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TOEFL listening: A conversation between a research professor and a student

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TOEFL discussion 29 — Script Q&A
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50 TOEFL conversations
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    50 TOEFL lectures   50 TOEFL conversations

    TOEFL Listening Comprehension Transcript

    Narrator
    Listen to a conversation between a research professor and a student.

    Jack: I enjoyed your lecture today, Dr Beech. See you.

    Dr Beech: Goodbye. Oh- Jack?

    J: Yes, Professor?

    DB: Have you got a minute?

    J: Uh...sure. Have I done something?

    DB: (laughs) No, Jack. Not at all. You''re doing very well indeed in my class, and, uh, I''ve noticed that you seem particularly interested in my research....

    J: Thanks! Yes. It seems like fun to be working with primates. They''re very likeable animals, aren''t they? Very gentle, very smart.

    DB: Yes, they are, and it''s nice to be able to mix business and pleasure. But they do take a lot of, well, looking after to keep them healthy and happy. I''ve got an assistant, Larry- you know him, I think, the student who brought Maisy and Daisy into the classroom last month?

    J: Oh, yes, I know Larry, Larry Easton. He''s getting his master''s in Zoology, isn''t he?

    DB: Yes, that''s right. And he''s graduating in June. So I was wondering if you might be, be interested in, uh, taking over for him, taking his assistantship. Um, I don''t know if you want to work, or need work, of course....

    J: Oh! Uh- yes. Yes! That''s something I would really like to do, yes. Oh. But, uh....

    DB: But?

    J: But...well, I guess I should find out a little bit more about it. I mean, the hours, the, um, time involved, and, and... can I do the work? I don''t really know what all''s involved.

    DB: Well- have you got a little time right now?

    J: Uh, yes- my next class''s not till one. Sure.

    DB: Good. Let''s just sit down here then, shall we?

    J: OK.

    DB: Now, it''s not a very romantic job, I''m afraid, Jack. My research assistant is mostly in charge of maintaining the laboratory animals- preparing their food, cleaning their quarters, uh, feeding and watering them, of course, and, uh, just keeping an eye on things, you know- making sure they''re healthy and comfortable.

    J: How many primates do you have in the lab?

    DB: Twelve right now. There are ten bushbabies and two aye-ayes. The aye-aye pair are in one of the big cages, and the bushbabies are in the other two. One has a family in it- the mother and father and two babies- and the other group are unpaired juveniles, including Maisy and Daisy.

    J: Ah.

    DB: Oh, and there''s a smaller cage with Max, the old male I started with. He''s the only one you have to be careful of.

    J: Careful of? Why?

    DB: He bites sometimes. You can go right into the other cages, though. They''re all quite friendly- sometimes too friendly. (laughs) Until you get the food set out, they''ll be all over you looking for it.

    J: Well gosh, it sounds easy enough, I suppose. I''ve had enough mice, hamsters, guinea pigs and rabbits over the years to know how to take care of mammals pretty well, I think. At least basically. I wanted a capuchin monkey when I was in high school, but Mother drew the line at that.

    DB: (laughs) Well, mothers can be that way. Mine still doesn''t understand how her daughter can handle "wild varmints". (laughs)

    J: (laughs) What do they eat, anyway? Fruit?

    DB: Yes, fruits, mostly- apples, grapes, pears- and also some vegetables. Lettuce, uh, carrots... we try different things sometimes. And they get mealworms for snacks. Part of your job will be to pick up the fruit and vegetables from Campus Stores- I have a standing order there- twice a week. And then you chop some of them up every morning for their rations. Larry''ll show you how to do it.

    J: And...mealworms?

    DB: Yes, we have a couple of trays of them in the lab. You''ll need to tend them, too, and sift out a few dozen every day for the bushbabies. It''s easy. It only takes a few minutes.

    J: What kind of hours are we talking about, Professor? And when during the day?

    DB: Well, student assistantships are limited to fifteen hours a week- university regulations. The animals have to be tended every day, of course, but I''ll be responsible for Sundays and holidays. The main thing is that you''ll have to come in before classes, in the early morning, say about seven or seven-thirty, and, uh, spend an hour or an hour-and-a-half cleaning the cages- throwing out the old straw and laying down fresh straw, uh, washing the food bowls and giving them fresh water. And then preparing their food and giving it to them. It''s a simple routine, really, when you get used to it.

    J: OK.

    DB: And then, I''d like you to be sure to stop by again in the late afternoons or early evenings- sometime between, oh, four and seven?- to check them, check their water, and give them a bit more fruit and their mealworms. Would you be able to do all that?

    J: Sure, that sounds fine. My class load''s not so heavy now that I''m in third year. I''m sure I can arrange my class schedule around that. Oh. Uh...can I ask how much it, um, pays?

    DB: Oh! Sorry, Jack- of course! Fifteen dollars an hour- $225 a week. The university will withhold some for taxes and issue you a check at the end of each month. It should be for about $850, I think. But you can ask Larry.

    J: Gee, that''s fine, Dr Beech. That''ll help me out a lot with my expenses. And I''m going to love getting to know your bushbabies- and aye-ayes, wow!- better. Will I have a chance, do you think, to, uh, help with your research?

    DB: Yes, there''s certainly a good chance of that, yes, if you want to. I''d be happy to have you get involved. We have a lot to learn from these "varmints".

    J: (laughs) Great!

    DB: OK then- I''ll talk to Larry, and we''ll see when we can get together, the three of us, and set up some time for you to start learning the routine. And I''ll get the paperwork rolling tomorrow.

    J: Thanks very much, Professor. Thank you for thinking of me.

    DB: And thank you, Jack. I know I''ll be able to rely on you. Taking care of animals requires a strong sense of responsibility, and I think you''ve got that. Next class, we''ll set up a meeting time, OK?

    J: OK. Thanks again! See you.

    DB: See you, Jack.


    Excerpt from the TOEFL test listening conversation

    Jack: How many primates do you have in the lab?

    Dr Beech: Twelve right now. There are ten bushbabies and two aye-ayes. The aye-aye pair are in one of the big cages, and the bushbabies are in the other two. One has a family in it- the mother and father and two babies- and the other group are unpaired juveniles, including Maisy and Daisy.

    J: Ah.

    DB: Oh, and there''s a smaller cage with Max, the old male I started with. He''s the only one you have to be careful of.

    J: Careful of? Why?

    DB: He bites sometimes. You can go right into the other cages, though. They''re all quite friendly- sometimes too friendly. (laughs) Until you get the food set out, they''ll be all over you looking for it.

    J: Well gosh, it sounds easy enough, I suppose. I''ve had enough mice, hamsters, guinea pigs and rabbits over the years to know how to take care of mammals pretty well, I think. At least basically. I wanted a capuchin monkey when I was in high school, but Mother drew the line at that.

    DB: (laughs) Well, mothers can be that way. Mine still doesn''t understand how her daughter can handle "wild varmints". (laughs)
    50 TOEFL conversations
    50 TOEFL conversations
    A great variety of English listening comprehension tests that will help you increase your TOEFL test score.
  • based on TOEFL academic discussions
  • written and recorded by experienced US authors and voice-over specialists
  • 50 TOEFL lectures   50 TOEFL conversations




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