Thank you for your question. I remember studying for my TEFL exams and feeling confused by many things. I’ll try to explain here what is meant by intensive listening.
As a way of illustrating the meaning of intensive listening, I’ll contrast it with extensive listening. Extensive listening involves listening to a recording to get a general understanding. For example, watching a film, understanding and enjoying the story; or listening and carrying out instructions.
Intensive listening on the other hand involves more detailed analysis of the language used or listening for specific information. Listening for specific information involves finding the answers to specific questions. “What is the speaker’s favourite Italian dish?” would involve listening for specific information because the students listen for that particular response. On the other hand, “does the speaker generally have a positive or negative opinion of Italian food?” would practise a different skill, listening for gist i.e. getting a general feel for the text.
Intensive listening is also used to do detailed study of a language point; an example of this is asking students: “what adjectives does the speaker use to describe Italian food?” Asking students to listen and fill in gaps in a text can also be done to study language; this type of task is considered to be intensive listening. Asking students to listen and follow the transcript in order to identify a certain grammar or vocabulary point is a further example of intensive listening.
Please feel free to write in again if you would like any more help in preparing for your exam.