How to Assess Listening: Guide & Tasks

Today you are going to learn how to assess Listening skills, a receptive skill which contributes greatly to the improvement of our ability to speak.

Assessing listening skills is important for several reasons, as it plays a crucial role in various aspects of personal, academic, and professional development:

  • Communication Skills: Listening is a fundamental aspect of effective communication. Assessing listening skills helps individuals understand and respond appropriately to spoken information, fostering better communication in both personal and professional settings.
  • Professional Competence: Many professions require strong listening skills. Professionals need to understand instructions, communicate with colleagues and clients, and extract critical information from meetings and presentations. Assessments help identify and develop these crucial skills in the workplace.
  • Language Proficiency: Assessing listening skills is an integral part of evaluating overall language proficiency. It provides insights into an individual’s ability to comprehend spoken language, which is essential for effective communication in multilingual and multicultural contexts.

Now let’s learn different types of listening performance and different types of tasks we can use to assess them

Types of Listening Performance

These are the five types of listening performance

  • Intensive: Listening for perceptions, phonemes, intonations and discourse markers.
  • Responsive: Listening to a short stretch of language so you can make an equally short response
  • Selective: This type of listening performance requires that the learner listen for specific pieces of information.
  • Extensive: Listening to lengthy lectures or conversation in order to get the general idea of something. Listening for gist, listening for the main idea and making inferences are part of effective listening.

Assessment Tasks to Assess Listening

There are the most common tasks to assess listening

Recognizing Phonological and Morphological Elements

Test Takers hearHe is from California
Test Takers readA) He is from California
B) She is from California

Paraphrase Recognition

Test Takers hearM name is Sue and I come from Japan
Test Takers readA) She wants to go to Japan
B) Sue is Japanese

Responsive Listening

Test Takers hearHow much time did it take?
Test Takers readA) about $10
B) about an hour
c) Yes, I did

Listening Cloze

My name is Adam. I always _____________ up at 7 o’clock in the morning then I ___________ my face and brush my teeth. After that,  I do some _____________ then I put my clothes on and prepare my school bag. Next, I have my breakfast and _________ for the school bus.

Information Transfer

Test Takers see

Oraciones con Get

Test Takers hear

AThree men are having a beer
BThree bearded men are having a beer

Manuel Campos, English Professor

Manuel Campos

I am Jose Manuel, English professor and creator of, a blog whose mission is to share lessons for those who want to learn and improve their English