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 21 to 24 [20 seconds]. Listen carefully and answer questions 21 to 24.)
J: Hi, Mason. Is your presentation finished yet?
M: Hi Josie. Yes, I finished it yesterday.
J: Wow, you’re organized. Good for you. I’m still looking for a suitable topic. What subject did you choose in the end?
M: Well, I eventually decided on the history of pet ownership.
J: (surprised) Seriously? Pet ownership?
M: Yes, why.
J: (sarcastically) Hmm. Sounds interesting!
M: Actually, it’s not as boring as you might think. I’m also studying sociology and there are lots of links with that too. It’s really fascinating. I bet I could tell you lots of things you don’t know about owning pets.
J: Hmm, I doubt it. But go on. Like what?
M: Like the fact that animals have played a key role in human life throughout history. People have come to depend on animals for food, clothing, and transportation.
J: Oh really? (sarcastically) How exciting.
M: Yep. Plus, some animals were worshipped as part of religions. I bet you didn’t know that.
J: Well, no, I didn’t actually. But, you’re not going to tell me every single thing you’ve researched about pet ownership just now, are you?
M: Well, it would be good practice for my presentation if you don’t mind listening. I’ll listen to yours when you finish it, if you like. That way we can both practise.
J: Oh fine. Let’s do it. So tell me, when did animals first become pets? I thought in the past people just used them for food and clothing.
M: Well, that’s true, but the first animal to make the transition from a wild animal to a kind of pet was the wolf, the common ancestor of all modern-day dogs. This occurred at least 12,000 years ago. People discovered that young wolf cubs that grew up around humans could be trained.
J: I hope so. I wouldn’t like a wolf living in my house.
M: True, but in the beginning, dogs would have had practical uses. They were kept because they could perform tasks such as hunting, guarding, and herding. Although domesticated dogs were probably treated with respect in primitive societies, there is evidence that at least some were also considered friends or companions of humans as early as 12,000 years ago. A Paleolithic tomb found in Northern Israel contained a human buried together with a dog or wolf puppy. The dead person's hand had been arranged so that it rested on the animal's shoulder, as if to show that the man and dog shared a deep bond of affection during life.
(Before you hear the rest of the conversation, you will have some time to look at questions 25 to 32 [20 seconds]. Now, listen and answer questions 25 to 32.)
J: Wow, that is interesting. What about other animals?
M: Well, around 8,000 years ago cats became useful to humans who were farming in the so-called Fertile Crescent of the Middle East. Houses, barns, and grain stores would have been full of mice and other small mammals and cats would have been welcomed by humans because they hunted the mice and kept them out of the grain supplies.
J: Did everybody keep pets or just farmers?
M: Actually, in the beginning, it was mostly the ruling or noble classes who kept pets. For example, the ancient Egyptians pharaohs kept companion animals. Many generations of Chinese emperors also kept dogs. And can you believe that these dogs even had their own servants?
J: Hmm, not really.
M: In Europe, pet ownership didn’t really become common until the 19th century - it was a Victorian invention. At this time, pet ownership was thought of as a link with nature, which itself was no longer seen as threatening. It was also seen as part of man's domination over nature.
J: Right, so how about modern pet ownership?
M: Well, nowadays, pets have a number of roles, from ornamental to status symbol, helpers, and companions. For example, guide dogs help blind people and hearing dogs help deaf people.
J: But the most common reason for owning pets must be companionship. That’s why most people I know own pets.
M: Yes, I agree. In recent years, there's been a growing awareness of the very positive effects the relationship between humans and animals can have. For example, having pets is said to improve human health and psychological well-being.
J: Hmm, that was interesting after all.
M: I knew you would enjoy it.
J: Mmm, thank you for all that information, Mason. I’m sure your presentation will go well. You have certainly done plenty of research…
M: Thanks, Josie.