Shortcut: Becoming a Strategic Listener

listening x Listening to a recording is different than listening to people speaking to you in reality. In real life, you can ask people to slow down or to use other words. Of course, that does not work with a CD! Here is some advice on what you should do when listening to a recorded text.


Before listening
Use the same strategies you use for reading. Look at the title, the illustrations and the introduction.
First you need to know why you are listening. Examples:
- If you listen for the main idea, write down only the most important things you hear.
- If you are going to do tasks afterwards, read the tasks before you listen.
- If you need to know all the facts, stop the recording while you listen so that you can write down as much as possible.


While listening
Remember that you can listen as many times as you need. You can also stop the track to make notes.
Listen carefully for:
- Words that are easy to confuse with other words, such as is and was, his and hers, did and didn’t
- Words that are repeated. They are usually important words.
- The speaker’s feelings. Does he or she seem angry or sad, for example?
- Linking words, such as but or however.
- Numbers!


Take notes while you listen:
- First, only the most important things.
- Only key words, never whole sentences.
- Each idea on a separate line.


After listening
Check you notes. What new things have you learned about the topic?