Welcome to our free open resource the B2 Short Conversations Part 1 to give you practice so you feel confident when the B2 First exam day arrives. Our lessons are centred around different themes. These themes are featured in the reading, writing, use of English speaking and listening parts of the exam.
B2 Short Conversation Part 1: Listening Skills
In this activity, we will practise listening to short conversations.
Question 1. – So, do you have a favourite movie? – Oh … that’s difficult. Well … I think it has to be The Agents, the Mel Rivers movie. I like it because it reminds you that no matter how hard life is, or how many times you get knocked down by bad situations, things can get a whole lot worse. – When did you first see it? – On television, late one night… I must have been about sixteen. There were moments when I just couldn’t stop laughing. It’s anarchic and silly, but it’s very warm. I love the friendship that develops between the two main characters.
Question 2. I think this is the last time I’m buying anything from that shop. I can’t believe how inefficient they are! But they’ve got reasonable prices. The next time I buy a sofa, I’d be prepared to pay double to avoid all this stress. They came to deliver it, and when I saw it I thought, This isn’t the sofa I chose, maybe the colour looks different in daylight. But it was mine And then I realised that part of the cover at the back was torn and the filling was coming out. So I got them to take it away and now I have to wait two weeks to get it replaced.
Question 3. Most actors start out with a bit of a regional or non-standard accent of some sort, but what tends to happen is that, at drama school, part of the training is to acquire what’s called ‘standard English’. So you lose your original accent and when somebody says, you know, ‘Do something in your old voice,’ it takes a couple of minutes to click in and get your head round it again. I phone my parents and they say, ‘My, you sound so English!’ but then over here I sometimes don’t get work because people can hear that I’m actually Australian, so I’ve got a bit more work to do there.
Question 4. – Can you still remember the thrill of it? I mean, the first time you actually ride out there, out in front must be … – Yeah, yeah, it was certainly a big thrill, but it was an evening event. It was the last race and it was almost dark by the time we’d finished and when I got home it was about ten or eleven o’clock, so there was very little time to think about it or do anything. And I had to be up at about half five the next day for my job, so, unfortunately, it was straight back to work really.
Question 5. I was always fascinated by the musical theatre, from the very word go. My aunt was an actress, not a particularly successful one, but I thought her world was unbelievably glamorous. And she used to take me to London to see some of the American musicals which were on in Great Britain some time after they were on in New York, and so I got to see a lot of things at a very early age. It just grabbed me, it was one of those things. Question 6. The earliest records of this trade go back to the Ancient Greek period, with various deals around the Mediterranean area. Unlike the trade in more decorative or luxury goods, however, few written records remain. So we mostly rely on archaeological evidence, which does show, for example, that designs for swords spread from Greece to the rest of Europe. And using the type of research more usually associated with the spread of artistic trends, we can now show how the equipment necessary to do battle was being exported.
Question 7. The best thing about the Eurostar train is that it is city centre to city centre. I almost always travel with colleagues and we use the train as a second office. Sometimes there are as many as nine of us and I schedule formal meetings to have on the train. I invite suppliers and clients who have meetings in Paris on the same day to travel with us so we can discuss business. It’s a perfect opportunity to talk without the distractions of the office – we don’t switch on our mobile phones.
Question 8. It’s no good just standing there saying you’re sorry, because that isn’t going to give me the photographs you’ve lost, Is it? And I took them on a once-in-a- lifetime holiday, so it’s impossible to replace them. It didn’t cross my mind for an instant that you could lose a roll of film, just like that. To be frank, I think it’s an insult just to offer me a new roll in its place. I would expect at the very least to be offered a refund, and compensation for the loss and inconvenience, even if it isn’t your normal policy.
Here are the keywords and phrases covered in this activity
- archaeological evidence
- bad situations
- Eurostar train
- non-standard accent
- normal policy
- main characters
- mobile phones
- original accent
- Mediterranean area
- musical theatre
- reasonable prices
More exercises available: