Robot Carers – IELTS Listening Section 4

IELTS Listening Section 4 is arguably the most difficult part of the listening test. A single speaker delivers a talk or a lecture, and all ten questions have to be answered without a break.

Listen to a talk on robots as carers for the elderly and answer the questions.
Fill in the gaps with one word or a number!

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IELTS Listening – credit card numbers

(For more IELTS Listening Section 1 spelling practice, try these names and postcodes!)

Credit card numbers come in a predictable format – four groups of four digits, for example:

4567 5678 6789 7890

Zero‘ can also be read ‘oh‘, and sequences of the same digit can be read as ‘double‘, ‘triple‘, etc.

See if you can ‘spell’ these credit card numbers: Continue reading

IELTS Listening – spelling postcodes

(For more IELTS Listening Section 1 spelling practice, try these names and credit cards!)

Postcodes can be problematic in IELTS Listening Section 1. However, if you are aware of the predictable formats of postcodes then recognising them becomes easier. UK postcodes all fit the following pattern:

So that’s: one or two letters + a number + another number + one or two letters

And remember that the number ‘zero’ can also be read ‘oh’!

See if you can ‘spell’ these postcodes: Continue reading

Eyeing the perfect past

In this post we’re looking closely at, or eyeing, past perfect tense. In a previous post I showed that past perfect tense is probably not very useful in IELTS writing and speaking. It belongs more to the narrative genre, and in IELTS we don’t write stories!

When I explain this to students and they look at me as though they don’t really believe me, and so we go ahead and look at a story to see how past perfect works.

The following video contains a story, and I have devised a listening activity to help you to focus on the use of past perfect in the story. If you’re not sure how past perfect works, please see my earlier post for an explanation and examples before continuing with the listening.

  1. Watch / Listen to the story and write down (on a piece of paper) all of the verbs that relate to events in the story, one after the other, as you hear them. Pause the video occasionally to give yourself time to write. Do that now. The next instruction follows the video.
  1. After you have watched the video / listened to the story, look at your list of verbs (events) and number the events as they actually happened in time (chronologically): First thing that happened ‘1’, second event ‘2’, third event ‘3’, etc.
  2. Next, compare the sequence of events that you have written down with your numbered chronological sequence. You will find that not all of the events in the video are mentioned chronologically beginning with the earliest and ending with the final event.
  3. Identify the events in the video that are mentioned outside of the chronological sequence and write these events in the comments box below this post. What tense is used to introduce these ‘out of sequence’ events in the video?

As usual, I look forward to reading your comments!

The moon is not made of cheese

The following 10 statements about our moon all contain factual errors.

Listen to David Rothery talking about our moon and correct the statements. (print statements here)

  1. Our moon is the only moon that doesn’t have a particular colour.
  2. It’s not just the moon that causes bubbles in the Earth’s oceans.
  3. Pieces of the moon sometimes move around.
  4. As everybody knows, the moon has a dark side.
  5. It was the discovery of the moons of Jupiter that first demonstrated that not all motion in the universe goes around the Sun.
  6. Only planets can have moons.
  7. Most moons orbit in the same direction that their planet is orbiting.
  8. Saturn’s moon Io is the most volcanically active body in the solar system.
  9. Some moons are so cold that the ice on the surface behaves just like ice from the fridge.
  10. Moons such as Jupiter’s Europa are some of the more likely places where water could be found.

Key – Corrected moon facts!

  1. Our moon is the only moon that doesn’t have its own name.
  2. It’s not just the moon that causes tides in the Earth’s oceans.
  3. Pieces of the moon sometimes fall to earth.
  4. Contrary to belief, there is no dark side of the moon.
  5. It was the discovery of the moons of Jupiter that first demonstrated that not all motion in the universe goes around the Earth.
  6. It’s not just planets that can have moons.
  7. Most moons orbit in the same direction that their planet is spinning.
  8. Jupiter’s moon Io is the most volcanically active body in the solar system.
  9. Some moons are so cold; the ice on the surface behaves just like rock.
  10. Moons such as Jupiter’s Europa are some of the more likely places where alien life could be found.