IELTS part 4 listening – following signposts

One of the problems of part 4 speaking is that it is much longer than the other parts of the listening test. As a result it can be possible to lose track of what is being said. This lesson shows you one way you can learn to keep pace with the listening – by noting signposting language. First, I briefly talk you through the skill, then I give you a part 4 listening to test your skills.

What is signposting language?

These are the words that the speaker uses to show where they are in their argument. If you note these words then you should be able to understand where the speaker is. How does it work? In at least two different ways. Look at these examples:

“There are going to be three sections to my lecture”

This tells you that what you hear is broken into three parts and is similar to the language we use when we write. But sometimes you need to listen to pauses and how the words are said. For example

“So”

can show a major break in the argument if it is said with emphasis and a pause.

See how it works in an example

In this example, you will hear just the outline of a lecture with all the detail taken out. Listen to the different signposting language. You should hear this signposting language:

I’m going to look at the

There are going to be three sections to my lecture today

In the first I am going to discuss briefly

Then I will go on to look at

Finally, I’m going to think about

So.

…..comes next.

Okay. Let’s now think about

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Applying the skill

Look at these questions for the listening. You should see that the notes you complete fall under three headings. So what you need to do is make sure that as you listen you know where you are in the lecture. So when you hear one of the signposting words, you know the speaker has moved onto the next part of the lecture and then you look at the questions for that part.

Complete these notes by using UP TO THREE WORDS

Habitat

1. ___________ of habitat is the major cause for the panda being endangered.

Increase in population led to 2.  _________ becoming more populated

3. ______________ also contributed to decline in numbers

Zoos

Some say irrelevant – no chance of pandas being released

Beneficial – allow us to study the panda’s 4. _____________.

Responsibility

Chinese government is a model

3000 pandas remain 5. __________

Number of panda reserves risen from 6.  _______ to 40 in the last 20 years.

International organisations

WWF – uses panda as symbol

UNESCO – Sichuan panda reserves named as  7._______________

Listen and test yourself

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See the tapescript and answers

See how you did

Hello everyone. I want to start today by reminding you that at the end of the week you all need to hand in a paper on what action can be taken to protect endangered species. To give you some guidance, I’m going to look at the Giant Panda. You can’t use this topic in your own paper but I do suggest you follow my approach in your paper.

There are going to be three sections to my lecture today. In the first I am going to discuss briefly how loss of habitat is a major issue that needs to be addressed. Then I will go on to look at the role of zoos in preserving these species. Finally, I’m going to think about just whose responsibility this is. Should governments take the lead? Or international organisations? Perhaps it is best handled on the ground by smaller groups.

So. We all know the giant panda is at risk. Why? Well, it’s generally accepted nowadays that this mostly down to loss of habitat. There is also little dispute that mankind is chiefly responsible. There was an explosion in the population of mainland China shortly after the war. This population boom led to the destruction of vast swathes of bamboo in mountain ranges of Sichuan province as the countryside became much more populated . Significant? Yes. The panda relies on bamboo for its diet and also requires a large area for its territory. These factors combined with a certain amount of poaching led to a rapid decline in panda numbers.

The role of zoos comes next. How have they helped? Have they helped? This is an issue that stirs up a great deal of debate. There are those who argue that they are not important int he least – an irrelevance because there is no prospect of pandas that are being held in captivity being released into the wild. I disagree with this view. My belief is that zoos have a significant role to play in conservation. Observing animals in captivity allows us to learn more abut their breeding habits – an essential piece of knowledge if we are to help them survive as a species.

Okay. Let’s now think about who should take responsibility for conservation. In many ways, the actions taken by the Chinese government in the case of the giant panda are a model for other nations to follow. It instituted a series of measures to protect the panda and while estimates vary, it is thought that there are now around 3000 pandas left in the wild. The animal is still endangered but it is in some ways off the critical list. How has this been achieved? Well, as I say the government took a variety of measures, one of the most successful of which was the creation of special panda reserves – and there are now 40 of these compared to just 13 around 20 years ago. That governmental action though has been effective because it has been made in concert with international organisations who have joined in the fight to save the panda. Perhaps the most visible of these is the World Wildlife Fund or WWF which has long adopted the panda as its symbol. But the action of UNESCO in naming the Sichuan panda reserves as a World Heritage Site also played a part.  All that said, I would argue that the real difference is made by volunteers on the ground…….

 

Habitat

_____LOSS____ of habitat is the major cause for the panda being endangered.

Increase in population led to ____THE COUNTRYSIDE_____ becoming more populated

_______POACHING_______ also contributed to decline in numbers

Zoos

Some say irrelevant – no chance of pandas being released

Beneficial – allow us to study the panda’s ____BREEDING HABITS_________.

Responsibility 

Chinese government is a model

3000 pandas remain ___IN THE WILD_______

Number of panda reserves risen from __13_____ to 40 in the last 20 years.

International organisations

WWF – uses panda as symbol

UNESCO – Sichuan panda reserves named as  _____WORLD HERITAGE SITE__________

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5 Responses to IELTS part 4 listening – following signposts

  1. Ziqiao_John March 13, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

    thank you

  2. Goyuten March 14, 2013 at 10:23 am #

    Thanks !

  3. Syeda March 16, 2013 at 8:39 pm #

    Dear Dominic,
    Thanks for the wonderful website. I would like to request you to add location maps and building architecture etc. for the listening test which is the most difficult section.
    Thanks

  4. Alex May 20, 2013 at 1:31 am #

    IT IS GOOD
    We need more exercises in listening

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