Listening Skills
Listening is the second part of the TOEFL test. Estimate your level of this kind of skills and read about possible improvements you can make.
Listening Skills

Advice for Improvement

• Develop a strategy of practicing your listening skills, gradually increasing the time you listen to the extracts, the length of the texts as well as the difficulty level of the extracts (involving more complicated grammar, vocabulary, sentence structure and text organization).
• Listen to various texts which deal with different topics, starting from the ones you are acquainted with and proceeding to unknown ones.
• Listen to the tape as well as to video/DVD recordings, phone and in personal conversations; include programs on academic topics and such channels as BBC, CNN, NOVA and others in your everyday listening activity.
• Listen actively: take notes on the most important details; ask yourself questions about the primary information (Who? What? Where? Why? When? How?); try to predict, write down new words and summarize in writing the content of the text.
• If there is a possibility listen several times to complicated extracts: first, with English subtitles; then, for general understanding; finally, for determining specific information, understanding the relation between the ideas, their significance in the text and the general attitude of the speaker.

Performance Level – LOW (score 0-13)

If you have scored at the low level, you are very likely to understand simple texts and the most important information in the texts you hear. You, however, experience difficulty when the texts involve more academic or complex vocabulary, grammar and sentence structures. Everything that is explicitly stated either this is main or additional information is understandable to you. You tend to lose track or flow of the conversation if it takes place between several interlocutors who take turns to speak. You may also be unable to differentiate the speaker’s purpose because of the complex grammar structures used for emphasis, for example. You can, nevertheless, draw connections between important ideas, especially if they are repeated several times.

Advice for Improvement

• Practice your listening skills every day increasing the time spent listening and the length of the texts.
• Listen to various texts on a variety of topics: everyday conversations, short TV/DVD programs that involve some academic vocabulary and topics, English lesson, session recordings.
• Choose the topics that are familiar to you, but listen attentively and actively: write down any unknown words to enlarge your vocabulary.
• Ask yourself questions about the essential information you have heard (Who? What? Where? Why? When? How?), predict and summarize the content of the texts.
• Listen to the recordings a number of times, with English subtitles, first, if possible, for general gist and, at the end, for specific important information and understanding of the ideas correlation between each other.

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