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Intensive Listening: Three Tasks and Examples

Listening is often regarded as a difficult skill because in the process of listening a listener needs to get immediate comprehension. In designing assessment in listening skill, Brown and Abeywickrama (2010) classified listening tasks into several categories: intensive, responsive, selective, extensive, interactive. 

a. Intensive listening refers to listening for perception. Describe three listening tasks for intensive listening!
b. Provide the example for each of the task you describe!


a. Describe three listening tasks for intensive listening.

Brown and Abeywickrama (in Fachrurrazy and Tresnadewi, 2019) classify listening tasks into several categories: extensive, intensive, selective, responsive, and interactive. Intensive listening is listening for perception (Fachrurrazy and Tresnadewi, 2019). The following three tasks for intensive listening are:

1. Recognizing Phonological and Morphological Elements. 

Fachrurrazy and Tresnadewi (2019) proposed that it is suitable for some micro-skills of listening. Brown in Hendriani and Suzanne (2013) stated that the form of the test provides a stimulus and prompts the test taker to identify a stimulus from two or more choices, such as the ability to identify certain phonemes, identify certain words, identify the stress position, and identify an emphasis (sentence stress).

2. Paraphrase Recognition. 

In this task, phrases, or sentences are often assessed by providing a stimulus sentence that asks the test taker to select the correct paraphrase from a number of options (Brown in Hendriani and Suzanne, 2013). Fachrurrazy and Tresnadewi (2019) stated that the task of paraphrase recognition can be in the form of the ability to paraphrase from a sentence, and the ability to paraphrase information from the dialogue.

3. Recognizing a Familiar or Retold Story.

In this task, test-takers listen to a story or news event, and then they will get some information related to the story heard (Hendriani and Suzanne, 2013). The task is the ability to recall some information from the retold story (Fachrurrazy and Tresnadewi, 2019). The test maker will give several questions to the test-taker to recall some information heard from the story. So, in this task, the students are expected to recall some information from a retold story heard, by answering some questions related to the story or news.

b. Example of each task for intensive listening.

1. The examples of the first task (recognizing Phonological and Morphological Elements) are:
  • The ability to identify certain phonemes. For example:
Recording: Did you see the box?
a. Did you see the books?
b. Did you see the box? 
  • The ability to identify certain words. For example:
Recording: They are from abroad.
a. They are from abroad.
b. They are from aboard.
  • The ability to identify the stress position. For example:
Recording: de-po-sit
Written: The stress is on:
a. the first syllable
b. the second syllable
  • The ability to identify an emphasis (sentence stress). For example:
Recording: Did you sing in the show?
Written: An appropriate answer to the question is:
a. No, I just watched
b. No, I sang at the school 

2. The example of the second task (Paraphrase Recognition) are:
  • The ability to paraphrase from a sentence. For example:
Test-takers hear : Hello, my name’s Jeffrey. I come from Singapore
Test-takers read :
(a) Jeffrey likes Singapore
(b) Jeffrey wants to come to Singapore
(c) Jeffrey is Singaporean
(d) Jeffrey is happy in Singapore

3. The example of the third task (recognizing a familiar or retold story), the task is the ability to recall some information from a retold story. For example:


Once upon a time there was a peacock who was very proud of its beautiful looks. Its only disappointment was that it live next to an ugly owl. Every day, peacock come to the owl house would insult the owl on its looks while the owl stayed quiet.

All the other animals in the forest tried to make the peacock see sense, but it was too swayed by it own good looks.

One night, it rained heavily and flooded the peacock's nest. Peacock are homeless and have no food. Peacock come to the owl house ask for food and the owl gave it. Then the owl told peacock to stay.

(Adapted from: https://www.misslena.sch.id/2023/10/listening-section-narrative-text.html)

Give short answers to the following questions:
  1. What is the text about?
  2. From the story, we know the owl was?
  3. Did the peacock come to the owl's house and insult the owl at its appearance every day?
  4. Did rain and flood happen to the peacock's nest?
  5. What did the peacock ask the owl after the flood

Fachrurrazy and Tresnadewi, Sintha. 2019. Assessment in Language Teaching. Tangerang Selatan, Banten: Universitas Terbuka.

Hendriani, S and Suzanne, N. 2013. Language Testing. Batu Sangkar: STAIN Batusangkar Press