LESSON PLANNINGA LESSON PLAN ON LISTENING SKILLSLevel: To teach Secondary level students approximately 2 hrs of English per week.Topic: Listening skills especially Global Listening.Aims: The main objectives of this lesson plan are:• To develop the global listening abilities of the students,• To teach them a few basic listening strategies,• To remove the flaws the students might be facing in global listening, and• To expose them to a number of different listening situations through activities.Time: 40 minutes approximately.Aids: Charts, laptop with speakers, audio recordings, handouts, video clips, white board.Anticipated Problems: students might be confused about how to carry on with global listening or the listening for gist and howto differentiate it from the other types of listening. However, the other main types of listening will be the focus of our next lesson,and the students’ mistakes related to these topics will not be corrected by us at present.Procedure: The overall procedure of the lesson is constituted by four major Ps, each of which has its own purpose during thelesson. They will be discussed in the following discourse. Preparation or Warm up: Paste the charts on the whiteboard and write down the topic of our lesson. Ask a few questions from the students in order to stir their prior schema related to listening. Ask them the difference between listening and hearing. Narrate some event or story and check how many students are able to grasp whatever we are saying, and howmany of them can reproduce it. Check how many students are having difficulty in listening. At last, see if the students are capable of listening specifically for gist i.e. global listening. Presentation:Listening as a skill may be extremely similar to reading, but the text the listener has to deal with is considerablydifferent from the written one. Most obviously, the listener cannot look at what he is trying to hear. Whereas the written
word stays on the page and can be looked at more than once, the spoken word, unless recorded on tape or record cannotbe repeated. Of course in a conversation it is possible to ask someone to say something again, but the fact remains thatwhile a reader can look back at something as many times as he wants, the listener cannot.Let’s have a look at the following example to understand the concept:I wonder…I mean I was wondering…if you might possibly…if you would like to come to dinner.The message is an invitation to dinner, and much of what was said did not help to communicate that message (althoughit communicated nervousness) and was therefore unnecessary. The listener has to work out what is necessary and whatis unnecessary in a case like this. In other words he has to discard the redundant parts of what is said and only listen tothe main message. This is a particular listening skill.One of our tasks when teaching listening will be to train students to understand what is being said in confusingconversations; to get them to discard redundancy, hesitation, ungrammaticality and speakers changing their mindshalfway through the sentence. After all, they can do it in their own languages, so it seems reasonable to suppose that wecan train them to do it in English although clearly in acceptable stages; we would probably not give the beginner thesort of conversation we have just looked at on his first day of class.The main purpose of teaching listening is to enable the students to understand spoken English better. The word‘understand’ can have several meanings. The different activities and material that help students with aspects ofunderstanding can be:• Hearing all the words a speaker says.• Understanding the plain sense of the formation a speaker is giving.• Deducing the meaning of unknown words and phrases by using the context.• Understanding what is implied but not stated in so many words.• Recognizing a speaker’s mood or attitude.• Recognizing the degree of formality with which the speaker is talking.• Etc.Global Listening:When the students listen to something and try to understand it in a more general way, it is known as Global Listeningor the listening for gist.
In our classrooms, this often involves tasks such as identifying the main idea, noting a sequence of events and the like.It could involve very general questions like ‘What’s the main topic?’ or if more task support is needed, giving thelearners a few choices (friends, sports, the weather) and having them choose the main topic.Global listening occurs when we simply want to get the main point of what we are listening to. We might only want toknow the topic of a conversation, radio or TV programme, or we might be vaguely following it at the same time asdoing other things like driving or cooking. Native speakers do this type of listening frequently and automaticallybecause they need pay little attention to get the general idea. Learners of a language may find it more difficult. Theymay feel the need to understand every word, and give up completely if they don’t, and they may be disturbed bydistractions such as noise and poor sound quality, which are not generally a problem for native speakers.In this type of listening, the listener is usually required to have developed the first and foremost level of listening whichincludes the following components:• Sound Recognition: Obviously a student will be unable to make any sense at all of what he hears if he cannotrecognize the distinctive sounds.• Recognizing and identifying the different intonation patterns.Many listening comprehension passages especially the longer ones to be found in published course material, aresuitable for other types of work, too, e.g. structure practice. In cases like this, many of the techniques for presentationand practice on reading comprehension can be adopted to listening, so if a text is too long, it can be divided up andglobal pre-questions can be set, followed by more specific post-questions.Suggestions to improve listening input:• Global listening should be short (one to three minutes of duration).• *Teachers’ monologues are most effective at this level if they are delivered in a simplified code.• Try to add new material gradually.• Global listening exercises delivered to large classes, offers an option to use the class time wisely.• Selective listening exercises focused on structures or sounds are easy to prepare.• Listening discrimination tasks can focus on tenses, word order, or new vocabulary.Techniques for Global Listening:• Presentation of new material. Since global listening is the presentation of new material. Until students areskilled readers, it is the best to present new material orally.• Texts should be short, and preceded by a pre-listening activity.• New vocabulary can be used in short, illustrative sentences before learners hear it as part of the lesson.
• The new text should be modeled at normal speed, but with pauses between natural phrase groups.• Comprehension at the beginning stage is not depend on understanding every word.How to improve your global listening:Remember, it isn’t necessary to understand everything! Many words are not essential - you can get the “message” without gettingall the words. Often what is important is emphasized or stressed, so try concentrating on that. You could try to predict or guesswhat the words you are unsure of mean.• Prepare yourself before you start listening for something. Think about what you expect to hear. Use the context or thesituation, the intonation of the speaker and, if you’re watching a video, the expressions and body language of the peopleinvolved.• There are also clues in the language which help you predict what’s coming:-signals such as “There’s one point I’d like to make...........”, “I’m afraid that............” (signals something negative willfollow)connectors such as “Although...........”, “On the one hand............”,sequencers such as “Firstly..............”, “Next...............”Check the level of difficulty of the listening text.The factors listed below can help you judge the relative ease or difficulty of a listening text for a particular purpose and aparticular group of students.How is the information organized? Does the story line, narrative, or instruction conform to familiar expectations? Texts in whichthe events are presented in natural chronological order, which have an informative title, and which present the informationfollowing an obvious organization (main ideas first, details and examples second) are easier to follow.How familiar are the students with the topic? Remember that misapplication of background knowledge due to culturaldifferences can create major comprehension difficulties.Does the text contain redundancy? At the lower levels of proficiency, listeners may find short, simple messages easier to process,but students with higher proficiency benefit from the natural redundancy of the language.Does the text involve multiple individuals and objects? Are they clearly differentiated? It is easier to understand a text with adoctor and a patient than one with two doctors, and it is even easier if they are of the opposite sex. In other words, the moremarked the differences, the easier the comprehension.Does the text offer visual support to aid in the interpretation of what the listeners hear? Visual aids such as maps, diagrams,pictures, or the images in a video help contextualize the listening input and provide clues to meaning.Use pre-listening activities to prepare students for what they are going to hear or view.
The activities chosen during pre-listening may serve as preparation for listening in several ways. During pre-listening the teachermay• assess students background knowledge of the topic and linguistic content of the text• provide students with the background knowledge necessary for their comprehension of the listening passage or activatethe existing knowledge that the students possess• clarify any cultural information which may be necessary to comprehend the passage• make students aware of the type of text they will be listening to, the role they will play, and the purpose(s) for whichthey will be listening• provide opportunities for group or collaborative work and for background reading or class discussion activitiesSample pre-listening activities:• looking at pictures, maps, diagrams, or graphs• reviewing vocabulary or grammatical structures• reading something relevant• constructing semantic webs (a graphic arrangement of concepts or words showing how they are related)• predicting the content of the listening text• going over the directions or instructions for the activity• doing guided practiceMatch while-listening activities to the instructional goal, the listening purpose, and students proficiency level.While-listening activities relate directly to the text, and students do them do during or immediately after the time they arelistening. Keep these points in mind when planning while-listening activities:If students are to complete a written task during or immediately after listening, allow them to read through it before listening.Students need to devote all their attention to the listening task. Be sure they understand the instructions for the written task beforelistening begins so that they are not distracted by the need to figure out what to do.Keep writing to a minimum during listening. Remember that the primary goal is comprehension, not production. Having to writewhile listening may distract students from this primary goal. If a written response is to be given after listening, the task can bemore demanding.
Organize activities so that they guide listeners through the text. Combine global activities such as getting the main idea, topic,and setting with selective listening activities that focus on details of content and form.Use questions to focus students attention on the elements of the text crucial to comprehension of the whole. Before the listeningactivity begins, have students review questions they will answer orally or in writing after listening. Listening for the answerswill help students recognize the crucial parts of the message.Use predicting to encourage students to monitor their comprehension as they listen. Do a predicting activity before listening, andremind students to review what they are hearing to see if it makes sense in the context of their prior knowledge and what theyalready know of the topic or events of the passage.Give immediate feedback whenever possible. Encourage students to examine how or why their responses were incorrect.Sample while-listening activities:• listening with visuals• filling in graphs and charts• following a route on a map• checking off items in a list• listening for the gist• searching for specific clues to meaning• completing cloze (fill-in) exercises• distinguishing between formal and informal registersPractice:We need to give the students a lot of practice in order to help them develop their listening abilities. For this purpose, there areusually three different types of activities used by the teachers. They can be controlled, guided or free. All the three types ofactivities along with their examples are given below. These activities are used in the classroom to give ample practice to ourstudents.Controlled Activities:Controlled activities are those where clear and complete directions are given to the students according to which they give theiranswers or do the activity. This helps to develop specific abilities in them. The controlled activities are usually given to thebeginner level students as they are less experienced and need full instructions. Some controlled listening activities are givenbelow which will help students to develop their global listening skills.
1. Describing the appearance and recognizing the person in the picture: a recorded tape is listened by the students whichtells the overall appearance of the two people in the pictures given to them, and after that they are required to recognizethe respected person.The first person is wearing a coat, spectacles, and has an umbrella in one hand while a suitcase in the other. There can beseen a white overall slung over one arm. The person is also clean-shaven with a moustache. Is the person:A) A doctor B) A driver C) A PilotThe second person is sitting on a chair and table, and is writing some stuff. The person is quite serious looking with bigspectacles. Is the person:A) A Nurse B) A housewife C) A school principal2. A picture diagram is given to the students and at the same time they are made to listen to a tape recordingabout the different parts of the human mouth and esophagus. The humans eat food through their mouths. Thefood enters the mouth where it is chewed by the teeth and broken down into small pieces with the help of thetongue as well. Then it is sent down to the esophagus by passing through the pharynx, the glottis closes downso as to close the opening into the trachea and stop the food from entering into the wind pipe.Label the different parts of the diagram given to you after listening to the recorded material.3. The third activity is about a story told to the students through a recorded tape. It is about a certain group ofpeople living in a certain area of the United States. After listening to that story, the students are asked toanswer a few questions regarding the recorded material they listened to.A) What country do these people belong to?B) What is the man sitting by the pond doing?C) What type of life is shown in the story, Rural or Urban?D) What time of the day is reflected through the activities of the people in the story?Guided Activities:The next category is that of the guided activities. They are used for a little higher level of students as in these activities thestudents are given partial outlines or incomplete frameworks which they are required to complete. In some cases, they might beasked to develop similar stories or events in their writing or speech as they are made to hear. Let’s see a few examples of theguided activities that can be used in the classroom for listening:1. The first activity concerns the tale of a family tree. The students listen to a story told by the teacher about a family. Arelated picture is also given to them. After that they are required to follow some instructions.
Mr. and Mrs. Ahmed are an old couple with quite a big family. They have three children of their own among whom onlytwo are married. However, the extension that is given to their family population is due to the fact that one daughter amongthe second generation gave birth to a lot of children.Recognize and name the different people given in the family tree and add to it the next generation of their family bylistening twice to the recording.2. The students listen to another recording. It is about two cars moving in the opposite directions. From one car a person iscoming out while a person is going in to the other car.Tell which car is likely to be started soon. Also create a story regarding both of the cars. Where do you imagine the first carcame from, and where is the second car going to?3. The third activity concerns a narration listened by the students about a certain community of people living in a verypeaceful environment. But there is one thing that is about to spoil their lives and it is air pollution spread by the smokecoming out of cars etc.Create another story about what is likely to happen to these people’s lives after this.Free Activities:The free Activities are usually given to the high and advanced level students because of their high level of experience. They caneasily do these activities as it requires experience and creativity. Some examples of free activities are given below that are givento students in the class for practice of global listening.1. The first activity concerns playing an audio clip for the students of Atif Aslam’s song sung at the coke studio. It evokesdifferent feelings and memories among th students while they listen to it.Now the students are asked to write something after listening to that song. They might be asked to narrate any experience oftheirs regarding the song that they have heard, or they might be asked to write about their feelings.2. The second activity is given to the students in the form of a story that is narrated to them by the teacher. It can berelated to any topic. The story may have a number of characters involved in a number of activities.In the end they are asked to create another story from the events that they have listened to in the story narrated to them. theycan pick any event of their own choice. They would also have to give a title to their story of their own choice.
3. The third and last activity is that of a telephonic conversation listened to by the students. The conversation between thetwo people on the phone can be about weather conditions of their respected areas.In the end, the students are asked to narrate or give an overall gist of whatever they Have listened to in the recording. Theymight listen to it again if required.Production and Evaluation:Towards the end of the whole lesson, the teacher needs to evaluate the students about whatever he/she has taught to the students.For example, we might ask them what we have taught during the lecture. This can be done by asking them a few questions andlistening to the answers that they give attentively.The teacher might encounter a few problems that are still faced by the students while listening to their feedback. These problemscan be corrected by the teacher at that time, or they might be left for the next lectures if they are not relevant to the topic of thatday.Some activities at this stage are also advisable. For example, in order to evaluate our students for global listening, we will askthem a few general questions regarding our topic.