IELTS® Listening Practice 85

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Listening Script Vocabulary

(Section 3: You will hear a conversation between two students about their school presentations. First, you will have some time to look at questions 21 to 23 [20 seconds]. Listen carefully and answer questions 21 to 23.)



J: Hi, Max. How are you getting on with your presentation?

M: Oh! Hi, Josie. I've just about finished it.

J: Oh, good for you. I'm still working on mine. In fact, I still have to finalise my topic. What's yours about?

M: It's so hard to choose. I eventually came up with orienteering. It's one of my hobbies so I know quite a lot about it, and I think it fits with all the assessment criteria our tutor mentioned. 

J: (surprised) What? Orienteering? What is that?

M: It's a kind of sport that requires navigational skills using a map and compass to find your way from point to point. It takes place outdoors, usually in the open countryside, and you have to run for most of the way. 

J: (sarcastically) Sounds great!

M: Actually, it's not as bad as you might be thinking. It's actually great fun and good exercise too, particularly if you're not keen on team sports. I bet you'd like it.

J: Hmm, I doubt it. What do you actually do when you go orienteering?

M: Well, participants are given a map, which they use to find certain landmarks, and then navigate from one landmark to the next. It's timed, of course, so you have to move fast. 

J: Ugh. I don't like the sound of that. 

M: I find it quite exciting. It's so invigorating. 

J: How do they know you've actually visited all the landmarks?

M: Ah, well they give you a punch card at the start and at each landmark you have to punch it as proof.

J: So, no chance of cheating then.

M: Ha ha. No! Also, it used to be a military training activity, and...

J: Hang on. You're not going to tell me your whole presentation, are you?

M: Well, it would be good practice for me. I'll listen to yours too when you find a topic, if you like. 

J: Fine. Go on then. Where does orienteering come from?

(Before you hear the rest of the conversation, you will have some time to look at questions 24 to 33 [20 seconds]. Now, listen and answer questions 24 to 33.)

M: Well, it started in the late 19th century in Sweden. The original Swedish name for orienteering was first used in 1886 and meant the crossing of unknown land with the aid of a map and a compass. Like I said, in Sweden, orienteering grew from military training in land navigation into a competitive sport for military officers, then for civilians. The first orienteering competition open to the public was held in Norway in 1897

J: And did you say it takes place in the countryside?

M: Yes, that's right. From the beginning, locations selected for orienteering have been chosen in part for their beauty, whether natural or man-made. For the first public orienteering competition in Sweden, in 1901, control points included two historic churches.

J: Is it a popular sport? To be honest, I'd never heard of it until you mentioned it just now. 

M: Well, nowadays it's quite popular. It first started to gain popularity in the 1930s because inexpensive yet reliable compasses were suddenly available to buy. By 1934, over a quarter million Swedes were participants, and orienteering had spread to Finland, Switzerland, the Soviet Union and Hungary. 

J: Is it only popular in Europe?

M: No, not at all. Following World War II, orienteering spread to Asia, North America and Oceania. But, despite that, orienteering has remained most popular in Scandinavia

J: I see. So, it's still popular in Scandinavia where it started.

M: Exactly. There, the two oldest recurring orienteering meets have been held since the 1940s, and the single largest orienteering meet has been held every year since 1965 and attracts around 15,000 competitors.

J: Whoa, that's a lot of competitors. It must be beautiful to run in the Scandinavian countryside, though. 

M: Yes! Typically, orienteering is run in wild terrain. In Scandinavian, this usually means in the forest. Orienteering in towns has been common for many years too, though.There's an event called Street-O that happens in cities, often at night. The Venice Street-O always attracts a large number of international participants. 

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'll pay you back. 

Here, the tone of her voice indicates a negative tone, so awful is the best answer.
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