II. Basic Listening Practice

10. Script

W: What’s that? Is it a toy? Did it get chewed by a dog?

M: Hey, that’s my mascot! My uncle gave it to me whenIwas five, and it’s been with me ever since. It broughtme luck in all my college exams. I can’t bring myself to part with it.

Q:What does the man say about his lucky charm?

11. Script

W: Wish me luck; I’ve got a job interview this afternoon. I’m really nervous.

M:Stay calm, best of luck! I’ve got my finger crossedfor you.

Q: What does the woman say he has crossed his fingers for the woman?

3. Script

W: Oh no! Did you see that black cat walk right in front of me? That’sunlucky!

M:Really? I guess it depends on where you come from. In my hometown it’sthe opposite: It’s lucky to see a black cat cross your path. So no need to worry!

Q: What do the man and the woman think about a black cat crossing their path?

4. Script

M: Guess what I did this morning? I smashed my mirror. A greatway tostartthe day!

W:Oh no, seven years’bad luck, isn’tit?

Q: What happenedin the morning?

5. Script

M: I can’t believe this rain; it’s been pouring for hours! Where can I dry myumbrella?

W: Not in here please! It’s unlucky to open an umbrella indoors. You can put it on the porch.

Q: Where does the woman ask the man do to open his umbrella?

Keys: 1.C2.C3. A 4.D 5.B

III. Listening In

Task 1: David Copperfield is coming.

W:    My brother is going to pick up some tickers for the David Copperfield show. You interested in coming with us?

M:     I don’t know. I’ve been card tricks before, and rabbits from hats. I even do tricks myself—watch me change this coin into an ice cream cone.

W:     Very funny. David Copperfield isthe world’sgreatestmagician; he’s certainly worth a look.

M:      Actually, I have seen him on television. He pulls off somepretty amazing stunts. I wish I knew how he performed his tricks. Then I could also makea personfloat in the air. I could pull a rabbit out of my hat. I could escape from a straitjacketand handcuffs—all underwater. And I could sawa womanin half.

W:     A magiciannever tells his secrets. David attemptsthe impossibleand no one has any idea how he does it. I saw him on TVwhen he walked throughthe Great Wall of China.

M:     How could he do that?

W:     I have no idea, but I knowwhat I saw: He entered a canvasshelter on onesideofthe wall, and he came out of a canvasshelter on the other side.

M:     yes, bur was he always in full view of the camera, or didthey cut to a commercial or somethingelse?

W:      Not only was the camera running all the time, but he was hooked up a heart monitor, and youcould track his progress as he moved throughthe wall.

M:     It’s difficultto knowwhat to believe. I know it’s not possiblefor him to do that, but…

W:     It sounds to me like it’s a show worth watching.

M:     Count me in. Instead of an ice cream cone, I’ll turn my money into a ticket.



26. What is the dialog mainly about?

27. Which of the following DOESN’T the man mention?

28. What did David Copperfield do at the Great Wall of China, according to thewoman?

29. Under what conditiondid David Copperfieldgo through the GreatWall?

30. What does the man finally decide to do?

Keys: 1C 2.B 3.A 4.D 5.C

For Reference

1. He could make a person float inthe air, pull a rabbitout of his hat, escapefrom a straitjacket and handcuffs—all underwater, and saw a woman in half.

2. She thinks Davis Copperfieldin the world’s greatestmagicianand he’s certainly wortha look.

Task 2: Is it really bad luck?


Are youworried because you have just broken a mirror? Somepeoplebelieve that breaking a mirroris a (S1)terriblething to do. They say itwill bring you seven years of (S2)misfortune.The reason behindthis belief stems the old idea that a person’ssoul isin their(S3)reflection,so that if you smash your mirror, you soul willbe (S4)damaged too, dooming you do an earlydeath, and not giving you entry to(S5)heaven. Is there any way to reversethis bad luck? Yes—if you very carefully(S6)pick  up all the broken pieces of the mirror and throw them into a river or stream, then  the bad luck will be”(S7) washedaway”..

Of all number, 13 is the most associated with bad luck. (S8) Some peopleclaim that the number is bad luck because thirteen people sat down for the Last Supper before Jesus was crucified, and with this in mind few hosts will serve dinner with thirteen at the table. And according to an ancient Norwegian tale, twelve gods had gathered for a feast when a thirteenth, Loke, entered. After the meal, Loke killed Balder, who wasthe most beloved of all the gods.

(S9) Fridaythe thirteenth of any month is considered especially bad or unlucky, and Fridaythe thirteenthof March is theworstof the all.

The number seven also has some superstitionconnectedto it. It is said that God created the worldin seven days, and any association with the number is luck. The seventh son of theseventhsonis said tobe the luckiestof men, and(S10)When peopletalk about the seven-year itchthey mean that every sevenyears a personundergoes a complete change in personality.

Task3: The Status on Easter Island


One of the greatestmysterieson Earth is the statueson Easter Island. The island is one of the mostremote placeson Earth, locatedin the southern PacificOcean. It was almost uninhabited when it was discoveredon Easter Day in 1722 by a Dutchcaptain, but it is covered with hundredsof giant statues, each weighing several tons and some standing more than 30 feet tall.

Who carved thesestatures, and how and why were theyput there?

Nobody knows the answerfor sure, but many ate trying to find out. Thereare many theoriesto explainthis mystery. It has even been suggested thespace aliens may have playeda role regarding thesegiant statues. Another theory relates to the fact that EasterIsland was inhabited by Polynesian seafarers, whotraveled thousand ofmiles in their canoes, guided by the stars, the color of sky and the sun , the shapes of clouds, andthe presence of birds making flights out to sea seekingfood. The Polynesians first arrivedon the island in 499A.D.However, the ocean currents which carriedthem there would mot takethem back. They weretrapped and, having arrivedthere, could not leave. The Polynesiansprobablecared the statues themselves, perhaps as religioussymbols.

To date, 887 statues have been discoveredon the island. However, only a few statues were carried intended destination. The rest were abandoned along the way.

The statues appear to have been carved out of the top edgeof walls of a volcano on theisland. After a statue was carved, it may have been rolled or dragged down to the base of the volcano. Then it wasput upright, and ropes were tied around it. Using a pulley system, the statue was moves to its intended destination.

At its peak, the population of Eater Island is believed to have reached11,000. Eventually, the resourcesof the islandwere exhausted, and the people resorted to cannibalism, eating one another. Work on the statues stopped andthe statues were knocked over. When the firstEuropeans finallyarrivedon theisland, most of the people lad died out.

23. When and by whom was the islanddiscovered?

24. Who arementioned in the passage as possiblebuildersof the statues?

25. What is true of the Polynesianson theisland accordingto the passage?

26. How many statues ere carried to their intended destination?

5.  Which of the following would be the most suitable title forthe passage?

Keys: 1A 2.B3. D 4.D 5B

For Reference

Theresourcesof the islandwere exhausted, and the people resorted to cannibalism, eating each other. When the firstEuropeans finallyarrivedon theisland, most of the people lad died out.

IV. Speaking Out


This is a custom that dates back to the ancient Celts.

Chris: Sue, do you know why people say, “knock on wood”when they want to avoid bad luck?

Susan:It sounds a bit funny. As far as I know,it has a lot to dowithancient Celtic people. They worshipped trees.

Chris: Sounds interesting.

Susan:They thoughts trees would suck demonsback intothe ground.

Chris:Well, when you think about the deep roots,their belief seems to make some senses.

Susan:What’s more, knocking onwood was a way to brag without being punished. People oncethought that evil spirits would become jealous if good fortunewas pointedout to them

Chris:Uh, yes, go on.

Susan:well, by knocking on wood three times,the noise could frightened away the evil spirits, and they couldn’t have to rob the braggartof that good fortune

Chris:I’m afraidthosewho don’t know this superstition might be frightened awayas well.

Susan:Now here’s a test. Do you know how the custom of kissing under the mistletoe originated?

Chris:I havent the slightest idea, but I’m all ears.

Susan:Again thisis a custom that dates back to the ancient Celts. Since they worshipped trees, they conducted many of theirceremonies in the woods in the shade of trees.

Chris: Now I see. Probably it’s under these mistletoe trees that weddings took place.

Susan:I wish you were standing under some mistletoe right now.

Chris: Luckily I’m not. Touch wood.

MODEL2 Isthere any relationship betweensuperstitions and real life?


Chris: It’s strange that so many peopleare superstitious. There must be some relationship betweensuperstitionsand real life.

Susan:You know, Richard Wiseman, a British psychologistresearched the relationshipbetweensuperstitionand luck.

Chris: What did he find? Most people would be interested. At leastI would

Susan:He polled ,000 peopleand fond that people who believe themselvesto be lucky tend to go for positive superstitions.They may wear a ring asa talisman or often say,” touchwood”for good luck.

Chris: Then, what aboutthe unluckypeople? Do you meanif they think they ate unlucky, they tendto believe in superstitionsabut bad luck.

Susan:Yeah. They worry a lot about a broken mirror,a black cat runningacross theirpath, andso on.

Chris:  So what is his point?

Susan:His point is that peoplemake theirown luck by theirattitudeto life. So, 49 percentof lucky people regularlycross theirfingers, compared to 30 percentof unlucky people. And only 18 percentof lucky peopleare anxious if they break a mirror.

Chris: So, our fate is linked to our attitude rather than toour superstitions.

Susan:I thinkthats what he is suggesting.

Chris: This research seemstoo complicates. If I were a psychologist, I would conduct a surveyto find whether 13 reallyis an unlucky number. I f there ere trafficaccidents or murders on the 13th than on other days, then we have tobelievein superstitions.

Susan:What if there weren’t?

Chris: Then I wouldnt be superstitious.

Susan: What a brilliant idea! I never expected you to be as wise as Solomon.

Chris: Well as long as you don’t think I’m a fool.

MODEL3   I believe ETs have visited the earthbefore.


Nora: Hey, what’s this picture of yours? It lookslike a flying saucer.

Chris: It is. I was visited by alienslast week and this is a pictureof theirspacecraft.

Nora:When I look closer, it resembles a liver Frisbee.

Chris: But it could have been aliens. I believeETs havevisited the earthbefore. What do you think?

Nora:It would be hard to believe otherwise. Projects likethe pyramids are difficult toexplain away,given the level of technology that was available at the time

Chris:Thats for sure. They are mysterious.

Nora:When youconsider all those “impossibilities, it’s tempting to infer that somehighlyadvanced civilizationassisted humans in theirconstruction.

Chris: Think about this: if youwere abducted by aliens andtakenup to theirspaceshipor something …well…

Nora:What do you mean?

Chris: I mean, who would believe you? Youd go nutstellingeveryone: “It’s true! I wasabducted by aliens!”

Nora:And everyonewould think you were crazy, or justmaking up a story to get attention.

Chris: From what I understand,sometimes these peopledo go crazy, trying to convincepeople about theirexperiences.

Nora:I believe that in some cases they offer pretty good evidence.

Chris: So, take a closer look at this picture. Do youstill think it’s a Frisbee?

Now Your Turn

Task 1


Simon: Eliza, do you know why people say” keepyour fingers crossed”when they want to wish others luck?

Eliza:   It sounds a bit funny. As far as I know, it’s a lot to do with an ancient Christianbelief.

Simon: Uh, go on.

Eliza:  In the Christian belief “making the sign of the cross”wouldkeep awayevil spirits and badluck.

Simon:I see. When you think about the cross, sign of Christianity, that belief seems to makesomesense.

Eliza:  That’s true. That’s why children often cross their fingers whenthey tell a small lie. They want to keep bad luck away, or to avoid being punished.

Simon:Sounds interesting. So, I’ll cross my fingers for you before you take the finalexamination.

Eliza:  Thank you.

Simon: But thosewho don’t understandthis superstition might be puzzled

Eliza:  With interestingcommunicationsamongnations, more andmore people can understand it now.



V. Lets Talk


Thanks, perhaps, to falling stock markets andunrest in theMiddle East, Britons have become even more superstitious thanusual, according to a report published today. “There has been a significantincreasein superstitionover the last month, possibleas a result of current economicandpolitical uncertainties,”stated Dr. Dick Armstrong. He launched an Internet Survey of national superstition, and found it to be surprisingly high, even among those witha scientific background. Only morein ten of those surveyed claimed not to be superstitiousat all. Three out of four people in Britain feel the need to touch wood, and 65% cross their fingers.

It is interesting to note that lucky people were much less superstitious and tended to take constructive actionto improve their lives. Conversely, superstitiouspeople tended to regard themselves as among the less lucky, worried about life, had a strongneed for control, and could not tolerate ambiguity.

The survey also revealed some unexpected beliefs. For example, one respondentcouldnot stay in the bathroom once a toilethad been flushed.

There was no evidence that superstitiousever worked, even, when peoplewere instructed to carry lucky charms for a week. They didn’tfeel any luckieror more stratifiedwith theirlivesat the endof that week than whentheystarted.

Armstrong attemptedto explain thisphenomenon: “When studentsare preparing for exams with a lucky charm, they may trust the charm, rather than doing some extra revision.”

Reasons foe More Superstitions

Thanks, perhaps, to falling stock markets andunrest in theMiddle East, Britons have becomeeven more superstitious thanusual




Who are more superstitious?

Luckypeople were much less superstitious and tended to take constructive actionto improve their lives. Conversely, superstitiouspeople tended toregard themselves as among the lesslucky



Do superstitionswork?

There was no evidence that superstitiousever worked,even, when peoplewere instructed to carry lucky charms for a week. They didn’tfeel any luckieror more stratified


When studentsare preparing for exams with a lucky charm, they may trust the charm, rather than doing some extra revision.

VI.FurtherListening and Speaking

Task1: Horseshoesas a Sign of Good Luck


Horseshoes are a traditional sign of good luck. Most people believe thiscomes from the fact that the horseshoe is shaped like the crescent moon, a period of prosperityand good fortune. One legend has it that theDevil was in disguise and wandering at large, looking for trouble. He happened to call on St. Dunstan, who ea skilled in shoeinghorses. St. Dunstan recognizedthe Devil and tiedhim to a wall with onlyhis feet free to move. He thenset to work shoeing him as though he were a horse, but with such roughness the Devil cried out for mercy. St. Dunstan stopped hiswork and released the Devil after making him promise never to enter a home on which a horseshoe was fixed. Witches fear horses,so they are also turned away by a doorwith a horseshoe mounted on it. The big issue regarding horseshoes is whetherthey should be hung points up or points down.

The original superstitionwas that the horseshoe is points up to keep the luck frompouringout. Despitethis view most buildings with horseshoes in theirsign hang  them the oppositeway. TheHorseshoe Casino in Las Vegas hangs its horseshoe with the arc on top. They may be hoping theircustomers’luck runs out, but thisis usually not something you advertise in your sign. Finger rings made of horseshoenail are said to keep away badluck. Also, robbing two horseshoes together is said to bringgood luck.

22. According to thepassage, what does the crescent moon represent?

23. What did St. Dunstan do to the Devil?

24. What did the Devil promise?

25. What is the big issue concerning the horseshoe?

26. Why is the arc of the horseshoe up at the casino in Las Vegas?

Keys: 1.A 2.C 3.D 4.C5.B

Task 2: Superstitions or real bad lucks?


Joan: Pass me that mirror, would you? I’ll see if my makeup is OK.

Dick: OOOPS!! Sorry I dropped it…but is it you or me that gets the sevenyears of bad luck?

Joan: You, I hope, but probable neither of us. I wonder where that “old wives’tale”originatedanyway.

Dick:  There used to be a lot of superstitions: black cats, ladders,numbers. My parent and grandparentsare full ofthem.

Joan: I agree. People today are much more educated than before. These superstitionsarejust amusingpieced of history rather than beliefs, don’t youthink so?

Dick: Perhaps, but some people today still go for them. People whose livelihoods depend more on luck—like professional athletes, or fishermen—often they have superstitiousroutines.

Joan:  It’s rue. I have heard of athletes who wear lucky socks or a treasured medal to bring them good fortune.

Dick: And let’s not forget lucky numbers. We all know about the number4,6, and 8 in China.

Joan: I know 4 is death and 8 is wealth, but what is the significance of 6?

Dick: 6 means good luck. Some people include 6 in theire-mail addressjust for luck.

Joan: Maybe we are notas smart as we thinkwe are.

Dick: Well, there are many things in the universe that we cannot control, and that’s why peopleare superstitious.


Task3:  Career Transitions


There was a king in Africa who has a close friend that he grew up with. The friend has a habit of looking at every situation in his life and saying, “This is good!”

One day the king and his friend were out hunting. The friend would load and prepare the guns for the king. The friend had apparently done somethingwrong in preparing one ofthe guns, for after taking the gun from his friend, the king fired it and his thumb was blown off. Examining the situation, the friend remarked as usual,“This is good!”to whichthe king replied, “No, this is NOT good!”and proceeded to send his friend to jail.

About a year later, the king was hunting in an area that he should have known to stayclear of. Cannibals captured him and took him to their village. They tied him to a stake surroundedby wood. As they came near to set fire to the wood, theynoticed that the king had but one thumb. Being superstitious, they never ate anyone that was lessthan whole. So they set the king free.

As he returned home, he was reminded of the event that had taken his thumb off and felt badly sorry about his treatment of his friend. He went immediately to the jail to speak with his friend. “You were right,”he said, “it was good for my thumb was blown off.”Then he apologized, “I’m very sorry for sending you to jail for so long. It was bad for me to do this.”

“No,”his friend replied, “this is good!”

“What do you mean, ‘this is good’? How could it be goodthat I sent you, my good friend, to jailfor all this time?”

“If I had not been in jail, I would have been with you—and eaten.!”

For Reference

1. He had a habit of looking at every situation in his life and saying, “This is good!”

2. After taking the gun, the king fired it and his thumb was blown off.

3. They set the king free, because being superstitious, they never ate anyone that was lessthan whole

4. He felt sorry for his friend and went to the jail to apologize to him.

5.  Ifhe had not been in jail, I would have been with you—and eaten.

News Report

Egyptian Tombs


Archaeologisthave uncovered two tombs that date backmore than 2,500 years in thepart of Cairowhere theancientcity of Heliopolis once stood, according to Egyptian antiquity authorities.

Although there is a modernsuburb of Heliopolis in Cairo southeast of its ancient namesake, the original Heliopolis was known as a centerof learningand academicstudy in ancient Mediterraneantimes.

The 26-century-old tombs thatdate back to the years 664 to 625 BC were developed during a routine archaeologicalinspection of an empty plotof land in the Eins Shams district of northwesternCairo. This district coverspart of the ground that used to be the ancient city of Heliopolis.

The owner of the land was seeking construction rightsand by law, construction cannot begin without a permit certifyingthat the site has no historicalsignificance.

The first of the two limestone tombs to be opened contained a sarcophagus and sixteen statuettes, said the chief state archaeologist for theCairo-Giza area, Zahi Hawass.

Hawass said in a statement that the tombs were found in a downtownresidential area, threemetersbelowthe ground.


Hawass went on to give a more detailed accountof the important find.


It appearsthat the tombs have not been raided by grave robbers, but they have beendamagedby leakingsewage water.

The first tomb to beuncoveredbelongedto a builder named Waja-Hur. His name was engraved on the statuettes, whichthe ancient Egyptiansplaced in tombs to answer questionsforthem in the afterlife.

Te process of recovering these artifacts can be long and tedious, but the historical significanceof these pieces makes the painstaking work worthwhile.


Egyptian archaeologists plan to open the second tomb on Sunday.