Following A Lecture Or Talk

In this post, we will look at how to follow a lecture or talk in the listening test.

The questions in the IELTS Listening Test will ask you to focus on the key points given by the speakers, so it is important for you to practice identifying the key points in a talk or lecture.

Exercise 1

Listen to the TED Talk below and answer the following questions >>

  • What are the key points?

Which of the following describes the main topic of the talk?

  • Explaining how the refugee crisis is growing
  • Describing how the refugee crisis is slowing down
  • How to rebuild places that have been destroyed by war

Answers are at the bottom of the page.

Exercise 2

You may be asked to complete a summary in the listening paper that summarises the content of the talk or lecture you have heard. 

Listen to the lecture below (only once), then complete the summary >>

Write NO MORE THAN ONE WORD for each answer


Lead was used for years in many household items including 1. ………………………… It can cause many health issues including rashes, abdominal pains and 2. ………………………… The effects of this can be really serious in young children, as their brains are constantly growing at a fast rate. For them, it can cause 3. …………………………….. memory loss and behavioural issues. Lead can block chemical signals and weaken 4. …………………………………

Answers at the bottom of the page.

Exercise 3

Listen to the TED Talk below and answer the following questions >>

  1. What is the purpose of the talk?
  2. What illness did the speaker have?
  3. How did she feel?
  4. What was the name of her nurse?
  5. What did the nurse believe?
  6. What did they talk about?
  7. How long did the speaker spend documenting nurses for her book?
  8. What were the issues she looked at?
  9. Who was the first nurse she met?
  10. What did the Native American patient bring to the ICU?
  11. Who was the second nurse?
  12. Who was the third?
  13. Where was he a nurse?
  14. He is both a nurse and a _____?
  15. Who is the fourth nurse she met?
  16. What did she do to introduce therapy to her patients?

Answers at the bottom of the page.


TIP >> It is important that you read the questions and familiarise yourself with the content you are looking at before you start listening. 

TIP >> Listen out for the speaker introducing themselves and the talk, this might help you to follow the information and focus.

TIP >> Listen carefully for information but be wary of distractors. 

TIP >> Make short notes during the talk when listening for specific information.  

Answers >>

Exercise 1

Key Points 

  • The refugee crisis is growing.
  • The refugee children want to have an education.
  • Individual stories from refugees – are the examples given to support the seriousness of this crisis.
  • The public should invest in the future of refugees, with skills and education.

Main topic = Explaining how the refugee crisis is growing

Exercise 2

1. paint

2. anemia

3. headaches

4. neurones

Exercise 3

1. To give acknowledge and give credit to nurses 

2. Breast cancer 

3. Terrified and scared. 

4. Joanne Staha 

5. That her life will be back to normal again 

6. They talked about her boyfriends, the plan to look for an apartment in New York and her reaction to chemotherapy 

7. 5 years 

8. Public health issues; ageing, wars, poverty and prisons 

9. Bridget Kumbella 

10. Bunch of feathers 

11. Jason Short 

12. Brian Mcmillion 

13. Germany 

14. Soldier 

15. Sister Stephen 

16. Baby animals like baby ducks and baby lambs.

We hope you found this post useful in helping you to study for the IELTS Test. If you have any questions please let us know in the comments below or on the Facebook page.

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