Listening module strategies for lectures, conversations and talks

The following strategies will be helpful while listening to a conversation, a lecture or a talk during the Listening examination.

You can make notes. However, if your notes aren’t organized, they will not make sense when you read them.

One way of organizing your notes is to create one column for each speaker in the conversation.

Remember that you will not be asked to name the speakers. So, you can use whatever method to identify them. For example, you can identify them as librarian and student or boy and girl.

Be prepared to listen to spoken English

The conversations that you will hear in the Listening module will sound natural. They will resemble everyday spoken English. You can’t expect the speakers to sound as if they are reading out an essay. There will be self-corrections and interruptions during the speeches.


An interruption occurs when the listener says something before the speaker has finished making a point. When the listener interrupts the speaker has to resolve the issue before returning to the original topic. If you don’t remember what was said before the interruption, you will probably not understand what is said after it.

The listener may use the following expressions to interrupt.

  • I’m sorry, but…
  • Excuse me, but
  • Hold on…
  • May I interrupt…
  • Hang on…

If the speaker speaks incorrectly, she may interrupt herself and then restate the idea correctly.

People may use the following expressions to introduce a self-correction.

  • Actually…
  • That is not exactly right…
  • That is not really true.
  • Let me rephrase that.
  • Let me start again.

Some mistakes may be distracters. They are deliberately included there to confuse the student.

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I'm Manjusha. This is my blog where I give IELTS preparation tips.

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