This article reports on a small-scale qualitative study aimed at exploring the listening process in a group of Spanish beginners in a UK higher education context. The specific aim of the study was to inform the development of materials for listening strategy awareness-raising activities. The exploration was focused on identifying (a) strategies used by the students in listening coursework tasks, (b)easy and difficult aspects of the tasks, and (c) affective responses to the tasks. The participants in the study were students whose overall course performance was judged to be excellent. Data were collected through one-to-one stimulated recalls, and transcripts were coded mainly using taxonomies found in the literature. The findings revealed a good number of strategies, self-management processes and additional factors influencing the students’ listening process. In addition, the findings provided insights into the enjoyment and frustration experienced by students when working on listening tasks. Pedagogical applications of the findings are discussed.