Listening Script Vocabulary
(Section 3: You will hear a conversation between two students who are discussing their school presentations. First, you will have some time to look at questions 22 to 25 [20 seconds]. Listen carefully and answer questions 22 to 25.)
J: Hi, Milo. Are you still working on your presentation?
M: I’ve just finished it actually.
J: Oh, well done. I’m still doing research for mine. In fact, I’m still not sure which topic to choose. What subject did you decide on?
M: It’s so hard to choose a topic. I thought about it for ages but eventually decided on potholing because it’s one of my hobbies so I knew quite a lot about it even before I starting researching it.
J: (surprised) What? Potholing? Is that the same as caving?
M: Yes, it’s basically the same. It’s all about exploring underground, climbing into caves and tunnels.
J: (sarcastically) Sounds lovely!
M: Actually, it’s not as bad as you might be thinking. It’s actually very beautiful in some of the caves, and it’s quite peaceful. I bet there you’d love potholing if you tried it.
J: Hmm, I doubt it. What do you actually do when you go potholing?
M: Well, a typical trip might involve climbing, abseiling, crawling, swimming and walking. Caves vary hugely in size and shape – some caves in the UK have chambers large enough to fit a cathedral, whilst in other places cavers may need to crawl on their bellies.
J: Ugh. I don’t like the sound of that.
M: I find it quite exciting. It’s so interesting down there. There’s so much to look at.
J: Like what?
M: Some caves have formations called stalactites and stalagmites. They are formed over a long period of time from calcium carbonate and other minerals. Stalactites hang from the ceiling of the cave, and stalagmites grow up from the floor. The most common ones can be seen in limestone caves and …
J: Hang on. You’re not going to make me listen to your whole presentation, are you?
M: Well, if you don’t mind listening, it would be good practice for me. I’ll listen to yours too when you find a topic, if you like.
J: Fine. I’ll listen. Go on then. What’s is actually like inside a cave?
(Before you hear the rest of the conversation, you have some time to look at questions 26 to 33. [20 seconds] Now listen and answer questions 26 to 33.)
M: Well, caves can be dry or wet, clean or muddy, horizontal or vertical. Some of them have large waterfalls, and some have streams or lakes. But others are dry and sandy.
J: Why do people go potholing?
M: I support that potholing or caving gives people the opportunity to see things that few people have experienced. It’s challenging but anyone who is reasonably fit can do it. Some cavers may just choose to visit well-known caves while others want to discover places that nobody has visited.
M: Is it fair to say that it’s a bit like exploring?
J: Yes! I think that’s true. Caving is one of the only forms of original exploration left, and there are caving areas in many parts of the UK so it’s quite easy for people to find a suitable location. Lots of British cavers go on expeditions worldwide though to explore previously unknown caves. For many people, caving can become a lifelong hobby, and sometimes it even leads people to new interests. For example, someone who starts as a sporting caver might go on to develop other interests such as cave diving, cave science, photography, art, mapping, conservation, archaeology and research.
J: Hmm, so how do people get involved in caving?
M: The best way is to join a caving club. You have to start by learning all about safety, what to wear, what equipment you need, what kind of lights to use, emergency procedures and so on. To do that you need guidance from experienced cavers and you can meet them at the caving clubs.
J: Right. Are there many caving clubs?
M: Lots. Most of the big clubs are based in areas close to caves but there are also caving groups in many cities. There are also organisations that offer cave training on a commercial basis and they usually have websites giving all the details.
J: I see. Well, thanks for all that information. You’ve obviously done lots of work. I think you’re well prepared for your presentation.
M: Thanks for listening. Let me know when you’ve finished yours and I will pay you back.