Transcript | TOEFL listening practice test 2018 | Test 13

Transcript | TOEFL listening practice test 2018 | Test 13


Narrator: Listen to a conversation between a student and his phycology profesor.

Professor: Good afternoon, Alex, can I help you with something?

Student: Well, I want to talk with you about the research project you have assigned today. I um…I hope you could clarify a few things for me.

Professor: I’ll certainly try.

Student: Ok, all we have to do is do two observations and take notes on them, right?

Professor: Ur, that’s the start, but you need to do some research, too.

Then you will write a paper that is not so much about the observations, but a synthesis of what you have observed and read.

Student: Ok….And what about the children I am supposed to observe?

Professor: Not children, a single child observed twice.

Student: Oh…Ok, so I should choose a child with a permission of a child’s parents of course and then observed that child a couple of times and take good notes, then?

Professor: Actually after your first observation, you go back and look through your textbook or go to a library and find a few sources concerning the stage of development, the particular child is in.

Then, with that knowledge, you will make the second observation of the same child to see if these expected developmental behaviors are exhibited.

Student: Can you give me an example?

Professor: Well, en, if you observed a 4 year-old child, for example, my daughter is 4years old;

you might read up on cushy stage of cognitive development we covered those in class.

Student: Aha…

Professor: And most likely, what stage would a child of that age be in?

Student: Um… the pre-operational stage?

Professor: Exactly, if that’s the case, her languages used to be maturing and her memory and imagination would be developed.

Student: So she might play pretend like she can pretend when driving her toy car across a couch that the couch is actually a bridge or something.

Professor: That is right. In addition, her thinking would be primarily egocentric.

Student: So she would be thinking mostly about herself and her own needs, and might not be able to see things from anyone else perspective.

Professor: En hums…

Student: But what if she doesn’t? I mean, what if she doesn’t demonstrate those behaviors?

Professor: That’s fine; you’ll note that in your paper. See, your paper should compare what is expected of children at certain stages of development with what you actually observed.

Student: Ok, I have one more question now.

Professor: What’s that?

Student: Where can I find a child to observe?

Professor: Ur, I suggest you contact the education department secretary.

She has a list of contacts at various schools and with certain families who are somehow connected to the university.

Sometimes they are willing to help out students with projects like yours.

Student: Ok, I’ll stop by the educational department office this afternoon.

Professor: And if you have any trouble or any more questions, feel free to come by during my office hours.


Narrator: Listen to a conversation between a student and the language lab manager.

Student: Hi, I’m not sure, but err… is this the Carter language lab?

Manager: Yes, it is. How can I help you?

Student: I’m taking the first year Spanish this semester. Our professor says that we need to come here to view a series of videos. I think it is called Spanish Working on Your Accident.

Manager: Yes, we have that. Err…They are on the wall behind you.

Student: So, I can just take….err…..Can I take the whole series home? I think there are three of them.

Manager: I guess you haven’t been here before.

Student: No, no I haven’t.

Manager: Ok, well, you have to watch the videos here.

You need to sign in to reserve an open room and sign out the video you need, just start with the first one in the series, each video have an hour long.

Student: So, it is a video library, basically?

Manager: Yes, but unlike the library, you can’t take any videos out of the lab.

Student: OK, so how long can I use the video room for?

Manager: You can sign up for two hours at a time.

Student: Oh, good, so I can watch more than one video when I come up here. Is the lab pretty busy all the time?

Manager: Well, rooms are usually full read after dinner time, but you can sign up the day before to reserve the room if you are.

Student: Err…the day before….But, I can just stop in to see if the any lab is open, right?

Manager: Sure, stop in any time.

Student: What about copies of these videos? Is there just one copy of each in the series? I don’t want to miss out everyone comes in a once.

Manager: Oh, no, we have several copies of each tape of Spanish accident series. We usually have multiple copies for everything for each video collection.

Student: Super. So…how many rooms are there total in the lab?

Manager: 20. They are pretty small. So, we normally get one person or no more than a small group of people in their watching the video together.

Actually, someone else for your class just came in and took the first Spanish video into watch. You could probably run in a watch with them.

Of course, you are welcome to have own room. But, sometimes students like to watch with classmate, so they can review the material with each other afterwards.

For example, it was with some content they didn’t really understand.

Student: I guess I prefer my own room. I concentrate better about myself and I don’t want to miss anything, you know, and it is probably already started watching it…

Manager: No problem, we’ve got a lot of rooms open right now.

When you come in, you sign your name on the list and I signed the room number or if you call that event that it attended tell you your room number,

if you forget, just come in and take a look at the list. The videos are over there.

Student: Great, thanks.


Narrator: Listen to the lecture in the city planning class.

Professor: In the last 15 years or so, many American cities have had difficulties in maintaining a successful retail environment.

Business owners in the city centers or the downtown areas have experienced some financial losses, because of the city movement of the people out of the city and then into suburbs.

In general, downtown areas, just don’t have that many residential areas, not that many people live there. So what did city planners decide to do about it?

While, one way they’ve came up with the some ways to attract more people, to shop downtown was by creating pedestrian malls.

Now, what is a pedestrian mall? It’s a pretty simple concept really, it is essentially an outdoor shopping area designed just for people on foot.

And…well, unlike many of other shopping malls that are built in suburb nowadays, these pedestrian malls are typically located in the downtown areas of the city.

And there are features like white sidewalks, comfortable outdoor sitting and maybe even for tens—UN…you know art.

There are variations on this model of course, but the common denominators are always an idea of creating a shopping space that will get people to shop in the city without needing their cars.

So I am sure you can see how heavy an area that off-limits to automobile traffic would be ideal for heavily populated city where,

well, the streets will otherwise be bustling with noise, unpleasant traffic congestion.

Now the concept which originated in Europe was adopted by American city planners in the late 1950s.

And since then, a number of Unites States’ cities have created the pedestrian malls. And many of them have been highly successful.

So what does city planner learns about ** these malls succeed?

Well, there are two critical factors to consider when creating the pedestrian malls— location and design. Both of which are equally important.

Now let’s start with location. In choosing a specific location for pedestrian mall, there are in fact two considerations.

Proximity to potential customers, UN…that’s we’ll call it customer base and accessibility to public transportation which we will get into just a moment.

Now, for a customer base, the most obvious example would be a large office building since the employees could theoretically go shopping after work or during their lunch hour, right?

Another really good example is convention center which typically has a hotel and large meeting spaces to draw visitors to the city for major business conferences and events.

But ideally, the pedestrian malls will be used by local residents, not just people working in the city or visiting the area.

So that’s where access to the public transportation comes in, if… if the designer planned to locate the malls in central transportation hub,

like bus terminal, a major train, subway station or they work with city officials to create sufficient parking areas, not too far from the mall,

which make sense because people can drive into the mall area or then they need easy access to it.

OK, so that’s location, but what about design?

Well, design doesn’t necessarily include things like sculptures or decorative walkways or… or even eye catching window displays, you know art.

Although I bet the first to admen those things are ascetically appealing,

however, visually pleasing sights, while there are not a part of pedestrian malls design that matter than most.

The key consideration is a compact and convenient layout. One which allows pedestrians to walk from one end of the mall to the other in just a few minutes,

so you can get the major stores, restraints and other central places without having to take more than one or two turns. Now, this takes a careful uncreative planning.

But now what if one ingredient to this planning recipe is missing? There could quite be possibly long lasting effects.

And I think a good example is pedestrian mall in the Louisville Kentucky for instance.

Now when the Louisville mall was built, it has lots of visual appeal, it was attractively designed, right in the small part of downtown and it pretty much possessed other design elements for success.

But now, here is my point about location comes into play. There wasn’t a convention center around to help joining visitors and was the only nearby hotel eventually closed down for that same reason.

Well, you can imagine how these malls affected local and pedestrian malls business owners. Sort of what was we called it a chain reaction.

It wasn’t until a convention center and a parking garage was built about decades later that malls started to be successful.



Narrator: Listen to a part of a lecture in an ecology class.

Professor: So, continuing our discussion of ecological systems— whole systems.

The main thing to keep in mind here is the interrelationships. The species in the system err…. and even the landscape itself, they are interdependent.

Let’s take what you’ve read for this weekend and see if we can apply this interdependence idea. Mike?

Student: Well, um…, how about beavers— ecosystems with beavers in waterways.

Professor: Good, good, go on.

Student: Like, well, you can see how it’s so important, cause if you go back before European settled in north America, like before the 1600s,

back when native Americans were the only people living here, well, back then there were a lot of beavers, but later on, after Europeans…

Professor: OK, wait, I see where you are heading with this,

but before we go into how European settlement affected the ecosystem, tell me this— what kind of environment do beavers live in?

Think about what it was like before the Europeans settlers came, we’ll come back to where you were headed.

Student: OK, well, beavers live near streams and rivers and they block up the streams and rivers with like logs and sticks and mud.

You know, they build dams that really slow down the flow of the stream. So then the water backs up, and creates like a pond that floods the nearby land.

Professor: And that creates wetlands. OK, tell me more.

Student: Well with wetlands, it’s like there is more standing water, more Stillwater around, and that water is a lot cleaner than swiftly flowing water,

because the dirt and settlement and stuff has the chance to sink to the bottom.

Professor: More important for our discussion, wetland areas support a lot more variety of life than swiftly flowing water.

For example, there are more varieties of fish or insects, lots of frog spices, and then species that rely on those species start to live near the wetlands too.

Student: Yes, like birds and mammals that eat the fish and insects, and you can get trees and plants that begin to grow near the standing water, that can’t grow near the running water.

Oh, and there’s something about wetland, and groundwater too.

Professor: OK, good. Wetlands have a big effect on ground water, the amount of water below the surface of the land.

Think of wetlands as, Umm, like a giant sponge, the earth soaks up a lot of this water that’s continually flooding the surface, which increases the amount of water below.

So where is there a wetland, you get a lot of ground water, and ground water happens to be a big source of our own drinking water today.

All right… So, back to the beavers, what if the beavers weren’t there?

Student: You just have a regular running stream, because there is no dam, so the ecosystem would be completely different, there would be fewer wetlands.

Professor: Exactly, so, now let’s go back to where you were headed before, Mike. You mentioned the change that occurred after Europeans came to North America.

Student: Yeah, well, there used to be beavers all over the place, something like 200million beavers, just in the continental United States.

But when Europeans came, they started hunting the beavers for their fur, because beaver fur is really warm, and it was really popular for making hats in Europe.

So the beavers were hunted a lot, overhunted, they are almost extinct by the 1800s, so… that meant fewer wetlands, less standing water.

Professor: And what does that mean for the ecosystem? Kate?

Student: Well if there is less standing water than the ecosystem can support its many species, because a lot of insects and fish and frogs can’t live in running water,

and then the birds and animals that eat them, lose their foods supply.

Professor: Precisely, so the beaver in this ecosystem is what we call a keystone species.

The term keystone kind of explains itself. In architecture, a keystone in an archway or doorway is the stone that holds the whole thing together, and keeps it from collapsing.

Well, that’s what a keystone species does in an ecosystem. It’s the critical species that keeps the system going.

Now, beaver populations are on the rise again, but there is something to think about. Consider humans as part of these ecosystems,

you’ve probably heard about water shortages or restrictions on how much water you can use,

especially in the summer time, in recent years. And remember what I said about groundwater; imagine if we still have all those beavers around, all those wetlands.

What would our water supply be like then?


Narrator: Listen to part of the lecture in poetry class, the professor is discussing medieval poetry.

Professor: OK, so the two poems we are looking at today fall into the category of medieval times, which was how long ago?

Student: Almost a thousand years ago, right?

Professor: Yes, that’s right.

Student: But, professor, are you sure these are poems? I mean I thought poems were shorter; these were more like long stories.

I mean one of them must all about love, but the other one the Chan…Chan…whatever it called, the other one; it’s all about fighting and battles.

I mean can both of them be considered to be poems?

Professor: Well, think back to the very beginning of this course.

Student: Aha

Professor: Remember how we, we define poetry? In the very broadest sense, we said it’s written to evoke, to make you,

the audience, have some kind of the emotional experience through the use of imagery, en, some kinds of predictable rhythm.

And usually, but not always, there’s more than one meaning implied with the words that are used.

Let’s start with the Chanson poetry first. That’s Chanson.

Chanson poem became popular in Europe,

particularly in France, and the term is actually short for a longer French phrase that translates to a…huh… songs of deeds.

Now they were called songs of deeds because strangely enough, they were written to describe the heroic deeds or actions of warriors, the knights during conflicts.

We don’t know a lot about the authors, it still contests somewhat. But we are pretty sure about who the Chanson poems were written for.

That is—they were written for the knights and the lords—the nobility that they served.

The poems were song performed by a minsstrola, a singer who travelled from castle to castle, singing to its local lord and its knights.

Ah…well, would someone summarize the main features of the Chanson poems you read?

Student: Well, there’s a hero, and a knight, who goes to battle, and he is inspired for his courage, bravery and loyalty, loyalty to the royalty serves,

his country and his fellow warriors in the field.

He’s a, he has a, he’s a skilled fighter, willing to face the most extreme dangers, sacrificial, willing that sacrifice anything and everything to protect his king and country.

Professor: Ok, now be given that the intended audiences for these poems were knights and lords. What can we say about the purpose of Chanson poetry?

What kinds of feelings were it meant to provoke?

Student: I guess they must been really appealing to those knights and lords who were listening to them.

Hearing the songs probably made them feel more patriotic, made them feel like a good noble thing to serve their countries, and whatever way they could.

Professor: Good, we’ve got a pretty good picture of what the Chanson hero was like. Now let’s compare that to the hero in the other poem.

The other poem is an example what’s called Romance Poetry. And the hero in the romance poems was also in knight.

But what made the knight in Romance Poetry different from the knight in Chanson poetry.

Well, first the purpose of the hero’s actions was different.

The hero in the Romance Poetry is independent, purely solitary in a way, not like the Chanson poet who was always surrounded by his fighting companions.

He doesn’t engage in the conflict to protect his lords or country.

He does it for the sake of adventure, to improve himself, to show his worthy of respect and love for his lady.

He’s very conscious of the particular rules of social behavior he has to live up to somehow.

And all of those actions are for the purpose of proving that he is an upright moral, well-mannered, well-behaved individual.

You may have noticed that in Chanson’s poetry there isn’t much about the hero’s feelings. The focus is on the actions, the deeds.

But the Romance Poetry describes a lot of the inner feelings, the motivations, psychology you could say, of the knight trying to improve himself, to better himself, so he’s worthy the love of a woman.

What it explains this difference? Well, a digging into the historical context tells us a lot. Romance Poetry emerged few generations after Chanson,

and its roots were in geographical regions of France that were comer, where conflict wasn’t central to people’s lives.

More peaceful times meant there was more time for education, travel, more time for reflection. Another name for Romance Poetry that’s often synonym with it is troubadour poetry.

Troubadours were the authors of the new romance poems. And we know a lot more about the troubadours than we do about the Chanson authors,

because they often had small biographical sketches added to their poems that gives more specific information about their social status, geographical location and small outlines of their career.

These information wasn’t particularly reliable because they were sometimes based on fictitious stories, great adventure or the scrape together from parts of the different poems.

But there is enough to squeeze or infer some facts about their social class.

The political climate shave settle down enough so that troubadours had the luxury being able to spend most if not all of their time, creating, crafting or composing their love songs for their audiences.

And yes these poems were also songs; many troubadours were able to make a living being full time poets which should tell you something about the value of that profession during the medieval times.


Narrator: Listen to part of a lecture in an astronomy class.

Professor: OK, I wanna go over the different types of meteoroids, and what we’ve learned from them about the formation of earth, and solar system.

Uh… the thing is what’s especially interesting about meteoroids is that they come from interplanetary space,

but they consist of the same chemical elements that are in matter originated on earth, just in different proportions.

But that makes it easier to identify something as a meteoroid, as it opposed to…to just a terrestrial rock.

So to talk about where meteoroids come from, we need to talk about comets and asteroids,

which basically…they’re basically made up of debris left over from the origin of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago.

Now I’m going a bit out of a boarder here…umm…I’m not going to go into any depth on the comets and asteroids now, but we’ll come back later and do that.

From now, I’ll just cover some basic info about them.

OK, comets and asteroids. It might help if you think of…remember we talked about the two classes of planets in our solar system? And how they differ in composition?

The terrestrial planets–like Mars and Earth–composed largely of rocks and metals, and the large gas giants, like Jupiter.

Well, the solar system also has two analogous classes of objects, smaller than planets–namely, asteroids and comets.

Relatively near the sun and inner solar system, between Jupiter and Mars to be precise, we’ve got the asteroid belt, which contains about 90 percents of all asteroids orbiting the sun.

These asteroids are…uh…like the terrestrial planets, and they’re composed mostly of rocky materials and metals.

Far from the sun, in the outer solar system, beyond Jupiter’s orbit, temperatures are low enough to permit ices to form out of water and…and out of gases like methane and carbon dioxide.

Loose collections of these ices and small rocky particles form into comets. So comets are similar in composition to the gas giants.

Both comets and asteroids are…typically are smaller than planets.

And even smaller type of interplanetary debris is the meteoroid. And it’s from meteoroids that we get meteors and meteorites.

“Roids” are, for the most part anyway, they are just smaller bits of asteroids and comets. When these bits enter earth’s atmosphere, well, that makes them so special that they get a special name.

They’re called meteors. Most of them are very small, and they burn up soon after entering earth’s atmosphere.

The larger ones that make it through the atmosphere and hit the ground are called meteorites. So meteorites are the ones that actually make it through.

Now we’ve been finding meteorites on earth for thousands of years, and we’ve analyzed enough of them to learn a lot about their composition, most come from asteroids, though a few may have come from comets.

So essentially they are rocks, and like rocks, they’re mixtures of minerals. They are generally classified into three broad categories–stones, stony irons and irons.

Stone meteoroids, which we refer to simply as, uh, stones, are almost entirely rock material. They actually account for almost all of the meteorite material that falls to earth.

But even so, it’s rare to ever find one. I mean, it’s easier to find an iron meteorite or stony iron. Anyone guess why? Look at their names. What do you think iron meteorites consist of?

Student: Mostly iron?

Professor: Yeah… iron and some nickel, both of which are metals. And, if you’re trying to find metal?

Student: Oh! Metal detectors!

Professor: Right, thank you. At least that’s part of it. Stone meteoroids, if they lie around exposed to the weather for a few years,

well, they’re made of rock, so they end up looking almost indistinguishable from common terrestrial rocks–once that originated on earth.

So it’s hard to spot them by eye. But we can use metal detectors to help us find the others, and they’re easier to spot by eye.

So most of the meteorites in collections, uh, in museums, they’ll be…they’re iron meteorites, or the stony iron kind,

even though they only make up about 5percents of the meteorite material on the ground.


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