IELTS Listening for Plurals: Tips & Practice

In the IELTS listening test, you often need to listen for plurals. This lesson looks at tips and practice for IELTS listening for plurals.

IELTS Listening for Plurals: Video Tutorial

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IELTS Listening Practice: Building the Eiffel Tower

This IELTS listening practice is based on sentence completion questions and diagram labelling. You need to prepare all questions before listening.

For the sentence completion, check what type of answer you need for each question and underline key words that will help you identify the answer when you hear it. For the diagrams, read the instructions carefully to find the type of answer you need.

IELTS Listening: The Eiffel Tower

Questions 1-5

Complete the sentences using no more than two words and/or numbers.

  1. In 1884, two …………… came up with the concept of building tall tower.
  2. The plan was for the tower to be ……….. feet in height.
  3. Assembly of the supports took ……………. to finish.
  4. During construction, precision of work was measured to …………. of a millimetre.
  5. The construction team has responsibility for ……………. to ………… workers.

Questions 6 – 7

Label the diagram below with the correct dates using no more than one word and/or numbers.IELTS Listening Eiffel Tower

 

Answers

Click below to reveal the answers:

Answers
  1. engineers / chief engineers (either answer is correct)
  2. 1000
  3. 22 months (the number can be written as a hyphenated word. The word “months” must be plural.)
  4. a tenth (“a” is needed for the answer to be correct. All sentences must be grammatically correct when completed)
  5. 150    300 (both numbers are needed for the correct answer. No punctuation is required between them)
  6. 15 March 1888 / 15th March 1888 (the full date is required)
  7. 12 March  1889 / 12th March 1889 (the full date is required)
Transcript

The plan to build a tower 300 metres high was conceived as part of preparations for the World’s Fair of 1889. Two chief engineers in Eiffel’s company, had the idea for a very tall tower in June 1884. The tower project was a bold extension of this principle – equivalent to the symbolic figure of 1000 feet.

The assembly of the supports began on July 1, 1887 and was completed twenty-two months later. All the elements were prepared in Eiffel’s factory located  on the outskirts of Paris. Each of the 18,000 pieces used to construct the Eiffel Tower were specifically designed and calculated, traced out to an accuracy of a tenth of a millimetre and then put together forming new pieces around five metres each. A team of constructors, who had worked on the great metal viaduct projects, were responsible for the 150 to 300 workers on site assembling this gigantic set.

Photographic evidence at the time showed the four stages of the construction of the Eiffel Tower. The first photo was taken after the construction of the first floor on the 15th March 1888 and the following photos were taken over a period of about a year. The constructions were finally finished on the 12th March 1889 which is when the last photo was taken. On the narrow platform at the top, Eiffel received his decoration from the Legion of Honour.

read more about the Eiffel Tower Construction 

Vocabulary
  • conceived = thought up / planned
  • bold = daring / courageous
  • construct = build
  • calculated = measured
  • traced = copied
  • on site – at the location of the building
  • gigantic = huge
  • finished / completed

 

More IELTS Listening

IELTS Listening: 25 Essential Tips

IELTS Multiple Choice Tips

IELTS Listening: Numbers Practice

IELTS Listening: All Lessons, Tips and Practice

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IELTS Listening for Diagrams Practice and Tips

Here are tips and practice to label an IELTS listening diagram. It is common to get diagrams in IELTS listening section 2 and 3 although they may appear in section 4 too.

IELTS Listening Diagram Tips

  • check the location of each number
  • answers come in order
  • decide what kind of answer you need (noun, adj, verb)
  • check how many words or numbers you can use
  • predict language to describe locations (under, over, above, underneath, at the side, etc)
  • look at the title of the diagram to help you predict topic language

IELTS Listening Diagram Practice

The Brownie Camera

Label the diagram using no more than two words and/or a number.

IELTS Listening Diagram Camera

 

Answers
  1. strap
  2. viewfinder
  3. viewfinder lens
  4. shutter lever
Transcript
The Brownie camera was introduced in February 1900  and popularised low-cost photograph bringing about the concept of the snapshot. At a cost of just £1, it was intended to be a camera everyone could afford and use. It was a simple camera to operate. It was a box camera made out of cardboard or, later, plastic. On the top was a strap to enable people to carry their cameras making photography more convenient to people on the go. The workings of the camera were secured inside the box by locks on the top and also at the side near the film advance. When people wanted to take a snapshot, they would put their eye to the rectangular viewfinder. There were two of these located both on the top and side of the camera allowing people to take both landscape and portrait pictures. The image from the viewfinder was seen though a viewfinder lens. There were also two of these on the front of the camera relating in position to each of the viewfinders. The real lens was placed squarely in a central position on the front of the camera. When people wanted to take a photo, they would press a small lever at the side of the camera known as the shutter lever. When this was pressed down, the photo would be captured. This is one of the most iconic cameras in the world and is responsible for development of photography as we know it today.

 

More IELTS Listening

IELTS Listening: Maps

IELTS Listening: Multiple Choice

IELTS Listening: Short Answer Questions

IELTS Listening: 25 Essential Tips

IELTS Listening Band Scores

IELTS Listening: All Information, Tips and Practice

 

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IELTS Listening Practice: Sports Festival

IELTS summary completion and sentence completion practice for listening about the topic of sport.

Tips

  • Spend time reading through the questions for the summary and sentence completion because the audio will cover all questions.
  • Pay attention to the title and key words in the questions.
  • Predict the type of answer you will need to listen for (grammar will help you).
  • Notice that the instructions (word count) changes as the type of question changes – pay attention to this.
  • Be ready to move from one set of questions to another. Identify a key word that will help you to know when to move questions.
  • Remember that some key words can be paraphrased.

Mongolian Sports Festival

Questions 1 – 3

Complete the summary using no more than one word and/or a number.

Naadam is a festival of three sports in Mongolia: (1)……………….. horse racing and archery. This festival is traditionally for men and takes place during (2)……………….. Previously, women were unable to (3)………………. in the festival but now they can take part in two out of the three sports.

Questions 4 – 6

Complete the sentences using no more than two words and/or numbers.

  • 4) Historically, this festival was used to generate ………………….
  • 5) People don ……………………………… for the festival.
  • 6) Each year the celebration is held between ……. and ……………….

 

Answers & Vocabulary

Answers
  1. wrestling
  2. midsummer (one word)
  3. participate or compete (two possible options)
  4. warriors or skillful warriors (must be plural) or skillful men
  5. colourful clothes or traditional clothes or distinctive clothes (three possible options but no more than two words possible for the answer)
  6. 11 13 July or 11th 13th July (you must have both numbers and the month. The month does not need to start with a capital letter. See this page regarding the use of capital letters: IELTS Listening Tips)
 Transcript

Naadam is a traditional games festival in Mongolia comprising of three sports: Mongolian wrestling, horse racing and archery. It is otherwise known as “the three games of men” because traditionally men were the only ones who could compete.  It is held over midsummer throughout the country. Nowadays, women are able to participate in archery and horse racing but not wrestling. The name “Naadam” means “festival or feast of sports”.

In ancient times, the Mongolian great kings and military generals used to train their warriors and the warriors’ main battle tool, horses, through this competition. While competing and feasting, those three manly traditional sports have been used to create skillful men for centuries.

During the festival, Mongolians dress in colourful and distinctive traditional clothes and ride their most beautiful horses. Official festival celebrations take place throughout the country between 11th and 13th July annually.  The Naadam celebration in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, is the most marvelous.

Useful Vocabulary
  • comprising of = made up of / consisting of
  • wrestling – a sport of holding and throwing an opponent to the ground
    • mongolia_naadam_10
  • archery – using a bow and arrow to hit a target
    • Naadam_women_archery
  • compete = participate / take part in
  • to be held / to take place
  • in ancient times = historically
  • manly = activities suited to a man
  • generate = create
  • to dress = to don (this is formal verb)
  • marvelous = spectacular (this synonym is used only in this context)

 

Naadam Festival Information

Watch a great video about this wonderful festival in Mongolia. The person giving the information is Mongolian and does make mistakes with English but she still has a wide range of interesting vocabulary and can explain her ideas clearly.

Below is some excellent vocabulary that was used in this video:

  • delighted
  • preparing warriors for combat
  • huge
  • great noise / shouting
  • rush
  • testing not only speed but endurance
  • bare feet
  • saddle
  • cheering
  • sharpness
  • brings the community together
  • harsh weather
  • lifts the spirits of everyone

You may consider her accent difficult to understand in parts but her vocabulary, as you can see above, is very strong and flexible. She is able to explain her ideas and concepts very clearly.

I hope you enjoyed this lesson. Let me know if there any special customs or celebrations in your country that you wish me to make a lesson for. Liz

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IELTS Listening: Filling in the Missing Word

Filling in the missing word is a common task for IELTS listening. This is mainly known as sentence completion or summary completion. The lesson below gives you some practice with how to fill in the gaps.

Practice completing sentences for IELTS listening by filling in the sentences below with a missing word. Read through the sentences carefully before you listen. Predict what type of word you need to listen for and also plan any possible paraphrases for words in the sentences. These types of listening questions are called sentence completion. Your answ

IELTS Listening: Fireworks

Questions 1- 8

Complete the sentences using no more than two words and/or a number.

  1. Specialists in fireworks include ……….. to create special effects.
  2. Fireworks are made by putting all materials in a ………
  3. Fireworks were invented by the ……………
  4. The first firework created a loud ……….
  5. Fireworks appeared in Europe by the ………………
  6. The ………… firework launches high into the air and explodes at a certain height.
  7. The long tube fireworks are called ……………..
  8. …………… is used to create a bright white light.

 

Transcript

The original fireworks were made from gunpowder, which is a mixture of ingredients including saltpetre, sulphur and charcoal. Today experts at handling explosives, called pyrotechnicians, add chemicals for special effects. There are many different kinds of fireworks but they are all made in a similar way. The ingredients are placed in a shell, it is then wrapped up and a fuse is added. In factories, where the fireworks are made, safety precautions are used to make sure a single static electric shock does not create an explosion.

Fireworks have been around for centuries and are believed to have been first made by the Chinese. A Chinese document, dated about 1040AD, showed how to wrap gunpowder in paper to make a “fire pill”. This small firecracker made a very loud bang which was thought to ward off evil spirits. By the 13th century, fireworks had made their way to Europe where their popularity grew. By the 1500’s, fireworks were used in celebrations and special events. The Italians were the masters of fireworks by the 17th century.

There are a number of different types of fireworks these days and each of them works in a particular way. The rocket firework has a substance which explodes and shoots the firework into the air. When the rocket reaches a particular height, another spark causes it to blow up, releasing fine metal powders into the air. Roman candles are long tubes which shoot balls of chemicals from one end creating a series of flaming stars. Fountains are cone shaped and a small hole allows gases to escape, shooting coloured sparks into the air. Adding magnesium gives off a bright white light. Other ingredients give off different types of light when they become hot which is how colours are created.

Answers
  1. chemicals
  2. shell
  3. Chinese (You do not need a capital letter at the beginning for this to be correct)
  4. bang
  5. 13th century
  6. rocket
  7. Roman candles (If your spelling is wrong, the answer is incorrect. The capital letter is not important.)
  8. Magnesium (if your spelling is wrong, your answer is incorrect – you don’t need a capital letter even if it is at the beginning of the word. See my tips for info about this: IELTS Listening Tips)

Information from cbbc news

  Paraphrases
  • add = include
  • put in = placed in
  • invented by = first made by
  • made = created
  • appeared in = made their way to
  • launches into the air = shoots into the air
  • particular = certain
  • used to create = gives off

You will see that the paraphrases are not difficult. The main difficulty is all the extra information that is given which can be confusing to hear. Keep your mind focused on listening for answers and try not to be distracted by extra information.

 

 

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IELTS Listening Essential 25 Tips

The essential IELTS listening tips and information for success in your test. Learn the right listening techniques with over 25 top tips to help you achieve a high score. Learn about the listening exam content, writing the answers correctly, types of questions, scoring, making notes and much more. This is A MUST WATCH video lesson for all IELTS students.

Up-date 2017 – Capital letters in IELTS listening. You can use them or not use them or mix them up. It is your choice and won’t affect your score. So, please be aware of this for tip number 8 in the video. I’ve posted an official link for IELTS below so you can check directly with their website.

Watch the video first and then read through the summary of listening tips below.

IELTS Video: Listening Tips

IELTS Speaking Test Summary

  1. All students take the same test. Both academic and GT students take the same listening test. It is marked in the same way.
  2. There are 40 questions
  3. There are 4 sections
    1. Section 1 = two speakers. This is often a telephone conversation between two people, for example organising a place on a course, booking a table at a restaurant or renting an apartment. You must listen for specific information, such as names (tips on listening for names), dates, times (tips on listening for time), places and numbers.
    2. Section 2 = one speaker. This is often a talk from a guide. You might hear information about a building, a resort, a company, a charity etc.
    3. Section 3 = three or four speakers. This is an academic discussion. It could either be two students talking with a professor or a student presenting their resource to their colleagues.
    4. Section 4  = one speaker. This is an academic lecture.
  4. The sections get more difficult as the test progresses. This means section 1 is the easiest and section 4 is the most difficult.
  5. The listening test is 40 mins.
    1. 30 minutes to listen to the recording and write down your answer on the question paper.
    2. 10 minutes to transfer your answers from the question paper to the answer sheet.
  6. IELTS is an international test. There will be a range of accents but the main accents will probably be British and Australian.
  7. IELTS accept either British English or American English spelling.

IELTS Listening Top Tips

  1. The recording will be played only once. You will not hear it a second time.
    1. You must practice completing a full listening test by listening only once before your test. You should do this a number of times.
    2. When you are developing skills and vocabulary, you might want to practice listening more than once. This is fine when you are in training.
  2. You will need to multitask. This means you must be able to read the questions, listen for the answer and write down words all at the same time. You should practice doing this.
  3. Practice transferring your answers to the answer sheet at home before your test. Here is a link to download the IELTS listening answer sheet.
  4. You should write your answers on the answer sheet using  pencil not a pen. This is the same as the IELTS reading test.
  5. Scores are calculated by the number of points you got correct. Here is a link to learn all about the IELTS band scores: IELTS Band Scores Explained. You don’t lose a mark if your answer is wrong. Your score will not change due to incorrect answers.
  6. If you don’t know an answer, guess. Always write something in the box on your answer sheet. Who knows, maybe you guess right !!
  7. You can write your answer using capital or lower case letters. You are not marked on the grammatical accuracy of your capital letters. See the official IELTS website to confirm this: http://takeielts.britishcouncil.org/prepare-your-test/test-day-advice/listening-test-advice
  8. Check the number of words you can have for your answer. Each time the question type changes, the number of words for the answer might change too. Here is an example of instructions: “No more than two words and/or a number”. To learn exactly what these instructions mean, please watch the video lesson above.
  9. Check the instructions to see if you can have a number (which means only one) or numbers (plural which means more than one number).
  10. How words and numbers are calculated:
    1. A date “1950” is considered one number.
    2. A large number “1,000,500” is considered one word.
    3. A hyphenated word “part-time” is considered one word.
    4. A compound noun which is not hyphenated “tennis shoe” is considered two words.
  11. “at the hospital” or “hospital”. Should you write the article and preposition? Your answer will depend on the type of question you have. If you are completing the sentence, for example:
    1. The best place to meet is ………. = the answer must be grammatically correct so you need “at the hospital”.
    2. If the question is a note or form completion, such each 1) PLACE: …… = the answer can be just one word (with or without the article) “hospital” or “the hospital” (if two words are possible.
  12. SPELLING!!! If your answer is spelled wrong, the answer is marked wrong. You must have the correct spelling to get a point and have the answer marked correct.
    1. Don’t worry about spelling while you are listening because you don’t have time to concentrate on spelling. You need to concentrate on listening to the recording and following the questions.
    2. Check your spelling when you transfer your answers to the answer sheet. That is the time to check and make sure everything is correct.
  13. Writing letters or words. If you get a multiple choice question, it will ask you to write down the letter as your answer. For example:
    1. a) spring
    2. b) summer
    3. c) winter
    4. If the answer is b, you must write “b” on your answer sheet not “summer”. The word “summer” would be marked wrong because the instructions ask you to write a letter not a word.
  14. IELTS Listening Question Types
    1. form completion
    2. note completion
    3. summary completion
    4. sentence completion
    5. multiple choice
    6. diagram labelling
    7. map labelling
    8. table completion
    9. form chart
    10. If you want practice with these types of question, go to my IELTS listening page.
  15. Don’t try to understand everything. IELTS will add lots of extra information but you only need to listen for answers. Keep yourself focused on listening for answers to questions.
  16. Answers may come quickly. You might get three answers in a very short time. Get ready to write your answers down quickly. Answers may come slowly. There may be a gap between answers. Don’t panic. This is common in section 4.
  17. Look out for answers which are plural. IELTS know that students have difficulty hearing the plural “s”. So, these answers will certainly be given to test your listening ability.
  18. Common Problems
    1. Giving the answer and then changing it. Here is an example: “Is it ok to meet at 7pm?” / “Yes, 7pm works fine for me” / “Oh I’ve just remembered I have a late meeting, could we make it half past instead?” The answer was 7pm but then the speaker changed it to 7.30pm. Always keep listening and be ready for the speaker to change the answer.
    2. Similar words might not be the right answer. Watch this video about IELTS listening multiple choice to understand this tip.
  19. If you miss an answer, just move on to the next question. Don’t waste time. Don’t lose your place in the recording.
  20. CONCENTRATE!!! 30 minutes is a long time to actively listen for answers. If you lose focus, you will miss answers. Don’t let that happen to you. Practice full tests at home to build up your ability to concentrate.

For more tips and explanations – please watch the video above.

Do you have a question about IELTS listening or about the IELTS test? This page has over 100 answers to your questions: IELTS Test FAQ

Improve your IELTS listening for free with this practice lessons: IELTS Listening Lessons

Links

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Listening Practice for Addresses

IELTS listening practice for addresses. It is common to be asked to write down addresses in IELTS listening section 1. This exercises offers you a chance to practice.

Listening Practice: 10 Addresses

  • Listen to 10 addresses
  • Write down what you hear
  • Not all addresses will be spelled
  • Only street names which are difficult will be spelled

Before you listen, do you know the different types of streets in England? For example, road, lane, street, avenue… How many do you know? Be prepared for addresses that might be new for you.

 

Answers
  1. 150 Church Street
  2. 68C Bridge Lane
  3. 52 Burlington Road
  4. 3 West Street
  5. 94A Notts Way
  6.  Flat 2, 24 Sleet Street
  7. 63 Green Avenue
  8. 54 Station Road
  9. 102 Seaview Crescent
  10. 41 Drummond Square

Capital letters are not needed and are not marked so don’t worry if you use them or not. See this page: IELTS Exam FAQ

 

Recommended Listening Lessons

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Spelling Practice for IELTS Listening: City Names

Spelling practice for city names and other place names, such as towns. Improve your listening and spelling by listening to the spelling of particular places and writing down the letters you hear. This is important practice for IELTS listening section 1.

Writing down the letters you hear. The place names will be given and then spelled. Each place name will be spelled only once. There are 15 place names to write down.

Listen & Write: 15 Town & City Names

 

Answers
  1. Birmingham
  2. Carlisle
  3. Chichester
  4. Leicester
  5. Peterborough
  6. Truro
  7. Wolverhampton
  8. Amersham
  9. Framlingham
  10. Gillingham
  11. Goole
  12. Ormskirk
  13. Painswick
  14. Rochdale
  15. Sawbridgeworth

 

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