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IELTS Listening Section 1
Advisor: Good afternoon, Waddow Insurance, this is Janet speaking. How may I help you?
Mr. Fischer: Yes, hello, I would like to make a claim on my car insurance please.
Advisor: Certainly Sir. First of all I’d like to inform you that all of our calls are recorded for monitoring and training purposes. Is that okay?
Mr. Fischer: That’s okay
Advisor: Could you please tell me your full name?
Mr. Fischer: Sure. It’s Mr Bennett Fischer.
Advisor: Okay. Sorry, how do you spell your surname?
Mr. Fischer: It’s spelled F-I-S-C-H-E-R. 
Advisor: Great, thank you. I see that you have taken out a third party fire and theft premium with us on a 2013 light blue Volkswagen Passat, is that correct?
Mr. Fischer: Yes, well, almost.The colour is not light blue it’s light green. 
Advisor: Okay, thank you for updating your information with us. What is the nature of your claim with us today?
Mr. Fischer: Last weekend I had driven up to York on business and left my car in a monitored car park. However it was only monitored until 8 pm, and I did not return to collect it until 9:30 pm after which no car park staff were present.  When I arrived at the car park, my car wasn’t there. It must have been stolen.
Advisor: I see.Were there any valuable items left in your car, which could have been seen from outside?
Mr. Fischer: Well, I had recently bought quite an expensive radio for my car, but the front panel is detachable, and I always stow it in my glove compartment.  So no, there wouldn’t have been anything valuable on display.
Advisor: Okay Mr Fischer, thank you for that information. I’m going to send you some forms through the mail for you to fill in.  Before I can do that, I need to ask you a couple more questions, is that okay?
Mr. Fischer: Of course.
Advisor: Thanks, Mr Fischer. First of all, could you let me know your policy number, please?
Mr. Fischer: Of course, I have it right here. It’s G34C245. 
Advisor: G34C245… thanks.And the type of claim? Shall we say stolen car?
Mr. Fischer: Yes, the car was definitely stolen.  I reported it to the police immediately, I actually have the report number here if that is of any use?
Advisor: Not right now, but keep hold of that as we will need to see a copy of the police report eventually.Which police station did you report the offence at?
Mr. Fischer: York Police Station. 
Advisor: Was it your first time in York?
Mr. Fischer: No, but it was the first time I had driven there. I usually take the train.
Advisor: Were you aware that the car park was only manned until 8pm?
Mr. Fischer: No, I was not aware of that.
Advisor: Were there any signs put up on the premises that informed car owners of the risks of leaving their cars after normal operating hours?
Mr. Fischer: Yes, but they said the car park was going to be guarded until 10pm, at which point the entrance is barred so no cars can come in or out.
Advisor: Was any reason given for that sudden change?
Mr. Fischer: The police informed me that the staff on duty that night had left on an urgent call. I believe it was something about a family member being admitted to hospital.
Advisor: Were there any personal items left in your car?
Mr. Fischer: Yes, first of all, there was the car radio I mentioned before.
Advisor: Ah yes, of course. Anything else?
Mr. Fischer: Just some CDs and an old jacket. 
Advisor: Right. Thank you. Mr Fischer, I have everything I need for now, and will send these forms out to you shortly. When you get them please fill them with as much information as you can and, where possible, include copies of any relevant documents to support you claim, such as police reports and registration details.  Once you have returned that to us we can then start to assess whether you will be eligible to receive compensation. Do you have any further questions for me today?
Mr. Fischer: No, that is all. Thanks for your help.
IELTS Listening Section 2
Peter: Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Peter Myers and on behalf of everybody here at Stevensbridge Dungeons I would like to welcome you all to our entertainment team. This year the hiring process was especially competitive and it might interest you all to know that for every position there were almost 30 applicants, so you really are the best of the best. In a moment I will take you on a tour of the museum so you can get an idea of what the space is like. But first of all I would like to show you around the staffroom.
Our staffroom is located at the back of the building over here. You will notice that there are two entrances to the staffroom.  One leads to the room we are in now, which is the main, and oldest, dungeon here at Stevensbridge, which we have turned into the museum. This is where you will greet the new visitors, and also where the tour throughout the dungeons will begin.  I should mention now that we only ever send visitors through as part of a group , so even on the busy days you will still get roughly ten minutes of free time between each group, make sure you use that time wisely because you’ll need to get straight back into character as soon as it’s over.
Right, follow me and I’ll show you the layout of the museum. From the museum, we can pass through this door near the Interactive display into the staffroom.  From here, you can see the steps at the far side, in the opposite corner, that lead outside onto Berwick Street. When you arrive for a shift it will be much easier for you all to come in the Berwick Street entrance directly down the steps to the staffroom.  If you come in through the main visitor entrance it will take you longer to get past security.
As you can all see, there are lockers on your right hand side. They should be big enough for you to put your bags and coats in. You will get given keys later that work with any of the lockers in here. Over on the other side, past the lockers is our most exciting area. This is where our wardrobe and makeup will take place. Every shift you will be transformed from normal people into grotesque medieval prisoners. If you’re lucky you get to be the gaoler, but even they rarely bathed in those days.
Of course some of you might consider yourselves method actors, but please do try to shower before your shift. We don’t want to give visitors an experience that is too authentic.
Now we do have a staff shower here if you really need it. It is located next to the staff toilets which are unisex . I hope nobody has too much of a problem with that. Unfortunately dungeons were not really designed with comfort in mind. You can find the bathroom at the other end of the room from the makeup area. There is also another toilet for the public concealed just to the right of the door into this room.
Let’s move back into the museum. We have three main sections down here. The first one you pass into when you leave the staffroom is the museum.  This is where all the useful information can be found such as dates, number of prisoners and the kinds of torture that were used. I know it is a lot of information to take in on your first day, but try to learn as much of it as you can. Even though you will mostly be in character, visitors might want to ask you some questions and it would be great if you could tell them more about the dungeons. I think it would be more interesting if visitors could learn directly from you rather than having to read about it.
As you can see, on the left we have an interactive display for children, and on the right we have a photo booth.  This was the original dungeon, first built in 1435. Now let’s pass through into the main dungeon that was added during the Tudor period in around 1570.
You might be able to feel that the air is a lot damper and cooler here. That is because we are now beneath the River Stevens. This is primarily the room in which most of you will be working. This is where many high profile religious figures were held, sometimes for years on end. Depending on the roles you will be playing, you can be either chained up, free to roam, or if you are a gaoler, wandering between prisoners to keep an eye on them.
Now we will pass into our third and final section: The prison cells. Over here you can see there are some wooden stocks and a fake gibbet. Don’t worry, I can see a couple of you looking concerned, you don’t need to re-enact any of the torture scenes for visitors. One person each shift will play the gaoler in here, where you will give a speech to the group about some of the more notable prisoners to stay here in the past. This is usually the end of the tour, but some visitors will certainly want to ask you more questions at this point, so please try your best to make yourselves available. Help them by answering any questions they have. Also feel free to guide the visitors through the museum if you see that they are going the wrong way. [19, 20]
This concludes our introduction to your new workplace. If you please follow me I will get you all issued with keys and some information about the dungeons that you can take home with you to study. I will also introduce you to our shift supervisor Alice Stiles, and you can ask her any questions you may have about your roles.
IELTS Listening Section 3
Olga: Hi Jacob, thank you so much for coming along today.
Jacob: It’s my pleasure. I am very intrigued about what a tea meditation entails exactly.
Olga: Well it’s very simple really. I think the first thing you need to keep in mind is that it is mostly about leaving everything that you have been thinking or worrying about today to one side. Really focus on the present moment.
Jacob: Sounds great, I certainly don’t know very much about tea, and I’m keen to get started. But, before you go into more detail, can I ask you what your favourite kind of tea is?
Olga: Well I think the kind of tea we are going to have today is my favourite. It is a pu-erh tea from Yunnan province in southern China. [21-24]
Jacob: What makes this tea special?
Olga: Pu-erh is a dark tea [21-24]. The regions of Yunnan, the north of Vietnam and Laos, have one of the best climates for growing tea in the world. Pu-erh is a post-fermented tea.
Jacob: What is a post-fermented tea exactly?
Olga: It is a tea that has undergone a period of aging in the open air [21-24]. They age the tea for days, even years. The exposure to humidity and oxygen helps to oxidise the tea leaves and encourage fermentation. This changes the smell of the tea and also removes a lot of the bitterness from the taste.
Jacob: It sounds similar to the process of aging wine.
Olga: The process is different but the effect of aging on the taste is certainly similar.
Jacob: Does this mean the tea can be quite expensive?
Olga: Absolutely. [21-24] It can be very expensive. The tea is usually pressed into balls or ‘cakes’ and sold. At one time only tea enthusiasts cared about buying these cakes, but now many people have realised that they are an investment and so buy them like they would buy gold because the price goes up a lot over time. So now, I want you to focus on clearing your mind of anything other than this present moment. Let go of any concerns.
Jacob: Okay, one slight problem, I will need to record our conversation. And I will need to take notes for the article. I plan to write about this for my newspaper. Is that is okay? 
Olga: Oh yes, of course, whatever you need.
Jacob: Thank you. I’ll try to keep my notes to a minimum.
Olga: Good. So where was I? Oh yes, I think very few people really appreciate the complexity and variety of tea that exists in the world.
Jacob: Right, most people are maybe like me and just use teabags.
Olga: Exactly, and with a teabag, the tea is trapped inside and cannot move around freely. You can really taste the difference drinking a brewed tea that was free to move around through all the water.
Jacob: So do you ever use teabags?
Olga: Never.  There are many kinds of tea: white, yellow, black, green, oolong, matcha, herbal and many others. Each one has its own unique properties. To fully experience what each tea has to offer you must first brew it in the correct way.  I also believe in only drinking tea that is picked and sorted by hand, rather than using mechanical processes. Although it takes more time, the tea made by hand is so much better, that it leads to an increase in the tea’s sales.
Jacob: But in that case, surely if there is more interest in the tea, and with the time-intensive farming process, this means there could be shortages because the demand is higher than the ability to produce it.
Olga: There were shortages for a while, but then an artificial fermentation process was developed in the 1970s which helped to speed up the fermentation times. As I mentioned, this process has an aging effect on the taste of pu-erh tea that is very similar to the effect on the taste of wine that you get from that fermentation process, though for pu-erh tea today, we’re talking about that artificial process. 
Jacob: How can they do this artificially?
Olga: The farmers gather the tea leaves into a big pile then cover it with a large sheet or tarp.  They spray water on the tea every now and then and therefore fermentation happens faster. Usually the tea is left for 30, 45, 60 or even 90 days still. The farmer will check the tea every few days, and just by the feel of the tea he knows whether it is ready or if it needs more time.
Jacob: Wow… that sounds like a fascinating process. I never realised that there was such a science behind producing tea.
Olga: Well now you are ready for the best part, the tasting of it.
Jacob: That sounds like a very good idea to me.
Olga: So what I will do now is boil the water and we can begin our meditation.
Jacob: What does that entail?
Olga: We need to focus on only two things. The first is your mind and body.  Forget everything that you have been worrying about today. Forget about what you have to do later on, or what somebody said to you earlier. Focus on your breathing and on how your body feels. If you have aches and pains, acknowledge them. Pinpoint where there is tension in your body and try to release it.
Jacob: Oh yes, I can really feel tension in my shoulders.
Olga: Let it go. Close your eyes if that helps. Take deep breaths in and out. Soon we will drink the tea. When you drink it think about the taste and how it feels on your tongue. Is it easy to swallow the tea or do you need to gulp it?
Jacob: Can you brew the tea leaves more than once?
Olga: Oh yes, you can brew some teas more than ten times. Now we will shift to noble silence, focusing only on ourselves and the tea. Enjoy.
IELTS Listening Section 4
Lecturer: During today’s seminar we will be looking at English Gothic architecture and its origins with a specific case study of Wells Cathedral in England. The Gothic style was initially brought over to England from France. This was at a period of time in which England was ruled from France by the Normans, starting with William the Conqueror who first defeated the English army at the Battle of Hastings on October 14th, 1066. 
After 1072 when some smaller rebellions in northern England had been defeated, the Normans gained complete control of the English monarchy, which they controlled until 1154. The peace that ensued in England had a large impact on many aspects of daily life. Thousands of French words entered the English language for the first time such as beef, fruit, city and hour.  French ideas and styles, like Gothic, also began to flow across The Channel to England too, examples of which can still be seen in the architecture of many listed buildings.  A listed building is one that is protected from alteration or demolition because of its historical or stylistic importance. One such building is Wells Cathedral.
Construction on Wells Cathedral began in 1175 at a time when Gothic architecture as a style was in its infancy.  As a result it is one of the first entirely Gothic buildings ever constructed. From the first designs to the date it was completed in 1490, Gothic architecture flourished in England.  Therefore later additions to the building were still influenced by this Gothic style, rather than by later architectural styles such as Tudor architecture.
Older cathedrals in England would have initially been influenced by Romanesque architecture, alternatively known as Norman architecture in England. As the former name suggests, Romanesque was a building style based on the skills passed on to various areas of Europe by the Romans. When the Western Roman Empire collapsed in the 5th Century, these methods were retained by Rome’s former colonies and developed further. One such Roman gift to the Romanesque architects was the round arch, also known as the true arch. The Romans perfected this style by using wedge-shaped stones called voussoirs, which created pressure that held the structure together at the top.
Cathedrals in England such as the ones in Ely and Canterbury were started before the arrival of Gothic architecture. Even though parts of those two cathedrals which were constructed later are in the Gothic style, other sections predating the arrival of Gothic architecture are Romanesque. The result is known as eclectic because the building is constructed using more than one style.
All of these cathedrals belong to a group known as the medieval cathedrals of England.  There are twenty-six different buildings that belong to this group in total; all of which were constructed or added to during a five hundred year period from 1040 to 1540. The transition from Romanesque to Gothic began in 1144 at the Abbey Church of St. Denis on the edge of Paris. It was here that a Benedictine abbot by the name of Suger had just completed his plan to rebuild the Basilica of St-Denis in a new style through which he believed “the dull mind rises to truth through that which is material.”
This refers to one architectural feature in particular: high, rib vault ceilings, which created much more space inside the cathedral and were designed to draw the attention of the people up towards heaven. This design feature also allowed whole walls of the cathedral to be transformed by colourful stained glass.
Work started on Wells Cathedral soon afterwards, greatly inspired by abbot Suger’s work. Planned in the crucifix style with the head pointing east and foot pointing west, the cathedral is 126 metres long and the nave is 20 metres high.  This is quite low compared to some of the bigger cathedrals elsewhere.
Use of tracery, lancet windows and mullions are all characteristic of English Gothic architecture.  Whilst examples of all three of these architectural elements can be found at Wells, the lancet windows have no tracery at all, which was more common in early English Gothic architecture before advances were made in the use of mullions and tracery with glass.
Lancet windows are tall, thin windows with a pointed arch at the top and are so named because they resemble the weapon often carried by a soldier called a lance. Examples of these lancet windows can be seen on the West front of the cathedral, which is the most celebrated for its life-sized sculptures and delicate floral carvings .
Inside the pinnacle-topped gable is a sculpture of ‘Christ the Judge’. Immediately below him, sculptures of the 12 Apostles peer out over the small city of Wells. Below the Apostles are nine archangels, which are half-sized sculptures. At one time all of these, along with the decorative carvings, would have been painted and gilded.  However today all the paint has worn away and the sculptures are the colour of the oolite sedimentary stone used to construct the cathedral.
It is remarkable to think that more than 800 years ago such magnificent buildings were created, without the use of large cranes and modem technology. It would have taken much longer, but it is possible to see the high level of craftsmanship and attention to detail that is less common in the modem day.