Questions 18 through 22.
Listen to part of a conversation between two students. They are planning an oral report for their history class
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W: OK, so we’re going to look at the influenza epidcmic of 1918 and, uh, probably its effects, like how many people got the flu.
M: The numbers should be fairly easy to find.
W: Actually, I have some numbers already. Let me sc« … OK. From spring 1918 to winter 1919, 25 perccnt of Americans one out of every four people contracted the flu … and about 3 percent of the people who got the flu died from it.
M: Wow. One-fourth of the population got sick. That’s a lot. It must’ve had a pretty bad effect on the workforce and productivity. Imagine if one-fourth of the people didn’t show up for work. Doctors and hospitals must have been overwhelmed.
W: Here’s some more interesting numbers: 675,000 Americans died from influenza, but only 116,000 died in World War I. That means that the war killed only about… what… about one-sixth of the people who died of the flu.
M: I wonder how the flu statistics compare with the statistics for other major epidemics, you know, like AIDS and tuberculosis … or other flu epidemics. I think there were other flu epidemics later, after 1918.
W: Hmm. I don’t know, but I’ll try to find out. That might be good to include in our report.
M: So, we can talk about the flu and its effects on society and the economy, you know, and … uh compare it to other epidemics. What else should we do?
W: I think we should tell stories about its effects on real people. My great-grandfather could remember the flu epidemic. He was bom in 1910, so he was eight years old at the time. He remembered that there were a lot of funerals. His baby sister and his best friend died of the flu, and that made an impression on him.
M: Wow. Did your great grandfather get the flu?
W: You know. I’m not really sure …he never said if he got sick. Well, I mean, if he did, he survived it and lived to be 91.
M: You could tell the story about your great-grandfather. You know … that might be a great way to start our presentation.
W: Yeah? Maybe. It might get our audience’s attention.
M: I think we should also talk about the connection between the flu and World War 1. That was the first global war, and it was the first global epidemic in recorded history. I’ve done some reading about that What I found out was. it was the army that first noticed large numbers of men getting sick, and it was the army that first started reporting statistics about how many people were affected. You can imagine how fast influenza spread among soldiers living in close quarters, and traveling to other countries.
W: Wow, OK … ah … we’ve got some pretty good ideas. I like what you’re saying about focusing on the war and the global aspects.
M: I’ll do a little more research and see what else I can find.
W: Good. 1 will, too. I’ll look for stuff about other
epidemics. Why don’t we meet again and talk about what we have? Can you meet again on Thursday?
M: Uh … yeah, sure, that’s fine with me.
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