the News in class by Katie Riley
Activities to practise listening to the news;
Aim: Evaluating listening and scanning without visual
Procedure: Sts are asked to listen to one specific
topic and to pick out specific details. Similarly, an entire
news broadcast could be used and students asked about only
one of the items: "Who won the elections?" ,"Where
was the queen today?" and so on.(1)
NB This replicates a common real life situation where we are
listening for what we want to know and relate to the rest
of what we want to hear as redundant.
Aim: to predict content and listen for the main idea.
Pre listening: Sts are given 8 newspaper headlines.
They discuss what they think the story is about.
While Listening: Students listen to the eight excerpts
from newspaper bulletins. They use their prediction of the
content of the stories to match the excerpts and the headlines.
In this activity a real life situation is represented as students
listen out for the main event sin order to get a rough idea
what is happening.(2)
ideas are designed for fairly advanced level students. However,
there are lots of things we can do with students of other
levels, at least from intermediate upwards. Tomalin(1989)
provides some good suggestions.
These include things like;
1. The structure of the news. Students say when the news in
detail starts and when the summary of the main points begin.
2. The news headlines. Students tick off countries, names
etc that appear in the news headlines. The aim of doing this
is that by marking down the main country that the report refers
to, students will also pick up what the story is about.
3. Topic Charts. Students have topic charts and listen to
decide where a story fits.
4. Tell me the story. Students listen out for the key words
in a story and retell to their friends.
(1) Idea taken from Ur (1986)
(2)This idea was taken from Revell, J and Breary, B (1984)
This book contains lots of ideas for authentic listening activities.
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