Tell your students they shouldn’t worry that they have to understand every word they hear. Not every word is important!
Where possible, make sure students know what they are listening for before you start listening. Explain they should focus only on the information they need.
Give two or three general questions to check students comprehension of the basic details.
If possible, check for any words that your students may not know. Pre-teach these so they do not interfere with understanding.
Brainstorm students’ ideas on the topic they are going to listen to. This will help focus them.
Don’t choose a listening that is too long. If necessary, stop the recording at certain points and review what students have understood so far.
As a general principle, try to play the recording once for overall comprehension. Then play the recording again for specific details.
Tell students to note any dates, people or places they hear.
Divide students into groups and give each group a different listening task (e.g. different questions). Then swap their answers and have students listen again and check their classmates’ answers.
Don’t be afraid to repeat the recording… especially the parts students have most trouble understanding.
Tell students to compare their notes and discuss what they understood in pairs or small groups.
Encourage students to respond to what they heard. For example, where possible ask questions like Do you agree? and encourage debate.
Tell pairs to write a summary of the main points. Then have them compare their summaries and check if they covered all the main points.
Play the recording again and tell students to call out ‘Stop!’ when they hear the answers they were listening for.
Put students into groups and tell them to make a list of comprehension questions to ask each other.
Tell students to make a list in their notebooks of any new vocabulary they feel is useful.
Remember, it’s important to give students a lot of variety in what they listen to. Try to use as many different sources of listening material as you can: advertisements, news programs, poetry, songs, extracts from plays, speeches, lectures, telephone conversations, informal dialogues… the more varied and authentic the listening practice you offer them, the more fun you’ll all have!