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New Insight into IELTS Listening: Following a talk

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A. Luyện tập

TRACK 30: Read the introductory part to a Section 4 lecture below, and underline the key words and phrases. Then listen and answer these questions to complete the first row of the table below. 

a What is the broad topic? 

b What, if anything, do you already know about this topic? 

c How do you think the talk will develop after this introduction? 

Have you ever wondered why you can recognise people’s handwriting? The many styles of handwriting which exist have attracted a wide range of scientific studies, each with its own aims

IntroKey words and
Arecognise handwriting/ scientific studies 1 2

TRACK 31: Now listen and complete the table for Introductions B, C and D. 

IntroKey words and phrases TopicPossible  development
B1 2 3
C4 5 6
D7 8 9

TRACK 32: Listen and complete the notes below. 

Complete the notes below. Write NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER for each answer. 

Origins of chess 

• Some say game began in Afghanistan and 1

• reached Europe by

• variations played in Japan and

Chess now 

• today’s named after English chess master

• First in 1866


• Lasker played Capablanca in 1921 

• Capablanca considered among the top 6 names in history of game 

TRACK 33: Listen and answer questions 1-10

Questions 1 – 3: Complete the notes below. Write NO MORE THAN ONE WORD for each answer. 

The Study of Child Language Acquisition

Fascinating because people have an 1  in children’s learning 

2 because it leads to greater understanding of language 

3 because of the difficulties encountered 

Questions 4 – 6: Complete the flowchart below. Write NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER for each answer. 




Questions 7 – 10: Complete the flowchart below. Choose four answers from the box and write the correct letters A-G next to questions 7-10.

A language

B listening

C reading

D speaking

E spelling

F thinking

G writing

Educational approaches, i.e. ways of developing 7 in schoolchildren

a) focus on 8

b) how to reach 9

c) review of contemporary ideas on development of 10 

TRACK 34: Listen and answer questions 1-10

AnimalBrought byReason
1 settlersfor food
cane toad3 to kill beetles

Grubs eat the

Sugar cane

Question 6:

The cane toad originated in

Question 7:

In Australia, the toads

Question 8:

The farmers’ plan failed because

Question 9:

The sugar cane industry

Question 10:

The second lesson to be learned from this story is that

Điểm số của bạn là % – đúng / câu

B. Transcript

Track 30:

A: Have you ever wondered why you can recognise people’s handwriting? The many styles of handwriting which exist have attracted a wide range of scientific studies, each with its own aims. And, of course, each writing system, European, Semitic, East Asian, has its own complex history. Set’s look at each of these in turn …

Track 31:

B: One of China’s most famous plants is bamboo and you may be surprised to know that there are actually more than 30P species of bamboo plant covering about 3H of the total forest area in China. Bamboo is cultivated tor use as a building material as well as a source of food so let’s have a look at …

C: The most common staple foods are bread, rice and pasta and most people are familiar with them all. Nevertheless, we each have our own idea of what a loaf of bread should look and taste like, or the best way to serve nice or to cook noodles, so lets consider some of the most common methods …

D: Today, in our series of lectures on language, we are going to be looking at the way in which children acquire language. This area of study is characterised by three main features which may explain the interest in the topic …

Track 32:

Announcer: Jon Getnick is in with us in the studio tonight to talk about the origins of the game chess. Welcome Jon.

Getnick: Thank you. I’m sure you are all familiar with the wonderful game of chess. But have you ever stopped to think where it came from and when? Well, we believe the game dates back to before AD 600 and was first played in either Afghanistan or what is now northern India. The oldest written references that we have to chess date from then, but there are claims that chess existed earlier than this. We think the version played by Europeans and Americans today travelled through Iran to the main commercial centres of Europe by the year 1000. The game was then taken to Scandinavia by the sea-faring Vikings, so by the 1400s chess was played throughout Europe. There are quite a few variations to the game found in other parts of the world. For instance, one variation called Shogi is played in Japan. Another variation is played in China. One person whose name stands out in the history of chess is the chess master Howard Staunton. Staunton lived in England in the mid 1800s and gave his name to the chess pieces that are still used in competitions all over the world today and are, in fact, synonymous with the game. Other shapes and sizes exist, but these are by far the most common Interestingly enough, however, the idea of chess competitions is relatively recent when we consider how long the game has been in existence. The first championship was played in 1866 in London and was won by a man from Bohemia called Steinitz. He was, in effect, the world’s first official champion and he held the title until 1894 when he was beaten by a German called Emanuel Lasker, who in turn lost the title in 1921 to a Cuban called Capablanca. Many people today consider Capablanca as one of the top three players ever to live. His game influenced many who followed him and keen professional players today still study his game.

Track 33:

Today, in our series of lectures on language, we are going to be looking at the way in which children acquire language. This area of study is characterised by three main features which may explain the interest in the topic. Firstly, people find it fascinating. This steins from the natural interest that people take in the developing abilities of young children. They are amazed by the way in which children learn, particularly their own children! Secondly, it’s important to study how we acquire our first language, because the study of how children learn can lead us to a greater understanding of language as a whole. The third point is that it’s a complex area of study. This is is because of the enormous difficulties that are encountered by researchers as soon as they attempt to explain language development, especially in the very young child. In today’s lecture we will cover a number of topics. We will start by talking about the research methods that are used. There are a number of ways that researchers can investigate children’s language and these include the use of diaries, recordings and tests and later in the course we’ll be looking at how researchers make use of these. We will then go on to examine the actual process of language learning, starting with the development of speech in young infants during their first year. This is the time associated with the emergence of the skills of speech perception, in other words, an emergence of the child’s awareness of his or her own ability to speak. We will then move on to look at language learning in the older child, that is, in children under 5. As they mature, it is possible to begin analysis in conventional linguistic terms and so in our analysis we will look at phonological, grammatical and semantic development in preschool children.

In the second part of the talk I would like to review some broad educational approaches to how linguistic skills can be developed in school-age child ren. Put another way, how can we, as teachers, assist our young learners to develop language in the classroom? First we will look at some issues related to getting child to express themselves confidently when they talk, so we’ll be looking at the spoken language. We will then move on to that area which causes some children a lot more difficulty, and review a number of approaches in relation to teaching children to read. For instance, issues such as whether lo teach them to recognise whole words or go back to the more traditional methods of spelling the words out to find their meaning. And finally, we’ll conclude with an account of current thinking on perhaps the most neglected area of all, the child’s developing awareness of written language, and how best to help them achieve in this area …

Track 34:

In today’s lecture I want to look at one of Australia’s least loved animals, but one that has an interesting history from which, I think, we can learn a fundamental lesson about problem solving. While Australia is famous for its many wonderful native animals, in particular the kangaroo and the koala, it also has some less attractive animals, many of which were actually brought to Australia in the 19th and 20th centuries. First, perhaps the most well known introduced animal is the rabbit, brough originally by the early settlers as a source of food. Another animal to be introduced by the settlers was the fox, and this was for the purpose of sport in the form of fox hunting. But perhaps the most unusual animal ever brought here was the cane toad. Here is a picture of one. It’s a large and, some people would say, very ugly species of toad and was deliberately imported to this country by the sugar cane farmers in 1935 in an attempt to eradicate the beetle which destroys the sugar cane plant. So how does the beetle do this? Well, it lives in the cane and drops its eggs onto the ground around the base of the plant. The eggs develop into grubs and then they eat the cane roots. This, as you would expect, is far from good for the plant and the result is, of course, that within a short period of time the plant dies. The problems all happened because in the mid thirties there was a serious outbreak of cane beetle and the farmers became desperate to get rid of the pest which was ruining their livelihood. About this time, news was trickling in from overseas about a toad which supposedly ate the beetles which killed the cane. It was reported that this ‘cane toad’, which was native to Central America, had been taken try Hawaii, where cane is also grown, and introduced with apparent success. So, with the backing of the Queensland authorities, the farmers arranged to import one hundred toads from Hawaii. The toads were then released into the cane fields to undertake the eradication of the cane beetle. As predicted, the toads started to breed successfully and within a very short time their numbers had swollen. But there was one serious problem. lt turned out that cane toads do not eat cane beetles. And the reason for this is that toads live on insects that are found on the ground and the cane beetles live at the top of the cane plant well out of reach of the toads; in fact they never come into contact with each other. Now you may well ask: how did this terrible mistake ever happen? And the reason is quite simply that the farmers were desperate to find a way of ridding their fields of the cane beetle and so they accepted the reports that had been writtten without ever doing their own research. Meanwhile, much of tropical northeast Australia is infested with the cane toad, which serves no purpose whatsoever, and experts claim that the toad is spreading south in plague proportions. The added irony is that in 1947, just 12 years later, an effective pesticide was developed which actually kills the beetle, thereby ensuring the survival of the sugar cane industry to this day. Now … as agricultural scientists, we have to ask ourselves: what lessons are to be learned from this tale? And I can think of three main points. Firstly, one should never rely on claims which are no backed up by evidence, i.e. in this case evidence that the cane toad actually eats the grub of the cane beetle and thereby kills the pest. Secondly, we should look very carefully at possible effects of introducing any living species into a new environment, and, lastly, one should not allow one’s decision making to be influenced by a sense of desperation which may cloud the issue. In other words, one should always seek objective advice.

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