Home Forums iTDi TESOL Certificate Pre-listening tasks Pre-listening tasks

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    • #8280


      Think about the recording which you listened to in Activity 1 about technology in education.
      Imagine you are using this with a class of upper-intermediate students. Think of:

      1. an interesting way to introduce the topic

      2. two guiding questions to help with the listening.

      Write your ideas in a reply below. Comment on other teachers’ ideas.

    • #8360

      Steven Herder

      This is tough for me. I really needed to see the audio script:

      I think it raises questions though about the teacher’s role, and I… as a teacher educator myself I have to think carefully about embracing all technologies with open arms, especially those that in a sense disempower the teacher. What I mean by this is, if you imagine a school, an educational organization, in which everything was computerized, the classrooms were all wired up, delivering the content, as it were, to the students directly and in a very attractive way, what is the teacher’s role? Is the teacher’s role simply a technician, a glorified technician, who’s kind of pressing buttons and basically just making sure that the students are all on task? And I think this is… is happening in some contexts, and I don’t think it’s necessarily for the better, not only for the teachers but also for the learners. I think there is an element of education, I think there always will be, which will involve direct face-to-face personal contact between somebody who knows something or can do something a little better than someone else.

      However, I might do some of the following:

      1. an interesting way to introduce the topic

      – Do a poll with students about their use of technology or SNS
      – Choose one student and have a brief Q&A about technology or her learning styles using technology

      2. two guiding questions to help with the listening.

      – Is the speaker more positive or negative about technology?
      – What is an example of a bad role for teachers?

      • #8428

        Steve – I like your ideas to use a poll and ‘case study’ Q&A with one student.

        For the Q&A, what would you instruct other students to do?

    • #8406

      Rhett Burton

      I love tech. I love using a blended classroom experience. I would introduce students to name all the different technologies they use. I would draw their attention to the technology we have in the classroom. I would also probably create a few categorize for what ‘tech’ means because someone might say ‘pencils’ are tech too.

      I would guide them to define our roles as students and learners with technology. How do you use the tech to learn English? If you learn via your phone, do you even need me as a teacher?

      I would give candy to students who said, “We love you, teacher.”
      This listening activity is a fascinating topic for me.

      • #8424

        Rhett – I like how you guide students from their own experiences and understanding of tech towards the listening topic focusing on tech and the role of the teacher.

        What proportion of a class do you think you would spend on the listening activity itself in contrast to pre-listening (and post-listening) tasks?


      • #8427

        Rhett – please refer back to Activity 8 on guiding questions for listening activities, then think of 2 guiding questions that would be appropriate for this listening task with upper intermediate students. (You can also see how guiding questions fit into the bigger picture in Activity 5.)

      • #10556

        scott gray

        I love tech too, but do think we need to use it as a tool and not the only solution. I think tech all the time devalues the currency and will lead to less in results if it is the only thing. With High school kids I see kids today where the phone is more in control of them than they are.
        I like how you guide by example and put yourself out there first providing a model and showing the kids what you expect.

        As for giving candy, yeah just be careful as some don’t like it and see it as bribery.

        Give a suggestion, I guess would be would you consider giving them a nontech day to just show them to value it more and treat it more like a gift than a given?

    • #8413

      Barbara Bujtás

      1. I would also ask them to take sides on the topic of using technology in schools. I’d encourage them to (collectively) list three reasons for and three reasons against using technology. (Whole class discussion, with two lists as an end product).

      Is the speaker for or against the idea of using technology in education?
      What is his reasoning to support his argument?

      • #8425

        Barbi – I like the idea of using this as a platform for discussion/debate, especially with upper-intermediate level students.

        In a group class, how might you arrange things so that all students participate as equally as possible?

      • #8431

        Barbara Bujtás

        To make sure everyone participates in the discussion, I would give each student 30 seconds to say something, or if they have no idea, they can agree with someone else and justify why they agree.

      • #8433

        Nice alternative for students who don’t have any ideas!

    • #8426

      Upper-intermediate class with 20 university EFL students

      1. Topic introduction: The Roles of Technology and Teachers in Education

      a) Brainstorm/Mindmap individually (5 minutes) [W]
      Students think about and make notes/mindmap on the following:
      (i) The role of teachers in teaching English
      (ii) The role of technology in learning English

      b) Share and discuss answers in small groups of 4 (10 minutes) [LSRW]
      Students have 1-minute each to share their ideas with their group. They should listen and add each other’s ideas to their notes/mindmap.

      c) Walkaround (5 minutes) [RW]
      Students leave their mind-maps open on their desk. They have 2-3 minutes to walk around and see what other ideas they want to ‘borrow’ from their classmates. Then they have 1-2 minutes to add to their notes/mindmap.

      2. Guiding questions
      a) Does the speak think technology will add or take something away from the role of the teacher?
      b) Overall, does the speaker agree or disagree with having more and more technology in classrooms?

      • #16337

        Rhett Burton

        I like your Think Pair Share approach to the task. Your first activity gets students to invest their time and energy into understanding the topic. After that, you have the students share their thoughts with a group as a sounding board. This helps students to practice and become more fluent at discussing their position on the topic. The walk around is nice because people love to compare their thought with their peers, which may lead to borrowing ideas

      • #16340

        Good analysis, Rhett. I think that Think, Pair, Share is a really good staple series of activities for almost any lesson, even teaching one-to-one.

    • #10325

      Masatoshi Shoji

      1. an interesting way to introduce the topic
      2. two guiding questions to help with the listening.

      1. I’ll ask this question to everyone in the class and ask students to write their opinions and share their ideas in a group.
      Does Artificial Intelligence play a key role in teaching?

      2.Then, I’ll ask the following questions:
      Do technologies take every role of teachers?
      Does the speaker think technologies should teach instead of teachers?

      • #10336

        I like the questions and the potential for involving students in deeper discussion. How can you encourage students to give more than simple Yes/No/Maybe or short answers?

    • #10555

      scott gray

      I would have them listen to the talk first. Now listen to a teacher promoting teachers over technology.
      Question A: Is the teacher necessary in today’s technology supported classrooms? ( Is the teacher just a technological janitor in today’s classroom? )
      B: Can a teacher make learning easier than a machine can? (Does the teacher help you in ways a computer or technology can’t? )

      Then I would ask them to pretend to be administrators who don’t want to pay for new technology and provide a burden on teachers. They would have to come up with reasons why not to use it or why old school style is better. Sorry short and sweet today.

      • #10579

        Here, we are specifically focusing on pre-listening tasks so what would be a good topic introduction activity before they listen.

        Your guiding questions nonetheless work well, and nice follow-up role-play for adults, and possibly older kids.

    • #10741

      Rhett Burton

      1. Choosing the theme in the classroom. I would give a spelling test of four words (computer, printer, mobile devices, pencil). Three words would be about tech, and one wouldn’t be. I would observe their decoding skills. Next, I would ask the students to discuss which word isn’t similar to the other. Third, I would ask the students what they think we are going to discuss via choosing a theme.

      2. Discuss how we use tech devices in the classroom. Guide students to respond via examples they know from class. Example -“What do we use these (computer, printer, mobile devices) tech devices for?”

      3. Brainstorm the pros and cons of using tech via sentence starters. Ask students, “Why is tech in the classroom good? I think tech in the classroom is good because…” and “Why is tech in the classroom bad? I think tech in the classroom is bad because…”

      • #10747

        I like your use of a spelling test with an odd word out, then adding not just one but 2 further levels of engagement. (I’m going to borrow this!)

        I also like how you then start with getting students to examine their existing use and make observations and develop discussion.

        One variation I like with sentence starters is to have them on strips of paper. Each student gets an equal number and aims to use all their strips. It works well in pairs and small groups. It can be competitive or cooperative with teams competing against each other. Whilst I primarily focus on the communication of meaning. They can race to build speed and fluency or have more time to build longer more complex sentences, and/or focus on accuracy (which I usually do at a later stage, depending on the learners).

    • #10900

      Jessica Sohn

      1. An interesting way of introducing the topic
      -have pictures of different technology tools on the board (sns, computers, phones, etc) and just start an open conversation. (introduction)
      ex.Which ones are your favorites? Which ones do you use when studying?
      -I will have the students paired up and get into a mind-map activity.
      -> have them think of some tools they use in learning English.
      -> have them think of pros and cons of tech in learning English.

      2. two guiding questions
      a) Does the speaker agree or disagree with technology in classrooms?
      b) Why? Why does the speaker agree or disagree?

      • #10941

        Great idea to start with visual cues to get the ball rolling. If students aren’t all forthcoming in an open class, the pairwork will take care of that.

        Prior to pairwork, however, it’s often good to give students time to work on their own mindmaps, especially those who are more introverted or shyer. This gives them pre-speaking planning time. To be honest, I didn’t do this until about 10-12 years ago since the focus of my initial training and even in-service training for the first 5 years of my career tended to highlight student-student interaction, pairwork, and talking time. However, since giving individual time regularly, I notice that more of my students will start the speaking activity with something to say and almost all students will have more to say.

        Nice choice of guiding questions.

    • #13933

      Naoko Amano

      Hello everyone,

      I don’t have enough experience of teaching those levels and adults students so I would like to write about what I thought about other teacher’s ideas.

      I like Barbie’s idea very much. Listening activities tend to be very quiet and not active parts of the lesson. However, by having discussion among students, the lesson will be more active. I think it will help students to have an image of the contents of the recording and help students to focus on listening activities.

      Also, discussion gives them a chance to use English. In Japan, most of the schools do listening activities as a preparation for the university entrance examinations. So, they often teach the routines, rules and techniques to find the right answer. However, that style is very boring and it does not help improving students’ English skill.

      Discussion before the listening activity seems very effective, so I would like to try it.

      • #13958

        Thank you for sharing that, Naoko. With regards to teaching students in Japan to find answers for tests, this can help students practice certain comprehension skills but can ignore the bottom-up listening skills they need to develop first.

        For example, for beginners, they may need more work to identify the individual sounds as well as unstressed syllables like the schwa. Then they may need to learn to distinguish words and chunks as they move towards understanding sentences better. They also need to get used to natural speed, rhythm, intonation, etc. So, to help with all of this, especially in EFL contexts like Japan, it’s really beneficial to have an Extensive Listening programme.

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