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Listening for Correct Spelling

In the Listening Section-1, there are always at least one question for which the answer will be the name of a person, place, organisation, date, address, time, etc. So, you have to listen carefully. Usually, difficult names will be spelt out for you. If the spelling of your answer is incorrect (means you commit a spelling mistake), then your answer will be marked wrong and you will lose a point. Here you have to keep two things in mind.

  1. Double check your spellings when you transfer the answers to the answer sheet. This is the time to check and make sure everything is correct.

  2. If you are the type who prefers to write short forms for big words like blkbrd for blackboard, hos for hospital, etc while listening to the recording, you do not need to worry. But, be careful about writing the full word in correct spelling when you transfer your answers to the answer sheet.

As mentioned above, for difficult words and names, you may have the answer spelled out for you. For example, one of the speakers might spell their name, and you have to copy it down. It might be a dialogue like this:

 Speaker 1 - And your name please, for the delivery form?
 Speaker 2 - It’s McDougal.
 Speaker 1 - McDougal? Can you spell that for me please?
 Speaker 2 - Sure. M-C-D-O-U-G-A-L.
 Speaker 1- OK, thank you Ms McDougal. 

This can present a number of challenges if you are not used to listening to words being spelt out in English:

  1. Some English letters sound similar to each other: m and n, for example, are very similar so you have to listen carefully.

  2. Some English letters sound like different letters in other languages. For instance, j in English sounds like g in French.

  3. Two English letters may simply sound the same in your language. A Spanish speaker might find it difficult to tell the difference between b and v.


You can overcome these problems by practising. Start with this video, which will take you through all the letters of the alphabet as they are pronounced in English, and give you plenty of practice.

  1. Watch the first 45 seconds of the video. Stop it. Repeat the letters. Check that you are pronouncing them correctly. You can do this by playing each letter, then repeating it. Alternatively, read the whole alphabet into the audio recorder on your phone. Then alternately play the video and your recording to make sure they sound the same.

  2. Start the video again (at approximately 1 minute) and switch off your monitor or cover your laptop screen. Write the words you hear on a piece of paper. You may find the words (e.g. apple) fairly simple. Remember that you are focusing on the way the letters are pronounced rather than trying to recognise the words.

  3. Switch your monitor back on, watch from 00:47, and check your spelling.

Now complete all the Quizzes in the ‘Lesson Content’ box below. Completing these Quizzes is essential to practice what you have just learnt. At the end of the quiz correct answers will be revealed with explanation.

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