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IELTS Preparation Series 3, Episode 15: Listening for Signpost Words


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0:12

Hello, and welcome to Study English, IELTS Preparation. I'm Margot Politis.

0:18

In this episode we'll look at signpost words. These are words and phrases that help the

0:24

listener follow what someone is saying, and work out what they are about to say.

0:30

Listen to this woman talking about Chinese New year in Melbourne:

0:34

Well, she's visiting from Vietnam, and we're just here to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

0:40

I guess it's more quieter here. I mean, it's pretty noisy today, but over in Vietnam, it'd

0:43

be, like, much bigger, yep. There'd be a lot more people around as well.

0:47

When she says 'I mean', the listener knows she is about to explain more about her statement.

0:54

Listen again:

0:54

Well, she's visiting from Vietnam, and we're just here to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

0:55

I guess it's more quieter here. I mean, it's pretty noisy today, but over in Vietnam, it'd

0:58

be, like, much bigger, yep.

1:05

Recognising signpost words and anticipating what the speaker will say are important skills

1:11

for the IELTS Listening Test.

1:14

In the test a speaker may use a technical term you don't know, but if you are listening

1:21

carefully you might also hear a definition of it.

1:24

In the next clip the speaker is talking about the problem of running out of fuel.

1:29

Listen for the technical term and its definition:

1:34

This is a worldwide problem - increasing traffic - not only because it's clogging our roads

1:40

but because of the fuels it uses. And whether vehicles use petrol or diesel or liquefied

1:46

petroleum gas, it all comes from under the ground and we're running out of it, which

1:52

is why researchers are now turning to biofuels - fuels that can be grown instead of mined.

2:00

There are a number of signpost words here. When the speaker says 'not only because' and

2:07

'but because' the listener knows he is about to give two reasons why increasing traffic

2:13

is a problem. Listen again:

2:16

This is a worldwide problem - increasing traffic - not only because it's clogging our roads

2:23

but because of the fuels it uses.

2:25

He also uses the words 'whether' and 'or'. This tells the listener he is about to mention

2:32

two alternative scenarios:

2:35

And whether vehicles use petrol or diesel or liquefied petroleum gas, it all comes from