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Authentic reading and listening texts expose students to real language from the beginning of their language study. Although authentic reading texts are available for novice students, real listening traditionally has been delayed until students are at the intermediate or advanced levels. This paper argues that novices can understand and benefit from authentic texts and that an early exposure to such texts will help them develop useful listening strategies for more complex tasks later on. Pre-listening strategies are as delicate as pre-reading activities, however. Care must be taken that the text is cultumlly relevant to the experience of the listener.