[00:01.56]SECTION B CONVERSATIONS
[00:04.86]In this section you will hear two conversations.
[00:08.88]At the end of each conversation,
[00:11.22]five questions will be asked about what was said.
[00:15.38]Both the conversation and the questions will be spoken once only.
[00:21.37]After each question there will be a ten-second pause.
[00:26.04]During the pause, you should read the four choices of A, B, C and D,
[00:33.46]and mark the best answer to each question on Answer Sheet Two.
[00:39.51]You have 30 seconds to preview the questions.
[01:13.12]Now, listen to the conversations.
[01:18.72]Questions 1 to 5 are based on Conversation One.
[01:23.32]W: Well, Secretary,
[01:24.73]we'd like to talk about the state of education in America.
[01:28.66]So let's start off just
[01:30.02]by giving your general impression of the state of education in America.
[01:35.40]M: I think our educational system
[01:37.51]is underperforming and leaving large numbers of children behind,
[01:41.84]especially minority children, and some rural children.
[01:46.01]And we need to find a way to make sure
[01:48.22]that none of these children are left behind.
[01:51.63]W: Secretary, we've seen a number of parents
[01:54.94]pulling their children out of public schools
[01:57.24]and home-schooling them or sending them to private schools.
[02:01.50]Can you see any justification on why they're doing that?
[02:07.61]No child should be tied to a school that's failing them.
[02:11.51]A parent should be free to select a school
[02:14.17]that best meets his or her child's needs,
[02:17.08]whether it's private or public
[02:19.18]or whether it's home schooling or whatever.
[02:21.99]And private schools have a wonderful track record.
[02:25.45]There's a vast body of research indicating
[02:28.56]that private schools offer a high-quality education
[02:32.27]to some low-income students in inner-city settings.
[02:35.77]W: But why do you think adversaries of the Administration
[02:40.44]are against letting students go to these types of schools?
[02:45.06]M: Well, I think most people in this Administration
[02:48.67]would be absolutely for parents having wide options and choices
[02:53.58]to make decisions for their child's school site.
[02:56.90]The politics of it is what interferes with it.
[03:00.45]And we need the kind of political support
[03:03.27]in order to get that accomplished through the federal system
[03:06.08]that we operate in.
[03:07.78]I don't think it's that we don't want to have that.
[03:11.63]W: How would you respond to the complaint
[03:14.29]that the President was too religious?
[03:17.21]And even the Democrats have said that he has too much religion.
[03:21.97]What would you say to those critics?
[03:24.48]M: I would offer them my prayers.
[03:27.13]W: As the leader of the nation's education system,
[03:30.59]how do you maintain---
[03:32.49]how do you not let it all get to you?
[03:35.47]It's a huge responsibility you have.
[03:38.73]M: Well, I think faith is a good response to that.
[03:42.64]But I don't think my job is to solve all education problems in the world.
[03:47.44]My job is to work towards the right solutions
[03:51.26]and make sure I conduct myself properly.
[03:54.56]W: What do you see as the greatest challenges
[03:57.42]facing the education system coming up in the next years?
[04:02.24]M: I think it is getting the idea across
[04:04.60]that every child has value and that every child can learn
[04:09.21]and that every child deserves our best and most intense efforts
[04:14.29]in ensuring that they have the greatest opportunity for education.
[04:19.10]W: Yes, sir. Well, Mr. Secretary,
[04:21.81]I certainly appreciate your time this afternoon.
[04:25.52]M: Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity.
[04:28.23]W: Thank you.
[04:31.14]Questions 1 to 5 are based on Conversation One.
[04:35.90]1. What is the man's general impression
[04:39.90]of the state of education in America?
[04:52.40]2. Why do parents pull their children out of public schools?
[05:07.26]3. What does the man think of most people in the Administration?
[05:22.52]4. What is the man's reaction to the complaints
[05:26.68]about the President's being too religious?
[05:39.18]5. What is the greatest challenge
[05:42.70]to the education system in the next years?
[05:55.15]This is the end of Conversation One.
[06:00.86]Questions 6 to 10 are based on Conversation Two.
[06:05.77]W: Good morning, listeners.
[06:07.42]Today I'd like to introduce our guest speaker George Allen
[06:11.50]from the British Council,
[06:13.26]who is going to talk to us about living in the UK.
[06:17.17]George, over to you.
[06:19.63]M: Thank you.
[06:20.63]As you are no doubt aware
[06:22.08]the UK is becoming a popular destination
[06:24.78]for people who wish to study at university,
[06:27.79]so what I'd like to do is,
[06:29.60]well, just give you listeners an insight into
[06:33.11]what living in the UK is really like.
[06:36.46]W: What do students have to consider first before they go?
[06:40.67]M: Finance, of course.
[06:42.53]Britain is quite an expensive place to live in.
[06:45.44]Therefore, you need to consider costs very carefully.
[06:48.94]And one of the major expenses is tuition fees.
[06:53.46]University courses range from about 5,000 pounds to 8,000 pounds,
[06:58.87]depending on the type of course.
[07:00.98]Then, other expenses such as books,
[07:03.84]which can cost about 500 pounds per year.
[07:07.21]W: That's a considerable amount.
[07:09.48]Then where do you suggest students to stay?
[07:13.18]M: As for accommodation,
[07:14.84]many people prefer to stay in the university's hall of residence
[07:18.90]because living on campus is a lot cheaper than living off campus.
[07:24.31]A room in halls would cost you
[07:26.27]about 80 pounds per week outside of London.
[07:29.48]The north of England, however, is much cheaper.
[07:32.88]W: Then what about living off campus?
[07:35.84]M: Well, you can rent a private house with a group of other students.
[07:40.26]You may think this would be an expensive option,
[07:43.26]but if you share the cost with three or four other students
[07:46.77]it can actually work out cheaper than a room on campus.
[07:50.55]But do bear in mind
[07:52.30]that you have additional transport costs to and from university.
[07:57.16]W: That's good news.
[07:59.12]What is the climate like in the UK?
[08:02.03]M: Britain is famous for its bad weather and for good reasons.
[08:05.78]It rains often in the UK,
[08:07.94]and even in the summer it can still be quite cold.
[08:11.40]So take plenty of warm clothes with you.
[08:14.71]W: You bet. George, some listeners are anxious about food there.
[08:19.92]Is it really unpleasant?
[08:22.43]M: Many people who visit the UK
[08:24.63]often find the food rather boring and uninteresting.
[08:28.94]This is because, generally,
[08:31.04]people don't use spices in their cooking.
[08:34.10]Nevertheless, some of the food,
[08:36.37]I must say, is actually rather good.
[08:39.68]And the cheapest places to eat out are often local pubs,
[08:43.85]where they serve excellent home-cooked food,
[08:46.81]as well as serving as the centre of social life
[08:49.71]in most towns and cities in the UK.
[08:52.72]W: George, you have given us valuable advice on living in the UK.
[08:57.58]It's very beneficial to our listeners. Thanks a lot.
[09:02.20]M: It's my pleasure.
[09:04.50]Questions 6 to 10 are based on Conversation Two.
[09:09.21]6. What are the two speakers mainly talking about?
[09:24.19]7. What can we learn from the conversation about tuition fees?
[09:40.00]8. What can we learn from the conversation about accommodation?
[09:55.91]9. What is the climate like in the UK?
[10:10.34]10. What can we learn from the conversation about food in the UK?
[10:26.67]This is the end of Conversation Two.