Active listening workshop
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Active listening workshop






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Active listening workshop Active listening workshop Presentation Transcript

  • 1
    Active Listening / Using youtube in class
  • Additional idea from the workshop! Have a look at the active listening materials in Classroom Dynamics (now saved in this workshop folder as well).
    Why is active listening important?
    With your partners, please discuss:
    In class, do you ever feel like you’re talking to a brick wall? Why?
    Do you think students always realise how they come across to you and other students (uninterested/ angry etc.)?
    Do you think your students generally seem very natural in conversations, or like language students?
    Have you ever tried to overcome these issues in class? How did you do it? Did it work?
  • What is active listening?
    It is a way of listening and responding to another person that improves mutual understanding. It focuses the attention on the speaker.
    It includes a range of verbal and non-verbal responses which can vary from culture to culture.
    Main uses:
    to clarify the speaker’s meaning and feelings
    to show emotional reactions, such as support, enthusiasm, or sympathy
    to encourage the speaker to feel comfortable opening up
    to avoid or reduce conflict and misunderstanding
  • What kind of activities can practice it?
    • To participate in conversations in a more fluent way
    • To recognise and practice showing emotion through intonation
    • To check they really understand their partners’ meaning and feelings
    • To understand how they come across to native English speakers (interested, polite etc.)
    • To learn and practice fluency phrases for conversations
  • 5
    Classroom Activities
  • Joaquin Phoenix on Letterman / Secret A##hole
    Additional idea from the workshop! You can also try playing the video first without sound, so students really only concentrate on body language and facial expressions.
    to raise students’ awareness of how listening is an important sub-skill of speaking
    to model some good and (mostly) bad examples of active listening
    to provide an opportunity to practise recognising and doing active listening, as well as practise of fluency speaking
    While watching the clip, students answer the following:
    Are both people interested / participating in the conversation? How do you know?
    In groups, students make a list of ways we show we are listening and letting the other person know we are interested as well as a list of how we don’t. (We’ve supplied a handout, but you certainly don’t need to prepare one in advance.)
    Practice time: Secret A##hole. In groups, students have 3-4 minutes to discuss a given topic (you can write generic topics, such as ‘your weekend’ on the WB). Before speaking, students pick a card from the middle. One student gets the , meaning s/he should not show interest; the others with the  must practise active listening. After time is up, the group decides who had the  card.
  • Ultimate Dog Tease Video
    to model a good example of active listening, albeit by a dog
    to give students more tools for active listening
    Show video and ask students to answer:
    How does the dog feel and how do you know?
    Help guide students’ discovery of typical active listening skills by using a checklist
    Practice time! You can use Secret A##hole or …
    Additional idea from the workshop! You can also try using the WALL-E idea of getting students to write more dialogue on top of what the dog is really saying.
  • 3-2-1
    Additional idea from the workshop! You can also try 1-2-3 so students incorporate ideas from the questions into their stories and expand as they go.
    to practise fluency speaking in the context of telling a story
    to practise active listening skills, such as showing interest, responding emotionally and asking for clarification
    Ask students to stand in 2 concentric circles facing each other (like a donut, mmm…)
    Outer-circle students will tell the same story three times, but within shortening time limits
    Inner-circle students will actively listen and ask 1 question after each story to clarify meaning
    Round 1, 3 minutes
    Ask inner-circle students to shift one place to hear a new story
    Round 2, 2 minutes
    Ask inner-circle students to shift one place to hear a new story
    Round 3, 1 minute
    Outer-circle students can now decide which students were better at active listening and why
    Increased challenge:
    Give outer-circle students a type of story to tell, such as sad, happy, surprising. Arrange outer-circle so that the listeners will have to respond differently to each story they hear.
  • Wall-E clip –intonation of responses 21:05-22:33
    to raise students’ awareness of non-verbal communication, including the intonation and language of conversations and active listening
    to provide an opportunity to translate non-verbal communication into words, practise conversational skills such as intonation and body language
    1st viewing: raising awareness
    Students watch a short clip from WALL-E to answer the following questions:
    What methods do Wall-e and Eve use to show their interest in each other?
    What does Eve do to avoid a question?
    2nd viewing: translating non-verbal into verbal
    After getting feedback with the class, ask students to watch a second time and think about what the robots are saying to each other. With a partner, students write what they think the dialogue really is in English.
    3rd viewing: practising intonation and body language
    Watch the clip again and this time students use their dialogue over Eve and Wall-e, remembering to use intonation and body language.
  • Incorporating active listening into the book
    Suggestions from the workshop! Maybe start with the Joaquin Phoenix video to show why it’s important and then use the Dog video for the Pron./Intonation practice. Also, 3-2-1 for exercise #3!
    How would you incorporate the previous activities, or other ideas you have, into this lesson from the book?
    Remember all the ways you can practise active listening (see slide #4)!
  • Further thoughts…
    Links for videos in this workshop:
    Joaquin Phoenix interview:
    Ultimate Dog Tease video:
    WALL-E clip:
    Other useful sites for finding and using video clips:
    Check out the ‘What happens next?’ video lesson on
    More ESL lesson ideas using youtube videos:
    How can I find a clip on youtube? Try searching for specific language you want in the film rather than broad categories; when searching for a grammar point, try searching for its normal context (i.e. modals of possibility – maybe search for ‘bank robbery’)
    How can I show just one part of a long youtube clip? You can ‘crop’ a long clip for just the part you want using Ask us if you have questions! 
    How can I save all my websites to use easily while in class? Try setting up your own page on