10. 10/ten minutes
18. Time Dance
The part of the text containing the answer is underlined with the question number given in square brackets . If you still struggle with FCE Listening, please refer to Listening tips.
Man: It’s brilliant what they’ve done to improve the track, isn’t it? It’s faster and there’s more room for overtaking. Everyone was there to have fun and that made for a great feeling in the crowd .
Woman: It was a wonderful day out. It’s such a thrill to see and hear the cars. The race itself was less exciting than I’d been expecting but the mood of the spectators made up for it . It was a bit difficult to find the exit though. They need more signs to show how to find the car park when you’re leaving.
Man: Hm, we did get a bit stuck in the crowd on our way out.
Man: After losing an important match, as a coach, you go over and over what went wrong. You wonder if the players had had enough training beforehand. In this case, they’d been training every day for months. Physically they should have been strong and fast enough to win, but the pressure and expectations make it difficult sometimes. I reckon they had so many thoughts going through their minds that they weren’t thinking about the game itself, but more about winning the cup . That led to some crucial mistakes that allowed the other team to score even though they were probably the weaker side when it comes to fitness.
Woman: Have you been playing your new computer game? What do you think of it?
Boy: Actually it’s quite hard to get the hang of. The way it operates, it takes an awful lot of practice. There are so many stages before you really understand how to play it well, but that’s the whole point. Some people don’t find that very interesting, but for me that’s the fun of it, trying to work out how to beat the game if you know what I mean. The worst thing is, it costs far more than I reckon it’s worth . Probably because of all the TV advertising.
Woman: It was fascinating judging the Young Poet of the Year Award. It seems many young poets today are putting aside traditional dreamy views of trees, flowers and rivers in order to tackle more everyday life topics. As you might expect, some of them showed great ability in seeing the funny side of life and dealing with it in an amusing way. When discussing the poems as judges, we discovered something remarkable. Of the 150 finalists, at least twenty had more than one poem; one, more than a dozen . We weren’t judging one-offs, we were looking at young poets who wrote all the time and continuously developed their work.
Man: When I finished college I decided to go travelling on my own around Europe. We lived in a small town and I’d only ever been on a few short trips abroad with my family before. Anyway, I’d been planning the trip for some time, but hadn’t told my parents because I thought they’d be anxious thinking something could go wrong. When I finally announced the news to them, much to my amazement, they just sat down and spent the rest of the evening looking at maps and giving me advice about what to take . I’d been wondering if they would explode furiously and tell me I couldn’t go.
Woman: Caring for people is hard work, but you’re giving people something they need. You never know what’s going to happen – every day on the ward is different and you meet loads of different types of people. Most, but not all, are pleasant to deal with so being friendly but calm is a vital quality. There are plenty of options about the type of people you work with, so some deal with young children, or others prefer the elderly patients. One thing is the shifts – you often have to work weekends and nights, but the schedules are quite flexible and you can earn more .
Man: The trip took three days and although I could have got there in about two hours by plane it wouldn’t have been such fun. A lot of people think speeding down a motorway for hours on your own is boring, but it’s the feeling of being a part of the environment that I love. Having passengers around you talking and eating is something I’d rather avoid. You can get a bit sick of wearing a crash helmet all day, but what I spent on that and my other protective gear was worth it – when night fell, the wind got very bitter and I saved on fuel in the end .
Man: Do you listen to the radio much?
Woman: Not usually, but in fact I woke up this morning to the sound of my mum’s playing in the background and I really got into the programme that was on.
Man: What was it?
Woman: There was a discussion on about building and construction and I got hooked right away, even though the subject isn’t particularly relevant to me or my life. There were some real experts talking about it and even the presenter seemed impressed by their knowledge of the subject.  It’s funny how interesting something can be even though you wouldn’t expect it to be.
Tim: Hi there. My name’s Tim Tanner, and I usually sing with my twin brother, Sam Tanner. I’m going to tell you about our career. Sam and I’ve been pretty famous as the singing twin brothers for about three years and we’ve appeared on lots of TV shows including Summer Holiday Special and Funtime, which is the talent show where we were voted best act – you probably saw it.  It’s the one where the people in the acts had to be related to each other. After that we had four hit singles in a row and I guess the rest is history really.
People often ask us what it’s like to be twins who’ve grown up looking so alike. Sam and I’ve shared almost every experience, and we’re never usually apart for more than an hour at a time. I was born ten minutes before Sam so officially I’m the older brother , although we do actually have a real older brother, Ken, who’s a year older than us.
We were born premature, you know – earlier than we were supposed to be. Mum says it was hard carrying both of us when she was pregnant, and she was quite relieved when we suddenly appeared in October rather than January , over two months earlier than expected. Our big brother Ken’s birthday’s in December – so we’re pretty close in age – it must have been tough for our parents with three young boys.
Sam and I aren’t completely identical, but most people can’t tell us apart. It’s only mum who never mixes us up. Even our dad makes a mistake sometimes calling me ‘Sam’ and my brother ‘Tim’, because there’s hardly any difference in our hair, and we’re the same height and build. But as soon as we open our mouths, he’ll know which one it is by the voice. Sam’s is a bit deeper than mine, but most people don’t even notice that. 
In character we’re quite similar – we’ve both always loved music, and since we were five we’ve wanted to be pop stars. We’ve always had a real interest in going out, and being sociable too. I’m a bit shyer though – people that know us say I’m not as confident as Sam is , which is probably true. Although I’m not exactly shy, you know. After all, you can’t appear on TV if you are!
At school we used to pretend to be each other sometimes for a laugh. Sometimes we’d swap places for spelling tests but nobody noticed because we got the same marks, which were pretty low – we were better at sports, and both played in the school football team.  I was also good at basketball, but Sam wasn’t as keen, preferring volleyball for some reason.
We were both much more interested in music. I began learning the guitar and he started proper singing lessons with a private teacher when we were about thirteen , but a year or so later we both got into dancing in a big way and then we went to a special school where we could do loads of stuff that’s turned out to be useful – things like drama.
We share everything, and have one phone and computer between us and we get on well almost 100 percent of the time, but of course occasionally we have a row, usually about shoes because we share them too , but if we both want to wear the same ones for a show then we’ll argue for about 20 seconds and then one of us’ll give in and it’ll all be over. We manage to share the computer pretty well without fighting over it, which some people might find surprising.
Our image is based on being twins and looking alike and because we both have poor eyesight we enjoy choosing different styles of glasses for performances , you know, maybe green ones, to go with green suits, or dark ones with T-shirts and jeans. So the glasses are a major aspect of the way people see us on stage.
And look out for some new looks on our next tour, to promote the new album which is called Time Dance and comes out in a few weeks.  It’s got some exciting new songs on it, quite different from our first album Soul Brothers. Sam and I wrote all the new songs together.
Classical music’s often seen as old-fashioned and though there’s people everywhere who go to concerts, and some classical musicians are big-name stars, it doesn’t really excite young people that much; they prefer pop music or more modern stuff. But the truth is, it’s hard to interpret complex music, even with the best teacher in the world, unless you start training early on in life.  Luckily for me, I came to this conclusion myself when I was in my early teens, and when I said I wanted to become a classical guitarist, my parents rather reluctantly went along with the idea and bought me some lessons. Since then, I’ve played almost every day.
I bought my first classical recording aged fourteen. It was a violin concerto by a Russian composer. Although my school had a strong arts focus, I’d no particular interest in classical music till one day when I heard a big rock star going on about ‘the most exciting piece of music ever written’.  Being a fan of his music, I felt I had to hear it. By the third listening, I was convinced he was right. What’s more, I found I really had an urge to play the violin myself – and found myself a teacher. Despite my dad’s complaints about the noise I produced, I practised every day at home. I’ve never looked back.
At my school, I was made to learn the recorder, and I had to practise every day. The sound I produced was so dreadful that whatever piece of music I was supposed to be playing was hard to recognise, despite all the efforts made by our music teacher, who’d actually been quite a famous musician himself when younger. It took a while, but I recovered from that, and got to know the work of some of the top composers thanks to my uncle.  That got me excited enough to beg to have piano lessons when I was about twelve. After that, everything just took off. Now here I am getting quite well-known as a concert pianist.
At school, our music teacher tried to get us into classical music without much success – he just seemed to go for the most unexciting pieces. It was me who noticed classical music turning up in movies, cartoons and stuff. Like, I remember one day hearing a really famous classical piece being played on a commercial trying to attract young kids to some fast food place.  You’d think things like that’d be enough to put anyone off classical music, but they had the opposite effect on me – encouraging me to want to learn to play and seek out a good teacher, which is what I did, much to my mum’s amazement, I remember.
Although my dad had taught me to play the flute at an early age, I didn’t get interested in learning to play classical music then. I wasn’t willing to try and understand it and didn’t realise you have to do that in order to enjoy it. As a kid, I wanted something that made me jump and got me going – made me feel happy or enthusiastic, so I resisted the efforts of my teacher to introduce me to classical music. She got there in the end though, by sheer persistence, convincing me that there’s great excitement to be found in the joy of playing something difficult , and doing it well.
Interviewer: Today I’m talking to 21-year-old, long-distance runner Ann Brown, who’s just returned from the World Championships. So, Ann, how did you feel about your performance in the championships?
Ann: When you haven’t raced for a while, you’ve no idea whether you’re in sufficiently good shape. I’d only had a few weeks of training behind me so I wasn’t thinking I’d do brilliantly, and it certainly would’ve been amazing to come first. Anyway, I was happy to get the silver medal.  It was an exciting race and the crowd was fantastic.
Interviewer: So what‘s your training routine like, Ann?
Ann: I do around 25 to 30 hours a week, mostly long-distance, steady stuff. I go running through the woods. Running on roads is pretty dull so I make sure there’s always some attractive countryside to keep me interested.  I get pleasure from seeing the changes in nature, but I do have to remember to keep my eye on the time so I can check my pace. It’s vital to keep pushing myself to my limits.
Interviewer: Do you train every day or do you take a day off?
Ann: The accepted idea is that all professional sportspeople should have at least one rest day a week, so the body can recover. I’m not a great believer in that though. At my age I find I can keep going without one.  I do five hours a day and I’d even like to be able to do more than that, but I don’t want to push my body too hard, because that can lead to other problems.
Interviewer: What about your competitors in races – do you get to know them as friends?
Ann: I race against athletes from all sorts of places. I wouldn’t say I’ve got friendships with them, though I’m sure some of them are really good guys, but I tend to keep a professional distance. It’d be too easy to let friendships start interfering with the way I run races.  Of course, at my age chatting about life, having fun and a good social life are important to me. I share a house with three mates. They’re the people I really get on well with.
Interviewer: So do you have any favourite free time activities?
Ann: Let me think. I suppose I did when I was a kid but I’m not so sure nowadays. Yeah, I used to take my kite to the top of the hills and fly it for hours. In season, skiing’s something that I get into quite a bit when I’ve got the time.  I’ve always enjoyed active things, and never really been much of a reader of books or that kind of thing. Of course, I watch TV and play computer games like most people.
Interviewer: And do you get recognised in the street very often?
Ann: Very rarely, I’m pleased to say, as I think it’d be a bit strange and I’m not sure how comfortable I’d feel about being stopped for autographs and pictures all the time. On the whole I find people wanting your autograph a bit of a pain to be honest.  It happens sometimes when I’m at events and at first you say OK, and then after a while you wish it’d stop. I suppose I did that sort of thing when I was younger. It was always such a thrill to meet someone in the public eye.
Interviewer: So are you planning for the next Olympics?
Ann: Well, in my sport most people peak in their late twenties so it’s important to have an eye on the next five years or so, cos that’s when supposedly I’ll be at my best.  In the immediate future I want to do well of course but I’m concentrating my attention further ahead. Fortunately, I’ve been injury-free so far – so I don’t have that worry. It’s no use having fantasies about winning gold medals until I’ve reached the top of my own fitness and endurance levels. Then I can start to think seriously about it.