Study English - Series 2, Episode 21: Health

Uploaded by australianetwork on 15.06.2011

Hello. I'm
Margot Politis. Welcome to Study English, IELTS preparation.
The focus of today's lesson is the IELTS Listening Test.
In the IELTS Listening Test, you will be tested on your ability to understand spoken English
in a variety of contexts, so it's important to develop a range of skills that will help
you with your listening.
A good way to prepare for the test is to develop your previewing and predicting skills. These
strategies will help improve your listening comprehension.
Let's imagine this graphic is a written part of a listening test - a fact sheet.
You are always given 30 seconds to familiarise yourself with the questions before the listening
section is played.
This is when you'll need to use your previewing and predicting skills. They will help you
learn as much as possible before you listen, so you will know what you will be listening
to and what you need to listen for.
Let's start previewing and predicting. Look at the section again. Think about the following
What is the topic?
Who is speaking?
Where are they?
Why are they talking?
OK. Let's think about the first question you should ask: What is the topic?
We know from the title of the fact sheet that this section will be about 'health and well-being.
Next: Who is speaking?
Because this is a section3 of an IELTS Listening Test, we know that it will be a conversation
between 2 to 4 speakers about an educational topic. The speakers could be teachers or students.
Where are they?
We could guess they are at university. Why are they talking?
We know from the fact sheet that they are discussing a health study.
These previewing and predicting skills are very important. You should go through these
steps before the actual listening test begins, so you are properly prepared.
It's important to look at the key words in the questions to determine what kind of information
you need to listen for.
The key words are highlighted:
How many children are being tracked?
We need to listen for a number.
What are the researchers checking?
We need to listen for something about the children's health.
How old are the participants?
We're listening for age.
Another skill the listening test assesses is your ability to follow instructions correctly.
If we look again at the written part of the test, what does the question ask us to do?
To answer using no more than 3 words or a number. You must read and follow this instruction
Remember that the listening test is played once only, so it is important to prepare yourself
Let's listen now. The announcer would start off by saying something like:
You are going to hear a passage about a study on the health and well-being of children.
Listen to the talk, and complete the notes.
For the past two decades, scientists have been tracking the health and well being of
7,500 Queensland children in a unique long-term study. It's rather like a scientific version
of the documentary series '7 Up'. Every few years, researchers revisit the participants
to check their growth and record their thoughts on life. Now, those chosen to take part in
the study as babies are coming of age, turning 21 and the data they've provided is giving
valuable insights into just why some children are healthier than others.
Well done! Now let's move on.
Now we're going to talk about listening for main ideas and supporting information.
This is important to test your ability to identify and understand the relationship between
ideas, such as: comparisons, examples, facts, opinions, cause and effect.
Here's an example. I'm going to give some information about sport. Identify what my
main idea is, and what information I provided to support my main idea.
Sport provides numerous benefits. Participation in sport can have a positive effect on a person's
well being, and at the same time improve their coordination. Also, it has been proven to
help fight disease.
One way your comprehension might be tested is with a summary completion test.
Let's imagine this next graphic is part of a listening test where you have to complete
the summary.
Here's our three-step strategy:
Skim the summary to get a general understanding
While skimming highlight the key words in the sentences
Then, think about the word form that is needed for each answer.
Having skimmed the question, we know that it is about a scientific study on the health
of young people.
The key words are: young people, alcohol, drugs, data, things, happened, how.
What is the word form we need in Question 1?
The study focused on young people who have a _____ on alcohol.
Before the blank we have a determiner, a, while the preposition on follows the blank.
We need a noun.
What word form do we need in Question 2?
After the pronoun she/he, which also functions as a subject, we need a verb.
Look at the other verbs - The verbs pointed and happened in the sentence are in the past
tense. We need a past tense verb.
We have now prepared ourselves for this section of the listening test.
Let's listen now. The announcer would start off by saying something like:
You are going to hear a Professor talking about his investigation into the mental and
physical health of young people. Listen to the talk, and complete the summary.
For me, it's compelling. It's totally compelling. You look at someone at 21 who, say, has a
dependence on alcohol or is using illicit drugs or has a serious mental illness or is
violent and perhaps already in prison, and you look back through 21 years of that person's
life; you've collected data periodically, and you look at the range of things that have
happened to that person and the ways that person's responded.
Well done! If you practise your listening skills and strategies you will be better prepared
for the IELTS Listening Test!
Always remember our three-step strategy for summary completion tasks.
Skim the summary to get a general understanding. Remember a summary is a short presentation
of what you hear.
While skimming, highlight the keywords in the sentences.
Choose the correct word from noun, adjective, verb, adverb that's needed. Remember look
before and after the blank space. The strategies for answering questions that
test this skill are covered on our Study English website. Just go to
That's all for today. I'll see you next time. Bye bye.