To understand a lesson, students must be able hear and comprehend lectures, instructions and directions. In order to teach any subject, listening comprehension skills must be acquired to understand future topics and lessons. Integrate listening activities in your classroom to help improve the grades and interest of your students. By enhancing your students' listening skills, you can create a more interactive and dynamic classroom with curious, responsive students.
- Skill level:
Evaluate your students. Read a passage aloud to your students or discuss the elements of a lesson and ask your students questions about it. Find out where the gaps in listening and comprehension occurs.
Teach your students to take notes. Help each student get more out of lectures by giving them each a notebook and a pencil. As you speak, ask students to write down key points you have mentioned. Ask your students to read some of their notes at the end of the lesson to help the whole class review.
Use a top-down listening activity. Introduce a topic by listing out important terms or words on a black or dry erase board. Bring in visuals and talk about the images represented before launching into your lesson. By preparing students beforehand, you will break down the "top," or main points, of your lesson into manageable and understandable portions.
Add repetition to your lessons. Instead of rambling on about a particular topic, talk about a portion of the lesson for several minutes and then stop. Select a student in the classroom to reiterate the topic you have just discussed in her own words.
Give a test to your students. Play a radio show, news broadcast or political speech in your classroom. Ask the students to listen attentively and write the down the main points discussed. When finished, gather each student's notes and check them with your own to see how many key topics the student listed. Award points or a grade based on the amount and type of information given.
Tips and warnings
- Try making eye contact while speaking to help engage your students.
- Speak in a variable tone, alternating your voice's inflection. A monotone or flat tone can disinterest many students.
- Open your lecture up by creating a discussion. Encourage your students to ask questions about concepts they do not understand as you talk about a subject or lesson.
- Give your classroom frequent breaks to get up and move around. Stretching can increase awareness and blood flow to the brain.
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- National Capital Language Resource Center:Teaching Listening: Goals and Techniques for Teaching Listening: 2004
- English Teaching Forum: Teaching Listening Comprehension in Large Classes: I.A. Olaofe: 1994
- British Council: BBC: Listening; Top Down and Bottom Up: Catherine Morley: 2007
- "Teaching Listening Comprehension"; Penny Ur; 1998