IELTS Listening Strategy # 7 Ask Yourself Questions about the IELTS Listening

Look at the following dialogue in this example from Section 1 of the listening.

As you read the dialogue, ask yourself these four questions:

  1. What is happening in this situation?
  2. Who is asking for information?
  3. Who is giving information?
  4. What type of information are they giving/asking for?

(Sound of phone ringing two times)

A:  Good afternoon, Seasons Restaurant. How can I help you?
B:   Hello. I’d like to confirm a booking I made last week for a table tonight.
A:   Certainly, can I have your name please?
B:   Yes, Kelvin Jacobson.
A:  How do I spell Jacobson?
B:  That’s J-A-C-O-B-S-O-N.
A:   Thank you. Just wait a moment please, I’m checking the system now…oh yes, I can see there’s a table booked for the restaurant tonight. For two people, is that correct?
B:   That’s right. Can you tell me if there’s a buffet tonight?
A:   Tonight’s menu…let me see…yes, there is. It commences at 5pm.
B:   Excellent.
A:   Is there anything else I can help you with?
B:   Yes, can you tell me what time we have to check out of the hotel on Thursday?
A:   Certainly, sir. All guests need to check out by 11am.
B:   And is there a storage facility available for guests who need to leave their luggage in the building after they check out?
A:  There is indeed, all part of the service, Mr Jacobson, so there’s no extra fee for that. So long as all your luggage and possessions from the safe have been claimed by 6pm.
B:  That should be fine. My flight leaves at 4.25 that afternoon, so I will have picked it up no later than 2pm. Thanks for your help.
A:   It’s a pleasure sir. Have a nice day.

Let’s now look at the answers to the questions you asked yourself.

Q 1. What is happening in this situation?
A. A man is confirming details about a restaurant booking and hotel check-out procedures.

Q 2. Who is asking for information?
A. The customer, Kelvin Jacobson

Q3. Who is giving information?
A. A hotel restaurant staff member who has access to the computer system.

Q 4. What type of information is being asked for?
A. Information that will help Kelvin understand the procedures for the rest of his hotel stay.


By asking yourself questions, you are actively listening and preparing yourself for success. As you do practice IELTS listening tests, it’s a good habit to always ask yourself these basic questions so you brain can get the context for the answers.