IELTS Listening (Thông tin chung)
The IELTS Listening Test is the same for the Academic and General Training modules. You listen to language spoken in a social or academic context and answer a series of questions. The tape is played only once so you have to practice sufficiently beforehand to pick up what’s being said the first time around.
The listening test is divided into four sections with 10 questions in each part (a total of 40 questions). This module lasts about 30 minutes. You get an extra 10 minutes at the end to transfer your answers to the answer sheet.
IELTS LISTENING – QUESTION TYPES (Các dạng câu hỏi)
The listening test measures how well you can listen for main ideas, specific information, supporting information, facts and opinions. You will find a variety of question types:
- multiple choice
- short answer
- sentence completion
- notes/diagram/flow chart completion
The variety of question types means that you sometimes need to write in the answer in your own writing, versus simply choosing the right answer. This is important because in such cases, you also need to spell correctly or the answer will be marked wrong. Even a small error can cause you to lose marks. For example, if the answer is “hat”; and you write “hats”, it may be marked wrong.
You also have to make sure you include the correct information. If the answer is “Green hats” and you write only “hats”, you may also lose points.
You will get a better sense of how precise you need to be by doing as many practice listening exams as possible before your actual test. Believe it or not, you will improve with practice, though it might seem impossible at first. Your ear and your concentration can be trained. Over time, you will improve – but only if you remain patient and move steadily towards your goal of the highest score possible.
SPEECH STYLES (Các loại văn phong)
Each of the four sections of the IELTS Listening Test focuses on a different type of speech, as shown below:
- Section 1 – A social or transactional dialogue – 2 speakers
- Section 2 – A topic or short speech on a general topic – 1 speaker
- Section 3 – A conversation in an academic context – 2-4 speakers
- Section 4 – An academic lecture – 1 speaker
“But I’m Just Not Improving!!!” (Sao tôi vẫn chưa tiến bộ????)
You’ve done several listening tests, you’ve been listening to the BBC, you’ve tried to study the British idioms but your score just isn’t improving! What do you do now? Is there any hope?
The good news is – yes, there’s always a way to break through a plateau or learning obstacle. At this point, you need to forget about the test for short while. Go to the library and borrow some general ESL / EFL materials designed to build your listening comprehension. Start at an elementary level and work yourself up slowly to more advanced materials. Try and implement the simple strategies they are teaching you along the way. This way you have a chance to relearn, to build up your confidence again and to make the breakthrough you need for success in your exam. You can do it.
IELTS Tips – Listening (Một số lời khuyên làm bài môn Nghe)
- The accents of the speakers on the tape are primarily British. This means you must become accustomed to understanding the nuances of such accents. If you have been watching a lot of American television, (shows such as Friends, for example) it will not really help you. British accents are quite different and it is better to spend time in the months before the test listening to British radio stations and podcasts or watching the BBC, British shows, and movies. This is one of the major difference between the IELTS exam and the TOEFL, which features more American accents.
- Get used to the way letters and numbers are pronounced in British (and American)English. Sometimes, in the listening section, you are asked to write down the spelling of a name, place, or address. If you make a mistake in the spelling while writing it down, you will get the answer wrong.
- The expressions used also tend to be taken from British rather than American English. This means you may hear unfamiliar idioms, which can confuse you. Speakers may also use British words for common items such as “flat” for “apartment”, “lorry” for “truck”, or “advert” for advertisement. Make sure you study the most common differences in British and American vocabulary and listen to as many IELTS exercises as possible before your exam to prepare you for the actual test experience.
- Learn to distinguish opinion from fact.In the third and fourth listening passages, you will probably be tested on what one of the speakers thinks or what his / her view is. This may or may not be stated outright, but as an underlying theme in the whole conversation or in the tone of the speakers voice, rather than the words themselves.
- Don’t worry if your classmates or friends get higher listening scores than you. Each one has his or her strengths and weaknesses, just like you. Each one also has his or her own language goals. Just focus on your own needs and don’t compare yourself to others.
- Follow instructions very carefully. If the instructions state, “Write no more than three words”,then you must not write more or you will receive no marks for your answer, even if some of the words you wrote were part of the correct answer. Similarly, read each instruction carefully. Sometimes, you are asked to circle two answers, sometimes three, and so on. You must read the instruction each time as it may differ from the previous ones. Remember, the ability to follow instructions in English is a test in itself.
- The questions follow the oral text. Remember this – it will make it easier for you to focus on the current question, or to know when you’ve been left behind, in case the speakers have gone on to providing the answer to the following questions.
- Familiarize yourself with charts, graphs, flow-charts, bar charts and pie charts, etc. These often appear as part of the answer choices in the fourth section. The more comfortable you are with interpreting the data represented in them, the easier your exam will be.