Part 5 - Structuring Listening to aid in Acquisition
We’ve had a little look at what listening is, and what we would like it to be. How do we get there?
My ideal situation when creating a listening lesson is to perform things in such a way that the students upgrade their ability to notice features of the language, form more accurate phonological understandings of spoken language, and come to a higher understanding of new lexis due to meeting it in a suitable context.
To achieve these goals requires a good deal of experience and understanding, something which I’m striving for myself. Let me give you a few pointers to help you along the way.
- Find the transcript for the listening (or… be ready to listen many times)
- Do a personal analysis of the transcript for interesting language, regardless of what the textbook language focus actually is. (Here you can look for collocations and colloquialisms etc)
- Decide which language items are the most relevant for your current students.
- Decide on which text book, or self created, questions you will be asking your students about the listening.
- Compare the language items you highlighted with the questions you will ask. Do your language items help with the understanding of these questions? If not then change the questions. You only want your students to focus on the useful language.
- Through listening, and through saying the language yourself, make sure you have a decent understanding of the way your language items sound. (intonation? connected speech?)
- Have a think about ways that your language items can be used in other situations and compile a list for each item to be used as elaboration if necessary.
- Create a handout with your language items and the questions for pre-teaching or post-exploration.
- In class, perform the comprehension questions and then also take difficult segments of the listening and perform activities that allow students to listen for detailed phonological features.
- Let students analyse the transcript along with the listening (after first listenings) to make sure they can understand the context and then apply that understanding to difficult sections.