Making listening tasks easier, part 3
The listening task is too easy.
- Make the task more difficult. If you were going to give the students a true or false, which is essentially a 50-50 exercise, as students have a 50% chance of getting it right, make it a true or false or not stated exercise, where they must tick not stated if there is nothing specifically said in the exercise.
- Make the listening a lesser part of the lesson. Ask students questions, the answers to which aren't specifically given in the passage. What was the man wearing? What had he had for breakfast that morning? What did he wear to bed last night? They might seem like silly questions, but at least it's getting the students to use their imaginations and talk to each other.
- Split the listening up into at least four parts. Divide the class into four groups and then play one group one part of the passage and so on. In addition to answering whatever questions you have, the students then have to get together and put the parts in the right order.
- Instead of making the listening a general comprehension exercise, make them listen more intensively, by asking them to write down all the examples of, for example, the present perfect, or all the contractions that are used. It's virtually impossible for this to be too easy, and they get very worthwhile grammar/pron practice from it too. It can even be a springboard to grammar or pron analysis.
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Angus Savory 18-08-2011