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Beijing Shopping

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Beijing ShoppingWelcome to our free lesson Beijing Shopping to give you practise for the IB English B exam. This is just one of the many lessons available to reinforce your learning so you feel confident when the IB English Language B exam day arrives. Our lessons are centred around five prescribed themes; identities, experiences, human ingenuity, social organization and sharing the planet. These themes are featured in the reading, writing, speaking and listening parts of the exam.

Beijing Shopping: Listening Practice

listeningIn this lesson, we will practice mainly our listening skills by learning about Beijing Shopping.

Exercise 1Exercise 2Exercise 3Word List

John Cena points out and enjoys the cultural differences of supermarket shopping in China. Watch and answer the questions in the video.

You will hear a reporter who visited an IKEA store in Beijing where he observed a new shopping experience for customers.

A. 1-3 Identify true or false statements: According to the reporter, which THREE statements are FALSE.

A. The cashier desks had many customers waiting to pay for their goods.

B. The reporter planned to stay at the store for a long time.

C. Some parents left their children on their own in the store.

D. The reporter was surprised to see customers sleeping in beds for sale.

E. There were children bringing in their homework to do at the desks.

F. The reporter saw customers cooking lunch at the display kitchens.

G. The reporter didn't plan to return again.

B. Gap-fill. Complete the text with one word.

When the reporter returned, one customer explained to him that when he is tired he often takes a (4) in one of the beds. He felt that it is important to try before you buy. In addition, he believed that it is good for (5) . As if a customer could sleep well there, it would mean the beds IKEA sells are very comfortable. The customer visits the store regularly as he says that it is better than going to the park as children are (6) to play plus you don’t have to pay for the coffee.

C. Multiple Choice. Choose the correct statement

7. The IKEA store is popular because

8. Chinese IKEA stores are different because


Click here to view the transcript

Instructions: This is the IB English B listening practise test one. Text C, the start and end of the audio text will be indicated by this sound. Text C you now have four minutes to read the questions. Text C you are going to listen to a reporter who visited an IKEA store in Beijing where he observed a new shopping experience for customers

Reporter: One Sunday last month I packed up the family and headed out to Su Yuan Shao IKEA store in northeastern Beijing. It looks like any other but it’s just much much bigger. And inside too the crowds are bigger up to 30,000 people can pass through in a day and it feels that way the walkway that snakes through the store to the cashier was absolutely chockers. Often coming to a standstill this was not going to be the quick get in and get our job that I was hoping for, but among the chaos, I spot two small children fast asleep on the display bed under the display blankets. Curious I take a closer look no parents around it seemed odd then the elderly Chinese gentleman next to me tells me that the parents are shopping and the bed is very comfortable. Then just around the corner, I see a mother whose bunk down in one of the display bedrooms. She tucks her child into the cot and then gets into the bed next to it and pulls the sheet over ahead totally oblivious to the thousands around her. And she’s in for the long haul.

Next to the bed, she’s carefully laid-out some toys water and lunch for when they awake. So what is happening here the scene is repeated everywhere people sleeping on the Knossberg or Karlstad sofas kids doing their homework at desks and people having deep and meaningful in the display kitchens. It’s different, to say the least IKEA with Chinese characteristics but it’s just so bizarre I had to return and ask why.

So I went back last week and was greeted with the same scenes a newly engaged couple was sound asleep on the Oblem bed. I waited till they awoke. 32-year-old Miss Tian said they’d been at IKEA all day and were tired and after all, it was good to try before you buy.

Woman: I was tired and this bed it’s quite good so I came here for a little rest in Beijing when old women buy cucumber at the market they try it before they buy since IKEA has put out the beds the customers have the right to sleep and try them.

Reporter: In the next display room another young couple were just tidying the bed they slept in. They come to IKEA two to three times a month Mr Wong says people sleeping is actually good marketing.

Man 1: When a customer sleeps soundly at IKEA it’s a good advertisement for IKEA it means the bed is comfortable he may buy it and others would too it’s good.

Reporter: Then an almost touching scene a grandfather feeding his two-year-old granddaughter before he puts it down for a nap Mr. Soon says he comes to IKEA at least once a week and each time tries out a different display room. He says it’s better than going to the park the kids can play and he gets a free coffee.

Man 2: Some people don’t like it that we sleep in the beds but to me it’s good it greatly IKEA motto it’s our home. I come for the good experience and it’s been years and it’s free. No IKEA staff have ever stopped me. I think their service is great so the customers like coming here.

Reporter: I came to realize that for the Chinese IKEA is a kind of theme park a complete day out of family fun well you can try out the display rooms, play with the toys and enjoy the novelty of cheap Swedish food. Apparently, IKEA tried to mount a crackdown on sleeping customers last year putting in place a nationwide ban but it’s clearly not working and IKEA has admitted it’s not going to do much about it. Saying in a statement they were happy if customers felt at home and would only stop them if it inconvenienced others and it’s clearly good for business. China is IKEA is fastest-growing markets an eighth of the 10 biggest IKEA stores are here, in fact, the stores are designed with extra room displays to accommodate Chinese customers and their habits. I’ve been to IKEA three times now and I’ve got to say I’ve become almost unfazed by the sleeping and have been tempted to have a nanny nap myself but I won’t be leaving my kids alone for a kip on a Stockholm couch any time soon.

Instructions: You now have two minutes before you hear Text C for a second and final time.

Script repeated.

Instructions: You now have 2 minutes 30 seconds to finish answering the questions.

There are many idioms and expression that are based on ‘shopping’. Here are a few that you may find useful to add to your vocabulary.

bargain hunting If you spend time in the shops looking for items to buy at the lowest price, you go bargain hunting.

costs an arm and a leg – If an article or service costs an arm and a leg, it is very expensive indeed.

a bit pricey – The expression a bit pricey means that something is a bit expensive.

shopping spree – If you go on a shopping spree, you enjoy a lively outing, usually with much spending of money.

splash out – If you splash out on something, you buy it even though it costs a lot of money.

window shopping – When people go window shopping, they look at things in shop windows, without actually purchasing anything.

You can find more common idioms based on shopping here.

Here are the keywords and phrases covered in this lesson:

  • advertisement
  • Beijing Shopping
  • cashier
  • comfortable
  • curious
  • customers
  • display bedrooms
  • inconvenienced
  • motto
  • nanny nap
  • novelty
  • shopping experience
  • standstill
  • unfazed

Answers for Exercise 2
Part A
1-3  B, F, G
Part B
4. rest/nap/sleep 5. sales/business/advertising/marketing 6. free/able
Part C
7. D 8. B

We add activities and exercises regularly on various themes, so why not bookmark our site, so you can come back to practice anywhere or at any time of the day.

This topic provides students with an opportunity to discover their interests, values, belief and culture.

This topic provides students with an opportunity to consider how events which take place impact an individual's life.

This topic provides students with an opportunity to explore the sciences, technology and creativity.

This topic provides students with an opportunity to explore the way in which groups of people organise themselves through common systems or interests.

This topic provides students with an opportunity to look at the challenges and opportunities faced by individuals and communities in the modern world.

Here you will find exercises to practice for the different sections of the IB English B examination for either the Standard (SL) or Higher Level (HL) papers.
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Here are some grammar exercise which give you the practice to be confident in communicating in English at this advanced level.

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