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IELTS Listening Section 1
Student: Good morning!
Woman: Good morning – can I help you?
Student: Yes, is this where we register for the Beyond 2000 Conference?
Woman: Yes? What’s your name and I’ll get your conference bag.
Student: Well, I haven’t actually registered yet. I was told I’d be able to register today, so I hope that’s OK. I’ve just arrived in Melbourne.
Woman: That should be fine, if you’re a student. I’ll need to take your details though. So can I have your full name?
Student: Yes, sure. It’s Melanie Mitchell .
Woman: Is that M-I-T-C-H-E double L ?
Student: Yes, that’s right  and that’s Ms not Miss.
Woman: OK, fair enough! And what’s your address, Melanie?
Student: I live in student accommodation at Sydney University. So my address there is Room 66 , Women’s College, Newtown.
Woman: OK. And which Faculty are you studying in?
Student: I’m in the Faculty of Education  – I’m doing a Master’s in Primary School Teaching.
Woman: Right, and may I see your student card because I need to verify that you’re a current student?
Student: Yes, sure. Here it is. My number is … 9-9-4-5-7-8-E-D  .
Woman: OK – now do you want to attend all three days? The conference runs from Thursday to Saturday.
Student: Yes, I think so – if I can afford it. What does it cost?
Woman: Well, you’re eligible for a student discount – which makes it $15 for a day registration or $40 for the three days, though it is possible to register for half a day only.
Student: I’ll register for all three days, please. 
Woman: Good. Now, will you be requiring accommodation while you’re here in Melbourne?
Student: Yes, I suppose I will. What’s available?
Woman: Well, we have several levels of accommodation. You can share a room with another student for $25 a night.
Woman: Or you can have your own room but share the bathroom – I believe it’s just down the corridor – that’s $45.
Woman: Or you can have a single room with your own bathroom .
Student: I don’t mind sharing a room. On second thoughts, yes I do – I’ll have my own room, but I’ll share the bathroom. 
Woman: Right … Now the conference fee does not include meals though you d o get tea and coffee in the breaks. Shall I put you down for lunch – that’s an extra $10 a day and there’s the conference dinner on Friday night which is $25… oh, and what about breakfast?
Student: Hang on a minute… it’s all starting to sound rather expensive! I’ll have the lunch but not the dinner or breakfast – if that’s OK? 
Woman: Perfectly OK. Now … a couple of other things – there are a number of special interest groups organised – they’re known as SIG’s and you’re asked to nominate your preference. They’ll take place on the Friday afternoon and Saturday morning but they’re filling up quickly which is why you need to nominate now.
Student: Right. What are the SIG’s?
Woman: Well, there are six altogether. Let’s see, on Friday you have a choice between Computers in Education or Teaching Reading Skills…
Woman: … or a session on Catering for the Gifted Child.
Student: Oh they all sound interesting but technology in the classroom is really my area of interest rather than reading, so I’ll go for that . I can probably read up on the gifted child topic myself.
Woman: Right … And then the Saturday options are: a session on Cultural Differences; or there’s Music in the Primary Curriculum or you could go to the one on Gender Issues in the Classroom.
Student: Wow! Can I go to them all? They all sound fascinating.
Woman: Afraid not.
Student: Well, I am really interested in how boys and girls behave differently, even when they are very young, so I’d better opt for the third session  even though the Cultural Differences SIG is probably really interesting, too.
Student: … and the Music option would be …
Woman: And how would you like to pay? We accept most credit cards – or bank cheques but not personal cheques, I’m afraid. Been caught out too often before – and cash, of course. We never say ‘No’ to cash.
Student: I’ll have to put it on my card  because I don’t have enough cash on me, right now.
Woman: That’s fine. Enjoy your time here with us in Melbourne…
IELTS Listening Section 2
Woman: Right, let’s move on to the beaches here which are absolutely beautiful. You do have over a hundred to choose from, they’re mostly sandy beaches and they vary from the largest which is two and a half kilometres long, to tiny sandy coves. But there are a few that I’d really recommend you to visit.
So looking at this pamphlet, first of all there’s Bandela beach. This beach is one kilometre away from the old fishing village of Bandela , which is a beautiful spot. If you park in the car park behind it, there’s a small path which leads down to the bay. It’s very pretty because the whole beach is backed by pine trees  so its very sheltered. The beach itself is very clean and the water is shallow and safe. That together with the soft sand make it an ideal beach for children and non-swimmers.
A little further round the coast, again to the east, in the eastern corner of the island, is the spectacular Da Porlata beach which is basically a long inlet. The land around this beach is marshland, it’s all marsh , and there’s a stream which winds through it and the stream goes into the sea, and the beach has lovely pale gold sand. Access to this beach is quite tricky and not for the less energetic! You have to go down a long flight of steps – 190 to be exact. But you’ll be relieved to know that there’s also a road which winds down to a car parking area. When you’re level with the sea, there is a handful of shops and bars and you can hire sunbeds and umbrellas  .
Continuing round the island, just past the Tip of Cain is the next beach I’d suggest you visit and this is San Gett. Why? Because there isn’t a beach longer than this on the island . If you want to know, it’s exactly two and a half kilometres long and that’s a bonus because it means it never gets overcrowded. It has golden sand and clear, blue water shelving into the sea. There are several beach restaurants to choose from and watersports are available when the water is calm. But check first. This beach operates a flag system  as the sea can get rough and you should always swim between the flags. There’s a large car park which gives you easy access to the eastern end of the beach but the western end is much quieter and more wild as it is harder to reach.
Blanaka is another popular beach — just in the north-west corner of the island . It has incredibly white sand and sparkling water. There is ample car parking here and plenty of bars and restaurants. Blanaka has white cliffs all around it  and for those of you who’d like a little more to do than just lazing on the beach, there are caves here which you can explore in the cliffs and you can also dive into the water from rock platforms along the side of the cove.
Well, my final recommendation for today is Dissidor. Now this beach isn’t quite as easy to get to as the others I’ve talked about. It’s quite a remote little beach tucked away here next to Blanaka. You can reach Dissidor by a steep slope which goes over some sandbanks  . The beach itself is small and pretty, with reddish-coloured sand and some stony areas on its eastern side. Despite being quite small the bathing is good and you can also go fishing here from the rocks at either side. It’s a good idea to take some food and drink with you  if you decide to go here as there’s only one little bar which isn’t always open.
IELTS Listening Section 3
Announcer: The start of a new academic year is a challenge for booksellers. Lee Rogers talks to one major book store manager.
Lee: Jenny Farrow, you’re the manager of Dalton Books – and you sell an awful lot of books to students, don’t you?
Jenny: Yes! We do.
Lee: How do you manage to make sure that you’re going to have the books students need when all the new courses begin?
Jenny: Basically, we make preparations long before they arrive. Like all other major book retailers, we have a database of information, and using that, we contact course conveners in May and ask them to send us their booklists .
Lee: How many books are we talking about?
Jenny: For one course?
Lee: Yes, as an example.
Jenny: An average course requires about 30 books. We ask lecturers to indicate whether a book is what we call ‘essential’ reading… you know, the students simply have to get it, or whether it’s what they would term ‘recommended’ reading or whether it’s just a supplementary text that they tend to refer to as ‘background’ reading.
Lee: What about predicted buyers?
Jenny: It’s not a perfect system unfortunately. If a lecturer tells us that he expects us to sell 100 copies of a book, we know that we could actually sell anything from 50 to 150. That’s why in practice, when it comes to ordering, it’s a lot safer to go by the previous year’s sales figures  – if that’s possible of course… if we’ve sold the book before. We also build other factors into the equation including the type of course that the books are for, the students’ year group  and a measure of our own judgement.
Lee: And these criteria make a fairly accurate guide?
Jenny: As accurate as we can be, yes.
Lee: What about the publishers? Do they take an active role in promoting new books?
Jenny: Certainly. The academic and professional publishing market is worth about £700 million a year, so publishers go to some lengths to make sure their books are known. The standard procedure they use is to mail out catalogues to lecturers or colleges and universities , that’s been the main form of promotion for years. Now, of course, they can also post details of new or revised works on websites. Some even go so far as writing individual letters to the appropriate lecturers  in order to let them know what’s coming up.
Lee: The lecturers then contact you if they’re interested …
Jenny: That’s right. The publishers send us – the book sellers – ‘inspection copies’ . Lecturers can then get a free copy and decide whether it’s going to be suitable for their course.
Lee: And how does it work with the students? What are they looking for and who helps them most?
Jenny: I think lecturers are best placed to understand the students’ needs. Often the critical issue is what represents value for money for students . This is more important than price per se.
Lee: Do students actually buy books before they start the course?
Jenny: Apparently a large proportion of students wait to see what they need. Students have a firm idea of what constitutes a good book so they tend to give themselves time to look at all the options before making a choice.
They tend to go for books that are clear and easy to use [29,30] . Often the texts that their lecturers recommend turn out to be too academic and remain here on our shelves.
IELTS Listening Section 4
Lecturer: I’d like to introduce Rebecca Bramwell, an artist and illustrator, who has come along today to talk to you all about getting your first job or commission as an artist. Over to you Rebecca.
Rebecca: Thank you for inviting me. I remember when I graduated back in 1983, I was very excited about getting my first commission. My degree was in Fine Art and I’d worked long and hard to get it. I was an enthusiastic student and I never found it difficult to find the incentive to paint [31 – not the answer, but a contrast to what follows]. I think as a student you’re pushed along by fellow students and tutors and the driving force is there. However, when you leave college you find yourself saying things like ‘I’ll have one more cup of coffee and then I’ll sit down to work’. I hate to admit it but I say it myself. Suddenly it isn’t finding the inspiration or getting the right paper that’s a problem, it’s you .
In my view, there are a number of reasons why this happens. It’s a real challenge making a decent living as a new artist , you have to find a market for your work, often you work freelance and need to take samples or portfolios of your work from place to place… these experiences are common to a lot of professional people, but artists also have to bare their souls to the world in a way, more than anything they want praise, if people don’t like what they create then it can be a very emotional and upsetting experience hearing them say this .
I began to realise that these problems were preventing me from having a career in art and so I decided to experiment. I was a painter but I started to dabble in illustration, drawing pictures for books, cards, and this offered me the opportunity to become more emotionally detached from my work [34 – she wasn’t subjective (emotional) anymore, therefore she became more objective]. I was no longer producing images from the heart but developing images for a specified subject, taking a more practical approach . I began to develop a collection of my illustrations which I put into a portfolio and started to carry around with me to show prospective clients and employers. But it was still tricky because publishers, for example, want to know that your drawings will reproduce well in a book, but without having had any work published, it’s hard to prove this . Having a wonderful portfolio or collection of original artwork is, of course, a first step but what most potential clients would like to see is printed artwork and without this ‘evidence’ they tend to hold back still when it comes to offering a contract .
Well, I overcame this problem in two ways. And I suppose this is my advice to you on preparing your portfolio of your best work. The first way was by submitting my work for a competition , and the one I chose was for a horoscope design and was sponsored by a top women’s magazine. There are a few of these competitions each year and they offer new illustrators an opportunity to showcase their work. The other approach I took was to design and print some mock-up pages of a book . In other words, I placed some of my illustrations next to some text in order to demonstrate how my work would look when it was printed.
Perhaps I was lucky in that I had taken a degree that provided me with all-round creative skills so that I could vary my style and wasn’t limited to a certain technique . I think that is important. The art world, and many other creative fields, do try to pigeon-hole people into snug boxes with an accompanying label. I think you should try to resist this if you feel it happening to you. If you don’t, you’ll find it difficult to have new work accepted if you try to develop your style at a later stage in your career. Nevertheless, when you start out and particularly when you’re going for an interview, it’s important not to confuse people by having a lot of different examples in your portfolio. One remedy for this is to separate your work into distinct categories . In my case, I did this by dividing my design-inspired illustrations from my paintings. It is then easier to analyse the market suited to each portfolio; such as magazines, book jackets, CD covers etc. Working under two names is also useful  as it clarifies the different approaches and offers a distinction between them.