Planning a listening lesson – 15 tips

In this post I wanted to give you a list of 15 practical tips for planning listening lessons. I’ve tried to put them in an order resembling the way I’d actually follow when planning.  If you have any other tips, please let me know in the comments section.
  1. If possible, choose a text which will interest your students 
  2. Engage students in the topic before they start listening 
  3. Design the tasks so that each further raises students’ interest and curiosity, making them want to continue listening or to listen again 
  4. Lower processing demands by setting a gist task: it should a) be achievable in one listening b)encourage to listen further c)prompt a personal response 
  5. Ensure students know what the task is (TIP: put the gist question on the board, ICQ) 
  6. Design the tasks so that they are TAPE: techniques–oriented, authentic, purposeful and engaging (see my post on it here) 
  7. Ask yourself what is difficult about this particular listening, what students might struggle with and construct tasks which will tackle those 
  8. Build in reflection stages: students are often curious why they’re doing what they’re doing and should be made aware of the reasoning behind certain activities 
  9. Don’t be afraid to replay the passages that were difficult to home in on particular issues students have had: this is where the real teaching starts 
  10. Let the students decide what they want to listen for: it’s much more authentic and motivating 
  11. If the listening is your aim, allow the majority of classroom time for the actual listening 
  12. When setting the more intensive listening task, often the simplest and best idea is to focus on the problems identified in the first listening (i.e. respond to sts queries or ask them which parts were difficult/interesting/they’d like to listen to again and focus on those) 
  13. It might sound silly but… make sure you know the answers! 
  14. Anticipate problems and prepare solutions/remedial tasks: this is similar to the anticipated problems and solutions section when planning a systems lesson 
  15. Think how students can use the subskill you have focused on beyond the class: TIP design dos and don’ts list, set a HW which will force them to use the strategies and feedback in the following class

7 thoughts on “Planning a listening lesson – 15 tips

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