The Listening and Integrated Skills paper is a component that carries the heaviest weighting (30%) in the English subject mark. The paper consists of two parts. Part A is compulsory and it includes 4 theme-based tasks. For Part B, candidates are required to attempt either Section 1 (easier) or Section 2 (more difficult). Let’s focus on Part A this time.
Tips for Paper 3 Part A
Part A consists of 4 tasks which are designed to be progressively (逐步地) more difficult.
Common item types (常見題型):
multiple-choice, gap fill (空白填補), table/diagram completion (完成表格/圖表), picture labelling (圖片標籤), short answer, summary/paraphrase of key ideas (要旨的摘要/釋義), correction of wrong information
Essential skills and strategies:
To succeed in Paper 3 Part A, candidates should be able to:
- interpret the purpose, situation (情境) and meaning of a range of spoken texts
- understand speakers’ intentions (意向/動機), views, attitudes (態度) or feelings
- identify main ideas and the key details in spoken texts
- understand the use of discourse markers (言談標記) e.g. however, still, even so, besides, otherwise, indeed
- distinguish (辨別) between facts (事實) and opinions (意見) in spoken texts
- transform (轉換) direct speech (直接引述) in a conversation into a suitable form to produce grammatically correct answers
- understand speakers with a range of accents (口音) and language varieties
(Source: Hong Kong English Language Curriculum and Assessment Guide (Secondary 4 – 6), the CDC and the HKEAA)
Recommendations for candidates:
During the preparation time:
- Familiarise yourself with the tasks.
- Read the situation (情境) and instructions carefully.
- Look at the headings (標題), sub-headings, prompts (提示) and choices to predict (推測) the likely development of a text.
- Identify the key words in the questions and predict the vocabulary you will hear in the recording
- Predict the required form of the answer (part of speech詞類) i.e. a single noun, noun phrase, a short clause etc.
- Spot the key words in the question which are mentioned in the recording
- Listen for synonyms (同義詞) or implied (暗指/意味著的) words since the speaker may not use the same key words in the question sometimes
- For the more difficult tasks (especially in Task 3 and 4), it is important to gain an understanding of the whole section of conversation, so candidates should take notes first before coming back to complete their answers during the pauses.
- Task 3 and 4 are usually more challenging and may consist of questions requiring fuller answers in the form of complete sentences or clauses (分句).
- The content (內容) for task 3 and 4 may also be more intellectually challenging and required more interpretation (理解) and inference (推論).
- Sometimes, candidates may have to compose answers in their own words rather than relying on repeating the words they hear in the recording.
During the pauses:
- Check whether your answers make sense within the context (語境) of the situation.
- Check your spelling and grammar (especially tasks that require answers in complete sentences).
- Some tasks might include vocabulary words that are more difficult and harder to recognise but they are usually repeated in the recording e.g. ‘communist’, ‘architecture’ (2017 Paper 3 Part A Task 3); ‘thermal’, ‘tractor’ (2017 Paper 3 Part A Task 4); ‘predators’, ‘morality’ (2018 Paper 3 Part A Task 4).
- Pay attention to tenses.
e.g. past tense: ‘he thought she needed to be grammatically perfect’past continuous: ‘was giving a talk about Hong Kong the next morning’
(2017 Paper 3 Part A Task 4)
conditional sentence type 1 (if + simple present, will-future): ‘the weaker rat will stop playing if it keeps losing’ (2018 Paper 3 Part A Task 4)
- Pay attention to subject-verb agreement (主詞與動詞一致性).
e.g. Question: ‘What are the three key aspects mentioned in the definition of a game?’The noun phrase ‘a game’ can be replaced by the pronoun‘it’.
→ Answer: ‘(it) provides entertainment’, ‘(it) has an outcome or goal’, ‘(it) follows some set of rules’
(2018 Paper 3 Part A Task 4)
- Pay attention to prepositions (介詞).
e.g. ‘knowledge of Hong Kong’, ‘enthusiasm for/ interest in/ enthusiastic about/ interested in other countries’ cultures’ (2017 Paper 3 Part A Task 2)
- Pay attention to the plurality (複數) of nouns.
e.g. ‘eight bit graphics’, ‘a few colours’, ‘complicated images’ (2017 Paper 3 Part A Task 3)
- Pay attention to the capitalization of proper nouns (專有名詞大寫) e. names of a specific person, place, or thing.
e.g. ‘Railway Museum’, ‘the Chau family’ ‘Electric Road’, (2016 Paper 3 Part A Task 1 and 2)
‘World War 2’, ‘Germany, France’, ‘June 30th’ (2017 Paper 3 Part A Task 1 and 2)
- Pay attention to passive voice (被動語態).
e.g. ‘teenagers targeted as audience (by film industry)’ (2016 Paper 3 Part A Task 4)
walls (are) taken down/ buildings material (are) required’ (2017 Paper 3 Part A Task 3)
‘topic has not been researched’ (2018 Paper 3 Part A Task 1)