Conversation One

W: Welcome to Workplace, and in today’s program we are looking at the results of two recently published surveys, which both deal with the same topic—happiness at work. John, tell us about the first survey.

M: Well, this was done by a human resources consultancy who interviewed more than 1,000 workers and established a top 10 of the factors which make people happy at work. The most important factor, for the majority of the people interviewed was having friendly, supportive colleagues. In fact, 73% people interviewed put their relationship with colleagues as the key factor contributing to happiness at work, which is a very high percentage. The second most important factor was having work that is enjoyable. The two least important factors were having one’s achievements recognized and rather surprisingly, earning a competitive salary.

W: So, we are not mainly motivated by money?

M: Apparently not.

W: Any other interesting information in the survey?

M: Yes. For example, 25% of the working people interviewed described themselves as very happy at work. However, 20% of employees described themselves as being unhappy.

W: That’s quite a lot of unhappy people at work every day.

M: It is, isn’t it? And there were several more interesting conclusions revealed by the survey. First of all, small is beautiful. People definitely prefer working for smaller organizations or companies with less than 100 staff. We also find out that, generally speaking, women were happier in their work than men.

W: Yes, we are, aren’t we?

M: And workers on part-time contracts who only work 4 or 5 hours a day are happier than those who work full time. The research is concluded that this is probably due to a better work-life balance.

W: Are bosses happier than their employees?

M: Yes. Perhaps not surprisingly, the higher people go in a company, the happier they are. So senior managers enjoy their jobs more than people working under them.

Questions 1 to 4 are based on the conversation you have just heard.

1. What is the number one factor that made employees happy according to the survey?
2. What is the percentage of the people surveyed who felt unhappy at work?
3. What kind of companies are popular with employees?
4. What is the possible reason for people on part-time contracts to be happier?

Conversation Two

W: Mr. De Keyzer, I am a great lover of your book, Moments Before the Flood. Can you tell us how you first became interested in the subject matter?

M: In 2016, when the concert hall of the city of Bruges asked me to take some pictures for a catalogue for a new concert season around the theme of water, I found myself working along the Belgian coastline. As there had been numerous alarming articles in the press about a climate catastrophe waiting to happen, I started looking at the sea and the beach very differently, a place where I spent so many perfect days as a child. This fear of a looming danger became the subject of a large-scale photo project.

W: you wrote in the book: “I don't want to photograph the disaster, I want to photograph the disaster waiting to happen.” Can you talk a bit about that?

M: It is clear now that it's a matter of time before the entire European coastline disappears under water. The same goes for numerous big cities around the world. My idea was to photograph this beautiful and very unique coastline reaching history, before it’s too late—as a last witnesses.

W: Can you talk a bit about how history plays a role in this project?

M: Sure. The project is also about the history of Europe looking at the sea and wondering when the next enemy would appear. In the images, you see all kinds of possible defense constructions to hold back the Romans, Germans, Vikings, and now nature as enemy number one. For example, there is the image of the bridge into the sea taken at the Normandy D-Day landing site. Also Venice, the city eternally threatened by the sea, where every morning wooden pathways have to be set up to allow tourists to reach the hotels.

W: Thank you, Mr. De Keyzer. It was a pleasure to have you with us today.

Questions 5 to 8 are based on the conversation you have just heard.
5. What does the man say about the book Moments Before the Flood?
6. When did the man get his idea for the work?
7. What will happen when the climate catastrophe occurs?
8. What does the man say about Venice?


Passage one

When facing a new situation, some people tend to rehearse their defeat by spending too much time anticipating the worst. I remember talking with a young lawyer who was about to begin her first jury trial. She was very nervous. I asked what impression she wanted to make on the jury. She replied, “I don't want to look too inexperienced; I don’t want them to suspect. This is my first trial.” This lawyer had fallen victim to the “don'ts” syndrome, a form of negative goal setting. The “don'ts” can be self-fulfilling because your mind responds to pictures. Research conducted at the Stanford University shows a mental image fires the nervous system the same way as actually doing something that means when the golfer foretells himself, don't hit the ball into the water. His mind sees the image of the ball flying into the water, so guess where the ball will go, consequently before going into any stressful situation, focus only on what you want to have happen. I asked the lawyer again how she wanted to appear at her first trial, and this time she said, I want to look professional, and self-assured. I told her to create a picture of what self-assured would look like. To her it meant moving confidently around the court room, using convincing body language and projecting her voice so it could be heard from the judge's bench to the back door. S?

he also imagined a skillful closing argument and a winning trial. A few weeks after this positive dress rehearsal, the young lawyer did win.

Questions 9 to 12 are based on the passage you have just heard.
9. What do some people do when they face a new situation?
10. What does the research conducted at Stanford University show?
11. What advice does the speaker give to people in a stressful situation
12. What do we learn about the lawyer in the court?

Passage Two

Most Americans don't eat enough fruits, vegetables or whole grains. Research now says adding fiber to the teen diet may help lower the risk of breast cancer. Conversations about the benefits of fiber are probably more common in nursing homes than high schools. But along comes a new study that could change that. Kristi King, a die specialist at Texas Children's Hospital, finds it hard to get teenage patients’ attention about healthy eating. By telling them they are eating lots of high-fiber foods could reduce the risk of breast cancer before middle age. That’s a powerful message. The new finding is based on a study of 44,000 women. They were surveyed about their diets during high school and their eating habits were tracked for two decades. It turns out that those who consumed the highest levels of fiber during adolescents had a lower risk of developing breast cancer, compared with women who ate the least fiber. This important study demonstrates that the more fiber you eat during your high school years, the lower your risk is in developing breast cancer in later life. The finding points to longstanding evidence that fiber may reduce circulating female hormone levels, which could explain the reduced risk. The bottom line here is the more fiber you eat, perhaps, a lower level of hormone in your body, and therefore, a lower lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. High-fiber diets are also linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes. That's why women are told to eat 25 grams of fiber a day—man even more.

Questions 13 to 15 are based on the passage you have just heard.
13. What does the new study tell about adding fiber to the teen diet?
14. What do we learn about the survey of the 44,000 women?
15. What explanation does the speaker offer for the research finding?


Why should you consider taking a course in demography in college?You will be growing up in the generation where the baby-boomers are going into retirement and dying. You will face problems in the aging of the population that have never been faced before. You will hear more and more about migration between countries, and between rural areas and cities. You need to understand as a citizen and as a taxpayer and as a voter what’s really behind the arguments. I want to tell you about the past, present and future of the human population, so let’s start with a few problems. Right now, a billion people are chronically hungry that means they wake up hungry; they are hungry all day and they go to sleep hungry. A billion people are living in slums, not the same billion people, but there is some overlap. Living in slums means they don’t have infrastructure to take the garbage away. They don’t have secure water supplies to drink. Nearly a billion people are illiterate. Try to imagine your life being illiterate. You can’t read the labels on the bottles in the supermarket, if you can get to a supermarket. Two thirds of those people who are illiterate are women and about 200 to 250 million women don’t have access to birth control they want, so that they can control their own fertility. This is not a problem in developing countries, about half of all pregnancies globally are unintended. So those are examples of population problems. Demography gives you the tools to understand and to address these problems. It’s not only the study of human population, but the populations of non-human species, including viruses, like influenza, the bacteria in your gut, plants that you eat, animals that you enjoy, all that provide you with meat. Demography also includes the study of non-living objects like light bulbs and taxi cabs and buildings because these are also populations. It studies these populations in the past, present and future using quantitative data and mathematical models as tools of analysis. I see demography as a central subject related to economics. It is the means to intervene more wisely and more effectively in the real world to improve the well-being not only of yourself, important as that maybe, but of people around you and of other species with whom we share the planet.

Questions 23 to 25 are based on the passage you have just heard.
23. What is one of the problems the speaker mentions in his talk?
24. What does the speaker say about pregnancies?
25. How does the speaker view the study of the populations?

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