Listening Test for IELTS
Dec 30, 2011 TOEFL/TOEIC/IELTS 2945 Views
The listening test for IELTS comprises four sections to be completed in 30 minutes with 10 minutes transfer time (40 minutes in total). The recording which the candidates will get their answers from will be played only once. In other words, there is no room for mistakes in this task, for even the spelling should be correct. So, how do you accurately provide the required sets of answers from a one-time recording you listen to? There are two main points to be familiar with before anything else: the features of oral English and how English words are put together in different ways (paraphrasing and key words).
Firstly, the listening skill does not develop by exposure or immersion to the language alone if you consider the length of time spent in the preparation stage. It is like a mathematical problem that we need to solve through an effective formula, apart from constant and consistent practice. The only issued regarding this is that there are countless formulas available. Well, you just need to choose what works well for you. Yet, more important than this is how to identify the effective approach. The following concepts will enlighten you on how to treat this matter:
• There are various features of oral English to familiarize. The most common and very important in IELTS is pronunciation.
• To understand pronunciation: stress, pitch, diction, intonation, among others, should be studied.
• Once the aforementioned elements are reviewed, different listening activities will gradually unveil the underlying patterns in spoken English so that perception becomes easier.
• Finally, you must not forget that beyond pronunciation is the accent that gives both variation and confusion when you try to listen to any spoken language. So, consider taking into account the most popular accents used today such as the American, British, Australian and Canadian.
• Secondly, since proficiency is the key in IELTS, you have to make sure you are good at collocation. This is empirical in IELTs since every listening task is done within a specific context. Thus, you do not simply transcribe any random dictations. For instance, in the part of the test where you need to fill in the gaps, you must know how words are put together and how they convey meaning. Hence, you have to consider the following skills:
• Be able to guess whether the missing word you have to fill into the gap is a noun, verb, adverb or an adjective, and always take note what generally comes before or after each of the parts of speech. Here your ability to paraphrase English expressions is very important, as these guide you to the exact word to be used in one of the two kinds of gap fill. The second requires a general understanding of the text, so that you can choose the correct synonym for the gap.
• Be familiar with a number of common expressions (by phrase or by clause) in order to enrich your vocabulary without desperately memorizing thousands of words,
• And be able to quickly recall the important ideas after listening to a certain track by focusing on the meaning and not only on the form.
Therefore, every IELTS test-taker must be given the effective guides in training and practising for the actual listening test. Nothing is more helpful than knowing first the basics before dealing with the ascending complexity of every listening task.
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