In this tutorial, we discuss developing listening skills for the IELTS test with ex-examiner Robert.
- How to improve your IELTS listening skills
- Different ways to immerse yourself in the language
- How to get a feel for the language
- A technique to help with vocabulary and pronunciation (story of a student who was mimicking news broadcasts).
- Active listening vs Extensive listening
In the IELTS listening test, you have to listen, read and write simultaneously. The 40 questions of the 4 sections will come at you at a natural speed, giving you very little chance to do anything but answer the question. Those precious seconds you have before the audio for each section begins is your key to knowing what to listen out for.
Strategies to improve your IELTS listening skills
- Take every opportunity to regularly listen to English through whatever means you have (radio, podcasts, whatever). We could call this extensive listening. Think for a moment about when you started learning English. Before you could say anything at all, you had to understand what you were hearing, right? And as you made progress, you began to understand more complex messages. You started to “listen”. It’s what some language researchers call “comprehensible input”. We understand what we hear (or read) even though we still can’t produce, through speech or writing, all of what we hear or read. It helps to push you up to the next level.
- Watch, read the closed caption audio script in English, stop whenever, replay partially or wholly, replay without sound or subtitles and act out the dialogues from recall as well as summarize what you’ve seen, and talk about it with fellow viewers. In fact, you can just about do anything you want to from letting it just flow around you for pure enjoyment and, shall we say, general understanding, to efforts to work on word meanings, pronunciation, intonation, colloquial language, vocabulary as it applies for example, to specific areas.
You can download or listen to the full tutorial here: