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Different listening skills for different tasks

Watch Nuria, a learner of English, discussing different IELTS Listening tasks and the skills needed for them, with Gad Lim and Anthony Cosgrove.
I’m going to talk about the Listening test with Anthony Cosgrove, who is an author of the English learning materials and also a consultant to Cambridge English Language Assessment. He has taught English in India, Poland, and UK. And well, of course, you know Gad. Well, so we have looked at some Listening tests this week, and I guess that what you are saying is similar to what we said last week about reading, that I should understand the different types of task, so that I know how to do my best in each part of the test. Yes, definitely. The same kind of tasks come up again and again in the IELTS Listening paper, so there won’t be any nasty surprises.
Some of the common listening tasks include multiple choice. Other tasks include things like labelling diagrams or maps or plan, a plan of a building like a supermarket, where you’re looking for very specific bits of information about what exactly goes where. Yeah. OK. So definitely. And my problem is that I sometimes I find hard to follow English speakers because I think they talk very quickly. What can I do if I don’t understand in the test? Well in real life, I’d say if you didn’t understand someone, ask them to repeat themselves. We’re aware that on the tests you can’t do that, and so we’ve made sure that the speakers on the test actually speak at a reasonable pace.
So - You know, I think it’s also worth thinking, what are you listening for? Because sometimes, you’re just listening for the general idea, in which case, you don’t have to understand every single word. Or sometimes, if you’re wanting detail, then you want to make sure, you know, to catch that word. OK. Yeah, it’s not so important, as Gad says, to understand every single word that the speakers say. It is important that you understand what the questions are asking you to do, though. All right, great. Thank you very much. OK, thank you.
Watch Nuria talking to Anthony Cosgrove, as well as Gad, about different ways of listening.
Which types of listening task do you find difficult? Thinking about what you have learned this week, why do you think you find this type of task difficult? How can you practise in order to improve? Tell us in a comment below.
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