lunes, 3 de octubre de 2016

Listening test: Tiny Texts news

In this week's listening test we are going to use six news items that came up on the website Tiny Texts to practise the heading-matching kind of task.

Listen to the news items and match them with their corresponding heading. There are two headings you do not need to use.

A - A hidden problem, though
B - Children and parents enjoying themselves together
C - Customers do not have to worry about money
D - For Apocalypse believers
E - Great results by making small changes
F - Health benefits
G - Only for British people?
H - Perfect destination for a break

picturesque town of Gangi (Italy)

Extract 1 Great results by making small changes
A 14 year-old boy of Indian origin has come up with a clever plan, which could save the U.S government up to $400 million per year, simply by changing the font they use on official documents. Suvir Mirchandani had the idea while thinking of ways to cut waste and save money for a project at school. He noticed that his school used a lot of handouts and considered recycling to save paper. Suvir also wanted to find a way to cut down on ink, which, he says, is twice as expensive as French perfume. He experimented with different fonts and found that Garamond uses 24% less ink. It is incredible to think that such a small change could result in such a huge saving.

Extract 2 Only for British people?
A survey has revealed the 50 things which show that you have become an adult.  The 2,000 people questioned by the Skipton Building Society indicated what they consider to be the key signs of adulthood.  These include being able to cook a meal from scratch and not relying on your parents for financial decisions.  Other factors were: being annoyed by a messy house, washing up immediately after eating and going to bed before 11pm (after taking off your makeup, of course).  The participants of this study were British. This is reflected in some of the activities they think of as grown up, such as buying a Sunday paper, visiting garden centres and listening to Radio 2.  Apparently, adult Brits also own a set of best towels to put out when they have special visitors.  It would be interesting to find out if other cultures have different ideas.

Extract 3 Health benefits
If you have ever felt like joining your kids on the climbing frame at the park, this is for you.  New York City is testing the first playground for adults.  The goal is to lure people off the couch to have fun outdoors and get fit at the same time.  There are no swings or slides, however.  It’s more like an outdoor gym without the costly fees.  This trend is not unique to America: similar parks are popping up across the UK.  Health experts on both sides of the Atlantic have praised the idea.  They believe that the playgrounds will help combat obesity and related illnesses.  Studies in the UK have shown that 26% of people using the playgrounds had never exercised before.  

Extract 4 Customers do not have to worry about money
Dementia is a growing problem for society.  A care home in the Netherlands is experimenting with a new way of treating patients by offering them an “alternative reality”.  Residents live in small groups within a protected community.  They are free to wander the streets and go to the supermarket, beauty salon, restaurant and even the theatre.  If they forget to pay, it’s not a problem because the shop assistants and waiters are actually carers.  To make the patients feel comfortable, the houses are decorated in a style that reflects their personal background. It may seem a little like the Truman Show but the patients and their families are enthusiastic about the project.  Perhaps the rest of the world can learn some useful lessons for the future.

Extract 5 A hidden problem, though
Are you looking for a holiday home in Italy? Why not buy a home in the picturesque town of Gangi for one Euro? This offer may seem too good to be true, but there’s a catch: you have to promise to renovate the property within three years and this could cost you €20,000. Gangi’s mayor came up with the idea to put some life back into the Sicilian town. Poverty caused many inhabitants to leave after World War II. The idea is attracting interest from all over the world. 

Extract 6 For Apocalypse believers
A mystic mountain in Serbia is becoming a popular destination for people who believe that the world will end on December 21st.  Hotels at its base are being inundated with booking requests.  The mountain is pyramid-shaped and many people believe that it conceals a building left behind by alien visitors thousands of years ago.  They say that it emits a special energy that could protect them from the apocalypse.  Scholars of Mayan civilisation say that people have wrongly interpreted the Mayan calendar and that the world will not be destroyed. However, this has not stopped fears from spreading.

1E 2G 3F 4C 5A 6D