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STRATEGIES FOR B2 FIRST AND C1 ADVANCED LISTENING PART 2

Listening Part Two in the B1 First and C2 Advanced exam is a gap-fill exercise. You are given a number of sentences with gaps and you need to complete the gaps with a word or short phrase. Here are some strategies that you can use to try to get the answers correct.

Firstly, you have time to read the text before you listen, so read it! But you need to read quickly because there isn’t a lot of time for this.

When you read, use the context to tell you the type of word or words you need to complete the gaps with – do you need a noun, an adjective, a verb, an adverb, etc.?

Also, use the context to predict the type of information that goes in the gap. This will help you to know what to listen for.

When you complete the gaps, you must use the exact word or words that you hear in the listening.

It is difficult to write one answer and continue to listen for the next one. Therefore, instead of trying to write the whole word or short phrase, just write an abbreviation (for example, the first letter of the word(s)). Then after you listen, you can write the full answer. Doing this means you can spend more time concentrating on listening and less time thinking about writing.

You listen twice. Use the first listening to listen for the answer; use the second listening to check that your answer is correct.

After you have completed the answers, read the sentences again to check that they make sense. The sentences always make sense when they are completed with the right answer. If the sentence makes sense, your answer could be correct; if the sentence does not make sense, you answer will not be correct.

ALWAYS GIVE AN ANSWER! You do not lose any marks for wrong answers, so if you are not sure, just guess – you might be correct and then you’ll get a point!

In the listening exam, you have a question paper and an answer sheet. After you have completed all parts of the listening exam (Part 1, 2, 3 & 4), there is time for you to transfer your answers from the question paper to the answer sheet. You must do this! If you don’t do it, you won’t get any marks! The answer sheet is sent to Cambridge and is marked, but the question paper is destroyed!

So, try out these strategies when you do practice tests, find out which ones work for you and then use them in the exam too. Good luck!

For more information about studying General English, Cambridge Exam Preparation or IELTS Exam Preparation courses with Europeak Reading or Eurospeak Southampton, please contact us on:

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LINKING WORDS & EXPRESSIONS

When you speak and when you write, it’s important to link what you say together. One way that you can do this is by using linking words and expressions, so here are some that you can try out.

To add more information:

in addition

furthermore

moreover

For contrast:

but

though

however

nevertheless

To introduce reasons:

for this reason

it follows that

on account of this

To introduce results:

as a result

in consequence

arising from this

For purpose:

for this purpose

to this end

with this in mind

in order to

For more information about studying General English, Cambridge Exam Preparation or IELTS Exam Preparation courses with Europeak Southampton or Eurospeak Reading, please contact us on:

Eurospeak Southampton
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Southampton
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+44 (0) 2380 636 494
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www.eurospeak.ac.uk

Eurospeak Reading
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Reading
Berkshire
RG1 2HX
+44 (0) 1189 589 599
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www.eurospeak.ac.uk

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Improving Your Listening by Having Conversations

Why are you learning English? For most people, the answer is to be able to speak to others. But when you speak, you also need to listen. Therefore, a great way to practise listening is to have conversations with people in English.There are a number of steps you can take to do this successfully.

  1. First, consider the situation where the conversation will happen. What kind of vocabulary are you likely to hear in that situation? If there are words that you don’t already know, try to learn them beforehand so you can recognise them when somebody says them.
  2. Next, when you’re having the conversation, don’t worry about trying to understand every single word – you will not be able to do this and it’s also not necessary! What’s more important is to listen for the specific information that you need to continue the conversation. So just listen for this.
  3. But what if I still don’t understand enough? That’s okay too because you can ask people to repeat themselves and you can even sound like a native speaker by using some of these expressions:
  • Sorry, I didn’t catch that.
  • Huh?
  • Come again?
  • What was that?

So, go out, speak and listen to people. Try to implement these three steps and when you have conversations in English, you may well find that listening is easier.

For more information about studying General English, Cambridge Exam Preparation or IELTS Exam Preparation courses with Europeak Southampton or Eurospeak Reading, please contact us on:

Eurospeak Southampton
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Southampton
Hampshire
SO15 2BH
+44 (0) 2380 636 494
hello@eurospeak.ac.uk
www.eurospeak.ac.uk

Eurospeak Reading
29a Chain Street
Reading
Berkshire
RG1 2HX
+44 (0) 1189 589 599
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www.eurospeak.ac.uk

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IDIOMS & ANSWERS

Do you know the meaning of these frequently used English idioms?

Let’s see!

  1. Idiom: See eye to eye
  • Meaning: to agree
  • Example: My finacé and I really saw eye to eye on the wedding arrangements.

2. Idiom: Once in a blue moon

  • Meaning: something that happens very rarely.
  • Example: I don’t really like fish so I only go to seafood restaurants once in a blue moon.

3. Idiom: When pigs fly

  • Meaning: something that is very unlikely to happen or will never happen.
  • Example:  I’ll get a pay rise when pigs fly.

4. Idiom: To cost an arm and a leg

  • Meaning: to be very expensive.
  • Example: Houses cost an arm and a leg these days.

5. Idiom: A Piece of Cake

  • Meaning: something that is very easy.
  • Example: Speaking English is a piece of cake 😉

For more information about studying General English, Cambridge Exam Preparation or IELTS Exam Preparation courses with Europeak Southampton or Eurospeak Reading, please contact us on:

Eurospeak Southampton
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Southampton
Hampshire
SO15 2BH
+44 (0) 2380 636 494
hello@eurospeak.ac.uk
www.eurospeak.ac.uk

Eurospeak Reading
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Reading
Berkshire
RG1 2HX
+44 (0) 1189 589 599
info@eurospeak.ac.uk
www.eurospeak.ac.uk

 

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BEGINNING & ENDING AN INFORMAL EMAIL OR LETTER

When you write an email or a letter to a friend or family member, it is usually appropriate to write informally. Here are some informal words and expressions that can help you to begin and end your emails or letters in an informal way.

Formal email / letters start with Dear, but when you’re writing to a friend, you can be much more, well, friendly. You could try these ways of saying hello:

  • Hi, Hiya, Hey, Heeeeellllllllloooooo,

You may want to follow any of the above with your friend’s name, but always use a comma at the end.

Next, move down two lines and start with a capital letter, but what can you write here? Here are some suggestions:

  • This is just a quick email / letter to say…

It was great to hear from you.

Thanks for your email / letter.

Sorry I’ve taken so long to write back.

Of course, you then need to write the main body of your email / letter. When you get to the end, you could try finishing with one of these expressions:

  • Well, that’s all for now.

Give my love to everyone.

Don’t forget to write soon.   

followed by:

  • See you soon,

See ya soon, (ya is a very informal way of writing you)

All the best,

Lots of love,

and your name – don’t forget your own name – that’s very important!

So, the next time you’re writing an email or a letter to a friend, try using some of these expressions to set an informal tone.