This writing will help English Olympiad participants in Bangladesh to face their listening part at theater round and grooming selections. To know more about English Olympiad Theater Round & Grand Finale as well as new registration, Please visit our website www.englisholympiad.net and our facebook page.
Although each Listening question type has unique features, the basic approach to each one is the same. There are three things you must do for each set of questions you encounter:
2. Predict the answers
3. Track questions and the speaker
English Olympiad Listening Strategies 1 and 2: Analyzing and Predicting
The first two steps require practice because you must be able to do both quickly during the actual exam. Before each recording, the ENGLISH OLYMPIAD gives you some time (30-40 seconds) to look at the questions in the next section. Some students use this time to check their answers from the previous section, but this is a big mistake. It is very important to study the upcoming questions. Remember, the best approach to ENGLISH OLYMPIAD Listening is to answer questions in your Question Booklet while you’re listening to the speaker. If you try to answer questions without looking at them first, there is a very good chance you’ll get lost and miss the information you need.
• What type of question is this? (Question types are discussed below)
• How should you answer? Look at the directions, which will tell you whether your answer should be a letters, numbers, words, etc.
• What are the keywords in the questions? Quickly underline words and phrases that seem most important in each question, keeping in mind that correct answers are almost always going to be paraphrases of these words. Underlining them helps you to focus your attention on what’s most important as you listen.
For example, you might encounter a Sentence Completion question that looks like this:
After the exam, Marcus scheduled a meeting with_______________________.
These keywords are the concepts you’ll listen for in the passage. As an example, you might hear something like this from the speaker to answer this question:
Marcus: “I feel so disappointed about the test yesterday. I met regularly with a study group to help me prepare and I thought I was ready. But I’ve decided to make an appointment with a tutor since I got such a poor grade. I guess I need more help.”
In the example above, the underlined keywords would help you remember that you need to find 1) who Marcus scheduled a meeting with 2) after the exam. He met with a study group before the exam, but he met with a tutor after he got his disappointing results. Underlining the keywords helps you to keep these concepts straight as you listen to the speaker.
This leads to the second goal during the 30-40 second period you have to examine the questions. This may seem like a lot to accomplish in such a short time, but the second goal is closely related to the first: make predictions.
Very often, when you are underlining key words as you analyze the question, you will come across very useful information that will help you make predictions about answers. For example, let’s take a look at the sentence completion question we just looked at above:
After the exam, Marcus scheduled a meeting with __(noun/person)___.
You could easily predict, based on the sentence alone, that you will need to listen for a noun because the sentence ends with the preposition “with.” Indeed, nouns typically follow prepositions. In fact, it would also be very reasonable to predict that you need to listen for a specific person’s name or a type of person. Since we know, simply based on the information in the sentence, that Marcus just finished an exam and he’s now scheduling a meeting, it would be a very good guess that he might schedule a meeting with someone who is going to offer help.
All of these things are predictions. You won’t know the answers until you actually listen to the passage. However, if you have a good sense of what to listen for based on your predictions, it is much easier to catch the answers while the speakers are talking.
Let’s try some more prediction, this time with a slightly more difficult example. Here are two ENGLISH OLYMPIAD Listening Multiple Choice questions. Without listening to the text, what do you think the answers will probably be?
39. If Americans had an extra day per week, they would spend it
A working harder
B building relationships
C sharing family meals
40. Understanding how people think about time can help us
A become more virtuous
B work together better
C identify careless or ambitious people
You won’t be able to guess the correct answer without listening to the passage. However, there is some very useful information in the questions that you can use to make predictions. For instance, a few of the answer choices relate to the topic of “relationships.” “Building relationships, sharing family meals, and working together better” all fall into this general category. You could predict that if the speaker focuses the discussion on the connection between “time” and personal “relationships,” the correct answers are likely to be one of these answer choices. These kinds of predictions can really help you make decisions when you’re listening closely for answers during the exam.
English OlympiadListening Strategy 3: Track Questions and the Speaker
The final ENGLISH OLYMPIAD Listening strategy is called Tracking. Tracking is something you do while you listen to the recording, and it requires great focus and attention. Basically, your goal is to keep track of where the speaker is in the passage, and which question you should be answering in the Question Booklet at the same time.
Tracking works because ENGLISH OLYMPIAD Listening questions always provide contextual clues to help you know where you should be in the passage. Importantly, ENGLISH OLYMPIAD Listening questions also come in order. In other words, the speaker(s) will provide the answer to question 1 before you will hear the answer to question 2, and so on. Therefore, imagine you are filling in a set of notes based on a professor’s lecture for Section 4 of the Listening exam. In your Question Booklet, you will see the notes with blanks for the information you need to fill in. Tracking successfully in this task means that you will use the information in the notes to determine where the professor is in the lecture.
As you listen, you should focus on the question you’re trying to answer AND you should keep your eye on the next question as well. If you miss an answer to a question, you’ll know because the professor will be discussing something related to the next question, not the one you’re on. In this case, it is very likely that you missed an answer. While that can be frustrating, it is much worse to get completely lost as the speaker is talking. You will have to make a guess about the question you missed in this case. It is more important to continue tracking the speaker and the current question so you don’t get completely lost.