Listening Test Section 1
Listening Test Section 2
Listening Test Section 3
Remember that section 4 of the IELTS listening test is a monologue, typically a lecture in an academic context. This section of our test will begin with a Summary Completion Question Type.
Completing a Summary
- Make sure you read and understand the summary of the text before you listen.
- Predict what kind of information is missing in each gap. Could it be a name/place/date/time/verb/adjective? etc.
- If you miss an answer, just move on to the next gap. When the recording has finished, you can go back and guess any answers that you missed.
Practice Task 1 | Understand the Summary
Practice Task 2 | What Information is Missing?
Questions 31 – 36
We see that ‘roughly’ is a synonym of ‘around’. The mention of Birmingham makes this question simpler.
We know we are looking for a time period here, and the words ‘settlement’ and ‘Anglo Saxons’ prepares us for the answer.
We hear a synonym of ‘written mention’ with ‘written records’.
When we hear the name Lord John Courtances we should be prepared to write the answer. ‘(merchants) moved to the town…’ is paraphrased here with ‘merchants rented buildings’ and later ‘…became a place of work for…merchants’.
This question is made simpler by both the audio and summary using the word ‘attended’. We should be ready for this answer as soon as we hear Shakespeare’s name.
Press play below to listen again and read the script. Write down new words and find their meanings in a dictionary. Also memorize their pronunciation and the context they are used in.
Stratford-upon-Avon is a small town of roughly 25,000 inhabitants which is found in the county of Warwickshire in the West Midlands of England. The town is roughly 22 miles South East of Birmingham and 100 miles North West of London. The pretty town is most famous for being the home of England’s most beloved playwright and poet, William Shakespeare, and for this reason it receives 2.5 million visitors a year. The town is also home to the Royal Shakespeare Company which is based in Stratford’s very own Royal Shakespeare Theatre.
Although most people only know about Stratford because of Shakespeare, the history of the town actually goes back much farther. The very name of the town, Stratford-upon-Avon, is derived from the old English words for street and ford, or river crossing and this gives an indication of the age of the settlement. The street referred to is of Roman origin and is known as the Fosse Way. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the invading Anglo Saxons built the first settlement at what would one day become known as Stratford-upon-Avon in the seventh century. However, very little is known about the early history of the town.
Stratford’s first mention in the written records was after the Norman conquest in the twelfth century. At this time, it seems that the village of Stratford belonged to the church of Worcester. By the late twelfth century a local aristocrat, Lord John Courtances, had control of the village and decided to develop it in to a market town. A new town was designed and laid out on a grid system in the year 1196. Local merchants rented buildings in the town in order to trade and do business. At this time, markets could only be held if the king granted a market permit. King Richard I granted a permit for a weekly market to be held in Stratford and this lead to Stratford’s development as a prosperous small market town.
Lord John’s plans to develop Stratford into a town meant Stratford became a place of work for tradesmen and merchants. By 1252 the town had approximately 240 properties for rent, as well as shops, stalls and other buildings.
Shakespeare was born in 1564 in Stratford. In fact, the house he is believed to have been born in, little changed from the sixteenth century, can still be visited. He attended King’s New School in the town, which to this day, is still a functioning school, however, these days, both boys and girls can attend the institution. Shakespeare made his name in London, but later retired to Stratford in his old age, where he bought property and later died of unknown causes. Some sources attribute his death to an ‘overly merry night’ drinking with Ben Jonson in 1616.
In 1769, the actor David Garrick staged a major Shakespeare festival over three days which saw the construction of a theatre and the influx of many visitors. This really started the modern tourist trade in Stratford which is still booming year on year with ever growing numbers of visitors fascinated by the life and the work of Stratford’s great playwright.