and here we have bread, vegetables and fruit. So don't lose sight of your healthy diet pyramid when you do your shopping.
[Source: Cambridge Practice Tests for IELTS 1]