Below are my ideas on how to write lesson plans for ESL listening lessons. It's vital to add listening components to English lessons so that students become accustomed to different accents, the speed of natural speech, and aspects of the language which are specific to the spoken word (informal speech, inflection, connected speech, contractions etc).
With the internet being so freely accessible nowadays, listening lessons have become so much more interesting, as we are not limited to the teacher's voice, the radio, songs and course book CD's, but we now also have an infinite number of video clips, movies and news channels available at our disposal. These can provide great variety and interest in the classroom, but it's important to know how to use these materials effectively so that the students not only have a good time, but also learn something along the way. Here are some guidelines to help you:
As most listenings require some use of equipment (unless the teacher or a guest are doing the talking), make sure you get to the lesson with enough time to set everything up, and make sure the equipment is working! If there's a technical problem, the first thing to try is to switch off the equiment and then switch it back on again. If you are using a computer and a website, make sure you have the correct web address, so you don't waste time having to find it again through the search engines.
Start the lesson by getting the students interested in the subject. Some ideas on how to do this include:
It's a very good idea to teach some vocabulary before they watch or listen to the chosen listening, as it will help the students to better understand what is going on. When deciding which words to choose, bear the following in mind:
As a follow on task from teaching the vocabulary - if the vocabulary is appropriate, you can get the students to guess what will be in the listening on the basis of the new vocabulary.
There are 2 types of listening that you want the students to practise .....
The first time the students listen, they will be doing it for gist. Give the students 2 or 3 general questions which will check their overall understanding. Make sure the students know what their listening purpose is and give clear instructions. Remember that listening tasks are generally more difficult for the students than reading, so make sure the tasks are at the correct level.
Play the video clip or listening once.
Get the students to feedback their answers. They can either do this directly to the teacher, or discuss it in pairs and groups before presenting their conclusions.
The students will now listen again, this time focussing on more specific detail within the listening. There are different activities that you can do to achive this, which range from very little preparation to lots of preparation .... so it depends how much time you want to give to the task:
Let the students watch/listen for the second time, and get feeback from them again.
NOTE: For more advanced classes, I use longer listenings, and only do the detail listening task. But in order to do this, students' understanding of spoken English needs to be very good.
The follow on tasks and Extension activites used for listening lessons are the same as those used in How to Write Lesson Plans - Reading Lessons.
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