Study Guide

Field 127: Mandarin CST
Interpretive Listening

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Directions for Interpretive Listening Selected-Response Questions

For the Interpretive Listening section of the test, you will listen to audio recordings containing spoken messages in the target language and answer selected-response questions written in the target language based on each message.

For each audio recording, a preview of the test questions associated with the spoken message will be presented on the screen. The audio recording will begin playing automatically. Once the audio recording begins, you will not be able to pause, stop, or replay it.

There will be 90 seconds of silence at the beginning of each audio recording. During these 90 seconds, you should familiarize yourself with the test questions. You may need to scroll down to preview all the questions. You will not be able to select your response choices during this preview.

After the 90 seconds of silence, you will hear a spoken message. Listen carefully. Each spoken message will be played twice. After the spoken message has played twice, move to the next screen to begin answering the questions.

Note that in this section of the test, you can go back to previous screens to review or change your responses to questions. However, you will NOT be able to replay the audio recordings.

Please be aware that the visual enhancements Example of the Color Scheme visual enhancement control and Example of the Font Size visual enhancement control cannot be adjusted during the Interpretive Listening section of the test. You must make any desired adjustments now before you select "Next" to begin the Interpretive Listening section. You will not be able to adjust these features again until you have completed this section of the test.

Click the Next button when you have finished reading these directions and are ready to begin the Interpretive Listening section of the test. Once you advance to the next screen, the first audio recording will start automatically with 90 seconds of silence.

Be sure you have your headset on before proceeding.

Select the Next button to continue.

Sample Interpretive Listening Selected-Response Questions

Competency 0001
Interpretive Listening

[The examinee will see on screen ONLY the following directions:]

The 90 seconds of silence has begun. Below is a preview of the questions related to the recording. Use this period of silence to familiarize yourself with the questions before the spoken message begins.

[Preview versions of the 5 questions appear on the actual test.]

Listen carefully to the dialogue about Chinese food; then answer the questions. You will hear the dialogue twice.

[The examinee will hear the audio recording below, which includes a 90-second pause at the beginning:]

Having trouble with the audio player? Right-click and download the .mp3.

[The passage shown below is the transcript used to make the audio recording on the actual test. It is shown here for study purposes only. The examinee will not see transcripts that accompany audio recordings on the actual test.]


Male:  哎,玛丽,这菜真是甜得没法吃,你觉得呢?

Female:  大伟, 我觉得很好吃啊,难得学校食堂每周二晚上都有中餐,平时还吃不到呢。

Male:  但是中国的中餐和美国的中餐完全不一样。比如说你现在吃的"左宗鸡(General Tso's Chicken)"其实根本不是中国菜。

Female:  你一说我想起来了,我上次去中国经过湖南时,就问当地的人到哪里可以吃到正宗的"左宗鸡",他们都非常困惑地看着我,我还以为是我的发音不对呢。

Male:  他们根本不知道你在说什么。

Female:  我以为左宗鸡跟湖南的左宗堂将军有关呢。

Male:  根本不是。左宗鸡是一位台湾厨师在70年代发明的。他移民纽约后开了一家中国饭馆。后来左宗鸡风靡美国,成为美国中餐馆的招牌菜。

Female:  是啊,我也很喜欢左宗鸡。甜甜的,有一点儿辣味儿。很好吃。

Male:  对我来说,有点儿太甜了,不够辣。左宗鸡更像上海菜。有点儿淡淡的甜味,又有点儿辣味,其实是个创新菜。

Female:  如果像真正的湖南菜那么辣,你会喜欢吗?

Male:  因为我是成都人,所以我更喜欢家乡的四川菜。

Female:  四川菜当然很好吃。可是我在中国的时候去四川,舌头辣得要着火了。

Male:  四川的辣椒会辣着你。可是对我却有着特殊的味道。

Female:  我觉得我更喜欢不太辣的菜,或着清淡一些的菜,像山东菜或广东菜。

Male:  中国真的有各种各样口味的菜。


Male:  哎,瑪麗,這菜真是甜得沒法吃,你覺得呢?

Female:  大偉,我覺得很好吃啊,難得學校食堂每週二晚上都有中餐,平時還吃不到呢。

Male:  但是中國的中餐和美國的中餐完全不一樣。比如說你現在吃的"左宗雞(General Tso's Chicken)"其實根本不是中國菜。

Female:  你一說我想起來了,我上次去中國經過湖南時,就問當地的人到哪裡可以吃到正宗的"左宗雞",他們都非常困惑地看著我,我還以為是我的發音不對呢。

Male:  他們根本不知道你在說什麼。

Female:  我以為左宗雞跟湖南的左宗堂將軍有關呢。

Male:  根本不是。左宗雞是一位台灣廚師在70年代發明的。他移民紐約後開了一家中國飯館。後來左宗雞風靡美國,成為美國中餐館的招牌菜。

Female:  是啊,我也很喜歡左宗雞。甜甜的,有一點兒辣味兒。很好吃。

Male:  對我來說,有點兒太甜了,不夠辣。左宗雞更像上海菜。有點兒淡淡的甜味,又有點兒辣味,其實是個創新菜。

Female:  如果像真正的湖南菜那麼辣,你會喜歡嗎?

Male:  因為我是成都人,所以我更喜歡家鄉的四川菜。

Female:  四川菜當然很好吃。可是我在中國的時候去四川,舌頭辣得要著火了。

Male:  四川的辣椒會辣著你。可是對我卻有著特殊的味道。

Female:  我覺得我更喜歡不太辣的菜,或著清淡一些的菜,像山東菜或廣東菜。

Male:  中國真的有各種各樣口味的菜。

Now you will hear the dialogue again.

[The examinee will hear the dialogue again.]

Now answer the questions.

[The examinee will see on screen ONLY:]
Click "Next" when the recording ends to answer the questions.

[Each of the following 5 screens on the actual test will present a single item for the examinee to answer.]


  1. 中餐馆
  2. 玛丽的家
  3. 一次聚会上
  4. 学校食堂
Correct Response: D. This question requires examinees to make inferences or draw conclusions based on the context, situation, and information given in a spoken message. In the dialogue, the male speaker complains that the food is too sweet to eat (这菜真是甜得没法吃 / 這菜真是甜得沒法吃). The female speaker responds that she thinks it's fine, and refers to the fact that the school cafeteria serves Chinese food on Tuesdays (难得学校食堂每周二晚上都有中餐 / 難得學校食堂每週二晚上都有中餐). This suggests that the conversation is most likely taking place in a school cafeteria while the two speakers are eating.


  1. 学校有中国菜让她很惊奇。
  2. 大伟喜欢辣味的菜让她很高兴。
  3. 她觉得今天在学校吃的饭很好。
  4. 辣菜辣了她的舌头让她很不高兴。
Correct Response: C. This question requires examinees to make inferences or draw conclusions based on the context, situation, and information given in a spoken message. In the dialogue, the female speaker thinks that the food she is eating for dinner is very delicious. She looks forward to eating dinner on Tuesdays, when Chinese food is served, suggesting that she is satisfied with the taste of the food served in the cafeteria (我觉得很好吃啊,难得学校食堂每周二晚上都有中餐,平时还吃不到呢 / 我覺得很好吃啊,難得學校食堂每週二晚上都有中餐,平時還吃不到呢).


  1. 人们以为她要见左将军。
  2. 人们不懂她说的是什么。
  3. 人们认为她的发音不对。
  4. 人们以为她觉得左宗鸡太辣了。
Correct Response: B. This question requires examinees to determine an assumption, an intent, a perspective, or a point of view by analyzing the communicative strategies and social and cultural contexts of a spoken message. In the dialogue, the dish that the female speaker believed to be an authentic Chinese dish from Hunan was indeed an invention of a Taiwanese chef, who moved to America and opened a Chinese restaurant in New York. Therefore, the Hunan people did not know what kind of dish she was talking about (我上次去中国经过湖南时,就问当地的人到哪里可以吃到正宗的"左宗鸡",他们都非常困惑地看着我,我还以为是我的发音不对呢 / 我上次去中國經過湖南時,就問當地的人到哪裡可以吃到正宗的"左宗雞",他們都非常困惑地看著我,我還以為是我的發音不對呢).


  1. 是一道著名的上海菜。
  2. 是一道著名的湖南菜。
  3. 是由一位著名将军发明的。
  4. 是由一位台湾厨师发明的。
Correct Response: D. This question requires examinees to demonstrate the ability to discern and summarize a speaker's key ideas in a spoken message and evaluate the speaker's use of reasoning and evidence in presenting these ideas. In the dialogue, the male speaker tells the female speaker that General Tso's chicken was invented by a Taiwanese chef in the 1970s. He points out that the sweet and spicy taste of General Tso's chicken is different from the typical flavor of Chinese dishes, suggesting that it is an innovative dish (左宗鸡是一位台湾厨师在70年代发明的。他移民纽约后开了一家中国饭馆。后来左宗鸡风靡美国,成为美国中餐馆的招牌菜 / 左宗雞是一位台灣廚師在70年代發明的。他移民紐約後開了一家中國飯館。後來左宗雞風靡美國,成為美國中餐館的招牌菜).


  1. 因为他觉得太甜了。
  2. 因为他觉得太辣了。
  3. 他更喜欢上海菜。
  4. 他更喜欢美国饭馆的中国菜。
Correct Response: A. This question requires examinees to determine the ways in which a speaker's point of view or perspectives are influenced by the cultural perspectives that underlie the cultural products and practices of the target country or countries, including the arts, architecture, historical events, science, influential individuals, or the political, economic, social, intellectual, or geographic contexts of the target language and culture(s). In the dialogue, the male speaker informs the female speaker that he feels that the Chinese dishes are too sweet for him (这菜真是甜得没法吃 / 這菜真是甜得沒法吃), especially because he is from Chengdu, where the food is very spicy compared with food from many other areas in China (对我来说,有点儿太甜了,不够辣 / 對我來說,有點兒太甜了,不夠辣).