6 Apr 2018

About Pre-A1 Starters Listening Part 3 – and How to do well

In this post, we’ll examine Pre-A1 Starters Part 3 Listening.

As you can see from the start of this sample Part 3, (from Sample Papers Volume 1), candidates have to answer 5 questions.

There is an example which shows us the format: They have to answer a question by putting a tick under the picture that shows the answer to the question.

Let’s look at the tapescript for the example.  We can see that all three animals are mentioned.  The woman (the mum) asks her daughter (May)  if Alex has got a fish in his bedroom.  The daughter tells her mum that Alex has got a lizard.  Then the mother mentions the snake.

So, in this part, students need to know that all the pictures will be mentioned in the conversation.

As in all parts of the Pre-A1 Starters Listening, it is very clear who is speaking.  Here, we have a woman talking to a girl.

Let’s look at the questions and pictures that students have to answer:

The five questions are printed on the Test, above the pictures and students also hear these questions on the recording.

You can see that there is a range of topics that are covered in this Part.  Here, we have family, activities, food, adjectives (age, etc) and clothes.

Let’s look at the tapescript for the questions.

Question 1 is interesting, isn’t it?  For this question, we don’t hear a description of each of the pictures, but rather, we get the answer by counting the number of people in the picture (3) as well as the fact that it’s the grandpa, not the grandma in the picture.  We discard pictures A and C when we hear the last part of the conversation:

Where’s your dad and grandma?

They’re not in this picture, May.

Each conversation is a separate one.  We have different speakers talking, so different voices.  As I said before, it is always easy to tell who’s speaking in each case.

The answer can come at any time – it can be the first thing mentioned (Question 1), or the second (Question 3) or final one.  (Question 2).  Or, the answer might be a combination of the things we hear (for Question 4 the dog is dirty and young)  (for Question 5, the girl is wearing jeans and an T-shirt.)

So, students should NOT just choose a picture because they have heard the word for it.

And finally, I’ll just point out the pauses between the questions on the recording.  The first time they listen, students will have a three second pause after they hear the question.  This can give them time to glance at the three pictures.  They also have a five second pause after the conversation.  This gives them plenty of time to choose the picture and put a tick to show their answer.

The second time, there is no pause after the question, but they still get the 5 seconds after each conversation.


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