IELTS Listening 12 - Section 4

IELTS Listening Tip

In IELTS Listening Section 4, you will hear an academic talk given by one speaker. This is typically structured as: introduction, main points, examples, conclusion. Noticing signposting phrases can help you identify a shift in topic that usually indicates a move to the next question.

You will hear part of a lecture about the history of moving pictures. First you have some time to look at Questions 31-40.

You should answer the questions as you listen, because you will NOT hear the recording a second time.

Listen carefully and answer Questions 31 to 40:

Click here to listen:

Questions 31-37

Choose the correct letter, A, B, or C.

31Some photographs of a horse running showed

32The Scotsman employed by Edison

33One major problem with the first system was that

34Rival systems started to appear in Europe after people had

35In 1895, a famous new system was developed by

36Longer filmes were not made at the time because of problems involving

37The 'Lantham Loop' invention relied on

Questions 38-40

Complete the sentences below, using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each answer.

38The first motion picture was called The .

39 were used for the first time on film in 1926.

40Subtitles were added to The Lights of New York because of its .


Many believe that the story first began in America in 1877, when two friends were arguing over whether a horse ever had all four feet or hooves off the ground when it galloped. To settle the bet, a photographer was asked to photograph a horse galloping and the bet was settled because you could see that all the hooves were off the ground in some of the photos. What was even more interesting was that if the photos were shown in quick succession the horse looked like it was running - in other words 'moving pictures'.

The person who became interested in taking the moving pictures to its next step was the famous American inventor Thomas Edison. Actually, he didn't do the work himself but rather asked a young Scotsman in his employ to design a system, which he did. Now this young fellow was clever because the first thing he did was study other systems - primitive as they were - of moving pictures and then put all the existing technologies together to make the first entire motion picture system. He designed a camera, a projection device and the film. The system was first shown in New York in 1894 and was really very popular. Apparently people lined up around the block to see the wonderful new invention. There were, however, a couple of problems with the system. The camera weighed over 200 kilograms and only one person at a time could see the film.

Well now, news of the new system in America travelled fast and a number of rival European systems started to appear once people had heard about it. The single problem with all the systems was they couldn't really project the film onto a Screen - you know, so more than one person could see it. Then in 1895, three systems were all developed, more or less at the same time and independently of each other. I guess the most famous of these was by the Lum ere Brothers from France, and they called their system the cinematographe which of course is where the word cinema comes from. There were also two brothers in Germany who developed a successful system and they called it a bioskop.

Well now, once the problem of projection had been solved, the next challenge for the inventors was to make the films longer and more interesting. A continuing problem at the time was that the films had a tendency to break when they were being played - a problem which was caused by the tension between the two wheels, or 'reels' as they are called, which hold the film. Now this problem was solved by two American brothers. They developed the 'Lantham Loop', which was the simple addition of a third reel between the two main reels, and this took all the tension away with the result that the film stopped snapping.

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