giovedì 24 ottobre 2013

To Listen Or Not To Listen To Real English, This is The Problem

If you teach English in any English speaking country your students are more likely to hear native people talking. If you teach English in any other place (such as in Italy) what happens when your students run into the real English language? 
Most of my students - especially adults - think listening is a pain in the neck. They are able to do exercises with tapes from course books but when it comes to listening to mother tongue people talking at their normal speed they get clearly puzzled. 
In my classes I always prefer using real materials rather than course books, but I have always been torn between graded tapes and normal-speed recordings when I have to teach listening skills. So if a real recording is difficult why don't we grade the activities? Here there are a few ideas I used with my students last week.
A movie trailer
For the International Chocolate Week I decided to teach listening skills to my pre-teen students by using the trailer of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

1. Students watched video with the audio off to get an idea about the topic.

2. Students were taught some useful vocabulary.

3. Students watched the video and answered multiple choice questions. 

They all got their answers right.

A speech
My teen students have been studying the reported speech. In their last lesson they played the role of journalists who had to report about one of Steve Jobs' speeches. 
1.They watched the video with subtitles.
2. They repeated some of his statements (improving their pronunciation as well).
3. Every one reported a statement while they others had to agree if the reported form was correct.
4. Students were filmed while reporting the news.

A real conversation with mother tongue people
I recorded mother tongue people asking and answering random questions.
1. Students were given the context and situation for each question.
2. Students listened to the questions (only).
3. Students wrote the possible answer on a piece of paper.
4. Students compared their answers.
5. Finally they listened to the answers.

I hope these ideas will be useful for your lessons!

Have a lovely day

6 commenti:

  1. I have always been a fan of real authentic language! However, we just started using the Market Leader Business English Coursebook for my college students and I LOVE it! Real English! You hear pauses, idioms, phrasal verbs, corrections accents, etc. It isn't the most exciting content, but I do like how it is more "real"

    I also find sometimes asking my own questions (not coursebook questions) helps. For example. "What do you think they'll say next?" "How do you think person A feels?" etc.

    1. Dear Carissa,
      thank you for sharing your ideas! I think your questions help students' improve their creativity as well as their speaking skills! Thank you!

  2. great ideas...i loved ur work...thanks a lot

  3. hello, that's a great idea! That's what we call Media Based Listening Comprehension. I also do that in my ESL class and I think it's effective. I have posted the sample in my blog:

    1. Hello Neil,

      Thank you for visiting my blog and sharing your ideas! I've just read your post about media based listening comprehension. It's really interesting!
      All the best