IELTS Listening Map Labelling

IELTS Listening Map Labelling

IELTS Listening Map Labelling
IELTS Listening Map Labelling

IELTS Listening Map Labelling

Many of my students find labeling a map to be one of the most difficult questions on the listening test. Listening to directions for a map can be quite tricky for some people. In IELTS listening you often get a map where you have to listen to someone giving directions and then label that map. This lesson should help you when you are faced with this in the exam.

The main language you need here is location language and prepositions of place. This kind of task comes up usually in part 2 of the listening section but you could also get it in the other sections of the listening test. Nearly always it is an open person speaking, such as a tour guide or someone showing people around a building.

Sometimes you will be given a list of words to match the gaps with. Other map, tasks just have a gap, so you will need to pick up the words from listening only.

Common Problems

Students need to come across too much information. Moreover, they are required to be aware of directional language, understanding the diagram and note-taking, all at the same time.

Creating a mental visual image of description is very challenging in case of a very unfamiliar topic. Whereas if you fail to visualize, it might be very difficult for you to answer this question.

Only because of spelling error, many students throw away a lot of marks in this question. It happens because in the listening section you need to do so many tasks at the same time when you are answering this question.

There is some common useful vocabulary that is used in this type of question. If you don’t know these contextual expressions, answering this question might be a very challenging task for you. Check the useful expression list below

There are seven steps to consider here:

1. Read the instructions such as: “Write NO MORE THAN 2 WORDS” or “Write NO MORE THAN 3 WORDS” or “Write the correct letter A to G next to the questions 17 – 20”.

2. Notice clues on the map – There might be a compass icon showing where “North”, “South”, “East” and “West” are. This means it is likely that these phrases will be used in the talk. You are often given your own location – “You are here”.

3. Notice things close by – For example, in the map below “I” and “G” are next to your location so they might be mentioned first (but not always!). Note that some maps will have more labels than you need. So you will have some left over.

4. Listen for context – Before the speaker gives directions he or she will mention what the map is about and where you are right now. In some maps, you do not get a “you are here” label so listen out for where you are exactly.

5. Become familiar with the language of location and direction see more detail on this below.

6. Be careful of your spelling – Make sure you label the map with the right spelling, especially if you are not given a list of words where you can only listen out for the words where you can only listen out for words for each gap.

7. Listen out for signposting languages such as: “We are now at the beginning of the main path…………”/ if you look ahead of you, then you will see…………..”/ “Now can you see the bridge crossing the first pool……?” / “And the last thing to mention is………..” This helps you understand each stage of the talk.


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