Making listening tasks easier, part 1

There are several ways to alter a listening task to make it easier. First you have to decide what the problem is, and then come up with a workable solution.


It's too long; students can't keep up the level of concentration needed to complete the task


  1. Don't use all the listening passage. Read through the teacher's copy and decide what would be a good place to stop. You may of course have to alter the task set as well, but that's better than getting all the students depressed because they can't do what's asked of them.

  2. Make it a split listening, where the students get to listen to part of the text in groups, and then put the various parts together to recreate the entire text. This approach also introduces speaking skills and group work to add to the effectiveness of the listening text.

  3. Give students information about the listening passage, so that they don't go into it 'blind'. Knowing that a listening passage is about X and is an argument between A and B will make students aware unconsciously and they will expect two sides of an argument and have some idea about the lines along which the speakers will speak.

Category Listening

Angus Savory 18-08-2011

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