Tell your students you are going to give them the name of an animal and then give them 15 seconds silent time.

Tell your students you are going to give them the name of an animal and then give them 15 seconds silent time. Give them the word "LION" .......... When the 15 seconds are up ask a number of students this simple question: "When you heard the word LION what happened in your head?"

You will get answers ranging from "nothing" to " I saw the lion in the grass", "the lion roar", "I feel the lion too near", " the Lion King".

Give the students about a dozen animals using the timing suggested above. Vary the animals you choose: eg mosquito, hen, crocodile, cat, snake, seagull.

The point of this simple exercise is for you to realise and for the stuidents to realise how creative and varied their responses are to simple words. This complex, diverse response is the norm when people are listening to language, even to isolated words in the language.

The pedagogocial conclusion to be drawn from this realisation is that we need to help students to share the DIVERSITY of their listening, rather than the common elements.

I wonder how you react to this simple, fundamental realisation about listening?

Maybe you do exercises that draw on the richness of the students' response.

Why not share them?

Mario (I feel alone without your thoughts and comments)

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