Making listening tasks easier, part 2
There are several ways to alter a listening task to make it easier. First you have to decide what the problem is, and then come up with a workable solution.
It's too difficult; students find it difficult to understand what the speakers are saying.
- Give students the tapescript. They will then be able to understand the speakers and follow the words as they listen. Their listening skills will still be tested, but they will have a crutch to help them. Make sure you don't give them time to read the whole passage before they listen to it, otherwise you will partly defeat the object of the listening exercise. If you feel uncomfortable giving them the tapescript with the listening passage, you can adapt this by giving them the tapescript for three minutes, or the tapescript with every second line missing, or part of the tapescript etc.
- Adapt the exercise. You can still make it a worthwhile exercise by, for example, asking the students to identify numbers or words, asking them how the speakers feel, from a list of adjectives written up on the board, or even, when there are more than two speakers, by asking them how many people are speaking. The other thing that you can do is split the exercise up, by giving one question to each student, rather than getting each student to answer each question.
Angus Savory 18-08-2011