We sometimes have to exhort our Eleven Plus children to listen carefully. Some bright and able children seem to grow out of the habit of listening carefully.
Some examining boards run Listening Comprehension examinations for their students. A cassette recording is usually heard twice. There could be one speaker or a variety of voices. Usually a variety of accents are used.
The pieces could include extracts from broadcasts, interviews, conversations, announcements and talks.
The questions types could include filling in information, completing sentences, answering multiple choice questions and indicating whether statements are true or false.
Imagine how a listening comprehension test would broaden and extend the range of the Eleven Plus. Children would be encouraged to take an interest in current affairs. They would need to learn to listen to programs like the news and recorded excerpts from Question Time.
Teachers and parents would have to change the way they thought about lessons. The need for a verbal reasoning lesson starting with the words: “Let us look at page 23 on Analogies again” could die away. A family could huddle round the radio, once again, listening to current affairs programs and enjoying in-depth discussions.
Eleven Plus authors and publishers would find new markets opening up.
Sales of interactive story books would soar.
The net result of all the change would, hopefully, be a collection of Eleven Plus children prepared for a world where good listening skills are measured and valued.