B2 First (FCE)
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Test 1 / 20

Rising Star

Margaret Garelly goes to meet Duncan Williams, who plays for Chelsea Football Club.

A

It’s my first time driving to Chelsea’s training ground and I turn off slightly too early at the London University playing fields. Had he accepted football’s rejections in his early teenage years, it is exactly the sort of ground Duncan Williams would have found himself running around on at weekends. At his current age of 18, he would have been a bright first-year undergraduate mixing his academic studies with a bit of football, rugby and cricket, given his early talent in all these sports. However, Duncan undoubtedly took the right path. Instead of studying, he is sitting with his father Gavin in one of the interview rooms at Chelsea’s training base reflecting on Saturday’s match against Manchester City. Such has been his rise to fame that it is with some disbelief that you listen to him describing how his career was nearly all over before it began.

B
Gavin, himself a fine footballer – a member of the national team in his time – and now a professional coach, sent Duncan to three professional clubs as a 14 year-old, but all three turned him down. ‘I worked with him a lot when he was around 12, and it was clear he had fantastic technique and skill. But then the other boys shot up in height and he didn’t. But I was still upset and surprised that no team seemed to want him, that they couldn’t see what he might develop into in time. When Chelsea accepted him as a junior, it was made clear to him that this was more of a last chance than a new beginning. They told him he had a lot of hard work to do and wasn’t part of their plans. Fortunately, that summer he just grew and grew, and got much stronger as well.’

C
Duncan takes up the story: ‘The first half of that season I played in the youth team. I got lucky – the first-team manager came to watch us play QPR, and though we lost 3-1, I had a really good game. I moved up to the first team after that performance.’ Gavin points out that it can be beneficial to be smaller and weaker when you are developing – it forces you to learn how to keep the ball better, how to use ‘quick feet’ to get out of tight spaces. ‘A couple of years ago, Duncan would run past an opponent as if he wasn’t there but then the other guy would close in on him. I used to say to him, “Look, if you can do that now, imagine what you’ll be like when you’re 17, 18 and you’re big and quick and they won’t be able to get near you.” If you’re a smaller player, you have to use your brain a lot more.’

D
Not every kid gets advice from an ex-England player over dinner, nor their own private training sessions. Now Duncan is following in Gavin’s footsteps. He has joined a national scheme where people like him give advice to ambitious young teenagers who are hoping to become professionals. He is an old head on young shoulders. Yet he’s also like a young kid in his enthusiasm. And fame has clearly not gone to his head; it would be hard to meet a more likeable, humble young man. So will he get to play for the national team? ‘One day I’d love to, but when that is, is for somebody else to decide.’ The way he is playing, that won’t be long.

states how surprised the writer was at Duncan’s early difficulties?
Text A
says that Duncan sometimes seems much more mature than he really is?
Text D
describes the frustration felt by Duncan’s father?
Text B
says that Duncan is on course to reach a high point in his profession?
Text D
suggests that Duncan caught up with his team-mates in terms of physical development?
Text B
explains how Duncan was a good all-round sportsperson?
Text A
gives an example of how Gavin reassured his son?
Text C
mentions Duncan’s current club’s low opinion of him at one time?
Text B
mentions a personal success despite a failure for the team?
Text C
explains how Duncan and his father are fulfilling a similar role?
Text D
Test 2 / 20

Following Dream

A Harry

Just north of Fregate I met two manta rays. They were seven or eight feet wide with massive outstretched fins that seemed like rubberized wings. The water was murky, rich with plankton that attracted the giant rays that filtered it through their wide mouths. They treated me with caution, maintaining a constant distance if I turned towards them, but were content to let me swim on a parallel course, as if I, too, was feeding on the plankton. For a few minutes we were companions, until, circling and shifting shape against the depths, they became faint black shadows in the gloom and were gone. The deep blue of the Indian Ocean has captured my heart and drawn me back again and again to these pure shores. On Praslin there were dolphins offshore and a pair of octopus, sliding across the coral as they flashed signals to one another with changing skin tones as remarkable as – but much faster than – any chameleon. At Conception, close to Mahe, giant rocks formed an underwater cathedral beckoning me into its vaults where moray eels gaped at me, the strange visitor to their liquid world.

В Gabriel

And so my first real trip to Asia unfolded in what seemed a series of dream-panels – adventures and faces and events so far removed from my day-to-day experience that I could not convert them into any tongue I knew. I revisited them again and again, sleepless, in my memories and notes and photographs, once home.

Almost every day of the three-week trip was so vivid that, upon returning, I gave a friend a nine-hour account of every moment. The motorbike ride through Sukhothai; the first long lazy evening in an expat’s teak house in Sunkumvhit; the flight into the otherworldly charm of Rangoon and the Strand Hotel, and the pulse of warm activity around the Sule Pagoda at nightfall. Long hot days in the silence, 5,000 temples on every side; slow trips at dawn along Inle lake, seeing a bird-faced boat being led through the quiet water; a frenzied morning back in Bangkok, writing an article while monsoon rains pounded on the windows all around me.

C Maya

As I stepped off the six-seater Cessna plane after a bumpy flight over the Okavango Delta and my feet touched the arid ground I knew this was what I’d been waiting for all my life – Africa. Our first day was at the Selinda Camp in one of the driest parts of the Delta and when we arrived I thought that nothing could possibly survive under the relentless sun. I was almost immediately proved wrong, as Selinda is near a small lagoon – home to a group of hippos. At night we could hear their bark-like call.

Our guides warned us that although hippos may seem harmless, if threatened, they could easily kill a man! We went on to stay in various other camps that were situated in different habitats. Jacana Camp was surrounded entirely by water and only accessible by boat. But my favourite place was the Kalahari Desert. Our final camp was located just on the edge of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, which are home to many rare species of animal, such as the brown hyena.

D Tom

I’d been to New York three times in the past but not for long and I couldn’t remember much of it.
This time I only had four days but I was on my own and this seems like a better way to get to know a city: less being sociable, more walking and visiting different places. Perfect. I liked New York even more than I expected and it’s right up there on my list of foreign cities where I’d like to live. It’s fighting for the top spot with San Francisco, with the next position occupied by Paris. I stayed at the Incentra Village House, which was lovely: reasonably priced, really friendly, comfortable rooms. I’d stay there again. I did a lot of walking and could easily have done a lot more. I rarely left Manhattan. One day I walked more than 12 miles, including the length of Central Park and on down Fifth Avenue. Fifth Avenue was the least pleasant place; it felt like London’s Oxford Street. I also walked along the High Line, which is very nicely done, although rather shorter than Paris’s Promenade Plantee.

Which person…

interacted closely with wild animals?
A Harry
was participating in a water sport?
A Harry
did not think he/she would like the place so much?
D Tom
was in relatively close proximity to dangerous animals?
C Maya
refers to documenting their travel experiences?
В Gabriel
appreciated the advantages of travelling alone?
D Tom
spent time near places of worship?
В Gabriel
told someone all about his/her experience?
В Gabriel
compared the place he/she visited with other places?
D Tom
was shown around by a professional?
C Maya
Test 3 / 20

The Joys of Camping

Kate Reilly speaks to 5 dedicated campers and finds out why they prefer to pitch their tents or park their camper vans rather than stay in hotels or rent apartments

A Ben: a teacher

For Ben the most important thing is to find a cheap and affordable option during the busy school holidays. ‘Because I have to go away during the peak season when all the schools are on holiday it’s often difficult to find cheap hotel deals or holidays flats for rent,’ he explains. In addition to this he enjoys the flexibility camping offers. ‘I’m not that good at planning ahead and like to be spontaneous with my travel plans. The fact that it’s not usually necessary to pre-book to stay at a campsite suits me very well. I also like that I can go away to more obscure and remote places and get away from the students I spend all year in the classroom with.

B Cathy: finance director

Cathy is looking for a contrast from her stressful working life when she goes on holiday. She says. ‘I love being outside and the freedom camping offers. I spend all day in the office when I’m at work and have to be very organised to meet tight deadlines, so when I’m on holiday I like to be in the fresh air and be able to do exactly what I want when I want; camping is perfect for that. Of course there are some rules you have to respect like you’re not allowed to make noise after 11 or 12 at night but I like that. I love going to sleep listening to the insects in the trees or the waves on the beach.

C Matt: IT engineer

Matt likes to spend his holiday seeing lots of different places. ‘I’m a restless person so when I go away on holiday I don’t like to be tied down to one place; camping means you can stay for two nights in one place then pack up the tent, jump in the car and stay somewhere else for the next night or two and so on with no need to book ahead. It’s a great way to see lots of different places in a short period of time.’ He also points out that, ‘You obviously need a car to really be able to make the most of your time and make sure you have a good map and a good up-to-date campsite guide with clear directions to help you find the different campsites. Campsites are often not well signposted and there is nothing more frustrating than driving around for hours looking for a campsite when you’d rather be relaxing on the beach.

D Eli and Catriona: doctor and medical researcher

Eli and Catriona explain why camping is the perfect holiday for families. ‘We used to go camping when we were much younger, before we had children and loved it but now we have the boys it makes even more sense. There are so many child-friendly campsites with swimming pools and special activities for kids. It’s so nice for them to have lots of space to run around in and other children to play with. It also means we have time to ourselves to really relax. We’ve actually been to the same campsite for 2 years in a row now as we all had such a good time there the first year. The boys are still in touch with friends they made there last year so we might well go back again this year.

E Melissa and Stefano: salon manager and marketing director

For Melissa and Stefano it’s the friendly atmosphere that means they keep going back to campsites year after year. ‘We’ve travelled around the whole of Europe in our campervan and every year we meet so many interesting people and make friends with people from all over the world. Everyone is always so helpful when you stay on a campsite. If you need to borrow something like matches your neighbours will always help you out. One year we got the back wheels of the campervan stuck in the sand and it took ten of our new neighbours to help push it out. Everyone came rushing over to help as soon as they saw there was a problem and most of us didn’t even speak the same language. It was a wonderful feeling; you don’t get that in hotels.’

Which person or people…

likes being in the open air surrounded by wildlife?
B Cathy: finance director
gives some advice on things you should take with you?
C Matt: IT engineer
gives an example of people working together to solve a difficult situation?
E Melissa and Stefano
is looking for variety when he/she goes on holiday?
C Matt: IT engineer
doesn’t want to meet the people he/she works with when on holiday?
A Ben: a teacher
mentions something you can’t do on campsites?
B Cathy: finance director
has enjoyed camping for many years?
D Eli and Catriona
mentions a possible problem when arriving at campsites?
C Matt: IT engineer
says they can’t choose when they go away on holiday?
A Ben: a teacher
has been to the same campsite more than once?
D Eli and Catriona
Test 4 / 20

Jobs in cartoon animation

The future seems bright for animators, the artists who can make cartoons come to life. Four cartoonists give their impressions.

A Dan Taylor

Dan Taylor is delighted that TV shows are now often inhabited by ‘animated’ cartoon characters. ‘On paper, the character you create is just a drawing,’ he says, ‘but then you give it movement, and it becomes a real TV personality.’ Dan passed his art exams when he was at secondary school, but for many years he treated his drawing as a hobby. He would create images for his workmates, to be stuck on motorbikes or leather jackets. Eventually, he signed up at the Arts Institute to start a career as an animator. ‘There is plenty of workaround for people who can draw because cartoon shows can win sizeable audiences around the world,’ he says. Dan would like to create cartoons that cross the boundary from children’s animation to animated characters for grown-ups, with issues that interest them. Many of his ideas for future series will be on show at the annual animation festival in Bradford next September.

B Colin Grey

As head of animation of Grant Studios, Colin Grey sees his workload grow day by day. ‘There is a huge public taste for animation,’ he says, ‘but we still lack skilled artists because the publicity industry has employed lots of people who are now busy designing ads.’ Recognising the need to encourage training, Grey has just given some funds to the university for an art school ‘qualification in animation. ‘This is a good investment of some of our profits,’ he says. Grey believes another problem is that many animators are often reluctant to go for jobs in big organisations. ‘They fear large-scale projects will take away their freedom of action.’ he says. He is trying to bring a bit more of the US way of working to bear on his current projects. ‘Of course production methods have changed since Walt Disney put together his first animation. Now studios can create a character and have it animated in a different country.’

C David Hoxton

Despite the recent demand for cartoon artists in Europe, David Hoxton found that the only way to get his ideal job was to leave England and try his luck in the USA. ‘Their way of working is with large numbers of people working on each series of drawings,’ he says, ‘I ‘d always dreamt of working in such a way, producing the thousands of drawings necessary to bring characters to life.’ Hoxton thinks his job requires excellent drawing techniques, something he feels is often neglected in schools. ‘Colleges of art encourage independent thinking, which is good, but some of them have lost their way when it comes to teaching the essentials.’ He admits that computers can now do the translating of a drawing into a moving image, but he is convinced the skilled artist will always be in demand.

D Carl Hughes

Carl Hughes is the owner and chief animator of Manton Hall Films, one of the biggest animator outfits in Europe. In the last three years, he has spent (10m on new machines to compete with international rivals. The reward has been a string of contracts to animate US shows at its offices in England. ‘We believe training our staff is very important,’ he says, ‘I offer them a series of classes within a 12-week intensive programme. Alter that, they join the teams on particular shows.’ Hughes believes what he needs most is artists who have artistic potential, not so much the ability to draw as the ability to develop the plot of a narrative, an interesting plot that will interest the audience. He knows that many people in the industry are crying out for highly-skilled animators to gel involved in the development of shows, but he thinks the future of all that area of work lies with computers. ‘Eventually, they will do away with the need for artists,’ he says.

Which artist:

used to consider drawing was a pastime?
A Dan Taylor
went abroad to find work?
C David Hoxton
helped an arts school financially?
B Colin Grey
thinks the ability to tell a good story is essential?
D Carl Hughes
thinks people who are good at drawing find jobs easily?
A Dan Taylor
thinks computers will replace skilled cartoonists?
D Carl Hughes
wants to attract adult audiences?
A Dan Taylor
says some artists are afraid of losing independence?
B Colin Grey
thinks art schools do not teach students basic skills?
C David Hoxton
runs a course for trainees?
D Carl Hughes