On this page you will find a mixture of academic listening selections. Some of these selections are from the TOEFL speaking or listening sections, others are readings from scientific blogs or journals. Use this page to help you improve your listening skills for the TOEFL exam, for academic purposes, or to improve your general English listening skills. For listening exercises specific to the IELTS exam click here. For non academic general listening click here.
There are 4 listening levels.
- Level 1- is recorded at a speed slightly slower than a regular speaking voice.
- Level 2- is recorded at the speed of a regular speaking voice
- Level 3- is recorded slightly faster than a regular speaking voice
- Level 4- is recorded at a very fast speed and this level is best for those students who are focusing on improving their listening skills.
Each level comes with a set of questions for you to answer to test your comprehension. To achieve the best results do the following.
- Determine your starting level. Start at level three and adjust from there. If level three is too fast, move down to level 2 or level 1. If you can understand level 3 then continue at that level.
- Write what you hear. The best way to improve your listening skills is through transcription. Listen to the recording and write down what you hear. You can stop the recording as often as you like and you can repeat the recording up to 3 times.
- Check your work. Look at the article to see if you heard the words correctly and to see if you spelled the words correctly. If you consistently hear more than 10 words incorrectly, then you should consider moving down to a lower level.
Practice Listening with TOEFL Speaking Question Type 6: Political Cartoons
The Slowest Speed
Just a Little Faster Than Regular Speed
The Fastest Speed
Using details from the talk, describe the function of political cartoons and the components of their success.
Political cartoons are a blend of pictorial, editorial, and social commentary. The medium of political cartoons combines the politics and artistry of journals and provides people with opportunities to creatively express their social concerns and political viewpoints. Although political cartoons often utilize strategic writing, their commentary extends beyond the written word alone. Most political cartoons aim to inform readers of current politics and influence them as well. Political cartoonists have been trying to affect public opinion since the mid-19th century, and the earlier cartoons serve as a glimpse into the controversy of past political situations. Because they rely on symbolism, caricature, and stylized imagery, political cartoons help people to think about politics in ways different from traditional news reporting. While it is impossible to know how or in what ways political cartoons will affect the public, successful political cartoons share four common characteristics: eye-catching artistry, genuine sentiment, uncomplicated imagery, and an importance that will last over time. While political cartoons display messages of “truth,” critics argue that they do not change minds but reflect a level of social opinion and cultural values through familiar symbols. Whether fighting the status quo, raising social concern, or promoting broad political change, it is clear that political cartoons have changed the face of modern journalism and U.S. history.