Is Listening taught or tested?

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Is Listening taught or tested?

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Are you a student? Is any of foreign going competitive (FGC) exams that involves listening your next target? Have you already given IELTS or PTE?  Is there something that is still unknown to harness your listening skills? Or you have no clue about it at all. Don’t worry. Here is a solution. And it’s useful for you if you have an affirmation for any of the above questions. Before I dwell on explaining certain obstacles that test takers encounter while practicing listening and present solutions for each of them step by step, I would like to drag just one thought in your mind that listening is not tested, it is taught! Yes. It is taught. Does your trainer test you directly? If you have a positive reply for this question too, you must read this article.

Keywords: Passive Listening | Traditional methods | Active Listener

Listening is a quite strenuous part of FGC exams and students are frantic for ways of improving it. To be a mediocre performer, it does not require a lot of strategies though. What if you have to reach the top rung of the ladder? You have to develop good listening skills. Traditional methods are not going to be of much help because they just involve nothing more than extensive listening or in other words, listening to a wide range of conversations. I don’t deny that it is not helpful. You have to be an active listener, not passive.

Key Words: Multitasking | Intensive Listening

There are multiple things we have to perform to get across. It is therefore difficult to handle them. Because you are at the first place plunged into listening to recording tapes. Your instructor says, “Listening is all about practice.” But it’s difficult to process new information, to identify new words or phrases and understand the main intent of the speaker(s). While you are busy with working out the meaning of a particular word or phrase, you stop listening to what is there next. More importantly, you are not familiar with pronunciation and accent of speaker(s). So I personally believe that intensive listening is far useful.

Keywords; Intensive Listening | Specific details | Listening Skills

What does intensive listening actually involve? The right question. It, as opposed to extensive listening wherein your main focus in on the outcome, focuses on prediction of content, listening to specific information(details) and vocabulary, and understanding the attitude or main points of / explained (by) the speaker.

Prediction of content

Keywords: content words | prediction

It is essential to predict the topic so that you can match what you hear with what you expect to hear using the previous knowledge. It helps to set the background for your listening making it easier to generate a hypothesis about the kind of topic you are listening to, the main purpose of the speakers, and their attitude. Generally IELTS test takers have to keep on checking the accuracy of their prediction and form new ones which may be soon refuted or accepted. They, while listening, have to either confirm their assumption or reject it. And they have to decide what information forms the core part of the conversation and what is just used for supporting it. Through this kind of approach, you are able to review the understanding of the language which is key to succeed in IELTS listening.

Listening for specific details and Vocabulary

Keywords: listening for specific details | vocabulary | paraphrasing

In the IELTS listening, your ability to identify specific details in the context is assessed. Speakers paraphrase or extend the speech. So it is at times hard to match the information (usually paraphrased) given by the speakers with the information presented in the questions.  For instance, in case of matching items with their explanations, students misinterpret what they hear and what they read. It is because of paraphrasing. “competitors” is paraphrased to “ rivals in the sphere of your business..”

Listening to understand the main theme

Keywords: Main ideas | gist | central idea | overall idea | implicit listening

If you are just concerned with the keywords before and after the blanks or a particular word, you miss on the bigger picture, especially when you are solving questions which deal with speaker’s main focus, attitude, or the purpose of the speech. It is imperative to develop a broader framework beforehand about the topic and try to absorb how the ideas are organized into the speech. To develop your skill to get the gist of speech or talk, it is advised to listen to a lecture, jot the main ideas with supporting details and reorganize it in your own words in the best practice that you can try. I often do this with my students who get massive improvement in their listening.

Over the last half a decade, I have been researching on various aspects of the exam and I have drawn the above conclusions. I hope this will help you to improve your listening in a very authentic manner.

For more exercises on this, you can feel free to contact me.

Keywords: Listening Tips | Prediction | Assumption | Tips for 7 bands | listening barriers | strategies for IELTS

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Showing 9 comments
  • Prince latel

    This is very important to all students..if the student read carefully they improve their listening task..

  • Ruchika dave

    It’s very useful for all students who think about giving IELTS nd PTE nd it’s realy work because its my personal experiance.By the way Ashok sir’s every to get a good score.

  • Munesh

    This blog is good for Listening, It can help to get good score. By this article we can boost our Listening score upto 8.0 Bands

  • vipul patel

    Ashok sir for your article….i read it and it is too much useful…do u remeber me i was ur student in 2012…thanks a lot for ur guidance..ur tips are really useful…

  • Kajal

    Thank you so much Ashok Sir..for wonderful…tips
    Please update about reading….i don’t get good score in this..two times exam…but only 5.0..pls help me..

  • Swapnil patel

    Very useful tips…as well as practical…pls impart somthing for writing…

  • Jesal Soni

    Nice tips sir

  • Rajiv

    Nice article

  • dilip thakor

    quite helpful..nice

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