FC Listening lesson 2

Listening lesson 2


A well-designed listening activity should be broken down into carefully sequenced “phases” that build on each other. The initial pre-listening phase should prepare students by helping them activate their background knowledge and clarify their expectations and assumptions about the text. An ideal pre-listening task is one in which the teacher, through carefully constructed questions, helps the students to activate the background information and language components needed to comprehend the text without “giving” this information to the students.
Question: What do we mean by pre-listening? What are the goals of this phase of the listening activity?


Language teachers discuss the goals of pre-listening.
Duration: 02:53

Question: How much information should the teacher provide during pre-listening?



Should teachers provide students with information prior to listening?
Duration: 01:12

Question: How important is it to provide students with a list of vocabulary included in the passage before listening or to provide them with a transcription of the text to which they’ve listened?



On the need to provide text to listeners before listening.
Duration: 03:38

As in reading and as in any sport, a successful listening activity will very much depend on the initial “warm up” and “stretching” students do during pre-listening.
While Listening
“Global comprehension” refers to understanding the very general idea(s) or gist of the listening text after the first or second listen. While the students might pick up some details after the first listen, our aim should be to help them focus on the general meaning first, so that they can establish a preliminary framework that will enable them to get more details in the subsequent listens.
“Holistic listening” means listening to the “whole” text while “segmental listening” involves listening to specific “segments” of the text. Holistic listening should precede segmental listening, and its aim is to allow students to develop strategies and build stamina in processing listening texts. Segmental listening is very beneficial while doing intensive listening.
Now that we’re familiar with the terms, how should the listening activity proceed? How many times do we listen to the text? How can we check for global comprehension? Should we focus on segmental or holistic listening? How can we help students create focal points for subsequent listens?
In the following video we will try to answer some of these questions.



Discussion of some steps we can take in class after the students have listened to the text.
Duration: 04:44

In doing while-listening activities, it is important to remember the following:
• Allow students to listen to the text two or three times as a whole before going to intensive listening.
• Encourage student to focus on global meaning first and don’t pose questions that ask them for details after the first listen.
• Encourage students to make assumptions after the first listen and verify them after the second listen.
• Focus your questions and attention at this stage on the segments of the texts that are accessible to the students in terms of vocabulary and structures. Always remember that students don’t need to “get” everything in the text.

Intensive Listening
When designing listening activities keep in mind that, in addition to global comprehension, we need to focus our attention on intensive listening. This is crucial to help students develop effective listening strategies and build bottom-up listening skills, in addition to the top-down skills that are emphasized in global listening activities.
Intensive listening involves zeroing in on particular segments of the text, and this should come only after the students have developed global comprehension of the text. Intensive listening may target different goals such as
• getting more detailed understanding of some segments of the text,
• transcribing certain segments in the text,
• guessing the meaning of a word or phrase from context,
• looking at certain grammatical structures in the text to see how they can aid comprehension, etc.
Intensive listening activities can be done in class or in the lab or can be given as homework assignments. At the lower levels of instruction, consider doing global comprehension activities in class to work on strategies and utilize group work, and assign the intensive listening part for homework.


A post-listening activity represents a follow up to the listening activity and aims to utilize the knowledge gained from listening for the development of other skills such as speaking or writing. If we have listened to a TV program presenting a certain point of view regarding health care, for example, we can ask the students to do some research and identify some opposing views to present them in class. Alternatively, we may want to engage the students in a discussion of the merits of the views that were expressed in the listening segment.
Like post-reading activities, post-listening activities allow for recycling and further activation of vocabulary and structures as long as they are interesting and engaging and are carefully thought out.
What kind of post-listening activities do you think would be most beneficial to your students?



[Module Instructor Mahmoud Al-Batal]. 2010. [Listening]. In Foreign Language Teaching Methods. Carl Blyth, Editor. Texas Language Technology Center, University of Texas at Austin. http://coerll.utexas.edu

The material is provided free of charge for those that wish to study it.

How ever a no obligation  exam is available at the end of this module.