English & EAL

EAL Listening Practice

October 1, 2021

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For an overview of the EAL study design plus tips and tricks for reading comprehension, time management and more, check out The Ultimate Guide to EAL.

The listening tasks of the EAL exam are worth 20% of the total exam marks.  Since this section was introduced to the exam fairly recently, limited past exam questions are available for students to practice. In my blog post EAL Listening Practice and Resources, I provide you with some awesome listening resources that you should definitely check out! And more importantly, I teach you a step-by-step approach for how to use those listening resources to help you better prepare for EAL listening. If you haven’t already read that blog post, go and check it out before coming back to this one so that you understand the steps we’re following.

Here we’ll be working through another exam-style practice to help us improve on the EAL listening section. We will be adopting the same strategies introduced in EAL Listening Practice and Resources. For more advice on how to boost your skills in the listening section, check out Tips on EAL Listening.

Use this link to access the audio clip that we’ll be using in this listening practice: Hospital Parking Fees - Classroom - BTN (abc.net.au)

Download this worksheet so that you can work through this listening task on your own too!

1st Time Listening

Step 1:  Read and Annotate Background Information (below)

  • Highlight the name of the speakers.
  • Underline important information.

Step 2:  Read and Annotate the Questions 

Develop a system that works well for you personally. For example, I usually underline the keywords that give me information on ‘what’, ‘why’, ‘how’, ‘where’, ‘when’. I highlight the speakers in the example below. 

Step 3: Listen to the Audio (Without the Visual)

Hospital Parking Fees - Classroom - BTN (abc.net.au)

Step 4: Write Down Side Notes

2nd Time Listening  

Step 1: Fill in the blanks and try to be aware of words you don’t quite ‘get’.

This is where you have the opportunity to fill in the blanks for the challenging words that you did not pick up in the first round. For example: petition, democratic, campaign, rare. 

COMMON MISTAKE: check the spelling for ‘rare’, not ‘rear’

Step 2: Note down how the speakers convey their attitude, feeling, ideas, etc.

Let's take a look at this section of the audio clip:

GIDON: ‘It gives me a really good feeling to know that I've made a change, that change has happened. I think what I would like to say to all the other people, especially kids who want to start change, is that it really does sometimes seem impossible that someone that doesn't have a vote and who doesn't have as much democratic power really as adults do, I think what this has shown is that it really is possible to do these things that we still can affect our country and that small people can make great change.’ 

Here’s one way I analysed the delivery of the audio:

The cheerful and hopeful tone used to deliver the message that the change brings him ‘a really good feeling’ demonstrates Gidon’s approval of the change in parking fees. Furthermore, Gidon states this in a high pitch and fast pace, unveiling that he is pleased and satisfied about the reduction in hospital parking fees

Step 3: Interaction between speakers. 

This step does not apply to this particular audio clip since the audio/ video is a recount of the event rather than direct conversation between two or more speakers. 

3rd Time Listening  

The transcript is available HERE

Whilst reading through the transcript with the audio on, try and pick up any information that you missed in previous rounds of listening and also words that you might have spelt incorrectly. 

Sample Questions and Answers

Have a go at these VCAA-style questions that I wrote up, and then check out my sample answers to see how your own answers compare. You will probably notice that a lot of the information you gather from the ‘W’ words actually provides you with the answers to the majority of the questions here.

Sample Questions

Sample Answers

1.  Gidon’s petition is about lowering the fee for parking in hospitals and putting a limit on how much the hospital can charge.

2. Gidon has a rare blood condition which means he visits the hospital quite regularly. Since his diagnosis, Gidon’s family paid more than ten thousand dollars just to visit the hospital.

3.  When hospital parking fees are too expensive, patients will buy food and other necessities instead of going to the hospital. Thus, patients may not go to the hospital because parking is too expensive, these poor patients need to choose between paying parking fees and buying food. 

4. Regular hospital attendants will receive a 90% discount on what they are currently paying.

 5. Families, patients and carers for regular visitors of public hospitals.

COMMON MISTAKE: check the spelling for ‘carer’, not ‘career’ or ‘carrier’

6. Gidon is very happy and proud of the change in hospital fees. Gidon uses a cheerful and hopeful tone (1st mark) to deliver the message that the change brings him ‘a really good feeling’ and he feels ‘unbelievably proud’ that ‘small people can make great change’ (2nd mark). In addition, Gidon states this in a high pitch and fast pace, demonstrating that he is pleased and satisfied with the reduction in hospital parking fees (3rd mark).

I hope you found this guide handy! For further tips and tricks on tackling the EAL Listening Exam, check out How To ACE the EAL Listening Exam.

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