IELTS Listening Practice Test 14

Answer Keys

Listening Section 1
1 John Sparrow
2 24th January
3 Athens, Greece
4 9.45
5 Hypnos
6 95 euros
7 light meal
8 Asian vegetarian
9 dairy products
10 24 hours
Listening Section 2
11 A
12 C
13 D
14 E
15 C
16 B
17 C
18 different name
19 social media
20 ready for editing
Listening Section 3
21 A
22 B
23 C
24 A
25 B
26 almost equal
27 17.97
28 5
29 mild depression
30 drop-out rate
Listening Section 4
31 2.1 billion
32 German
33 non-native speakers
34 Englishes
35 trousers
36 Latin
37 Romance (languages)
38 B
39 A
40 C

Tapescripts

The part of the text containing the answer is underlined with the question number given in square brackets []. If you still struggle with the tests, please refer to IELTS Listening tips.

Section 1

Employee: GB Airlines, this is Kyle speaking. How can I help?
Matt: Hi, my name is Matt Walsh. I’m calling on behalf of Mr John Sparrow [1] to claim expenses for a delay in his flight last week.
Employee:Good morning, Mr Walsh. Thank you for calling. Could you please tell me the flight number and the date of departure?
Matt: The date of departure was the 24th of January [2], 2016. I’m afraid I don’t have the flight number in front of me at the moment.
Employee: OK, that’s all right. One moment. Could you tell me, where was Mr Sparrow departing from?
Matt: He was departing from Athens.
Employee:I s that Athens, Greece or Athens, Georgia?
Matt: Athens, Greece. [3]
Employee: Right. And what was the destination?
Matt: It was Heathrow, London.
Employee: Right. We’ve got two flights from Athens to London Heathrow on the 24th of January, 2016. Was it the 3:25 p.m. flight, or the 9:45 p.m.?
Matt: It was the later one, 9:45. [4]
Employee: OK, so the flight number is GB 1011.
Matt: Right, OK.
Employee: OK, yes. I can see that Mr Sparrow’s flight was cancelled, and he was booked on the next flight on the 25th of January, at 3:25 p.m. Is that correct?
Matt: Yes, that is correct.
Employee:According to our system, one of my colleagues spoke with Mr Sparrow on the phone on the 24th to inform him of the cancellation, and offered to book a hotel for him for the night, but Mr Sparrow preferred to book one himself.
Matt: Yes, because he didn’t want to stay near the airport as the next flight was in the afternoon.
Employee: Yes, of course. Could you tell me which hotel he stayed at?
Matt: Yes. He stayed at the Hypnos Hotel. [5]
Employee: Could you spell that for me?
Matt: Of course. That’s H-Y-P-N-O-S. [5]
Employee: Right, thank you for that. And could you please tell me how much the total cost was for the night?
Matt: Sure, it was 73 euros.
Employee: Right. Do you have a copy of the receipt for that?
Matt: Yes, of course. Would you like me to send it to you?
Employee: Yes, please.
Matt: Can I email a picture of it to you?
Employee: Absolutely. The email address is refunds@gbairlines.co.uk.
Matt: Great, thank you.
Employee: No problem. Were there any other expenses you wish to claim?
Matt: Actually, yes. There was also the taxi ride to the airport, and the taxi ride back the next day.
Employee: Right, and what was the total cost?
Matt: Uhm, the first taxi ride was 53 euros and the second one was 42, so … 63, 73, 83 … Yeah, so the total was 95 euros. [6] I’ll send you the receipt for those as well.
Employee: Thank you. Are there any other expenses?
Matt: No, I think that’s it.
Employee: Excellent. So, if you could please send us the receipts for the hotel and the taxi rides, and after we receive them it should take about 48 hours for the funds to reach Mr Sparrow’s account.
Matt: Perfect, thank you very much.
Employee:My pleasure. Is there anything else I can help you with?
Matt: Actually, yes, there’s one more thing. Um, Mr Sparrow complained about the meal during the flight. He said that it was a bit … bland.
Employee: Right.
Matt: So he asked me if it was possible to switch to a different meal option for his upcoming flight to Kiev next week.
Employee: Right, of course. Just give me a minute, please. Right, I see that Mr Sparrow had the light meal option for his flight to London [7], and you would like to change that. What would you like to change it to?
Matt: What are the other options?
Employee: We’ve got twelve different meal options. Would you like me to list all of them for you?
Matt: Well, Mr Sparrow has told me that he would prefer something without meat, so … how many of these do not contain meat?
Employee: We’ve got three meal options without meat: we’ve got the vegetarian option, the vegan option, and the Asian vegetarian. [8]
Matt: What’s the difference?
Employee: There’s a variety of different dishes served with each option. For example, next week the vegetarian option will be a small spinach and feta cheese pie, a bread roll, a salad, and tropical fruit.
Matt: And the vegan option?
Employee:The vegan option doesn’t include any dairy products [9], and it also doesn’t include fowl, eggs, or honey. I’m afraid I don’t have the specific menu for this week, but I can email it to you as soon as it becomes available.
Matt: Oh, could you do that? That would be great.
Employee: Yes, of course. I can email you a detailed description of all the meal options, if you like.
Matt: Yes, please.
Employee: No problem. Please do not forget to call us back to change the meal option. You need to do that 48 hours before the departure time for international flights, and 24 hours for domestic flights.
Matt: So, 48 hours for this one, then?
Employee: Yes, exactly.
Matt: Perfect.
Employee:No, I’m sorry. Um, transatlantic flights require 48 hours. All flights within Europe require 24 hours, so in this case you will need to call us 24 hours in advance. [10] I apologise for that.
Matt: OK, great.
Employee: So, could I please have your email address so I can send you the menus?
Matt: Certainly. It’s matt.walsh@sparrowltd.com …

Section 2

Radio presenter: And here with us today we have Patricia Abaddon, author of the best-selling book Beginners’ Guide to Self-Publishing and owner of the self-publishing company Make A Book.

Patricia: Hello.

Radio presenter:Hello, Patricia. Now, I know a lot of our listeners are interested in self publishing their novels, but they don’t know where to start. As a successful self-published author, what would you say are some of the pitfalls they’d need to avoid?

Patricia: I’m glad you asked that, Mark. The thing is that with the e-book revolution that started in the early 2000s, we experienced a shift in the literary market  and suddenly aspiring writers didn’t have to rely on agents and traditional publishers any more to get the opportunity to publish their books. But just because we can publish, does that mean we should? For me, there are four questions that each writer needs to ask themselves before they attempt to join the market.

The first question is, is my book ready? One of the biggest mistakes new writers do is that they get so excited with the prospect of publishing their book that they rush through the process and they don’t bother with technicalities such as thorough editing. And they should, because editing is about 50% of the final product. [11] It’s not-as glamorous as the process of actually creating the story, but it’s just as important. The final product needs to be immaculate-not just
in terms of grammar, but also in terms of plotting, characterisation… and even spelling.

Secondly: do I understand the market? Unless you’re publishing just for your friends and family, you need to have a sound marketing strategy [12]. The beauty of self-publishing is that anyone can do it, but that also means that you ‘re fighting for attention against millions of other titles. Do you know what sets your book apart? Do you understand who your audience is, and how you’re going to reach them? Do you have a solid presence in social media? In general, do you know how you’re going to sell the book to people?

The third question, and I hope I don’t sound too pragmatic, is: have I worked out how much money I’m willing to spend? [13] This extends beyond the cost of self-publishing itself, obviously. There’s the cost of advertising, the cost of proofreading and copy-editing, the
cost of giving away free copies to reviewers, and let’s not forget the cost of a professionally done cover. The truth is that the more you see your book as an investment, the more of a return you’re going to get-but either way, you need to know what your available funds are.

And the final thing! The final thing is something most writers overlook, but it’s just as important as the other three: have I started my next project yet? [14]  Remember, one book is never going to make you rich, and it’s never going to make you famous. If you want to succeed, you need to keep writing and keep publishing as many books as you can. That’s how you build an audience, and how you get your book to the top of the charts.

Radio presenter: Thank you, Patricia. So, tell us: how did you do it? You started publishing five years ago, and now you have your own publishing company. How did you get here so fast?

Patricia: To be honest with you, the first book I ever published was a flop [15], and it was because I didn’t follow almost any of the rules I just told you. My novel was poorly edited, it had a cheap-looking self-made cover, and I had no idea how to get people to buy it. For about a year, I checked its dismal sales every month and I wallowed in self-pity. [16] But then I decided it was time to change, and do something.

The first thing I did was get a subscription to all the writing magazines I could find out there. I read them all from cover to cover, and followed the experts’ advice as if it was gospel. [17] I wrote almost every single day, and I submitted short stories to every competition I could find out there. I also started a blog, and I set up my own page. Over time, I started building a name for myself, and a solid fan base.

I didn’t want to be associated with my first book, so I decided to publish my next book under a different name. [18] This time I sought professional help with editing, and I spent months working on it until it was ready. I also sought the advice of friends who worked in marketing and tech-savvy friends, who helped me come up with a marketing plan. Since I already had a platform – my website and my social media pages -, it was much easier to reach the people who would be interested in reading my book. [19] And, of course, while all of this was happening, I was also in the middle of my next novel, which I planned to have ready for editing by the time the previous one was out. [20] So, yeah, I published my second book about two  years after my first, and it was a completely different experience. And now here I am.
Radio presenter: Thank you very much, Patricia. I’m sure our listeners have been inspired by your…

Section 3

Gale: Hey, guys.
Lindsay: Oh, hey Gale! You made it.
Gale: Yeah, sorry, I was stuck at the library paying late fees. Have you guys started going through the data yet?
Kevin: Yeah, we’ve already collated it, and we’ve started designing the graphs we ‘re going to use in the presentation.
Gale: Oh, really? That’s fast!
Lindsay: Well, anyway, here’s what we’ve got so far.
Gale: OK, so … Wow, 38% said they’d thought about quitting school in the first year? [21] That’s a huge number.
Kevin: Yeah, and only 10% said they were happy at school from beginning to end. [21] Amazing, isn’t it?
Gale: Yeah, I thought the majority would be happy here.
Lindsay: Well, just remember that about 30% of the school population are foreign students, and from the UK students, only 2% are actually from the area, so… I guess it makes sense that people would miss home.
Gale: Yeah, but to want to actually quit school…
Kevin: Well, they didn’t want to, exactly. They just thought about it.
Gale: OK. So, how should we organise the presentation? What did you guys decide?
Lindsay: Well, Kevin and I were saying that we should start by explaining what the topic of our research was, and how we decided to collect the data. So I’ll start by saying that our topic was how first-year students felt a month after beginning school, and how their attitudes progressed and changed by the end of the academic year. [22]
Kevin: So, then we were thinking that I should explain that the population we want to study was obviously first-year students [23], but because we need their complete experience from the beginning to the end of their first year, we’d have to actually poll students in their second and third year. And then we said that you should explain how we accessed the population.
Gale: So I’ll say that we got the permission from the school to go to different classes from different departments and hand out the surveys in paper form. Right? [24]
Lindsay: Right, and that it took us about three weeks to complete this part of our research.
Kevin: So, then we need to describe the three different areas of focus of our survey, so Lindsay can do that: say that the survey had three sections [25], the first one asking just some general questions about the age, gender, nationality, and field of study of each student-then the second one focused on how they felt in their first six months at school, and the third how they felt in the summer, after their first year was complete.
Gale: That sounds good. OK, so let me see the breakdown. OK, so we’ve got an equal distribution of boys and girls, that’s good. [26]
Lindsay: Almost equal. [26] 51 % of the participants were boys, the rest were girls.
Gale: Right, and 70% of the participants were British, while the other 30% were …
Kevin: 10% were from America and Asia, 2% were from Africa, and 18% were European. We had a small number of Australians as well, 0.03%, so I guess Europeans were 17.97% [27] if you want to be precise.
Lindsay: Which we should. Anyway, and obviously the age was all 20 or 21, with a few 19-year-olds-only about 5%. No, wait. 4%. Right? [28]
Kevin: No, it’s 5%, look. [28]
Gale: Right. OK, so Lindsay will describe the three sections, and then you Kevin, you’ll describe the demographic and geographical breakdown, and I…
Kevin: You can start with the graph, and then we’ll all explain the data together.
Gale: Right, so we’ll put this graph up on the board and explain that most students experienced some form of homesickness or mild depression [29] in the beginning of their course.
Lindsay: But we need to point out that by the end of the year it was only 5% that still felt like quitting school.
Gale: Yeah, but remember that we didn’t actually have the opportunity to interview or poll any of the students who left school-so the information we have only relates to current students, and those numbers might be bigger in reality.
Lindsay:Yeah, I guess we need to mention that. But we did check the drop-out rate for the last two years and it was very low so, at the end of the day, the numbers can’t be much bigger. [30]
Kevin: Yeah. Anyway, so after we explain the data and we show the three graphs with the background information and the responses for six months and one year, we should spend some time also talking about…

Section 4

Lecturer: Those of you who were here last week will remember that we talked about the journey of the English language from its early Indo-European origins through to Old English, Middle English, and then to Early and Late Modem English before it reached the form that it has today. Today we will be continuing that theme by focusing on the future of the English language, and all the places it might go from here.

There are about 2.1 billion people around the world who can speak English [31]. Out of these, only 400 million are native speakers-which means that 4 in 5 English speakers are non-natives. This is obviously quite an impressive number, considering that just two centuries ago, in 1801, there were only about 20 million speakers of English around the world, and languages like French and German [32] were ahead of English in terms of how many people were using them. But what does it mean?

What it means is that the future of the English language doesn’t really depend on its native speakers, but on that massive number of non-native speakers learning it around the world [33]. Has anyone heard of the term “pidgin” before, or “creole”? A pidgin is a simplified version of a language which acts as a bridge between two people who don’t have a common language, allowing them to communicate with each other, while a creole is a language that evolves from a pidgin-with the difference that it is fully formed, with clear grammatical rules and vocabulary. There are currently dozens of pidgin and creole languages based on English around the world, for example Nigerian Pidgin or Jamaican Patois. These languages are also known as “Englishes” [34]. What’s interesting about these “Englishes” is how different they sound to, for lack of a better term, “proper” English. Take the word “trousers”, for instance: in Sheng, which is a Kenyan creole language, they’re called “longi”-because they’re long [35].

But even versions of English that are recognised as official variations or dialects still differ greatly from each other. Americans and Jamaicans would call the back of a car where you store your luggage the “trunk”; Britons, Australians, Canadians and other Commonwealth countries would call it the “boot”. A subway in the UK is a tunnel under a road that allows pedestrians to cross safely; in the US, it’s an underground train. You might think of these differences as minute, but when you take into account the dozens of different versions of English out there, a very intriguing parallel arises, with another language from the past: Latin [36].

Latin, too, used to be a lingua franca. Nowadays it’s all but dead, spoken only by a few clerics and scholars. At some point in history it splintered into various different languages, which became known as Romance languages, for example Spanish, Italian, or French [37]. There are some that theorise that the same thing might happen to English in the near or distant future; that all these “Englishes” we have today in different countries will continue to develop, so pidgins will turn into creole languages, and creole languages will tum into just languages, and English itself as we know it today will disappear, or become less and less important.

It’s an interesting theory, if nothing else. It makes sense that as English grows in popularity, countries-especially those with a strong sense of identity and tradition will develop their own versions of the language, marked by the idiosyncrasies of their culture. Just think of the contribution of dialects such as Jamaican or South African English [38]. In the past fifty years alone, they’ve added about 25,000 words to the English language, most of these related to a local context that wouldn’t have existed in English before the spread of colonialism. In terms of numbers, just those are enough for a brand new language.

There are some flaws to this theory too, however. While it’s true that Latin and English have a lot of similarities in terms of how they developed, or have developed, throughout history, there is one big difference: we currently live in an era of globalisation. Today, you can be in India and stream an American film or TV series in seconds. You can be in Nigeria, and listen to British music. You can be in Brazil, and read a novel from an Australian author. Just a few centuries ago, this was unthinkable.

So what’s the other way that English could go? According to some experts, there is the possibility that it could maintain its status as the world’s global language, but with a few differences. Already today most conversations in English occur between non-native speakers. While many of these might be fluent, the majority probably have only an intermediate understanding of the language, devoid of the nuances, colloquialisms and complex collocations that native speakers employ in their interactions. This means that, over time, English could tum into some sort of Worldspeak-the official lingua franca for the entire world, but in a simplified form. [39] Some scholars have even started trying to develop that version of English, by selecting the most useful words in the English vocabulary for non-native speakers to learn. Robert McCrum has compiled a comprehensive list of 1,500 words, for example-a version of English that he calls “Globish”. And what about traditional, native-speaker English? It might continue to exist, but lose its popularity-as the previous theory suggests.

There are many more theories about the future of the English language, of course. I’ve only focused on the two main ones, because they clearly demonstrate our uncertainty when it comes to how this beautiful language will develop. English is in a unique, unprecedented position: no other language has achieved the same levels of popularity in human history, especially in terms of non-native speakers. [40] So, as this is clearly uncharted territory, only time will be able to tell us what will happen.

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