1. Section 2
We’ll leave London Gatwick Airport on British Airways next Wednesday. Please be sure to be at the airport by 6.30. I know it’s early, but our departure time is 8.25 AM. We’re quite a large group, and we don’t want to have any hassles. Please be sure to have all your travel documents ready. We’ll arrive in Athens at 2.25 in the afternoon, and there’ll be a vehicle there to meet us. It’ll be a full sized coach so everyone can travel together.
We’ll spend three full days in our hotel in Athens, although we’re only being charged for two nights’ accommodation, which is good news. The second day we’ll go to the National Archaeological Museum to see the enormous collection of ancient Greek works of art, antiques, statues – a brilliant display. We’ll eat out at a typical Greek restaurant on Thursday night. It’s going to be a very busy time in Athens! Friday morning and afternoon we’ll visit historic sites, but we have nothing planned for the rest of the day.
On Saturday we’re off to the islands, the Greek islands of ancient myth and modern romance. Now, the big news! At first we thought we’d take the ferry, but we’ve been very lucky to secure a sailing boat which is big enough for all of us. I’m really excited about this part of the trip, because we’ll see the islands to the best advantage, and we’ll be able to cruise around and sleep on board. We’ll get off at different islands and for one part of the trip we’ll have people playing Greek traditional music actually on board with us. Now I’ll pass out a brochure with all the details.
Narrator: Now look at questions 16 to 18. As the talk continues answer questions 16 to 18.
Tour organiser: A lot of work has gone into organising this tour, and I’d like to thank in particular the travel agent who got us a really good deal, and the people at the British Museum who offered us such good advice. Trips like this only happen because of the hard work of really expert people.
As you know, we have planned a gathering for when we return. I have a list of things which the committee would like you to bring to the party. They are: your pictures and something to eat for everyone to share. You are almost bound to have people ask what we have in common, and why we are travelling as a group. I suppose the answer is that we are interested in learning about old societies and vanished cultures, and we all enjoy travelling. Of course, we enjoy fine food too, but that’s not as important!
Narrator: Now look at questions 19 and 20. As the talk continues answer questions 19 and 20.
Tour organiser: Oh I nearly forgot the last piece of information. You will see there are labels which I have passed around for you to put on all your luggage. Could you fill them in, please? On the top line please write “Greek tour”, and on the lower line write in block letters, I mean upper case, the letters AA and the number 3 – that’s AA3.
We need to have these labels clearly displayed to help the baggage handlers keep our luggage together on the different parts of our trip, so please don’t take them off.
Narrator: That is the end of the section 2. You now have haft a minute to check your answers. Now turn to Section 3.
2. Section 3
Tutor: What’s happening with you?
Simon: Well, I’ve made a start on it. I’ve researched the background quite extensively last weekend. I should get to the writing stage tomorrow with a bit of luck, and I’ll get it finished at the weekend.
Tutor: What are you writing about?
Simon: I decided to look at the car manufacturing company, Jaguar, examine the problems they had with reliability in the 1970s and 80s, how they dealt with it, and how it affected their marketing and sales strategy.
Tutor: That sounds pretty interesting. Any problems with that?
Simon: At the start I had problems getting information from that far back, but after rooting around in the library, I found some magazines which gave me information and also gave me references to find other stuff. It seems now the only problem is keeping to the 4,000-word limit. It just seems that I have so much to write about. It seems I’ll need 5000 or even 6000 words to be able to cope.
Tutor: Yes, your essay title seems to me to be very wide-ranging. Would you think about cutting out part of it? How about looking at their sales and marketing strategy, but only mentioning the problems in the 70s and 80s and not going too far into it?
Simon: That’s a good idea. That will make it much easier to handle. By the way, how do you want us to hand in our work? Do you want us to drop in a hard copy to your office?
Tutor: You could do that but I’d prefer it if you just e-mailed it to me as an attachment. You’ve all got my address. If not, give it to the secretary clearly marked that it’s for me. Right, Jennifer, how about you?
Jennifer: I’ve not really got going on it yet but I’ve decided on a subject. I’ll try and do some research during the rest of this week and I should get writing this weekend.
Tutor: OK, what are you writing about then?
Jennifer: I want to look into how supermarkets use market surveys to develop their products.
Tutor: Will you have enough time to find out what sort of things that the supermarkets do? You won’t have much time for that.
Jennifer: I should be ok. I’ve had a look in the stack system in the library and I’ve found a magazine that surveyed all the UK major supermarkets and a trade publication that analysed the same things in Canadian supermarkets.
Tutor: Be careful about using their conclusions too much. The university takes a tough stance on plagiarism. Make sure you properly list where you get your information from in a bibliography and try and do your own analysis. Get going too as that analysis will take a bit of time.
Jennifer: Ok, thanks.
Narrator: You now have some time to look at questions 28 to 30. Now listen to the rest of the dicussion and answer questions 28 to 30.
Tutor: And Melanie. How is your work going?
Melanie: I’m a bit behind I’m afraid. I was sick all last week and the weekend with flu. I’ve got a subject I think but I’ve not done any work on it yet. Is there any chance I can get an extension to the submittal date?
Tutor: The policy of the department is not to give any extensions unless there are extenuating circumstances. Do you have a doctor’s certificate or anything?
Melanie: I went to the doctor’s but I didn’t get a note as I didn’t realise I would need it. The doctor will have a record of me though as I got a prescription. I’ll go back and get one.
Tutor: Yes, do. If you get one, then there shouldn’t be a problem getting an extension. Without it though, you’ll be in trouble. What subject are you considering anyway?
Melanie: I thought I’d do an overview of the UK mortgage interest rates and their effect on housing sales trends over the last 10 years. I thought it might be of interest because of the huge increases in house prices over the last decade.
Tutor: Certainly an interesting subject, and it should be no great problem getting information as this has been fairly well documented. It’s a lot of work again though and you’ll really need to get cracking on it even with the extension – if you get one.
Melanie: Well, I’ve not got much on for the rest of the week and I’ve set aside the weekend to really get to grips with it.
Tutor: Good. Now, is there anything else?
Narrator: That is the end of section 3. You now have half a minute to check your answers. Now turn to section 4.
3. Section 4
Narrator: Now listen carefully and answer questions 31 to 35.
We look at the sun - a huge ball streaming out essentially limitless energy into space, and we think about how we need that energy here on Earth. Our oil reserves are running out, coal-burning causes much pollution, and nuclear energy has many dangers. But where does the sun itself get its energy? The answer is that the sun makes it using fusion, or more specifically, in a “hydrogen fusion process”. There is no pollution, no radioactivity, no waste products, and we have plenty of hydrogen. So, hydrogen fusion seems the perfect answer to our energy needs, and scientists have long attempted to achieve it here on Earth.
So, what happens during this process? The first step is to make two light atomic particles approach. In the case of our sun, these are hydrogen panicles - the lightest and also the easiest to deal with. However, the problem is that the nuclei of atoms have electric fields, and fusion between these particles is opposed by their similar electric charge. They most naturally repel each other, and the nuclei of all elements are exactly the same in this respect. Thus, in order to overcome this repulsion and force them together, in the second step, the particles are heated. The trouble is... you need a lot of heat - incredible temperatures - of the sort only seen on the surface of the sun. This is many millions of degrees, far higher than the melting point of any known material. Still, the concept is simple: the hot, wildly moving particles, which are now called “plasma”, will crash into each other, resulting in the third step, the fusion into helium, which releases energy, and begins a self-sustained process.
Narrator: Before you hear the rest of the lecture, you have some time to look at questions 36 to 40. Now listen and answer questions 36 to 40.
So, we know how fusion works, thus, the big question is, can we create it here on Earth? We actually have the technology to superheat hydrogen into plasma, but no container on Earth can deal with those temperatures. Thus, we need to confine this superheated material so that it doesn't touch anything. For that, we need a special reactor, and most research has focused on an apparatus known as a Tokamak system. That's T-O-K-A-M-A-K, an acronym from some Russian words meaning “toroidal chamber with magnetic field”. It's an apt name since a very powerful magnetic field is used to confine and suspend the superhot plasma in the air, so that it doesn't touch anything. This is possible only because this plasma has an electric charge, which interacts with the magnetic field. Of course, the wall of the fusion vessel will still get hot - very hot, and to avoid being melted, they must be cooled with a cryogenic system to intensely low temperatures. But now, we are faced with the second problem. If we are to draw power from this system, the reaction must be continuous and controllable; however, when fusion begins, the plasma becomes unstable, and at these temperatures, that is a very serious situation. If we lose control, a disaster could result.
Despite the obstacles, in 2010, a European device managed some success but needed far more power to generate the fusion reaction than that produced from the fusion itself. Obviously then, it was not useful as a power source. More to the point, this system could only sustain a fusion reaction for a fraction of a second, yet, to self-sustain, the fusion needs to run for at least 10 seconds. And the future looks…bleak! Unfortunately, most scientists predict that many decades will have to pass before power can become a practical reality.
Narrator: That is the end of Section 4. You now have half a minute to check your answers.