1. Section 1
Last week we looked at some of the features of modern houses and today we're going to turn the clock back and look at traditional house design. I've chosen to start with Samoa which is part of group of Polynesian islands in the South Pacific sea because the influence of culture and weather on house design is quite clear there. So let's have a look at first of all at the overall design of a traditional Samoan house.
Now these days house in Samoan have become more modern and are usually rectangular but traditional designs were round or sometimes they were oval in shape. Here's a picture. This traditional style is still used often for guest houses or meeting houses and most Samoan villages have at least one of these buildings.
As you can see, there are no walls, so the air circulates freely around the house. The Samoan is a place that experiences high temperatures. But the open design of the house also reflects the openness of Samoan society. If the occupants want shelter, there are several blinds made of coconut leaves, that can be lowered during rainy or windy weather or indeed the blinds can also be pulled down if people want some privacy.
The foundations of the house and that's the park beneath, the floor are raised slightly. In the past, the height was linked to the importance of the occupants which we'll talk about another time. However, the floor of the house was usually covered with River stones. Today we have a range of methods for balancing the temperature inside a building but the stones on the floor of a Samoan home are ideal for cooling the building on hot days.
Now let's have a close look at the roof, this, as you can see in the picture is dome shaped and traditionally fetched or covered with leaves from the sugar cane. That's an established crop in Samoan. This was a job for the women and it involved twisting the leaves and then fastening them with a thin strip of coconut leaf before fixing them to the roof in several layers.
Now the shape of the roof is important. You can see that the sides are quite steep and that's done, so that the rain falls straight to the ground without moisture going through the leaves and causing leaks or dampness inside the house. Then you'll notice how high the top of the roof is. This is a way of allowing heat to rise on sunny days and go through the fetching thereby cooling the house.
So, how does the house stay upright? Well, there are a number of evenly spaced post inside, they they encircle the interior of the building and go up to the roof and support the beams there. They're also buried usually about a metre and a half in the ground to keep them firm. These posts are produced using local timber from the surrounding forests, they're cut by men from the family or village and the number varies depending on the size and importance of the house.
Now these posts were a very significant part of Samoan culture and did much more than hold up the roof. When there were meetings people sat with their back to certain posts depending on their status in society. So there were posts for Chiefs according to their state and posts for speakers and so on. And ordinary people sat around the site on mats.
The last area I want to look at today is the attachment of the beams and posts. What you call fixing the construction traditionally no nails or screws were used anywhere in such a building. Instead coconut fibers were braided into rope to fix the beams and posts together. The old people of the village usually made and plaited the rope. This was a lengthy process. An ordinary house used about forty thousand feet of this rope and as you can see in this picture, the rope was pulled very tightly and wound round the beams and posts in a complex pattern and in fact the process of tying it to the beams, so that it was tight and strong enough to keep them together is one of the great architectural achievements of Polynesia.
Now turn to section 2.
2. Section 2
You will hear a recorded message giving tourists travel information in a large city.
First, you have some time to look at questions 11 to 18. Now listen carefully and answer questions 11 to 18.
Thank you for calling the Tourist Line. There are many different ways of getting round the city and we'd like to suggest some you may not have thought of.
How about a city trip by boat? There are four main stopping points - from west to east: stop A Green Banks, stop B City Bridge, stop C Roman Landing and stop D Newtown.
You can find the main booking office at stop A. The first boat leaves at 8 am and the last one at 6.30 pm. There are also many attractions you can visit along the river.
At Stop A: if you have time, you can visit the fine 16th century palace here built for the king with its beautiful formal gardens. It's very near the booking office. Now you can enjoy every corner of this superb residence.
Stop B: Why don't you visit Tower Restaurant with its wide range of refreshments? This is a place where you can sit and enjoy the wonderful views over the old commercial and banking centre of the city.
Stop C is the area where in the first century AD, invading soldiers crossed the river; this was much shallower than it is now. That's why this area is called Roman Landing. There's an interactive Museum to visit here with a large shop which has a good range of local history books.
At the furthest point of the trip, stop D, the most exciting place to visit is the new Entertainment Complex with seven-screen cinema, bowling alley and video games arcade.
Before you hear the rest of the message, you have some time to look at questions 19 and 20. Now listen and answer questions 19 and 20.
Besides the boat tours, there are city buses. Two companies offer special services:
The Top Bus Company runs all its tours with a live commentary in English. Tours leave from 8.30 a.m. every 20 minutes. There are departures from Central Station, Castle Hill and Long Walk. This is a hop-on hop-off service and tickets are valid for 24 hours. For further details, call Top Bus on 0208 9447810.
The Number One Sightseeing Tour is available with a commentary in eight languages. Buses depart from Central Station every five to six minutes from about 9 a.m. with the last bus at around 7 p.m. There are also Number One services with an English-speaking ...
That is the end of section 2. You now have half a minute to check your answers. Now turn to section 3.
3. Section 3
You will hear a female and a male students talking about the mock exams that they have just taken.
First, you have some time to look at questions 21 to 25. Now listen carefully and answer questions 21 to 25.
Man: So, what do you think the practice exams last week?
Woman: You mean the mock exams.
Man: Yeah, I thought some of them were tough.
Woman: They were certainly hard and generally they were very long.
Man: Yeah, they were spread over a whole week which made it impossible to relax.
Woman: Exactly, but what did you think of each test?
Man: Of the 7 exams we did, the least enjoyable for me were the two 3-hour essay papers.
Woman: Why didn't you like the essay papers?
Man: I'm not particularly good at writing things down like that in a short space of time. And I don't think it's a good way of testing our theoretical knowledge of medicine.
Woman: I'm the opposite, I'm afraid I'm much better in the written essay exams and the other types of tests. But what about the 2 multiple-choice exam papers in basic science and anatomy.
Man: They weren't too bad if you didn't know the answer all you had to do, I guess.
Woman: Mmm...That's okay but I never feel comfortable with guessing. And you know that there is research that shows that women are disadvantaged when doing multiple choice questions compared to men.
Man: You've mentioned this before but I'm not sure I believe it.
Woman: It's true. Multiple choice questions benefit men more than women, they are a male construct.
Man: If you say so.
Woman: It's not if I say so. Anyway, you have to be careful with multiple choice questions because of the negative marking that can really bring the score down if you keep guessing and get all of the guesses wrong. It's double negative.
Man: Yep. That is a danger.
Woman: What's about the role play? Did you like that?
Man: Yeah, with the actors and actresses as simulated patient's. Yeah, I thought that was by far the best part of the exam.
Woman: Why was that?
Man: What I liked about it was during the 24 test stations, we had a chance to show what we know about communicating with patients and show up practical medical knowledge, etc.
Woman: Yes, I think I agree with you there. I enjoyed all of the stations but I can tell you I was tied it at the end. I've done a practice exam with 12 test stations but not 24. It was exhausting but also exhilarating.
Man: I agree completely, it lasted nearly 4 hours in total with the break.
Before you hear the rest of the conversation, you have some time to look at questions 26 to 30. Now listen carefully and answer questions 26 to 30.
Man: What did you think of the other 2 exams?
Woman: The 2 problem-solving tests... hmmmm.... I didn't think I was going to handle them very well but in the end I think they weren't better than I thought they would. What I liked most was the test where we had to work in groups of four and to solve a problem we had to prioritize actions.
Man: That was very interesting. I'm not sure I did very well in that. Though, did you feel comfortable being in a group of four and having 4 examiners watching you as you discuss the problem.
Woman: We didn't practice it several times before. You learned to forget that someone is watching you.
Man: But some people are better at speaking in group situations like that and they get the best marks.
Woman: The test doesn't just assess whether people can talk a lot. It's about showing you can listen, organize your thoughts and then sure you can be part of a team allowing other people to speak.
Man: Well, we'll have to see how it goes. When do the results of the mocks come out?
Woman: They said next week and then it's the finals 2 weeks later.
Man: Yeah, we've got that to look forward to. What is the policy and resets?
Woman: Why? Are you planning to fail?
Man: No, but well, you know what I mean.
Woman: The resets are held in September and if there is any problem after that, it goes to appeal.
Man: We'll just have to make sure, we don't fail any part of the whole examination. I certainly wouldn't want to do any of it again.
Woman: Me neither. It's hard when you are not allowed to fail any of the exams.
Man: I bet they don't have that policy in any other subject.
Woman: Probably not.
That is the end of section 3. You now have half the minutes to check your answers. Now turn to section 4.
4. Section 4
You're going to hear a lecture given by a tour agent.
First, you have some time to look at questions 31 to 40. Now listen to the tape and answer questions 31 to 40.
Welcome to Hawaii to her agency. Let me tell you a little about a special package we have going on this week. I know everybody wants to get away from the stress of work and life. So, I think you should all consider a week-long vacation to the paradise of Hawaii.
First off, let me tell you all a little bit about Hawaii. The Wyatt Islands are of volcanic origin and are edged with coral reefs because of its volcanic origins. People often go especially to see the volcanoes. Hawaii is the largest and geological the youngest islands of the group. Oh ah, who is the most populous and economically important? The capital of Honolulu is located on the island of Oahu, the only US State in the tropics.
Hawaii is sometimes called the paradise of the Pacific because of its spectacular beauty abundant sunshine expanses of lush green plants and beautiful colored flowers palm trees coral beaches with rolling white surf and cloud covered volcanic peaks rising to majestic heights. Some of the world's largest active and inactive volcanoes are found on Hawaii and Maui, eruptions of the active volcanoes have provided spectacular displays but their lava flows have occasionally caused great property damage. A lava can spill down the mountains into the settlements where people live.
The most famous of these is right by Honolulu, it is called Diamond Head because from far away the top of the volcano looks like a diamond. Vegetation is generally luxuriant throughout the islands with giant fern forests and lush vegetation. Although many species of birds and domestic animals have been introduced on the islands. There are few wild animals others than boars and goats and there are no snakes. The coastal waters abound with fish.
More ethnic and cultural groups are represented in Hawaii than in any other state. Chinese laborers who came to work in the sugar industry were the first of the large groups of immigrants to arrive starting in 1852. And Filipinos and Koreans were the last after 1900, other immigrant groups including Portuguese, Germans, Japanese and Puerto Ricans came in the latter part of the nineteenth century. Intermarriage with other races has brought a further decrease in the number of pure blooded Hawaiians who comprise a very small percentage of the population.
Now all of this sounds very interesting, right. For only $600 per person, we're offering a tour package to Hawaii, this includes round-trip airfare and fully guided tours. The duration of the trip is 5 days including hotel for 5 nights and tour buses that will take you all around. We will go to the famous beaches, the volcanoes and the forests. Sign up today save your space as seats are running out quickly.
This is the end of section 4. You now have 30 seconds to check your answers.