How can your students develop their listening while away from your English classes ?
A learner training moment of reflection on how to take responsibility for their language acquisition.
*Do you need to train your ears for the different accents and pronunciation out there?
*Is it important to listen to a recording on a particular topic to check your general understanding?
*Would you like to have a chance to check your pronunciation and intonation?
*Do you believe it's important to test your knowledge of vocabulary and have immediate feedback?
*Would you consider listening to books?
*Is it important to check how much of the vocabulary and expressions from your English classes you can naturally remember?
*Can on-line interaction with other students motivate you to learn more?
If you (or your students) answered yes to any of the questions above, check out and choose from the7 tips below.
The 7-step Listening Challenge
1st Listen and laugh with TV series, sitcoms in English
There are tons of video bits on youtube and Netflix. You can always refer to the script or subtitles to clarify any doubt.
Here are three scenes from very famous TV Series: The big bang theory (TBBT) and Friends. The common scenario for them here is the fact that the major characters are shown trying to learn a foreign language.
Watch the videos and answer the quiz in the end.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3bdXctq7DM TBBT Kripke and Siri
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kujMmdwGPoo Friends Joey learns French
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xQPPN_VQmk TBBT Sheldon learns Finnish
Quiz http://goo.gl/ECpkeh (pwp game based on the vídeos above and some reflective questions on studying habits, download for all animations)
2nd Podcasts on the go
Podcasts are audio or video files that are downloaded to a computer or mobile device.
They are a convenient tool you can access n order to be exposed to the foreign language you are studying. Here's an example of podcasts for English language learning:
3rd Record your voice
Use the voice recorder on your smartphone or an app that can somehow give you feedback on your pronunciation. The key here is to be able to contrast your production with a model to be able to compare it in terms of intonation and pronunciation.
4th App challenge
Apps usually have quick and straight to the point tasks that expose you to the language model in terms of vocabulary and expressions within a situational context. They are practical and enable the user by immediate feedback, to have a clear idea of the progress in each activity. Here's a selection of apps:
5th Audiobooks and Readers
There are some apps with an extensive list of titles and topics from classic literature masterpieces to modern-day books. You can listen to stories beautifully told.
6th Vocabulary challenge
Two things here: you could very well revise the notes on vocabulary and expressions you took during the course and check out apps for this specific purpose.
7th Taking part of an on-line community
You could be part of a community on Facebook, Google+ or Whatsapp with your language class colleagues in an attempt to use English only for communication. Another way would be like a page and follow the updates with tips and challenges involving English as a foreign language. For instance, https://www.facebook.com/LearnEnglish.BritishCouncil
From your experience as a teacher, which of the items listed above are most useful and with chances of a better outcome? Let us know in the comments.