City or Countryside

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city or countrysideWelcome to our free resource to practise for the IGCSE ESL listening test about the advantages and disadvantages of living in the city or countryside. This is just one of many exercises to reinforce your learning so you feel confident when exam day arrives. More resources available on the IGCSE ESL site.

Listening TestAudio ScriptWord List

You will hear six people talking about living in the city and in the countryside. For each of Speakers 1 to 6, choose from the list, A to G, which opinion each speaker expresses. Write the letter in the box. Use each letter only once. There is one extra letter which you do not need to use.

Speaker 1:

Speaker 2:

Speaker 3:

Speaker 4:

Speaker 5:

Speaker 6:


 

Speaker 1: I’ve lived all my life in the country, first as a child, then as an adult, farming the land. I married someone from the same village and we set up a home here. All our family members are here in this same village – none of us has moved away. Now I’m retired, I no longer work as a farmer, but I still live here. I’m much too old to want to try anything different. The city life is not for me, although some friends tell me it would be much more convenient!

Speaker 2: There is nothing to do here in the evenings and at weekends. School is OK – you have your friends around you and it’s fun – but outside school… oh, it’s so boring. It’s OK if you like long, quiet walks, I suppose. But I don’t. I like going to cafés, the cinema, shopping – all the things that only the city can offer you. But I shall have to wait until I finish my exams. I want to go to college in a city – that’s my aim. And I won’t be coming back if I can help it.

Speaker 3: I want to move out of this city – the noise, the dirt, and the fumes from all those cars and buses are absolutely awful and they’re getting worse. When I visit my friends who live in the country, I’m so jealous. They can walk in the fresh air and just relax. I’m sure they have fewer colds and illnesses than we get where we live now, always being in hot, confined spaces, like buses, trains and offices, with hundreds of other people. I just hope I can fulfil my dream one day, but it seems rather unlikely, I’m afraid.

Speaker 4: I live in a tiny village in the country – we’re about thirty kilometres from the nearest town, let alone a city! Don’t get me wrong, I loved the city where we lived. I have a real passion for history, and I loved visiting all the museums and exhibitions. But now – well, I landed a dream job! I’m the manager of an old castle. I run the visitors’ centre and give talks about the castle’s thousand-year history. This more than makes up for what I am missing, believe me.

Speaker 5: I’ve just retired from my job as a city banker. All my working life I’ve lived in the city – I had to, you see, because of my work. And my wife worked in a city bank, too, so it made sense for us to live in a flat close to where we worked. But now, at long last, we have moved into the countryside. We enjoyed our work but now we are pleased to be far away from all the hustle and bustle of city life.

Speaker 6: We moved here – my husband, children and I – into the city about ten years ago. We decided our children would have a better way of life – more activities, but even more because we wouldn’t have the problem of having to drive our children everywhere. The regular buses and trains are so convenient! I think it has suited us all very well, and I don’t feel any sadness about leaving our old way of life behind. You know, there aren’t any buses at all in the village where we used to live! **

Here are keywords and phrases covered in the city or countryside listening activity:

  • castle
  • city
  • city banker
  • confined spaces
  • convenient
  • countryside
  • exhibitions
  • fumes
  • hustle and bustle
  • jealous
  • museums
  • real passion
  • retired
  • sadness
Here you will find exercise to practice for the reading and writing section of IGCSE ESL examination for either the core or extended papers.

Exercise 1 (Questions 1 -4) - Short answer exercises

Exercise 2 - (Question 5) Gap-filled exercises

Exercise 3 - Matching

Exercise 4 - Multiple Choice

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.

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