Listening strategies for conversations or talks

During the Listening module, you may have to listen to a talk, lecture or conversation. The following strategies will be helpful.

Create one column for each speaker

If you are making notes, you should keep them organized. Your notes should make sense when you read them later. A conversation will involve more than one speaker, so make a column for each speaker. You will not be asked to name the speakers. So, while preparing notes, you can identify them as man, woman, teacher, student etc. Make sure that your notes will make sense to you.

During a typical conversation, you can expect self-correction and interruptions.

An interruption occurs when a listener says something before the speaker has finished making a point. When a speaker is interrupted, they will have to resolve it before they can return to the original topic. Some common vocabulary used for making interruptions is:

I’m sorry, but…

Excuse me, but…

Can I just say that…

May I interrupt?


Anyone can misspeak. Even professors may use the wrong word while speaking. When people misspeak, they may interrupt themselves and state their idea correctly.

These mistakes are often used in the Listening module as distracters. Students may hear the incorrect information first and think that it is the correct answer. They will note it down and start listening for the next answer. Unfortunately, they lose a point. While listening to a conversation, one should be aware of these kinds of distracters and make changes to the answer accordingly.

Manjusha Nambiar

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *