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B1 Preliminary (PET)
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Test 1 / 20

You will hear an interview with a woman called Vicky Prince, a champion swimmer who now works as a swimming coach.

Vicky first went in for competitions because
As a teenager, Vicky’s training involved
What did Vicky find hard about her training programme?
What helped Vicky to do well in the national finals?
As a swimming coach, Vicky thinks she’s best at teaching people
Why has Vicky started doing long-distance swimming?

M: I’m talking to champion swimmer Vicky Prince, who started competitive swimming as a teenager. Why swimming, Vicky?

F: Well, though my parents are interested in sport, they aren’t great swimmers themselves, and we didn’t go swimming that often. I learnt at school like everyone else, and just seemed to be good at it, so my teacher persuaded me to go in for competitions. I mean I did join a swimming club later, but that wasn’t where it all started.

M:Did you have to do lots of training?

F: I did. I used to get up at five to go to the pool, which was a thirty-five-minute drive from our house, where I’d swim till eight. I’d have breakfast in the car while Mum was driving me to school. After classes, I did exercises in the school gym to build my strength, before lunch. Then later on, it was back to the pool for another three hours.

M: So it was a hard training programme?

F: Yes, it meant I couldn’t go to things like parties because I had to get up so early, but I got used to that. Much harder was losing two of the friends I’d known since I was very young because I couldn’t go out much. That was tough. I also missed school trips to France though I did get to go there later, so it didn’t matter in the end.

M: But you won a national competition?

F: Yes, I was in the team that took first prize in the national finals. I always swam for enjoyment, so I was surprised to find myself holding up a cup! I hadn’t swum that well in the semi-finals, so I guess the crowd were more interested in the other swimmers in my race. So that made it easier to do well. Of course, I’d trained hard too, but I always did.

M: And now you’re a coach, teaching other people.

F: Yes, I’ve just done a qualification to be a coach, but passing on my own experience is how I can really help them. And because I’ve both won and lost in competitions, and recovered from that, it’s something I can share with people. Winning isn’t just about technique.

M: And you’ve taken up long-distance swimming?

F: Yes, just as a hobby. I mean I do want to maintain my fitness levels, but that wasn’t the main reason for choosing it. And long-distance swimming in the sea isn’t all fun – it can be hard work – but you do get to see some wonderful places, and that’s what attracted me to it.

Test 2 / 20

You will hear an interview with a 16-year-old girl called Jenny, who went on a school exchange to America for a month.

Why did Jenny get involved in the school exchange project
How did Jenny’s parents deal with her going to America for a month?
Who did Jenny live with in America?
How was the home in America different from Jenny’s home in England?
What Jenny missed most was
What did Jenny gain from the exchange project?

Man: Jenny, you have just returned from a school exchange to America for a month. Why did you want to take part in the exchange project?

Jenny: Well, most of the students who went on the exchange wanted to travel or they just wanted to be away from their parents for a while. For me it was a bit more personal as my father has been offered a job in New York and I wanted to see if I would like it there or not.

Man: So how did your parents react to you going away for such a long time? Were they worried?

Jenny: I don’t think they were very worried. They knew how excited I was though and they always do whatever they can to help me do the things I want to do. Plus they knew that I would be safe and well looked after.

Man: Who did you stay with in America?

Jenny: Well I thought I was going to be staying with a family with three children but something happened, I think the father got sick.  I ended up staying with a rich couple called John and Candy who didn’t have any children although they did have a couple of dogs.

Man: How was their home different to your home in the UK?

Jenny: For a start it was on quite a busy and noisy street and we live on a very small quiet street. (23) It was also really big especially as there are only two of them living in it. My whole family could easily live there and it wouldn’t be crowded. (23) Also it was beautifully decorated and had a lovely garden at the back that is probably three times the size of our garden.

Man: Was there anything or anyone that you missed while you were away?

Jenny: I thought I would miss my dog, but because they had two dogs I didn’t really miss him too much. Also a lot of my friends had gone with me on the exchange so I saw them every day. (24) However, it was quite difficult to be so far away from my brother and sister, even though they annoy me a lot when I am home.

Man: Finally Jenny, what do you think you gained from the whole experience?

Jenny: I liked being away from home but with my friends from England. (25) It was really good for me to learn how to live without my parents. I’m braver than I thought I was. Also, I loved America so I am happy that we might move there for my dad’s new job.

Man: Thank you for talking to us Jenny and good luck to you and your family in America.