In real-life texts there is often a lot of pointing BACK to things that have been mentioned

• EARLIER (also called ‘anaphoric’ referencing), 

as well as 

• referring AHEAD to things coming (‘cataphoric’ referencing).

IELTS students struggling on the LISTENING test –especially part 4, which is often a monologue on a quite dense academic subject– might benefit from learning how to ‘REPLAY’ a phrase or a sentence to themselves while the audio is playing. 

This can then help them RECONSTRUCT what word an elliptical construction has just referred to, and doing so can help them answer, for example SENTENCE COMPLETION type of questions efficiently.


Match the words in capital letters in the EXCERPT to the THINGS they refer to. Then listen to the audio, and check if you were right.


1) The answer to THIS QUESTION lies in …

2) … because THEY comprise the key conditions …

3) … THEY are alone …

4) … IT was invented so that people can learn about the world …

5) … DOING SO can actually yield …


A) What way is there to find out what people are really thinking?

B) analyzing anonymous Google data

C) Google searches

D) people

E) Google


What way is there, then, to find out what people are really thinking? The answer to this question lies in analyzing big data. Google searches are powerful because they comprise the key conditions necessary to accessing true information about people: they are alone when answering, or, in reality asking their own questions; and they’re motivated.

The beauty of harvesting and mining Google data is that although it was invented so that people can learn about the world, not so that social scientists can learn about people; it has been discovered that the trails we leave while seeking knowledge on the internet are stunningly revealing.

Analyzing anonymous Google data has been the new, powerful tool in researchers’ hands about topics yet unexplored as well including abortion, health, mental illness, and religion. If carried out rigorously, Google searches can actually yield the most reliable dataset collected on the human psyche to date.

Found this useful? Bookmark my site not to miss the next one! 😉 


1) A

2) C

3) D

4) E

5) B)

— —

Hi. I’m Fatime. I’m an IELTS Teacher Trainer, helping CELTA-qualified English language teachers become better at teaching SKILLS, as opposed to just testing them. 

Check out my courses here:

How to Teach IELTS Listening:

How to Teach IELTS Reading:

How to Teach IELTS Writing:

How to Teach IELTS Speaking: