Listening for Signpost Language


PLEASE NOTE: LOC has now closed. We're no longer accepting new registrations.

Listening for Signpost Language

Students listening for signpost language

listening for signpost language


In lectures and presentations, speakers often use signposting expressions and these can help audiences to follow and understand the main points that the speakers are making. It is useful to familiarise yourself with this kind of language so that you recognise it immediately. Moreover, you can get the structure of lectures and presentations, which is beneficial for your note-taking and comprehension. It can also be useful for any seminar presentations that you need to give on your own course.

In these activities you will explore some typical examples of signposting language. You will listen to two lectures in order to identify examples of signposting language and learn to recognise what such language is used for.


Be able to know functions of signpost language and distinguish it during listening.

Activity 1: Commonly used signposting expressions

In this activity you are going to get familiar with the functions of some  commonly used signposting expressions.


Study these examples of signposting language grouped according to their shared function. Choose the function the signposting language represents from the dropdown list. Then read the feedback.

finally | before that | the second | first of all | after that | before that

There are four parts | there are several methods we usually adopt

For example | for instance | such as | to illustrate this

I’ll begin with | what I am going to talk today is | my intention today is to 

Let’s move on to | turn to | about the next topic

While | on the contrary | in contrast | on the other hand

In conclusion | let me briefly recap on | in a nutshell

Activity 2: Identifying signpost language

You are going to listen to  a lecture entitled 'The cost of smoking' from a health course. As you listen you are going to consider the role of the signposting language used.


Listen to this short lecture and notice the signposting words and phrases that the lecturer uses. Fill in the gaps with the exact missing words or phrases and then read the feedback.listen to the recording

The Cost of Smoking

Today I the cost of smoking. People give all kinds of reasons for why they started smoking, but none of them are good — not even supposedly altruistic ones. some claim that you’re actually saving our overburdened healthcare system money in the long run by smoking it reduces life expectancy, it’s nowhere near a watertight argument. you’re certainly not doing your family and friends a favor by deliberately lowering your life expectancy. your family will have to absorb the losses incurred when you miss work due to smoking-related illnesses. there is a lot of debate over the best way to measure the economic costs of smoking. Every study is based on different assumptions, and uses different data and methods. should you measure the cost of smoking by looking at the cost of treating major illnesses like lung cancer and heart disease, or should you also measure the cost of less serious illnesses? Should you take into account the fact that people who live longer also pay more taxes and insurance premiums? Should you look at the overall cost to the healthcare system, or at the cost per individual? regardless of how you calculate them, the economic costs of smoking are inconsequential when compared to smoking’s real price: the misery caused by the deaths of over 400,000 people each year and the illnesses of several million.

Activity 3: Distinguishing signpost language

Playing sound effects both pleasant and awful, Julian Treasure shows how sound affects us in four significant ways. Listen carefully for a shocking fact about noisy open-plan offices.


Watch the video and finish the tasks accordingly.

What is the purpose of the speaker?


His purpose is to with sound.

The speaker mentions four ways sound is affecting all of us. What are they? Tick the correct four boxes.

What is the conclusion of the lecture?

Would you like to review the main points?

© Group 4 LOC Tool workshop / University of Southampton / CSC Programme 24/05/201

Created using the LOC Tool, University of Southampton