Number one for English language teachers

Editorial: Focus on listening

Type: Article

In April's editorial, Keith Kelly highlights some of onestopclil's key listening resouces and previews this month's fresh content.

Dear colleagues,

The month of April is all about listening. And, given the whole host of listening opportunities in various guises on the site, we thought that we’d draw your attention to a few choice lessons and activities.

For ease of reference, I've divided the following materials into a number of learning-relevant sections:

Topics for young people
There are a number of listening opportunities in this section, and 'What are the positive and negative aspects of sport?' touches on one of the most popular topics click here for the related audio. The Pre, While and Post listening tasks ensure that the learning is very well contextualized. Click here for the related audio recording.

Real life contexts
These can be interview scenarios like the one with listening to advice about eating disorders (click here for the audio) or the Travel and Tourism lesson plan on the Journey of Kimbea, the wildebeest and accompanying audio. Also very useful is the listening to a telephone conversation section in this integrated skills business studies lesson.

Listening in content topics
Topic-based listening lessons such as this one on types of natural disasters like flooding and its accompanying audio will get your students’ attention, as will specific genre listening tasks such as listening to descriptions (for example, this piece of audio and lesson plan about animals). There are also plenty of ready-made, content-specific, gap-fill listening tasks such as this one about the Solar System where the teacher reads the text.

Integrated skills
Where listening is integrated within a series of tasks, a fine lesson to share with your students is this one on Diet and Disease, which incorporates a useful paired reading task. Here, students read, talk and listen to each other to fill in information in a table they have on their worksheet. Another lovely example is the question loop. There are many of these integrated reading, speaking and listening activities. A nice example is the human skeleton.

Listening to animations
There are many animations on onestopclil that have been prepared specially for learners working through English as a foreign language. This means that the animations themselves are placed within a context which focuses on the specific language inherent in the animation, such as process language. It also means that the language is highlighted and used before, during and/or after viewing and listening to the animation. One great example is on the Greenhouse Effect.

Methodology
John Clegg writes about listening skills for CLIL in one of his articles on Planning CLIL Lessons. John points out that students learning content are frequently expected to take notes during lessons, but they may not be given techniques for note taking while listening. Teachers need to plan their lessons to include, for example, specific listening training for taking notes.

Café CLIL offers colleagues more great listening opportunities. Café CLIL is a group of professionals who meet online to discuss issues relevant to CLIL and record the discussion which is then made available for anyone to listen to. Summaries of the ten discussions so far are given here.

What else is new?
There’s a whole host of new content to sink your teeth into. First up, there’s our exciting new series of mini-plays on contemporary British culture, written by Liz Plampton with associated lesson plans by Tim Bowen. The first play, based in Manchester, is called The clothes shop and is free to all users. To celebrate, we’re offering new and existing subscribers the chance to win a Sony Reader.

We are also very proud to publish the second installment of Carol Read’s Amazing world of animals project. This one is on animal habitats. While there’s more animal magic in this new science and nature worksheet for secondary students on the size and strength of animals. And if that wasn’t enough, younger learners will love this latest experiment from the Science Museum; here they can create their own roller-coaster ride.

Kay Bentley has been busy again this month and contributed both a new TKT vocab article describing Carroll diagrams and a second article discussing the role of TKT CLIL in teacher training. And last, but by no means least, Andreas Baernthaler, CLIL coordinator for the Austrian Vocational Schools Network CEBS, reveals all about his work in this month’s interview.


As always, please send us your feedback, comments, issues. Whether it's concerning resources, networks or expert information, we're here to help.

Best wishes,

Keith

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