Chapter 01 : Listening for Specific Information

Giving Specific Information

Listening is the ability to accurately receive and interpret messages in the communication process. When we learn a language; there are four skills that we need for complete communication. When we learn our native language, we usually learn to listen first, then to speak, then to read, and finally to write. These are called the four "language skills”.
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • Writing
As you can see, listening is the first language skill. It is perhaps the most important skill of all, the basis for the other three. Listening is key to all effective communication, without the ability to listen effectively messages are easily misunderstood – communication breaks down and the sender of the message can easily become frustrated or irritated. If there is one communication skill you should aim to master then listening is it.

Responding Appropriately to given Instructions

When you are listening to texts read by a teacher or someone else you must do the following:
  • Figure out the purpose for listening. Activate background knowledge of the topic in order to predict or anticipate content and identify appropriate listening strategies.
  • Attend to the parts of the listening input that are relevant to the identified purpose and ignore the rest. This selectivity enables you as students to focus on specific items in the input and reduces the amount of information in short-term memory in order to recognise it.
  • Listening for the main idea.
  • Predict.
  • Listen for specific details.
  • Recognising word-order patterns.
  • Check comprehension while listening and when the listening task is over.
  • Draw a conclusion.
  • Summarise to get specific information.
Listening for General Information

General opinion about a text he/she has heard

When you are listening to get the general idea the following must be done:
  • Note the use of new words.
  • Listen to the text read by another person
  • Try to use the new vocabulary in everyday life, including during games.
  • Check the meaning of words in the dictionary or ask a teacher.
  • Summarise the general idea behind the text you have heard.


Here the student should be able to give specific information, reproduce in writing what is heard. To give general opinion about a text he/she has read and give a general theme/idea /meaning of a text heard.

The student should do that by reading the text based on a variety of issues including challenges facing the youth in relation to HIV/AIDS, form of child labour and effect of drug abuse in society Affect reading the text, the student should be able to respond to different questions about the text he/she has read.

And also she/he should know vocabularies used in the text such as symptoms, virus, infection, transmit, prolong, ill-treat, HIV etc

Vocabularies in HIV/AIDS TEXT

HIV – Human Immune Deficiency Virus

AIDS- Acquired Immune Deficiency Virus

Stigma – segregating HIV Victims

Syringes – A plastic or glass tube with a long hollow needle that is used for putting drugs into a person’s body

Virus – A living thing, too small to be seen without a microscope that causes infections disease in people

Lazar blades – A thin shape piece of metal that is used in a razor symptoms


Language Use

Since and for

Since is used for point of time and for is used for period of time in perfect tense.


i) They have eaten nothing since yesterday.

ii) We have eaten nothing for two days.

iii) Aisha has been ill since last week.

iv) She has been ill for two weeks.

v) We have stayed here for two weeks.

vi) You have stayed here since the previous weeks.

vii) John left the country for ever

viii) He has been out of the country for many years ago.

From and Since

From is used for both time and place. Since is used for time only. From can indicate time in both past and future; since indicates duration from a point of time in the past to the time of speaking.


i) He came straight from home.

ii) He was busy from 6 O’clock to 10 O’clock.

iii) Rehema has not eaten anything since morning.

iv) Jimmy has been here since he finished his university studies in 2005.


i) He has been in the office for only a few months, he has, however achieved more than any of this predecessors.

ii) He will never pass however hard he may try.

iii) However beautiful you are, you will never get married


i) Poor as we may seem, we are still proud of our culture.

ii) As it is fine, I shall go out

iii) Much as he liked to travel, he could not afford the fare.


i) Simon is as strong as Samson of the Holy Bible.

ii) Joyce is as healthy as her father.

iii) He promised to arrive at the seminar as early as possible.

In spite of

i) In spite of being angry, he listened to me.

ii) Annett cannot get a job, in spite of doing well at school.

iii) In spite of being sick, he passed all the exams.


the correct form is “in spite”. This means that “in” and “spite” should be written as two separate words and not as one word. So, it is incorrect to write “in spite” as one word.

So as

“So as” goes with the preposition “to” which is added at the end.

i) He studied thoroughly so as to pass the test.

ii) Agnes cooks delicious food so as to impress her boyfriend.

iii) James has visited his fiancée so as to discuss their marriage issues.

iv) They are playing vigorously so as to win the match.

So that

“So that” does not go with the preposition “to” instead it is followed by the personal pronouns or nouns.

i) He prepared supper so that the President could eat after the meeting.

ii) He studied thoroughly so that he could pass the test.

iii) They are playing vigorously so that they can win the match.

iv) Aisha cooks delicious food so that she may impress her boyfriend.


i) He is preparing supper so nicely that the President may eat it all.

ii) He studies so thoroughly that he can pass the test.

iii) They are playing so vigorously that they can win the match.

iv) Aisha cooks so well that her boyfriend can be impressed.

In spite of the fact that

i) In spite of the fact that Baga was sick, he came to school.

ii) Anna came to my room in spite of the fact the teacher on duty was around.

iii) In spite of the fact that Mercy was not studying hard, she passed the exam on legal methods.

iv) Mwajuma slept very comfortably in spite of the fact that she was alone.

In order to

i) They study effectively in order to perform well the exam.

ii) Ruth wants to leave for town in order to see his fiancée.

iii) Theodora went to Tanga in order to visit her fiancée.


It is similar to “in spite of” but it does not go with the preposition “of”. For example:

Incorrect: Despite of his sickness he passed the exam.

Correct: Despite his sickness he passed the exam.

i) I got married to him despite his poverty.

ii) Despite poor life, she got married to him.

iii) You should exercise regularly despite your old age.

iv) Despite his big stomach, he emerged the winner in the race.

v) Despite her beauty, no one approached her for a marriage proposal.

Despite the fact that

i) Despite the fact that we crying in class, we understood what the entire teacher taught.

ii) They went to the music hall despite the fact that the headmaster was so vigilant.

iii) Despite the fact that your parents are not supporting you financially, I shall pay school fees for you.

iv) Despite the fact that your parents are not supporting you financially, I shall pay school fees for you.

v) Despite the fact that Agnes was late, Mr. Mubenzi never punished her.

Even though

i) Even though I have other activities to do, I would like to help you.

ii) I shall attend his graduation ceremony even though he has not invited me.

iii) I won’t buy you such even thought I can afford to do so.

For all

“For all” is similar to “despite” in terms of use and meaning. Examples:

i) For all his sickness, Kamoga went to Kibila to write a Mathematics book.

ii) For all his frequent attendance to church sermons, she is still possessing superstitious beliefs.

iii) For all her old age, Mrs. Apollo still wears tight mini-skirts like a teenager.

Among and Between

“Among” is used to show a relationship in which three or more persons or things are considered as a group. Examples:

i) Slavery still exists among certain tribes.

ii) They have friendship among themselves.

iii) There were only three students in the class; among them one was suspected to have a love relationship with the head prefect.

“Between”: is used to show a relationship involving two persons or things or to compare more than two items within a group or to compare one person or thing with an entire group.


i) He stood between two girls.

ii) A quarrel arose between his two brothers.

iii) Mkina was standing between Aisha and Amos.

iv) The ship sails between Mwanza and Kilimanjaro.


i) Though he has an extended family to attend to, he still gets money for recreation.

ii) He is not contented though he is very rich.

iii) I will not see her though she comes.

Not only…………..but (also)

i) She is not only short but (also) slim.

ii) Not only is she short but (also) slim.

iii) They are not only noisy but (also) naughty.

iv) Not only does he look after cattle but (also) does his homework.

v) John does not only look after cattle but (also) does his homework.

vi) Annie is not only beautiful but (also) charming.

Even if

i) Don’t say anything even if they beat you.

ii) Even if you don’t feel sick, go to the hospital.

iii) I won’t forgive her even if she repents.


i) The teacher will teach us tuition; nevertheless we haven’t paid him money.

ii) Nevertheless she has not born me a child, I won’t divorce her.

iii) Jameson passed the University exam very well nevertheless he was sick.

Structure pattern


Question tags are often used to ask for more information or confirmation to what we are saying. Using question tag well also promote a keen understanding of the use of various auxiliary verbs

Question tag is made up for Auxiliary +personal pronoun

A question tag is therefore a school questions that follows statement.

Put a comma before the question tag, and put a question mark after the question tag

E.g: He is sick, isn’t he?


1. If the statement is positive, the question tag should be negative

E.g: You are my friend, aren’t you?

  1. If the statement is negative the question tag should be positive E.g: You are not my enemy, are you?

More examples

She can ride a bicycle, can’t she?

He doesn’t like riding, does he?

He rode a bicycle yesterday, didn’t he?


Complete the sentence with the correct question tags

Mr Juma is from Tabora

The car isn’t in the garage

They play cards everyday

He should write a letter

He collects used stamps


There are four ways of expressing future events as described in a –d below


Think of any three events that will happen in the future .Example are what you will do after school today or how you will celebrate your birthday. Write about each event

Using the four patterns given above.

For example

I will celebrate my birthday next week

I celebrate my birthday next week

I am celebrate my birthday next week

I am going to celebrate my birthday next week



At and in are preposition of Time

Examples. The party started at 8:00

The guest of honour arrived at 12:00

We sleep at night

We ate lunch in the evening

We arrived at school in the morning

“On” is used with days and dates

Examples: I go to church on Sunday

School starts on Monday

Tanzania became independent on 9 th Dec. 1961

“At” –Is used with exact time

Examples: He came at six O’clock

The lesson starts at 8:00 A.M

“In” –Is used with parts of the day, months and years

Examples: He came in the evening

Classes start in the morning

He was born in 2001

School will be closed in December


Fill the blanks with appropriate propositions

(1) He is coming _____________ noon.

(2) We left ____________2.00 pm.

(3) We go to church _________Monday.

(4) He celebrate his birthday __________ 15th November this year.

(5) He is coming __________ the morning.

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