IELTS Listening Section 2
In this post we will go through an example IELTS Listening Section 2. In Section 2 you have to listen to one person giving a talk in a non-academic context and complete various tasks. In this example the talk is about a National Arts Centre and the tasks are notes completion and table completion.
First, you need to download the example questions and audio (if you have not done so already).
Go to https://www.ielts.org/about-the-test/sample-test-questions
Click on ‘Listening’. You will see there are 9 sample tasks you can download and print. For this lesson, you need Sample Task 8.
As you go through this lesson, I will tell you what to do in the time before you listen. Having completed this, you should pause this lesson, do the sample task, then come back to the lesson.
Section 2: Notes Completion
In the first sample task, you have to complete some notes with information about an Arts Centre. The instructions state no more than three words and/or a number. Before you listen, read the notes carefully and try to predict synonyms / paraphrase and what the answers might be. Like this:
Question 11: ‘Well known for’
- Synonyms: famous for / highly regarded / well regarded for
- Possible answers: A kind of art – Painting? Sculpture? Ballet? Jazz?
Question 12: ‘Complex consists of’
- Synonyms: the facilities include / the complex has / there is / there are
- Possible answers: Facilities in a public building. Comes after restaurants in the list – Cafes? Shops? Toilets? A bar?
Question 13: ‘Historical background. 1960s – Centre was…’
- Synonyms: in the 60s / during the 60s
- Possible answers: Something was done to the centre (notice the passive voice) – Designed? Developed? Built? Constructed?
Question 14: ‘In _____ – opened to the public’
- Synonyms: it opened it’s doors in / it opened for business in
- Possible answers: The gap follows the word ‘in’, so probably a year after the 1960s – 197? / 198?
Question 15: ‘Managed by’
- Synonyms: operated by / run by
- Possible answers: A company name? A charity? The local government?
Question 16: ‘Open ____ days per year’
- Synonyms: open ___ days a year / days out of the year / closed only _ days
- Possible answer: A number – probably 3??
This sample is just like the real exam – so before you listen to each part, you are given time to read the questions:
‘First, you have some time to look at Questions 11 to 16, on page 4.’
30 seconds – Use this time to predict language / answers!
‘Now listen carefully and answer Questions 11 to 16.’
Now listen and complete the task.
Hopefully, you understand how predicting before you listen can make the task much easier. Here are some short quotes from the listening text, with answers in bold:
Question 11: ‘It’s famous throughout the world, as one of the major venues for classical music.’
Question 12: ‘… as well as service facilities including three restaurants and a bookshop.’
Questions 13 and 14: ‘… but it was planned in the 60s, built in the 70s, and eventually opened to the public in 1983.’
Question 15: ‘It’s not privately owned, like many arts centres, but is still in public hands. It’s run by the City Council.’
Question 16: ‘… and as the centre is open 363 days of the year…’
Now, let’s go on to the second part of Section 2 – table completion.
Section 2: Table Completion
At the end of the first part, the recording states, ‘Before you hear the rest of the broadcast, you have some time to look at Questions 17 to 20, on page 5.’ Again, use this time to predict language and possible answers:
Question 17: Venue for ‘The Magic Flute’ (opera)
- Useful language: it will be in / it will take place in the
- Possible answers: It’s an opera, so it will probably be in a concert hall?
Question 18: Name of ‘A Canadian Film’
- Useful Language: Use the Day and time (Wednesday 8pm) + Canadian film / a movie from Canada to help locate the name
- Possible answers: It’s a name so ???
Question 19: Ticket Price for ‘A Canadian Film’
- Useful Language: the price of a ticket / the cost of a ticket / tickets cost
- Possible answers: Number – likely between 1 and 10, perhaps with .50
Question 20: Name of ‘Art Exhibition’
- Useful Language: Day and time + exhibition / an exhibition of art called
- Possible answer: Like Q18, it’s a name so ???
Now listen and complete the task.
That task is a little more difficult, and demonstrates some of the ways in which IELTS makes the test harder. Let’s discuss that with some short quotes from the listening text, with answers in bold:
Question 17: ‘…for a spectacular production of The Magic Flute, probably the most popular of all Mozart’s operas. ‘It’s in the garden hall and tickets start…’
Questions 18 and 19: ‘For those more interested in the cinema, you might like to see the new Canadian film which is showing on Wednesday evening at 8pm in Cinema 2. And that’s called Three Lives. It’s had fantastic reviews. And tickets cost just £4.50, which is a reduction on the usual price of £5.50.’
Question 20: ‘…on Saturday and Sunday, 11am to 10pm, they’re showing a wonderful new exhibition that hasn’t been seen anywhere else in Europe yet. It’s a collection of Chinese art, called Faces of China. That’s in Gallery 1…’
That’s it for Part 2. In the next post, we will look at Listening Section 3.