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Determining a Speaker’s Purpose


You will learn how to:

  • Determine a speaker’s purpose

Reading and Listening for Information

You can learn a lot from listening. For example, you can listen to a speech, podcast, news story, commercial, or documentary. You can apply a lot of the same skills you use to read a text when you listen to a speaker.

How to Listen for Understanding

Like reading, you should do the following when listening:

  • Identify the author or speaker
  • Consider the author’s purpose
  • Determine central ideas and arguments
  • Identify supporting details and evidence

Thinking about each of these points will help you better understand the speaker.

Speaker’s Purpose – PIE

Listen to the clip below:

Speakers’ purposes usually fit into one of three categories:

  • Persuasive
  • Informational
  • Entertaining


Listen to the clip below:



Listen to the clip below:



Listen to the clip below:



You learned:

  • How to determine a speaker’s purpose
  • The PIE categories of purpose