Listening Comprehension (11th Form) 2010


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


I. Read the statements below carefully. You will hear part of a radio programme in which a famous sportsman is being interviewed. While listening to the interview decide if the statements are true or false.

1.         Pushing oneself to the limit is only typical of professional sport.
2.         Malcolm sees training as the key to success in a range of physical activities.
3.         Malcolm is a professional runner.
4.         Malcolm thinks it isn’t harder for adults to find motivation for training.
5.         Malcolm thinks it is important to have a challenging goal.
6.         Malcolm warns against unrealistic expectations in training.
7.         Malcolm feels that a set training routine can be a good thing.
8.         Malcolm recommends keeping a constant check on your progress as you train.
9.         Malcolm wants to run a marathon next year.
10.       Malcolm mentions some advantages of training with a friend.

Transcript of Text 1

J = Jennie; M = Malcolm

J: In today’s programme, we’re talking about challenge and endurance. With me in the studio is someone who knows all about those qualities and how to find them in yourself, the champion rower Malcolm Price. Malcolm, welcome.
M: Hi.
J: So what’s the secret if you’re going to push yourself to the limit? It can’t all just be physical strength and fitness.
M: Well, Jennie, many people these days do push themselves to the limit, physically and mentally to achieve their goals, and not only in competitive sports. You know, it could be a way of raising money for a charity, or just achieving something for personal satisfaction. But whatever you choose to do, whether it’s climbing a mountain, running across a desert or winning a sailing race, there’s a lot of hard work involved to get yourself in top physical and mental shape, and success only comes through thorough training. That’s the same whether you’re an Olympic champion, or just someone taking part in the local fun run.
J: But you’ve got to be fit to start with, haven’t you?
M: Well, physical strength is part of it. I don’t think I’d have gone into rowing if I didn’t have the physical build for it. But when you’re nearly two metres tall and weigh a hundred kilos, there’s not much chance of being a champion jockey or a sprinter. But I’m sure that I’d still have excelled at something, even if I’d been shorter and slimmer, because that’s just in me as a person. J: So, it’s partly psychological then?
M: Well, I suppose it is, yes. If you’re involved in sport as a kid, then the training becomes part of your life, and you learn a kind of strategy for success, whatever it is you’re trying to do. But there’s no reason why someone who starts doing physical activity as an adult shouldn’t find the same level of motivation
J: As long as you have a goal…
M: Exactly. You need to make sure you’ve got something to aim for, and it has to be something which you really can achieve, that’s within your capabilities, but of course it’s also got to be a challenge, or else you’ll have nothing to work towards.
J: And what about if you’re trying really hard, but just not getting anywhere? M: Well, it could be that you’ve set yourself the wrong goals, or it could just be impatience. The important thing is to aim to make progress in small stages; each week you should be getting closer to your target. But if you expect too much, too soon, you’re almost bound to be disappointed.
J: So keep at it?
M: Yes, but vary your schedule. If you do the same things every day, you’re tempted to make comparisons too soon. Apart from anything else, training becomes tedious if there’s no variety in it. And you need time off from it too. At least one day a week, do something else, something completely unrelated.
J: So, don’t worry too much about how it’s going?
M: There’s no point in doing that. You need to review your goals regularly, so that you know whether you’re getting fitter or faster or stronger or whatever. But you should also be able to relax and enjoy yourself, otherwise what’s the point? That’s why short-term goals are useful. You know, for example. I’m going to be running five mile’s a day in two months’ time, although my ultimate goal might be running a marathon next year.
J: But you’ve go to have one clear goal — like that marathon.
M: That’s right, and friend’s can be useful too. Training with a friend means that you’ve got someone to share the ups and downs with, and it’s also much harder to give up if there’s someone else involved. To be honest, training can be a lonely business, and there will be setbacks, and so you need to enlist the support of those around you.
J: Malcolm, thank you. But don’t go away because after the news, we’ll be talking about how to prepare for the big day…

II. Read the notes below carefully. You will hear an interview with a novelist. While listening for points 1-10, complete the sentences in the notes with one to three words.

Laura explains that she studied 1) _________ at university.
Laura followed a career as a 2)_____________for many years.
Laura says she found her job both satisfying and 3) _____________.
The first type of book which Laura attempted to write was a 4) __________ novel.
Laura noticed that novels dealing with the 5) _______________ were doing well.
Laura’s novel is about a man who believed he’d discovered a new 6) __________.
Laura gives the examples of 7) ____________ as a historical detail she needed to research.
In Laura’s novel, most of the 8 ) _______ are invented.
When planning a novel, Laura concentrates on the 9)_________ first.
When she’s working on a book, Laura usually writes about 10) _________per day.

Transcript 2

P = Presenter; L = Laura

P: My guest today is the novelist Laura Reddington, whose last novel, «The Lost Dream» was an international best-seller. Laura, did you always want to write?
L: I’ve always been interested in books, although not necessarily English literature, because my degree was actually in modem languages. But I always thought it would be wonderful to be a writer. But I also knew it’d be very time-consuming and I didn’t see that as a good career move when I was younger. I considered journalism, even publishing, but in the end I got a good job as a teacher, and that tended to come first. So this ambition to be a writer was, sort of, on hold whilst I did other things.
P: But now you’re so successful, don’t you regret not starting earlier?
L: In a way, but maybe novelists shouldn’t write until they’ve had a bit of experience of the world. Being out at work, you meet all sorts of people, see how they behave in different situations. I loved it and found it very satisfying, but also very exhausting. After twenty years I’d had enough. That’s when I decided to try my hand as a writer, because I was looking for a new challenge.
P: So did you just sit down and start writing one day?
L: Well, my first thought was that I needed to make a living, so I tried romantic fiction — without success, I might add. I thought it would be easy money because those novels sell in their millions. But, although I made up some great characters, the stories didn’t work well. I just hadn’t found the right thing, and so my work wasn’t published. It took something a little deeper and darker, I suppose, to bring out my talent as a writer. P: A historical thriller. How did you get the idea for that?
L: I’ve always loved history and I could see from other novels that were doing well that the history of science interested people. I’m a fan of astronomy myself and I’ve always read widely on the subject. I was looking through my books one day when I came across the story of a man who thought he’d found a new planet. I realized this was going on at about the same time as a famous murder case in London. So I thought I could mix the two stories together to make a sort of detective novel.
P: So lots of research?
L: Yes, I needed to get a lot of historical details correct, you know, have people wearing the right clothes for the period, and things like that. But then, there are no records of what actually happened to people from day to day, and of course, the murder mystery was never actually solved in real life. So I made up most of the events I describe. In a novel, it all needs to seem real to the reader, but people aren’t actually checking the historical facts. P: And the actual writing. How do you go about it?
L: Well, that book took two years to write. I know some people can sit down and just write, you know, the inspiration just comes, and until they’ve finished they don’t know how it will end. But for me it’s all about planning. Once I’d got all the plot clear in my mind, I was able to work the characters out in detail. Only then did I sit down and concentrate on the actual writing.
P: Do you do a lot of rewriting?
L: No, once the ideas are in place, I just write — I know that some writers manage a thousand words a day, and I have done 750 on occasion, but usually around 500 words is the right amount for me. I keep reading through it, changing little things as I go, but most of it just flows from my brain to the page.
P: And the new novel?
L: Well, that’s a bit different…

3. F
7. F
9. F
1. modern languages
2. teacher
3. exhausting
4. romantic
5. history of science
6. planet
7. clothes
8. events
9. plot
10.500 words five hundred words

Note: 2 points should be awarded for every correct answer. Total maximum is 40
points. If the answer is not complete, awarding 0.5,1 or 1.5 points is advisable.

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