IELTS Listening Lesson: training attention, avoiding distractions
It is a very common situation on IELTS Listening when a speaker gives some wrong information, then corrects himself and gives right information. This little trick is called distraction.
You can get distracted by the information you hear the first time, thinking that it is correct. And that’s where a lot of IELTS candidates get caught! The speaker will then correct what he/she said, and give new information, which will be the right answer.
Let's look at the examples below. Listen to the audio and answer the questions. You've also given a transcript with an underlined answer.
Example 1: does a woman have any dietary restrictions?
Man: We provide all the meals so we need to know if you have any dietary restrictions.
Woman: I don’t think so. What do you mean?
Man: If mean if there is any food you can’t eat. Some people have food allergies, or they’re vegetarians or have to avoid dairy products. Things like that.
Woman: Oh, I see. Well, yes, I’m a vegetarian. I never eat meat.
As you can see, the first time speaker says that she has no dietary restrictions. But after that she asks: ”What do you mean?” And only then she gives her final answer: yes, she is a vegetarian.
Example 2: write down the phone number.
Woman: So, your phone number is 1157423.
Man: No, there’s a little mistake. Actually, it’s 1157432.
Woman: Oh, I'm sorry.
The first time your hear the number 1157423. But then the man says that there is a mistake and that the actual phone number is 1157432. So the correct answer is 1157432.
How to avoid distraction mistakes on IELTS Listening?
- Listen carefully even if you’ve heard the answer: it may be corrected and the right answer will come afterwards.
- Pay attention to words-indicators: “no”, “sorry”, “mistake”. These words indicate that the wrong answer will be corrected soon.
- Keep in mind that such distractions are very common for Part 1 of the listening test.
- Be careful when you hear numbers or names: they often get corrected.
So, you've seen the examples and you've got an idea of how to avoid distraction mistakes in IELTS Listening questions. Now it's time for practice! Here are some listening exercises for you. Listen to the audio and answer the questions. You can check your answers and see the explanations.
IELTS Listening exercise 1
Complete the table below. Write NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS for each answer.
Where is a trick here? Actually, the two first questions are direct, but the third one is tricky. When the man says that children’s books are on the second floor too, you may get distracted. But then the woman corrects him: “No, those are magazines and newspapers for adults. Children’s books are up one more flight on the third floor.”
IELTS Listening exercise 2
Listen to the audio and answer the question below.
What is the woman's name?
You can see that the man spells the name, but then the woman says that he made a mistake. In this example, word mistake is an indicator.
IELTS Listening exercise 3
Listen to the audio and tick the correct answers below.
Which water activities are available at Golden Lake Resort?
In this exercise you can be distracted when woman mentions waterskiing. But if you listen attentively you can hear that after that man says that this activity is not permitted.
IELTS Listening exercise 4
Listen to the audio and answer the question below. Write ONLY ONE NUMBER.
What is the price of the tea-pot?$
In this question you can get confused by the price: the first time Sam says that tea-pot costs somewhere around 15$. But don't forget that you're asked about the exact price, so the correct answer is given afterwards.