Developing the Listening Skill: Self Study

Listening is the most frequently used language skill and often the most difficult to control.

Self study for the development of the listening skill can be useful because students can plan, check, monitor, select, revise, and evaluate themselves. It is important for students to be able to decide when to repeat listening passages, which words to look up and which activities to do. The students’ ability to listen and understand improves if they  listen regularly and take notes on what they learn. It is a good idea to begin with easier listening texts rather than the more difficult ones.


Negative Inversion


  1. Negative adverbs at the beginning of the sentence for emphasis in formal contexts:

Seldom do people associate being married with being healthy.

Rarely do I have time to go the gym.

Hardly had I arrived home when the children came

Scarcely had I finished reading the novel when I fell asleep.

2. Negative expressions at the beginning of the sentence for emphasis

a.I am tired and angry.

Not only………………but also

Not only am I tired but I am also angry.

b.I am not going to do this in any way.

Not + in any way= in no way

In no way am I going to do this.

c.I didn’t know that he was a liar.

Little did I know  that he was a liar.

d. I will not tell your secret on any account.

not+on any account= on no account

On no account should you use a metal container in the microwave oven.

e. I will not come under any circumstances.

Under no circumstances will I come.

3: Limiting adverbials

only after, only later, only once, only then, only when

Notice where the inversion is:

  • I only realized that I had forgotten to write my name after I handled in my paper.
  • Only after handing in my paper did I realize that I had forgotten to write my name.
  • I only went to the movies once during the whole time I was studying.
  • Only once did I go to the movies in the whole time I was studying
  • only realized how little I knew when I took the test.
  • Only when I took the test did I realise how little I knew.

I didn’t know how lucky I’d been until I saw the results.

Not until I saw the results did I realise how lucky I’d been.

Not until +noun phrase

Not until the end did I realise how lucky I’d been.

You may want to  practice some of these in the following links:


Noun Clauses


A noun clause is a dependent clause that works as a noun. It has a subject, verb,object, or complement.

• I often wonder how you managed to do that.

• He feared that he would not have time to finish the test.

• No one knows who he talked to.

• I did not know what he was going to do next.

How the thieves got in is a mystery.

• I do not understand how the thieves got in.

• Pay careful attention to what the President will say.

That she is not here yet worries me.

The Noun-Clauses can be replaced with nouns or noun phrases.

• No one knows when he will arrive. (Noun-Clauses)
• No one knows the time of his arrival. (Noun-Phrases)

• I heard that he succeeded. (Noun-Clauses)
• I heard of his success. (Noun-Phrases)

• We will never know why he got so angry. (Noun-Clauses)
• We will never know the reason for his anger. (Noun-Phrases)

You might want to try the following links for further practice: