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TOEFL listening: A meeting between a lecturer and a laboratory assistant in the Department of Biology

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    TOEFL Listening Comprehension Transcript

    Narrator
    Listen to a meeting between a lecturer and a laboratory assistant in the Department of Biology.

    Lecturer: Oh-- hi, Bill. Thanks for coming in today. I know it''s supposed to be your day off.

    Assistant: Good morning. No, no, that''s fine, Jason. I had to come in today anyway, and start the inventory of the equipment room. It''s that time of year again.

    L: Ah yes. Fiscal year end. Time to use up our budget quick before they take it away from us. How are we, generally, for supplies?

    A: Not bad, not bad. We''ll make it to the end of term all right. But we need to look at next term''s projected enrollment again-- it takes time to get some of that stuff. We had trouble last time with the frogs.

    L: The frogs? Why? We''ve had frogs for the last thirty years. Hell, I had frogs when I was in high school, back in the Middle Ages!

    A: Oh, it''s the amphibian fungus, Jason. You''ve read about it, I''m sure. The chytrid fungus. Frogs and salamanders all over the world are disappearing-- populations just decimated. And the frog farms have been hit, too.

    L: Ah, that''s right-- the chytrid fungus. Yes, it''s awful. I can''t help thinking that somehow the fungus is our fault, too-- along with everything else we''ve done to screw up the environment.

    A: Maybe. You may be right. They say that global warming helps it spread, anyway. But the researchers don''t have a handle on it yet-- they don''t know where it comes from, how it spreads. It just suddenly appears in a region and wipes out most or all of the frogs and toads and salamanders there.

    L: Wish it''d come to Australia. Do in all those damn Cane Toads. Knowing them though-- they''re probably immune!

    A (laughs): Yeah. Anyway, I''m not sure how many frogs we can get, or how much they''re going to cost.

    L: It''s been one per student up till now, hasn''t it?

    A: Yes.

    L: Well, we''ll just have to get them to work in pairs from now on, that''s all. That''s what we did when we were in school, remember?

    A: Uh...yes, that''ll be OK, I guess. Oh! How about their illustrations, though?

    L: Their illustrations?

    A: Yes, their drawings. One of your assignments is a detailed illustration of one of the frog''s organ systems. ''Drawn from life'', remember? They spend a lot of time on that. I mean, the good students do, at least. I don''t think both members of a pair can work on that at the same time.

    L: Why not?

    A: It''s a physical impossibility. They have to evert the system-- spread the animal''s organs out-- while they''re drawing. If they choose different systems, then...

    L: Huh? Oh, I see. Well then, we''ll just have each pair illustrate the same system. They''ll have to decide together which one. A little extra exercise in human relationships-- just what some of those budding biologists need. (laughs)

    A (laughs): Yes, you''re right there. OK then, that''ll be a help. I''ll get back to you with the inventory list and any other problems we''ve got as soon as I can. Maybe early next week?

    L: That''ll be fine. The departmental budgetary committee doesn''t meet till the end of the month... But I''m still thinking about frogs. Did you see where some university or institute is trying to build up a collection of amphibians to keep and breed in total isolation? Somewhere where the fungus can be totally excluded. A kind of Noah''s Ark of amphibians. Have you heard about that? You think that could work?

    A: Oh. Uh, yes-- in Costa Rica, I think. Yes. Maybe an independent biological research center. I don''t know if that will work or not. Worked for Noah, though. We''ll just have to wait and see. And hope.

    L: And hope. Yes, indeed.

    A: But what is it you wanted us to talk about this morning?

    L: Oh, yes--sorry. What I wanted to do this morning was go over the syllabus for Zoology 210 with you. I want to make some changes to it, but I don''t want to catch you by surprise, and I need your input.

    A: It doesn''t require more frogs, does it?

    L (laughs): No. But I don''t think we''ve got enough time now to get into it. I''ve got a student consultation coming up. Could you possibly come back by after you finish in the equipment room?

    A: Uh, sure. About four?

    L: Sure, that''ll be good. I''ll be here. Thanks much, Bill

    A: OK, see you later.


    Excerpt from the TOEFL test listening conversation

    Lecturer: Oh-- hi, Bill. Thanks for coming in today. I know it''s supposed to be your day off.

    Assistant: Good morning. No, no, that''s fine, Jason. I had to come in today anyway, and start the inventory of the equipment room. It''s that time of year again.

    L: Ah yes. Fiscal year end. Time to use up our budget quick before they take it away from us. How are we, generally, for supplies?

    A: Not bad, not bad. We''ll make it to the end of term all right. But we need to look at next term''s projected enrollment again-- it takes time to get some of that stuff. We had trouble last time with the frogs.

    L: The frogs? Why? We''ve had frogs for the last thirty years. Hell, I had frogs when I was in high school, back in the Middle Ages!

    A: Oh, it''s the amphibian fungus, Jason. You''ve read about it, I''m sure. The chytrid fungus. Frogs and salamanders all over the world are disappearing-- populations just decimated. And the frog farms have been hit, too.
    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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