Here is something a bit different for you – a cloze, or gap, test.
The idea is to listen to the speech and fill in the gaps with one or more words that are grammatically correct and match the content and style of the piece.
This is a good exercise for many reasons:
- it helps you with anticipation. You won’t be able to fill in every gap before hearing the following few words, but some of them can be guessed immediately because they’re part of a collocation, set phrase, or idiom, or because they make sense in context.
- it helps you work on reformulation: some of the gaps have many possible solutions. How many can you think of?
- it’s a good listening exercise. You need to concentrate really hard to follow the speech’s thread, so that you can fill in the blanks.
- it’s a good reminder that we work at the level of ideas, not words. Imagine if you were interpreting the speech from English into your A language: you could make a good guess at the missing words; so if they were unknown words, you would still be able to follow the meaning in most cases.
Audio file of the speech
You can find the file here.
I won’t go through the whole text; you can check the missing words in the transcript below if you like.
I thought it would be useful to go through just a few of the missing words, when there were several possible solutions.
Transcript of the speech
I’ve highlighted the missing words in bold.
I hope you enjoyed the exercise!
Interested in more material like this to help you boost your retour? Why not join my monthly membership site, Rock your Retour, with tailor-made written materials and weekly live group classes (online)?
Sophie Llewellyn Smith, writing as The Interpreting Coach, is a coach, interpreter trainer, conference interpreter, designer of online teaching materials, and creator of Speechpool. Follow the blog to pick up tips on how to improve your interpreting skills.