Listening Comprehension 10 form 2010/2011


Заместитель председателя
Оргкомитета третьего этапа
республиканской олимпиады,
заместитель Министра образования
Республики Беларусь
K. С. Фарино
16.12. 2010 г.


I. You are going to hear a conversation between a college tutor and a student. Answer the questions as you listen.

Outline of the book 1) _______ for the 2)_______ writing course.
Title    3) _______
Author 4) ______ Winston
Category 5) _________
Subject area 6)________
Intended readers 7)________
Author’s purpose        to inform and advise how 8)______
Main 9)___________
history of 9)___________ about brain
•what enables brain to 10)___________
•brain’s contribution to the development of 11) ______________
•how to increase 12) ________
Analysis and 13) _______
Qualifications to write about the subject  14)___________ at the University of London and carries out 15)____ research
Strengths   readable, particularly through use of 16)_____                                                                          contains a useful 17)_________
Weaknesses    18)_____________________
Overall 19)_______   a very interesting book that aims high and achieves 20)______

Transcript to the listening comprehension test № 1

Rachel: Oh, hello, can you spare me a few minutes, please?
Tutor: Yes, of course, Rachel. What can I do for you?
Rachel: It’s about the book review you’ve asked us to write as part of the Academic Writing course. You said we should ask if we didn’t know how to set about it.
Tutor: OK. Well, sit down, and let’s talk about it. I presume you’ve chosen the book you want to write about.
Rachel: Yes.
Tutor: Good. Then have a look at this outline. If we talk it through and you make notes on it, it’ll help you to structure your review. Right, first of all, what’s the name of the book?
Rachel: The Human Mind.
Tutor: Ah yes, by Robert Winston. It was tied in with a very good television series, wasn’t it? So you should start your review with the title and author. The next question is, what category would you put it in? For example, fiction, history, maths …
Rachel: Well, I suppose it’s science.
Tutor: Can you limit the field a little?
Rachel: Er, how about popular science?
Tutor: Yes, I think that’s more helpful.
Rachel: Then I suppose the subject area is the brain.
Tutor: OK. And it’s important to mention the intended readership, because you can’t judge how effective a book is without considering who it’s meant for.
Rachel: Well, it doesn’t assume you know a lot about the subject, so I’d say it’s for non-specialists. It was promoted in general bookshops.
Tutor: Right. Now the overview. What would you say Winston is trying to do?
Rachel: Er … it’s very informative, but I think he’s also telling us how to make the most of our brains.
Tutor: Then you should briefly discuss the main topics. I’d recommend mentioning the ones that you found the most significant and interesting.
Rachel: Mm-hm. Well, it starts by looking back at the last few thousand years, and looks briefly at some of the theories that have been developed about the brain and about its importance. It wasn’t always considered as. important as we now believe.
Tutor: True. And the next topic?
Rachel: I think it should be the structure and activities of the brain that make it function. I found that chapter very interesting, but it was probably the hardest to understand.
Tutor: Mm, I’d probably agree with you. Any more topics you want to mention? Rachel: Oh, it covers so much, like the emotions, memory … but I think the role of the brain in creating personality should be mentioned, because I think that’s an important aspect of the book. And then there’s the advice on how we can use our brains to boost our intelligence. I’ve already started acting on some of the suggestions!
Tutor: Good luck! Now, let’s look at the next section of your review, where you should analyse sand evaluate the book. This is the main section, ‘where you give your own opinions. This first point is really a question of whether we should take the writer seriously. A musician may be qualified to write about music, but not necessarily to write about the brain, for instance.
Rachel: Mm. Winston is a professor at the University of London, and he’s done a lot of research in various medical fields. So he’s very well qualified to write about this subject.
Tutor: What would you say are the strengths of the book?
Rachel: Mm … it’s a complex subject, but he makes it as accessible as it can be for the general reader. That’s partly because he illustrates his points with a lot of stories, both about well-known people, like Einstein, and from his own life.
Tutor OK. Are there any other strengths you want to add?
Rachel: Er … I was glad he included a word list to explain the meanings of medical terms. And I didn’t find any weaknesses.
Tutor: Mm. Right! Then that brings us to the conclusion. How would you sum up your overall response to the book?
Rachel: Well, I found it fascinating. I think Winston is quite ambitious in the goal he’s set himself, but he’s succeeded in reaching it.
Tutor: Well, there you are — you’ve got the skeleton of your review. Keep that in front of you while you’re writing it up, and it should be fine.
Rachel: Thank you very much.
Tutor: You’re welcome.


1) review
2) academic
3) The Human Mind
4) Robert
5) Popular science
6) brain
7) non-specialists
8) to make the most of our brains
9) theories
10) function
11) personality
12) intelligence
13) evaluation
14) professor
15) medical
16) stories
17) word list
18) none
19) response
20) its goal

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