How to Assess Listening: Guide & Tasks

Manuel Campos


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.

Listening is a skill which is overrated however we don’t have to forget that our ability to speak is closely related to our ability to listen.

There are the different aspects that you should pay attention when assessing listening, These factors can be called types of listening performance.

These are the five of them:

  • 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

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

Related Information

These are some resources that you might be interested in

  1. How to Assess Listening
  2. How to Assess Speaking Skills
  3. What are Objective and Subjective Tests?
  4. Reliability, Validity and Practicality
  5. How to Assess Grammar and Lexis
  6. How to Assess Writing Skills
  7. How to Assess Reading Skills
Manuel Campos, Docente de Inglés

About 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

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