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LISTENINGS ISE II de Trinity by teachontherun, teacher Raisa

Transcript

The city of Inverness

Use these resources to help prepare for ISE II exam.By Teacher Raisa.@teachontherun

ISE II (B2)Listenings

The housing crisis

Salaries in London

Private VS state schools

Education VS Experience

School uniforms

Home-schooling in US

Cost of education in UK

Learning foreign languages

Poaching

Desertification

Fox hunting

Nuclear energy

Soya: a popular food

Fracking

Digital native

Music

A new dog park

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The city of Inverness

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Question 2

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Generalmeaning

ISE II (B2)Listenings

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The housing crisis

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Read question 1 carefully and follow the instructions which appear in the windows. In the exam you will listen to the recording twice. Here you can practice as many times as you need.

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Question 2

Question 1

Generalmeaning

ISE II (B2)Listenings

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Salaries in London

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Read question 1 carefully and follow the instructions which appear in the windows. In the exam you will listen to the recording twice. Here you can practice as many times as you need.

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Question 2

Question 1

Generalmeaning

ISE II (B2)Listenings

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Private VS state schools

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Read question 1 carefully and follow the instructions which appear in the windows. In the exam you will listen to the recording twice. Here you can practice as many times as you need.

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Question 2

Question 1

Generalmeaning

ISE II (B2)Listenings

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Private VS state schools

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Read question 1 carefully and follow the instructions which appear in the windows. In the exam you will listen to the recording twice. Here you can practice as many times as you need.

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Question 2

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School uniforms

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Question 2

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ISE II (B2)Listenings

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Home-schooling in US

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Question 2

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ISE II (B2)Listenings

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The cost of education in the UK

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Question 2

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ISE II (B2)Listenings

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Learning foreign languages

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Question 2

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ISE II (B2)Listenings

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Poaching

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Desertification

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Fox hunting

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Nuclear energy

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Soya, a popular food

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Question 2

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Fracking

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Question 2

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Digital native

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Music

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A new dog park

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ISE II (B2)Listenings

The speaker is talking about the characteristics of the salaries in London and suggestions to help northerners to improve their salary.

General meaning

You’re going to hear a talk about a new dog park. You will hear the talk twice. The first time, just listen. Then I’ll ask you to tell me generally what the speaker is talking about. Are you ready?

Question 1

You’re going to hear a talk about soya, a popular food. You will hear the talk twice. The first time, just listen. Then I’ll ask you to tell me generally what the speaker is talking about. Are you ready?

Question 1

Education:◗ With no work experience have little chance of getting a job. ◗ Graduates earn around £200,000 more than non-graduates. ◗ More graduates in high-skilled employment than non-graduates. ◗ Graduates' salaries rise for a longer part of their career. ◗ It is better to have a degree. ◗ Education matters more than work experience for young people. ◗ People who get extra qualifications are more likely to receive pay rises and promotions.

Answers

Work experience:◗ Volunteer and unpaid positions are valuable. ◗ For young people who have a degree, work experience more important than further education. ◗ For graduates it's all about getting work experience.

You’re going to hear a talk about nuclear energy. You will hear the talk twice. The first time, just listen. Then I’ll ask you to tell me generally what the speaker is talking about. Are you ready?

Question 1

The speaker is talking about opinions about a new dog park and reasons why people agree with, or disagree with the opening of a dog park in Belfast.

General meaning

The speakers are talking about the advantages and disadvantages of school uniforms.

General meaning

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Now tell me the what facts about private and state schools in the UK and the speaker’s opinion. I’ll stop you after one minute.

Question 2

You’re going to hear a talk about poaching. You will hear the talk twice. The first time, just listen. Then I’ll ask you to tell me generally what the speaker is talking about. Are you ready?

Question 1

Arguments for:◗ The Countryside Alliance and hunting communities claim that being hunted is a natural part of life for animals. ◗ Many of the natural predators that would have hunted foxes no longer exist in the UK. ◗ Without it, the population of foxes would grow too big and become pests. ◗ Hunted animals die a relatively painless death.

Answers

Arguments against:◗ Animal rights groups claim that hunted animals feel a lot of stress and pain. ◗ Fox hunting is simply cruel ◗ It is morally wrong to kill animals for fun. ◗ Animals have the same right to life as people

Reasons to do home-schooling:◗ Some parents don’t have no other choice. ◗ In rural parts of America, the nearest school can be very far away – long commutes. ◗ When families move around regularly. ◗ Easy to sympathise and adapt in difficult situations. ◗ Safety and behavioural problems in public schools. ◗ Parents think they do better job educaiting children than a government or private school.

Answers

Drawbacks:◗ Parents might not be able to teach at secondary level. ◗ Children who don’t attend school don’t learn social skills and don’t make friends. ◗ Real danger of slower social development. ◗ Feel lonely.

Once upon a time, education was free in the UK - and by that, I mean it was free to go to primary school, secondary school and university if you wanted to. Well, not anymore. Third-level education has not been free for a number of years. In fact, it's becoming extremely expensive - with course fees now costing on average around £9,000 each year. But why do we charge students to learn? After all, doesn't this make society less equal? If only the wealthy are able to afford university, then the gap between rich and poor will widen. Besides, isn't education a basic right and isn't providing it a basic service the government should be responsible for? After all, our taxes are supposed to cover basic services. Is it really fair to ask for more money? The cost of third-level education has now got so great, in fact, that students from less well-off families are either unable to go or are getting into debt just to pay for university. And this puts them under financial pressure from a young age. It's another disadvantage for graduates from poor backgrounds as they compete against the wealthy. Having more debt when they graduate means they have less chance of being able to buy a home of their own in the future. On the other hand, universities themselves argue that fees are a very necessary part of the education process. Without them, they claim that UK universities wouldn't be able to compete with foreign ones and build and maintain facilities of the very highest standard. They argue that the money fees bring in is necessary if the UK is to continue producing world-class graduates, which attract the best companies here. Indeed, recently, a high-profile Oxford University representative suggested fees should be raised even higher than they are at the moment. He suggested it costs around £16,000 a year to educate a student at Oxford. As mentioned, fees are presently around £9,000, which is considerably less. However, since most ordinary families already struggle to afford the cost of university, asking for fees to be increased further seems a very questionable policy indeed. Perhaps our universities do need a lot of investment to remain some of the best in the world, but should students really be paying for this? Does the government not have a responsibility to find the money from elsewhere? Everyone should have an equal opportunity to go to university but, more and more, only the wealthy enjoy that choice.

You’re going to hear a talk about fox hunting. You will hear the talk twice. The first time, just listen. Then I’ll ask you to tell me generally what the speaker is talking about. Are you ready?

Question 1

You’re going to hear a talk about music. You will hear the talk twice. The first time, just listen. Then I’ll ask you to tell me generally what the speaker is talking about. Are you ready?

Question 1

Soya has become a hugely popular health food. Especially for vegans - people who do not eat meat and dairy products because they believe the way these are produced is cruel to animals. However, recently, people have started to question the health benefits of soya. So, is it a wonder food or not? Well, soya certainly has plenty of plus points. It is high in protein, which is especially good for vegetarians and vegans, who do no enjoy the protein benefits of eating meat. It is also an extremely adaptable ingredient and can be used to produce dairy-free milk, yoghurt and so on, as well as popular foods like tofu. Health studies also suggest eating soya can help lower the risk of breast cancer for women. Other research links eating soya to reduced levels of cholesterol too. As high cholesterol is a leading cause of heart disease, this would seem to be a very good thing indeed.So that explains why soya has become so popular. However, there are also some concerns about the product. A considerable worry is a recent report which found high levels of dangerous chemicals, known as pesticides, used to kill unwanted insects and weeds, in soya products. Most soya crops are GM as well. GM stands for genetically modified; that is, the crops are not natural because their characteristics have been changed by man. A great many people are against GM foods, but the truth is that if you do eat soya products, they are more than likely GM. Perhaps the most significant drawback of soya products, though, has nothing to do with eating them. It is, in fact, the effect that the popularity of soya has had on the landscape of certain countries. For example, in parts of Brazil and Argentina, huge areas of forest have been removed for financial reasons in order to grow soya crops. This has had a serious impact on the local environment. The trouble with scientific research is that it is very hard to know what to believe because frequently new reports come out which contradict each other. Soya is an example of this. At first, we were told it was a wonder food. Now there is concern. Remember, though, that soya has been a traditional part of Asian cuisine for many, many years. The difference is that it was always eaten in moderation. Today, however, in Western countries, it is estimated that about 70% of products contain soya as an ingredient. There is a saying: 'too much of anything is bad for you'. Perhaps people would do well to remember that.

Now listen to the task again. This time make some notes as you listen, if you want to. Then I’ll ask you to tell me arguments for and against using nuclear power. Are you ready?

Question 2

Now listen to the task again. This time make some notes as you listen, if you want to. Then I’ll ask you to tell me how education and work experience influence your career. Are you ready?

Question 2

Now listen to the task again. This time make some notes as you listen, if you want to. Then I’ll ask you to tell me the problem with poaching and how to resolve it. Are you ready?

Question 2

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The speaker is talking about arguments for and against using nuclear power.

General meaning

The speaker is talking about the causes of desertification in Central Africa and what is being doing to solve it.

General meaning

The speaker is talking about the advantages and disadvantages of living in Inverness and a conclusion about the main reason to live there.

General meaning

Now listen to the task again. This time make some notes as you listen, if you want to. Then I’ll ask you to tell me how life was before and after the internet and mobile phones/ digital technology.. Are you ready?

Question 2

Why some people disagree◗ Concerns about noise/barking of dogs.◗ Concerns about disturbing the sleep of elderly residents. ◗Concerns about the smell. ◗Some people think the park is too expensive (£5 per hour). ◗Free dog parks might be shut down.

Answers

Why some people agree. ◗ Dog owners struggle to provide their dogs with enough exercise in winter.◗ It encourages owners to be responsible and clean up their dogs' mess.◗There will be less dog mess on the streets as they have a special place to poo.◗Place to provide mental stimulation. ◗Can exercise dogs without annoying families/ children playing on the local green.◗It is depressing to walk dogs every day in the rain.◗ Park will bring many new jobs/boost economy

Advantages:◗ They make all students equal. ◗ They can't compete to be the most fashionable ◗ School uniforms are inexpensive, saving parents money. ◗ You can’t distinguish between rich and poor.

Answers

Disadvantages:◗ They have less freedom of expression. ◗ School uniforms are not always very comfortable to wear. ◗ It might not promote creativity and originality. ◗ many school uniforms look depressing

The average salaries in London and the south-east are now up to £10-15 thousand more than in Northern England. In London, since 2004, there has been a 20% increase in the number of jobs. In the north, again, the story is very different. For example, Blackpool has actually had negative job growth. In other words, fewer jobs have been created than have disappeared - by around 11 %. Is it any wonder then that unemployment is so high in Northern England if jobs aren't being created? To give you an example of how bad the situation is, unemployment in north-east England is nearly 10%. Compare that to only 7.5% in London and just over 5% in the south-east. These are clearly very difficult times for people living in northern counties. Many of them, particularly the young, have already left home to find jobs down south. This only makes the situation worse, however, by creating a brain drain. If all the talented young people move to London, for example, there is nothing to attract new companies to the north, is there?But what can be done to help northerners - how do we bridge this north-south divide? Well, first of all, there need to be infrastructure improvements. The government has spent a huge amount of money on the London Underground and on the improvement of London' transport system. In contrast, only a fraction of the amount has been spent on the north of England, where old, outdated trains. trams and buses, and overcrowding are a huge problem. There is talk of building a high-speed rail network linking London to the north. This will certainly help. But money must be spent on local improvements too. And, what's more, other infrastructural spending is necessary. Take communications. London and the south-east have great 4G mobile phone network coverage. In the north, the same cannot be said. Businesses will only want to set up in the north if it offers the same services as the south.However, infrastructure alone will not solve the problem. There is a real problem with the way government is set up. London and its neighbouring areas seem to get all the attention and spending. The only way this can change is if local government in the north is given more power and independence. If it can make its own rules and have increased investment, then the north can become attractive for business. This is the only way to create new job opportunities. Then the north will stop losing its talent to the south. And, who knows, some of the young people who've already left might even come back.

Now listen to the task again. This time make some notes as you listen, if you want to. Then I’ll ask you to tell me why soya became a popular food and outline some of the recent health concerns about eating it. Are you ready?

Question 2

Now listen to the task again. This time make some notes as you listen, if you want to. Then I’ll ask you to tell me the arguments for and against the fees of university in the UK. Are you ready?

Question 2

Advantages:◗ It has the youngest population and is the fastestgrowing UK city. ◗ It's very safe and has a relatively low cost of living. ◗ It promotes a healthy way of life. ◗ It has all the important facilities and amenities.

Answers

Disadvantages:◗ It's quite isolated and cut off from the rest of the country ◗ Internet and mobile services are less fast and reliable ◗ Transport links are poor ◗ Extreme weather ◗ Job opportunities are very limited

The speaker is talking about why soya became a popular food and outlines some of the recent health concerns about eating it.

General meaning

English is the language of global business and almost everywhere you go in the world you are likely to find someone you can communicate with if you speak it. Why then should English native speakers bother learning foreign languages? Do they really need to?Well, it seems there are some very practical reasons for doing so for self-benefit. First of all, research suggests that learning a foreign language actually makes you smarter - that is, it makes you perform better in standardised tests. This is because language learning improves your problem-solving, multi-tasking, decision-making and memory skills. Another self-centred reason for learning languages is to do with health. Research also suggests that learning another language can prevent diseases of the brain like Alzheimer's and dementia. And, would you believe that learning a second language has actually been shown to improve your command of your first language as well? These are some very convincing reasons for learning a second language, but, on the other hand, should the world not be moving towards using just one anyway? If we all speak the same language, it will promote better understanding between nations and there will be less conflict. There are practical reasons why we should all speak the same language too. Think how easy travel and business would be, never mind living abroad. These arguments suggest English native speakers are right not to learn other languages. They make it the responsibility of nonnatives to learn English. This brings the day when we can all communicate in the same language closer. But just think how boring and tragic that would be... The unique culture and identity of many countries and peoples would be lost. The world would be one big place of sameness. Perhaps, then, the best reason for learning a foreign language has nothing to do with the benefits for the learner at all. Maybe English speakers simply owe it to the rest of the world to show it some respect and send the message out that they value other cultures just as much as their own by making an effort to understand them. As language is at the heart of culture, that is where the effort should start.

Now listen to the talk again. This time make some notes as you listen, if you want to. Then I’ll ask you to tell me about the benefits of music. Are you ready?

Question 2

The speaker is talking about how life was before and after the internet and mobile phones/ digital technology.

General meaning

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Private schools State schools:◗ 85% of private school students go to university. ◗ 2/3 of private school students go to top universities. ◗ 1/20 private school students go Cambridge and Oxford. ◗ Private schools’ students focus on going to university and perform well at school. ◗ Class sizes are smaller. ◗ Outperform state school ones in competitive ◗ Earn on average £200,000 more

Answers

State schools:◗ 70% students from state schools go to university. ◗ 1/4 of state school students go to top universities. ◗ 1/100 state school students go Cambridge and Oxford. ◗ Fees are less.

Education is compulsory in America but school is not. While the majority of students are sent to either public or private schools, a tiny number, around 3% of the student population, is home-schooled. But is it really sensible of parents to educate their children at home? Well, the reality is that for some parents there is simply no other choice. In rural parts of America, the nearest school can be very far away indeed. It is quite understandable, therefore, that some parents don't want to force extremely long commutes on their children. Family circumstances can also make regular school attendance difficult. For example, parents who move around a lot for their work cannot simply send their children to different schools every other week. This would be emotionally damaging and the child would find it very hard to settle and focus. It is easy to sympathise with home-schooling parents in these and similar circumstances. Another common reason given for home-schooling is concern over safety and behavioural problems in public schools. In particularly poor and deprived areas, this fear is very real. The influences children encounter at school are very often not at all positive. However, only a small number of parents who home-school say this or any reason previously mentioned is why they do not send their children to school. In fact, the most common reason, given by almost half of parents, is that they think they can do a better job themselves than a government or private school can at educating their children. And perhaps parents are capable of schooling their children at primary level but the range and difficulty of subjects in secondary education is much greater. Most parents would surely struggle to give as complete an education as state schools for that reason. Besides, education is only one consideration. Children who attend school also learn social skills and make friends. They are in real danger of slower social development or of feeling lonely if they are home-schooled instead. In short, there is no doubt that some parents can and do educate their children successfully at home - and have very good and understandable practical reasons for doing so. However, are we expected to agree with the reason most parents give - that they can do a better job than the state? At school, each subject is taught by a qualified professional in that area. Can parents possibly know more about all the school subjects than people who have specifically studied them for years? And even if a few very talented ones can, can they also ensure that their children get enough social development at home? This all seems extremely unlikely.

You’re going to hear a talk about a digital native. You will hear the talk twice. The first time, just listen. Then I’ll ask you to tell me generally what the speaker is talking about. Are you ready?

Question 1

Now listen to the task again. This time make some notes as you listen, if you want to. Then I’ll ask you to tell me the benefits of learning foreign languages and consequences of English natives to speak only their language. Are you ready?

Question 2

Arguments for:◗ Nuclear power does not produce carbon dioxide = clean source. ◗ Nuclear plants would help make Ireland completely independent. ◗ Nuclear power is reliable. ◗ Less expensive today to produce nuclear energy than renewable alternatives.

Answers

Arguments against:◗ It produces harmful radioactive waste that stays active for tens of thousands of years. ◗ It can also be used to create nuclear weapons. ◗ Nuclear power stations will always be at risk from accident or even attack. ◗ Wind, solar and hydro power are truly clean fuels.

You’re going to hear a talk about desertification. You will hear the talk twice. The first time, just listen. Then I’ll ask you to tell me generally what the speaker is talking about. Are you ready?

Question 1

Arguments for:◗ It creates a new energy industry, meaning jobs and a boost for the local economy. ◗ Britain would be more independent using this energy. ◗ Cheaper energy bills for customers

Answers

Arguments against:◗ It causes small earthquakes. ◗ A huge amount of water is needed. ◗ It causes water pollution and reduces the quality of drinking water. ◗ It damages the landscape. ◗ It is a fossil fuel.

You’re going to hear a talk about issues which influence your career. You will hear the talk twice. The first time, just listen. Then I’ll ask you to tell me generally what the speaker is talking about. Are you ready?

Question 1

Now listen to the task again. This time make some notes as you listen, if you want to. Then I’ll ask you to tell me the advantages and disadvantages of living in Inverness. Are you ready?

Question 2

There can be no doubt that the traditional school uniform has its advantages. For a start, it makes all students equal. They can't compete to be the most fashionable - to wear nicer clothes than their peers. Moreover, school uniforms are inexpensive, saving parents money. It's true that if children didn't have to wear uniforms, they might have more freedom of expression. It might promote creativity and originality. There is also the fact that school uniforms are not always very comfortable to wear. However, I think all students must be treated as equals. Therefore, my view on school uniforms and whether we need them is very clear. The advantages of school uniforms are often talked about. When students wear them, they all dress and look the same - they all look equal. This is obviously important. It's not a good situation if students can wear whatever they want and wealthy ones dress and look better than everyone else. Besides, education is expensive and having a school uniform puts slightly less financial pressure on parents. On the other hand, we want our children to learn to express themselves, be creative and think original thoughts. If they all look the same, we are not helping this. In addition, many students complain that school uniforms are uncomfortable to wear. The arguments for both sides are strong. To be honest, I can't quite make up my mind between the two. It is very true that when students wear the same uniform they look like equals. You cannot tell if one has rich parents and one has poor. This is very important. And we all know education is a very expensive process, so anything that can reduce costs for parents should be welcomed. That said, is it really OK for us to dress all our children the same way? Are they not all individuals? Should we not treat them as such and encourage them to express their own ideas, to think for themselves? Besides, many school uniforms look depressing and aren't that comfortable. If you ask me, the drawbacks of wearing a school uniform are too serious to ignore. My view on whether or not students should wear school uniforms is, therefore, very clear.

Now listen to the task again. This time make some notes as you listen, if you want to. Then I’ll ask you to tell me arguments for and against fox hunting in Britain. Are you ready?

Question 2

Before: ◗ Before the world wasn't so well connected. ◗ It was more difficult to stay in touch/people sent letters and cards/ postcards. ◗ People used to make plans and stick to them. ◗ In the past it was difficult to do research/ difficult at University/ in libraries.◗In the past TV shows were aired once a week, or you could tape them.◗In the past companies relied on written information and travelling to meetings. ◗People used to meet partners via friends or at work.

Answers

After◗ Now your friends can see your holiday on Facebook.◗Now plans change easily (can update friends with phone call or text).◗Now journals are online/ libraries have electronic catalogues.◗Now we have more choice with satellite TV and internet streaming (Youtube, Netflix).◗Now international teams can work face to face/ in real time.◗Now it's too easy to take work home/there are laws in some countries to stop employees taking work home. ◗ Now you can use a website or app for dating.

Despite many protests, the Belfast Dog Park will open next week. Local residents have been complaining about these new facilities where dogs can run together and play off the lead. The park is within a residential area and has both indoor and outdoor facilities. It has been warmly welcomed by dog owners in the area, who struggle to provide their dogs with enough exercise in the wet winter months. There have been many concerns about the noise. A local representative said that there were many elderly people in the area, who often slept during the day, and they were very worried that the quiet area would be disturbed by barking dogs. The owners of the dog park have taken measures to soundproof the indoor facilities, but apart from some bushes and trees, little can be done for the sound coming from the outdoor park. Some people are also concerned about the smell. A local councillor reported that people felt that many dogs together in one area would inevitably create a stink! The owners of the dog park strongly disagree. They felt that bringing dog owners together in one area encouraged owners to be responsible for their pets, and clean up any mess. In addition, they said that they would clean the premises daily. They think that residents will see an improvement in the surrounding streets, as the dogs will have a special place to poo! Not all dog owners are totally happy about the park. The price of entry, around £5 per hour is seen as very expensive. There are currently some free council-run dog zones in local parks, but dog owners worry that these may be shut down because of the new, improved -but more expensive- facilities. It's clear that there is a lot of demand for the park, many dog owners said they would be willing to pay the high price. A local councillor, a labrador owner, explained that responsible dog owners wanted to exercise their dogs, and provide them with mental stimulation -but they didn't want to cause problems for children and families who use the local green. He admitted that it was also a bit depressing taking the dogs for walks every day in the rain!The local business community have been supportive. The head of the small business association said that the dog park will bring many, much needed, part time jobs to the area and boost the local economy. It waits to be seen if, in time, the local residents will welcome the hounds or go barking mad because of their new furry neighbours!

The speaker is talking about the problems of housing in the UK and possible ways to solve them.

General meaning

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Well, I have to ask myself, if Inverness is so fantastic, then why isn't everyone moving up there? There are a lot of very practical reasons why they're not. The city is in the Scottish highlands -it's quite isolated and cut off from the rest of the country. This has a lot of implications. Take communications: internet and mobile services are less fast and reliable - in rural areas, they can be almost non-existent. And what about transport? There's no denying that transport links are poorer here than in other major cities, so people are much more reliant on cars. Well and good, but what if you don't have a car- what if you can't drive? And then there's the weather. Winters are harsh here, and the extreme weather is hardly best suited to the elderly. At times, heavy snow can cut off the A9 road - the only route south. This is far from ideal. And finally, there's the jobs issue. The local jobs market is quite specialized. There are lots of jobs in areas like tourism, forestry, and agriculture, but job opportunities are very limited when compared with bigger cities like London, and pay is less. That said, Inverness has the youngest population and is the fastest-growing UK city. It's very safe and has a relatively low cost of living. For example, owning your own home is a realistic goal for most, whereas in London it's impossible for a great many people. The location promotes a healthy way of life - the pace is slower and more relaxed, and many people do outdoor activities in the Highland countryside in their time off. Inverness also has a stronger sense of community than big cities - neighbors actually know and say hello to one another! And let's not forget Inverness is a city, so it has all the important facilities and amenities you could need and excellent rail links to the rest of the country, as well as an international airport. I think it's clear we shouldn't pay too much attention to these surveys, though. Somewhere like Inverness is only a great place to live if you can earn a living there - and that means finding a Job. Also, what's the good of moving somewhere remote and being far away from your family? Perhaps Inverness is a great place to live - but mainly, I think, for locals, who already have lives and jobs there.

Now listen to the task again. This time make some notes as you listen, if you want to. Then I’ll ask you to tell me the causes of desertification in Central Africa and what is being doing to solve it. Are you ready?

Question 2

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Now listen to the talk again. This time make some notes as you listen, if you want to. Then I’ll ask you to tell me why some people agree, and some people disagree with the opening of the new dog park.

Question 2

Benefits of learning foreign languages:◗ Makes you smarter. ◗ Perform better in standardised tests. ◗ Improves your problem-solving, multi-tasking, decision-making and memory skills. ◗ Prevents diseases of the brain like Alzheimer's and dementia. ◗ Improves your command of your first language. ◗ English natives would show respect and value for other cultures.

Answers

Consequences for natives speaking one:◗ English is the language of global business. ◗ Almost everywhere you go you can communicate with English. ◗ The world is moving towards using just English. ◗ English promotes better understanding between nations and there will be less conflict. ◗ The unique culture and identity of many countries and peoples would be lost. ◗ The world would be one big place of sameness.

The speaker is talking about the reasons for home-schooling as part of the US education system and the possible drawbacks.

General meaning

Which matters more to your career - education or work experience? Well, a recent study claimed that graduates with no work experience have little chance of getting a job, so, if you are at university, use your summers wisely. That doesn't necessarily mean you have to find paid work, though. Volunteer and unpaid positions can be just as valuable a source of work experience.So, work experience is clearly important in the sense that new graduates who have some will probably do better than ones who don't. But that's not really the question - what about a graduate versus someone with a lot of work experience who didn't go to university? Who will do better in their career?Well, the answer is very simple. On average, graduates earn around £200,000 more than non-graduates during their career. Furthermore, there are far more graduates in high-skilled employment than non-graduates, and it is said that graduates' salaries rise for a longer part of their career too. It is very clear then that it is better to have a degree or other similar qualification than to have neither and just to rely on work experience. Work experience definitely doesn't give non-graduates an advantage over graduates in the long term. Education, therefore, matters more than work experience for young people. However, for young people who have a degree, work experience is usually more important than further education. For example, a recent graduate with three years' work experience is more likely to be offered a job than someone who spent an extra three years in education who has no work experience. Education is more important until you have completed a degree. Then, it's all about getting work experience. Work experience is, in most cases, more valuable to young graduates than further study. However, after a number of years of work, education can become important again. People who get extra qualifications are more likely to receive pay rises and promotions. This can often be achieved through evening study and distance learning, though - so it is different because you are doing both things at the same time; getting extra qualifications and work experience. There are always exceptions to the rule. Many people who never went to university do very well in their careers - better than a lot of graduates. Those people learn and practise their skills on-the-job, not in the classroom. But, if I were given the choice between doing a degree or starting work at a young age, I know I could only make one decision because, on average, I would then perform better.

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Now tell me the what the characteristics of the salaries in London are and suggestions to help northerners to improve their salary. I’ll stop you after one minute.

Question 2

Benefits of music◗ Music activates many parts of the brain, enhances learning. ◗ Improves reading and literacy. ◗ Improves reasoning and mathematics.◗ Use as music therapy/ enhances mood (Upbeat music to help people feel more positive, slow music to feel less anxious).◗ Can be used to help insomnia.◗ Improves immune system/ lowers stress hormones.◗ Reduces pain.◗ Rhythm can help people with Parkinson's Disease/ movement disorders.◗ Improves performance in sport/ less fatigue and less oxygen needed with music.◗ Playing music improves coordination and reaction speed.◗ Can improve productivity/concentration

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You’re going to hear a talk about a place to live. You will hear the talk twice. The first time, just listen. Then I’ll ask you to tell me generally what the speaker is talking about. Are you ready?

Question 1

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Are you the sort of person who always has their headphones in their ears? Or do you prefer the live music experience? One thing is for certain, humans have a very special relationship with this art form, and increasingly we realise how much music can make us work harder, get better, exercise faster and become stronger! Music activates many regions of the brain, so perhaps this is why playing or listening to music seems to be such a powerful way to enhance learning. Reading and literacy skills, reasoning and mathematical abilities have all been shown to improve with musical training and the simple act of listening to music.Music therapy is a growing area in medicine. People have used music to enhance mood since ancient times but recent advances in brain imaging have helped scientifically demonstrate the benefits music can have for our health. Upbeat, fast music has been shown to help people feel more optimistic and positive, and soft, slow music decreases anxiety, muscle tension and can be used before bedtime to help people with chronic insomnia.A surprising discovery has been that listening to music can improve your immune system, and lower levels of stress hormones. Endorphins released in the brain can help reduce the sensation of pain, and the rhythm of music has been shown to help patients with movement disorders such as Parkinson's Disease.It seems that listening to music can also improve physical performance in sport. Many of us enjoy exercising while listening to uplifting music. Now there is evidence that we experience less fatigue, and can exercise for longer if we listen to music we enjoy at the same time. One study of cyclists listening to their favourite tunes even showed that they needed less oxygen than people cycling without music. The physical skills and rhythm learned while studying music also seem to confer advantages for other physical tasks, and children who can play instruments show better coordination and reaction speed than children without musical training.We'd all like to improve our productivity and some studies have shown that listening to music before working can help us concentrate better and process images and information faster. Some people even concentrate better with some soft background music, but this doesn't apply to everybody. So for life-enhancing benefits, and now it seems even therapy, turn up the volume and enjoy!

Are you a ''digital native''? That is to say, are you someone who has grown up with internet access, mobile devices and social media platforms? While many adults today are digital natives, most people born before around 1990 can clearly remember a time when the world wasn't quite so well connected. It was a more difficult to keep in touch! People used to write letters and send greetings cards much more frequently. Even sending postcards from an exotic holiday destination is much less frequent now. All of your friends can see your beach selfies on Facebook moments after you take them. Prior to mobile phones, people used to make plans to meet - and stick to them! Home phones were used to catch up with family members, and phone friends to make arrangements to go out. Nowadays plans can change at the last minute without too much inconvenience, as friends can be updated instantly with a quick phone call or text.Did you go to university in the pre-internet era? If you did, you might remember how difficult it was to do research, finding books and journals using a catalogue system. Nowadays most academic journals are available online, and libraries have electronic catalogues - it's much less of a headache! Perhaps you will also remember when your favourite TV show was only aired once a week? In the 1980s you might have had a video recorder to tape the show, but there certainly wasn't the choice and instant availability of satellite television, or internet streaming services like YouTube or Netflix. The digital age has also changed the way we do business. International teams can work together face to face in real time, whereas companies used to rely more heavily on written communication and travelling to meetings, which was both expensive and time consuming. People used to be able to ''turn off'' mentally and physically when they left their place of work - it's now too easy to take work home! Some countries like France have now created laws to protect employees from having to check their emails and phones outside work. Even dating has radically changed! People used to mainly meet their partners via friends or at work, now websites can match people with similar interests and characteristics, or you can use an app to see if there is anyone who interests you in your area. In recent years there has been some backlash towards this increasing interconnectedness. People are starting to value their privacy and their own free time more, and some may even look back on the pre-digital era with fondness.

The speaker is talking about facts about private and state schools in the UK and the speaker’s opinion.

General meaning

Fracking is a relatively new way of getting gas from rock in places where this was impossible not so long ago. It meansthat Britain has a potentially important new energy supply. Parts of the country are said to contain considerable amounts of gas that can now be released through fracking. However, fracking is a very controversial process. Let's take a look at why. First of all, it is known that fracking causes small earthquakes. But, while this can be a little scary for people, research indicates that the quakes are too small to cause serious damage and that most of them go completely unnoticed. Another issue people have with fracking is the huge amount of water needed. This appears to be a real concern and the pressure put on local rivers and underground water supplies could eventually change or damage the local environment. It is also suggested that fracking can cause water pollution and reduce the quality of drinking water, though this claim has yet to be proven. The fact that the potential fracking sites are located in the heart of the countryside is causing considerably worry too. Not only would the fracking wells themselves damage the landscape, but the infra-structure needed, such as roads and support facilities, would cause further harm. One of the most obvious issues of all is that gas is a fossil fuel. At a time when global warming is such a serious issue, many people feel that we should be investing in renewable energy not gas reserves.So, with all these issues associated with fracking, why do some people still support the idea? Well, there are many practical reasons for doing so. For starters, fracking would create a new energy industry, meaning jobs and a boost for the local economy. In addition to this, it would solve a serious problem the UK has at the moment. Around half of the energy used in the UK is imported from abroad. This means Britain is dependent on other countries - a very risky situation. Britain could easily be taken advantage of if suppliers raised prices. Or worse, if suppliers stopped sending energy, there would be a local energy crisis. Estimates suggest that gas sourced from fracking would solve this problem and allow the UK to support itself. That would be very positive for the country's security. Another benefit off racking is likely to be cheaper energy bills for customers. This would, of course, make the activity very popular. At least, that's what you'd expect, but the truth is fracking is splitting local communities. Many want the jobs and the money that fracking will generate, but others fear for the environment, both locally and globally. Whatever the pros and cons of fracking, it seems a great shame that it is being promoted by the government at the expense of clean, renewable energy, which must surely be the future if we care about our planet.

The speaker is talking about the benefits of learning foreign languages and consequences of English natives when speaking only their language.

General meaning

Poaching or illegal hunting of endangered species is a huge problem in many parts of Africa. Tens of thousands of rhinos have been killed in recent years, for example. Indeed, tragically, there are only 5 Northern White Rhinos left on the planet. They face extinction because poaching has virtually destroyed their population. What, if anything, can we do about this issue? First, we must look at the causes of poaching. Most poachers come from very poor villages in rural Africa. They have little money to buy food and find it hard to survive. Poaching rare animals is a way for them to get some much-needed money, by selling valuable furs.We cannot really blame or punish these poachers. They have very few choices and face a very difficult life. So, what can we do? Well, first of all, we must be clear; this isn't Africa's problem. If we lose rare and endangered species, it is a tragedy for all humankind. The wealthy countries of the West have a responsibility to support poorer African nations with significant resources and finance to stop poaching. This is key; Europe and America need to spend a lot of time and money on the problem. But how to spend the money? That is the question. Is the answer simply to have more police and rangers patrolling the countryside to stop poaching? This will certainly help to a point. However, it will probably be very difficult if not impossible to stop poaching everywhere given the size of the African wilds. The number of police and rangers needed just isn't practical. Besides, even if we succeeded in stopping the poachers, think about what that could mean for them and their families. Many of these people have very hard lives. So, unless we help them, they may never stop trying to poach - because, sometimes, it's their only option. Therefore, education is key - teach villagers new skills that they can use for employment - give them new options. And, as for the Western money - invest it in the local economy, where it can hopefully make a real difference. We need to give the poachers a fairer and more decent way of life. But there is an even bigger issue. And it is the West's problem. Most of the international criminals who buy these illegal products come from the West and the private buyers are mostly rich Westerners too. Unless Western governments stop these criminals, there will always be a market and a demand for hunted rare animals. We must bring both the buyers and sellers to justice and punish their actions if we ever want to solve the problem.

You’re going to hear a talk about education. You will hear the talk twice. The first time, just listen. Then I’ll ask you to tell me generally what the speaker is talking about. Are you ready?

Question 1

The speaker is talking about the arguments for and against the cost of university in the UK.

General meaning

The housing crisis in the UK's capital is out of control. Young Londoners today face an impossible situation. A few days ago, it was reported that out of the thousands of homes for sale in Lon-don this week, only 43 of them were affordable for first-time buyers. Indeed, the situation has got so bad that the average age at which people in the capital city buy their first home is soon expected to rise to 52. And even for those who can afford to purchase, this is typically only possible thanks to the help of mummy and daddy. It is estimated that 60% of all first-time buyers already use their parents' money for some or all of their house deposit. But surely if Londoners can't buy, they can rent, right? What's so bad about that? If only. Since 2011, rent has risen by 20%. In fact, it is now more expensive to pay rent in many cases than to have a mortgage. And the trouble is landlords can increase the rent by as much as they want after the first year - there are no rent controls. The demand for rented accommodation keeps increasing because people can't afford to buy their homes. So long as demand goes up, so will prices. Londoners are in an awful situation. The situation is so bad, in fact, that we must do something about it, but what? Should we just build more houses? Surely that will solve the problem. Unfortunately, London homes are being bought by wealthy foreign and UK investors. Ordinary Londoners can't compete with them, so, if we build more homes, they will just be sold to rich landlords who can make more money by renting them out. How about rent control then? This would certainly help. There is no way landlords should be allowed to increase rents by as much as they want after the first year. This can destroy people's lives. If you're a family and you can't afford your rent, you have to move out, and then what? You have to find a new home, new schools for your children - it's a nightmare. So rent control will certainly help, but it won't solve the problem. What we really need is for politicians to make the brave decision to build lots of new homes for sale only to firsttime buyers. If first-time buyers don't have to compete with the rich, the prices will be more affordable. But will the government do this? Well, if more people could afford their own home, rents would go down and eventually so would house prices generally. Rich people might stop investing in property and this could mean less money for London.

For a number of years now, fox hunting with dogs has been illegal in the UK. However, the new government is suggesting that there should be a vote on allowing the activity again. The issue has divided society and proved very controversial. Both sides feel very strongly about it.On one hand, animal rights groups are very much against the legalisation of fox hunting. They claim that it is wrong for a number of reasons. First of all, scientific evidence suggests that hunted animals feel a lot of stress and pain, so fox hunting is simply cruel. Secondly, fox hunting is a pleasure sport and most people think it is morally wrong to kill animals for fun. And, thirdly, what about the animals' rights? Animals have the same right to life as people. It is wrong to kill a person, so it is wrong to kill an animal. Both acts are murder, animal rights groups say. On the other side are the Countryside Alliance and hunting communities. They argue that being hunted is a natural part of life for animals, so organised hunts aren't doing anything wrong. Furthermore, since many of the natural predators that would have hunted foxes no longer exist in the UK, they say hunts take on this natural role instead. They also say that hunting provides an important service to the countryside. Without it, the population of foxes would grow too big and they would become pests (problem animals for society). Another argument to support hunting is that it has a long tradition in Britain and the sport is part of British culture. It also provides employment. Hunters say that hunted animals die a relatively painless death, though most scientists disagree with this claim. Personally, I believe the scientists. And if the fox population does become too big, surely there are more humane ways to control it. So, I think Britain could do without the return of this particular part of its culture. Is fox hunting a sport? Well, are the foxes having fun? The argument for fox hunting is simply not convincing in my view.

You’re going to hear a talk about a rent problem. You will hear the talk twice. The first time, just listen. Then I’ll ask you to tell me generally what the speaker is talking about. Are you ready?

Question 1

You’re going to hear a talk about fracking. You will hear the talk twice. The first time, just listen. Then I’ll ask you to tell me generally what the speaker is talking about. Are you ready?

Question 1

Now listen to the task again. This time make some notes as you listen, if you want to. Then I’ll ask you to tell me the arguments for and against fracking. Are you ready?

Question 2

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Causes:◗ Due to human activity.◗ Deforestation: trees to build farm lands. ◗ Overgrazing. ◗ Building dams which change the course of rivers. ◗ Droughts can then speed up the process.

Answers

Problems to solve it:◗ Villages are taking responsibility: tree planting. ◗ Trying out new farming methods that do not damage the soil. ◗ Investment and help from outside ◗ Great Green Wall of Africa project of replanting. ◗ Gum trees to collect and sell.

Arguments for:◗ Fees are a very necessary part of the education process. ◗ UK universities wouldn't be able to compete with foreign ones. ◗ Build and maintain facilities of the very highest standard. ◗ Producing world-class graduates.

Answers

Arguments against:◗ Only the wealthy are able to afford university.◗ Make society less equal. ◗ Education a basic right, a service provided by the government. ◗ Our taxes are supposed to cover basic services. ◗ Students from less well-off families are unable to go to university. ◗ Under financial pressure from a young age. ◗ Less chance of being able to buy a home..

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Housing problems:◗ Parents might help when buying a new home. ◗ It is now more expensive to pay rent than to have a mortgage. ◗ There are no rent controls. ◗ People can't afford to buy their homes. ◗ London homes are being bought by wealthy foreign and UK investors.

Answers

Possible solutions:◗ Build more houses. ◗ Control the rent. ◗ Politicians to build more homes. ◗ Stop rich people investing in property.

You’re going to hear a talk about foreign language learning. You will hear the talk twice. The first time, just listen. Then I’ll ask you to tell me generally what the speaker is talking about. Are you ready?

Question 1

You’re going to hear a talk about the salaries in London. You will hear the talk twice. The first time, just listen. Then I’ll ask you to tell me generally what the speaker is talking about. Are you ready?

Question 1

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You’re going to hear a talk about school uniforms. You will hear the talk twice. The first time, just listen. Then I’ll ask you to tell me generally what the speaker is talking about. Are you ready?

Question 1

In many parts of the world, land that supports life is being lost to desert. This process, where good land for plants to grow and animals to live on dries up and turns to dust, is called desertification. It is a very serious problem in some hotter parts of the world where there is a shortage of water, particularly Central Africa.The main causes are nearly always due to human activity. For example, deforestation. Trees are often cut down to make room for farmland. The problem with this is that trees hold the soil together and keep the good nutrients - the food that makes it possible for plants to grow - in the ground. Without trees, these nutrients can disappear and the land then becomes dry. Adding to the problem and making the process of drying quicker is the fact that farmers let their cows and other farm animals graze or feed on the land. Overgrazing has serious consequences because it also harms the soil. And sometimes, when humans build dams (walls across rivers) to collect water or change the course of rivers, this also affects the condition of the land too. It takes water away and causes more drying. These issues together create a situation where desertification can take place. Natural events, like drought - long periods with no rain - can then speed up the process even more. One of the best examples of the problem occurs in Niger. There alone, it is estimated that 1,000 square miles of land are lost every year to the Sahara Desert. However, steps are being taken to solve the problem. Many villages are taking responsibility for it themselves by setting up selfhelp groups to tackle the issue. These groups are involved in activities like tree-planting. They are also trying out new farming methods that do not damage the soil. But the resources of small African communities are limited and the only way to really solve the problem and help stop and reverse desertification is with investment and help from outside. And it seems that this help is finally coming. After many years of discussions and inaction, a huge tree-planting project across 11 different African countries recently got underway. The project, named Great Green Wall of Africa, is funded by the African Union, the European Union, the World Bank and international investors. It aims to plant a 4,800-mile-long wall of trees across Africa to stop the Sahara Desert from increasing in size. A lot of planning goes into the planting process. For example, in very poor areas where trees were often cut down and sold for money in the past, villagers now have reasons to protect them. Gum trees, for example, are being planted. These are more valuable alive than dead. Villagers can make money from collecting the gum and selling it. We won't know for some time if the tree-planting project can succeed in stopping the desert's progress, but there is a lot of hope and optimism right now.

You’re going to hear a talk about the cost of education in UK. You will hear the talk twice. The first time, just listen. Then I’ll ask you to tell me generally what the speaker is talking about. Are you ready?

Question 1

The speaker is talking about the benefits of music.

General meaning

The speaker is talking about the process of fracking and explains the arguments for and against it.

General meaning

Now listen to the task again. This time make some notes as you listen, if you want to. Then I’ll ask you to tell me the advantages and disadvantages of school uniforms. Are you ready?

Question 2

Now listen to the task again. This time make some notes as you listen, if you want to. Then I’ll ask you to tell me the reasons for home-schooling and the possible drawbacks. Are you ready?

Question 2

Nuclear energy - for many people this is the answer to all our energy problems. For others, a nuclear Ireland is a nightmare situation. So, what are the pros and cons of the issue? Well, supporters claim that nuclear power does not produce carbon dioxide, which makes it a clean energy source that doesn't contribute to global warming. What's more, a major drawback of the energy situation at the moment is that Ireland is dependent on other countries to supply it with power. Nuclear plants would help make Ireland completely independent- other countries could no longer take advantage of them by charging high prices for energy supply and there would be no risk of the country running out of energy. Furthermore, nuclear power is reliable, unlike renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. You have a secure supply of power all the time, not just when the sun shines or the wind blows. And one final important point is that it is less expensive today to produce nuclear energy than renewable alternatives. But while it may be true that nuclear power doesn't produce carbon dioxide, it does produce harmful radioactive waste that stays active for tens of thousands of years. I'm not sure that's any better. And while it is also true that the technology used to create nuclear power has improved and made the process safer, remember that nuclear technology can also be used to create nuclear weapons. Do we really want a world in which making more of these killing machines is possible? Furthermore, 'safer' is not the same as risk-free. Nuclear power stations will always be at risk from accident or even attack. Think of the Fukushima disaster in Japan a few years ago, caused by an earthquake and a tsunami. It is impossible to make nuclear power completely safe and the consequences of a disaster could be very serious, causing harm to both people and the environment. It's true then that nuclear power is reliable and 'relatively' safe. But the question is: is 'relatively' good enough given the consequences if something goes wrong? Besides, nuclear technology isn't the only kind that has improved recently. So too has the technology used to generate renewable energy. And as the technology improves, the cost continues to fall. Wind, solar and hydro power are truly clean fuels. What's more, while it might not have much sunshine, Ireland has a very reliable supply of wind and water, so perhaps the future should not be nuclear after all.

You’re going to hear a talk about an educative system. You will hear the talk twice. The first time, just listen. Then I’ll ask you to tell me generally what the speaker is talking about. Are you ready?

Question 1

Characteristics of the salaries:◗ South-east salaries are up to £10-15 thousand more than in Northern England. ◗ Blackpool has actually had negative job growth. ◗ Unemployment in north-east England is nearly 10%, 7.5% in London and just over 5% in the south-east. ◗ Young people leave home to find a job in the south.

Answers

Suggestions to improve:◗ Infra-structure improvements needed. ◗ A huge amount of money on the London Underground, in contrast, only a fraction of the amount on the north. ◗ South-east have great 4G mobile phone while in the north, the same cannot be said. ◗ Local government in the north must be given more power and independence. ◗ Create new job opportunities

The speaker is talking about the problem with poaching and possible solutions to resolve it.

General meaning

Here in the UK, there is a lot of controversy about the secondary school education system. Most people think students who go to private schools have considerable advantages over students who go to state schools. Well, let's examine the facts and see if that really is the case.The truth is the figures don't lie and they really do seem to suggest that private school kids do better than state school ones. For example, over 85% of private school students go on to study at university. Compare that with just 70% from state schools. But we also know some universities are said to be better than others, so who goes to the best ones? Well, around two-thirds of the private school students who go to university attend so-called top ones, but just a quarter of state school students do. And what about the top two universities in the country - Cambridge and Oxford? Well, one in twenty private school students go to Cambridge and Oxford but the figure for state school students is just one in one hundred. Private school students clearly have a significant edge in terms of getting into university, but this is not the only place where they have an advantage. At school, of course, they are also much better off. Class sizes are smaller - sometimes by up to 20 students - teaching is sometimes or a higher· quality and they enjoy more one-to-one attention. Facilities in private schools are better too - and not just educational ones but sports also. That probably explains why private school students outperform state school ones in competitive sport as well as in the classroom. And, according to a recent study, private school graduates will have earned on average £200,000 more than state school ones by the time they get to middle age.Sadly, in my opinion, there is no question over which schools are better - private schools win hands down. As a parent, therefore, I must send them to private school if l can afford it. At least, that is my belief - and luckily, I can and will. However, there are many parents out there who cannot afford school fees. What about their children? Is it right that they do not have the same level of opportunity according to the statistics? We are supposed to live in an equal society. In reality, I'd suggest we are anything but equal. Those who can afford it get a better education. Perhaps the only way to change this is to abolish private schools altogether. Let there be only one type of school for everyone. Then, to improve the level of opportunity for one student, we would have to do it for all. Sadly, this is unlikely to happen soon.

The speaker is talking about arguments for and against fox hunting in Britain.

General meaning

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Why it has become popular:◗ It is high in protein. ◗ It is an extremely adaptable ingredient. ◗ It can be used to produce dairy-free milk, yoghurt and so on, as well as popular foods like tofu. ◗ It can help lower the risk of breast cancer for women. ◗ It reduces the levels of cholesterol.

Answers

Recent health concerns:◗ It contains high levels of dangerous chemicals. ◗ Most soya crops are GM (genetically modified). ◗ In Brazil some forest have been removed for financial reasons in order to grow soya crops.

Problems:◗ Produces extinction of many species. ◗ Most poachers come from very poor villages in rural Africa and sell the furs to earn money. ◗ Losing rare and endangered species is a tragedy for all humankind.

Answers

Solutions:◗ Wealthy countries should support poorer African nations to stop poaching. ◗ Education is key - teach villagers new skills for employment. ◗ Invest Western money in the local economy. ◗ Western governments stop Western criminals who buy hunted animals. ◗ Bring the buyers and sellers to justice and punish their actions.

Now listen to the task again. This time make some notes as you listen, if you want to. Then I’ll ask you to tell me the problems of housing in the UK and possible ways to solve them. Are you ready?

Question 2

The speaker is talking about how education and work experience might influence a person’s career.

General meaning

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