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Part 1 Basic Skills for Listening


Part 1 Basic Skills for Listening Pre-listening skills Step 1: Study the situation and your role You will be given a realistic situation which sets the scene for the ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Part 1 Basic Skills for Listening

Part 1 Basic Skills for Listening
Pre-listening skills
  • Step 1 Study the situation and your role
  • You will be given a realistic situation which
    sets the scene for the listening activities. The
    situation could be an orientation session
    followed by an informal meeting or two guides
    giving visitors general information about a theme
    park and answering visitors questions about the
    theme park or a seminar on the prevention of
    crime followed by a question-and-answer session
    or a radio interview and question-and-answer

Some previous roles and situations
Role General situation
2007 Hotel employee 2007 A training session on terrorism
2006 English teacher A tour of the home of the future
2005 A member of an editorial team A study of life in Hong Kong during World War II
2004 A police constable 2004 A police training seminar
2003 Someone who is planning to join a three-month summer cruise A three-month summer study cruise
2002 Someone who works for an entertainment company A tour of a European theme park
2001 A member of a student group Community crime awareness and prevention
2000 A student who is going to take part in a survey conducted by an Australian university 2000 A survey on the health of youths
  • Step 2 Anticipate the answers based on the
  • Even before you listen to the recording, you
    may be able to predict some of the answers
    through context and common sense.

  • Can you predict the answer to Question 1 from the
    note-heading of Question 2?
  • What does Mary want to know?
  • 2. Three reasons why the tour will help Mary with
    her Geology studies
  • (a)
  • (b)
  • (c)
  • In this example, the wording of Question 2 why
    the tour will help Mary with her
  • Geology studies gives you the clue to the answer
    to Question 1

If the tour will help her with her Geology studies
Exercise 3 Predict some of the answers to
the following questions by considering the
context and the note-headings. Then listen to the
recording to see how successful you were at
predicting the answers. 2. The question Susie
asks _____________________________________
__________________ Mrs. Smiths views on how
the pollution situation in Hong Kong differs from
that in the United States (a)
__________ (b) _______________________________
_____________________________ (c)
__________ (d) _______________________________
How does pollution in Hong Kong differ from that
in the United States?
It is a much greater problem in Hong Kong
There is a much greater concentration of
construction in Hong Kong
A great deal of the pollution in Hong Kong comes
from outside sources
Hong Kong hasnt had as strong a public
environmental agenda as the United States
While-listening skills
  • Step 3 Listen carefully for hints

  • The forum Nancy just attended
  • Title of the forum ______________________________
  • 2. Objectives of the forum
  • (a) __________________________________________
  • (b) __________________________________________
  • Tapescript
  • The title of todays forum is Run for
    Lives. Well be discussing the latest charity
    marathon which has been organized to raise money
    for the AIDS Foundation. The objectives of the
    forum are to increase awareness of the charity
    project and to inform the public about AIDS.
  • You should be aware that the wording used
    for hints may differ slightly on the recording.
    In this example,' The title of todays forum can
    be changed to todays forum is entitled instead
    of the The objectives of the forum, the speaker
    may say The aims of the forum.

Run for Lives
increase awareness of the charity project
inform the public about AIDS
  • Step 4 Using contextual clues to understand
  • difficult words
  • A difficult word will normally be either
    repeated, presented as one of several alternative
    answers, or explained through contextual clues,
    so listen carefully for clues and hints that will
    help you understand the word. If there are no
    contextual clues given, then you should make an
    educated guess at the meaning of the word by
    linking the context to the word.
  • Alternative answers
  • Some questions have more than one
    answer, and there is a chance that there will be
    an alternative answer if there are difficult
  • (b) Omit elaborations
  • In the Listening Test, you are only
    required to write down key points. There is no
    need to elaborate on the ideas. Therefore, you
    must learn to distinguish key words from
    elaborations, which may take the form of examples
    or explanations of key ideas.

Travel planning that Joe did Step 1
______________________ Step 2
It is not necessary to include the explanation of
route or example or travel regulations in your
answers because you have neither time nor space
to copy it all down. As part of the listening
process, you have to discriminate between
necessary and unnecessary information
decide on the route
check the travel regulations
  • Exercise 11
  • Listen to the recording and write the
    answers as briefly as possible, but include all
    of the key words.
  • Problems experienced on Annas trip through
  • (a) _________________________________________
  • (b) _________________________________________
  • 2. Characteristics of a bully
  • (a) __________________________________________
  • (b) __________________________________________
  • (c) __________________________________________
  • 3. (a) Alternative suggestion
  • _________________________________________
  • (b) Advantages of the alternative suggestion
  • __________________________________________

dealing with bureaucracy
finding spare parts to repair bicycle
low self-confidence
a history of child abuse in the family
low achievement at school
apply for a grant from the government
wouldnt discourage the public from using the
Part 2 Latest Developments
The examination Question formats
Labelling questions Map questions
Questions involving similar pictures Related questions
Matching questions Tone questions
Flow chart questions Multiple-choice questions involving pictures, photos or graphs
  • Labelling questions
  • Every paper in the past few years have
    included a labelling question of some kind. This
    could be labelling a floor plan (2003), labelling
    the different parts of an item (2005 and 2007) or
    even putting details onto a map (2007).
  • You will have to orientate yourself quickly
    when you listen to the recording. The task will
    be easier to do if you study and underline the
    key words in the question and the worked example,
    and note any noticeable features in terms of
    differences or similarities. At times, it is
    useful to draw a schematic diagram beside the
    picture to help you locate the various parts as
    you take notes from the listening material.

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  • Questions involving similar pictures
  • Questions involving distinguishing similar
    pictures have been in use for many years and was
    prominently featured in the 2005 UE exam, where
    candidates were required to compare a number of
    similar pictures of objects of the same nature
    and assign each of those pictures to a letter.
  • Unlike pictures given in a multiple-choice
    question, where the differences among the
    pictures are relatively easy to spot, the
    differences among the stamps in the following
    example are too numerous to be compared in
    detail, but the similarities or common features
    are quite obvious they all carry country name, a
    postage value and, of course the image of a bird.
    So the answers you will be listening for would
    most likely be connected with differences in
    these common areas.

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Related questions At times, two
consecutive questions may be related and share
some common information. This type of question
has appeared in listening exams almost every year
since 2003 and some are very difficult to do.
You should approach this type of question by
finding out how the two questions are related to
each other. You should then find out what common
information is shared. You can also use the key
words in the note-headings and the worked
example(s) given in the first question as clues
for some of the answers to the related questions
or vice versa. Can you tell how Question 1
is related to Question 2 in the exercise below,
or vice versa?
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Tone questions Questions involving tone
have become a regular feature of listening exams
recently. They formed a part of a longer task in
the 2004 and 2007 exams, and they were
stand-alone questions in the 2002, 2005 and 2006
exams. You can prepare for this type of
question by underlining the key words, and then
relate the key words to the conversational
context or the situation on the recording. Tone
refers to the quality of the speakers voice when
he or she tries to express a particular emotion.
Therefore, it is important to understand the
background and circumstances that give rise to
such an emotion.
Here are some of the tone words used in
the Use of English examinations 2003
sure, unsure, interesting, funny, annoying,
scary 2004 angry, pleading, shocked,
apologetic, threatening 2004
angry, amused, unconcerned, worried, disbelief,
fear, delight, satisfaction,
relief, anxiety, exhausted, hope 2006
relaxed, uneasy, excited, bored, satisfied,
surprised, disappointed,
afraid 2007 confused, apathetic,
nervous, impatient, suspicious
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Flow chart questions With this type of
question, you are required to record a chain of
events based on what you hear on the recording.
Since the information provided on the recording
is usually closely related and appears in
sequence, it is very helpful if you number the
note-headings or the blank spaces to make the
flow chart easier to follow as you listen to the
Conversation between the flight attendant and the
2. What the flight attendant does or says
She asks the passenger to return to his seat
She asks the passenger again to return to
his seat
She warns him of the dangers of not
fastening his seatbelt
She threatens to inform the captain / police
Background noises Examiners have
included various different background noises into
the recordings. They range from environmental
noises like doors opening and closing (2006), the
rustling of paper (2004), to people murmuring
(2004) and muttering barely audible comments
(2007). You should smartly ignore these
noises and concentrate only on the key points
that you need to listen for.
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  • Interjections
  • An interjection is a sound, word or phrase
    spoken by someone in the middle of a conversation
    or a monologue. In the case of a tone question,
    some interjections can be important as they help
    you recognize the speakers emotions. For
    example, Wow could mean appreciation,
    admiration or amazement as dictated by the

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