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 globallistening or the listening for gist and how to 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 ofwhich has its own purpose during the lesson. 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 how many 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 considerably different 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 cannot be repeated. Of course in a conversation it is possible to ask someone to say something again, but the fact remains that while 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 (although it communicated nervousness) and was therefore unnecessary. The listener has to work out what is necessary and what is unnecessary in a case like this. In other words he has to discard the redundant parts of what is said and only listen to the 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 confusing conversations; to get them to discard redundancy, hesitation,
ungrammaticality and speakers changing their minds halfway through the sentence. Afterall, they can do it in their own languages, so it seems reasonable to suppose that we cantrain them to do it in English although clearly in acceptable stages; we would probablynot give the beginner the sort of conversation we have just looked at on his first day ofclass.The main purpose of teaching listening is to enable the students to understand spokenEnglish better. The word ‘understand’ can have several meanings. The different activitiesand material that help students with aspects of understanding 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 isknown as Global Listening or the listening for gist.In our classrooms, this often involves tasks such as identifying the main idea, noting asequence of events and the like. It could involve very general questions like ‘What’s themain topic?’ or if more task support is needed, giving the learners 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 arelistening to. We might only want to know the topic of a conversation, radio or TVprogramme, or we might be vaguely following it at the same time as doing other thingslike driving or cooking. Native speakers do this type of listening frequently andautomatically because they need pay little attention to get the general idea. Learners of alanguage may find it more difficult. They may feel the need to understand every word,and give up completely if they don’t, and they may be disturbed by distractions such asnoise 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 andforemost level of listening which includes the following components: • Sound Recognition: Obviously a student will be unable to make any sense at all of what he hears if he cannot recognize the distinctive sounds. • Recognizing and identifying the different intonation patterns.Many listening comprehension passages especially the longer ones to be found inpublished course material, are suitable for other types of work, too, e.g. structure practice.In cases like this, many of the techniques for presentation and practice on readingcomprehension can be adopted to listening, so if a text is too long, it can be divided upand global 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 are skilled 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 canget the “message” without getting all the words. Often what is important is emphasized orstressed, so try concentrating on that. You could try to predict or guess what the words you areunsure of mean. • Prepare yourself before you start listening for something. Think about what you expect to hear. Use the context or the situation, the intonation of the speaker and, if you’re watching a video, the expressions and body language of the people involved. • 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 will follow) 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 aparticular purpose and a particular group of students.How is the information organized? Does the story line, narrative, or instruction conform tofamiliar expectations? Texts in which the events are presented in natural chronological order,which have an informative title, and which present the information following an obviousorganization (main ideas first, details and examples second) are easier to follow.How familiar are the students with the topic? Remember that misapplication of backgroundknowledge due to cultural differences 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 naturalredundancy of the language.Does the text involve multiple individuals and objects? Are they clearly differentiated? It iseasier to understand a text with a doctor and a patient than one with two doctors, and it is eveneasier if they are of the opposite sex. In other words, the more marked the differences, the easierthe comprehension.Does the text offer visual support to aid in the interpretation of what the listeners hear? Visualaids such as maps, diagrams, pictures, or the images in a video help contextualize the listeninginput 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 teacher may
• 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 activate the 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 which they 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, andstudents proficiency level.While-listening activities relate directly to the text, and students do them do during orimmediately after the time they are listening. 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 toread 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 before listening begins so that theyare 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 write while listening may distract students from this primary goal. If awritten response is to be given after listening, the task can be more demanding.Organize activities so that they guide listeners through the text. Combine global activities suchas getting the main idea, topic, and setting with selective listening activities that focus on detailsof content and form.Use questions to focus students attention on the elements of the text crucial to comprehension ofthe whole. Before the listening activity begins, have students review questions they will answerorally or in writing after listening. Listening for the answers will help students recognize thecrucial parts of the message.Use predicting to encourage students to monitor their comprehension as they listen. Do apredicting activity before listening, and remind students to review what they are hearing to see ifit makes sense in the context of their prior knowledge and what they already know of the topic orevents of the passage.Give immediate feedback whenever possible. Encourage students to examine how or why theirresponses 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 listeningabilities. For this purpose, there are usually three different types of activities used by theteachers. They can be controlled, guided or free. All the three types of activities along with theirexamples are given below. These activities are used in the classroom to give ample practice toour students.Controlled Activities:Controlled activities are those where clear and complete directions are given to the studentsaccording to which they give their answers or do the activity. This helps to develop specific
abilities in them. The controlled activities are usually given to the beginner level students as theyare 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 which tells the overall appearance of the two people in the pictures given to them, and after that they are required to recognize the 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 be seen 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 Pilot The second person is sitting on a chair and table, and is writing some stuff. The person is quite serious looking with big spectacles. Is the person: A) A Nurse B) A housewife C) A school principal 2. A picture diagram is given to the students and at the same time they are made to listen to a tape recording about the different parts of the human mouth and esophagus.
The humans eat food through their mouths. The food enters the mouth where it is chewed by the teeth and broken down into small pieces with the help of the tongue as well. Then it is sent down to the esophagus by passing through the pharynx, the glottis closes down so 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 of people living in a certain area of the United States. After listening to
that story, the students are asked to answer a few questions regarding the recordedmaterial 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 ofstudents as in these activities the students are given partial outlines or incomplete frameworkswhich they are required to complete. In some cases, they might be asked to develop similarstories or events in their writing or speech as they are made to hear. Let’s see a few examples ofthe guided 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. A related 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 only two are married. However, the extension that is given to their family population is due to the fact that one daughter among the 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 by listening 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 is coming 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 car came 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 very peaceful environment. But there is one thing that is about to spoil their lives and it is air pollution spread by the smoke coming 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 theirhigh level of experience. They can easily do these activities as it requires experience andcreativity. Some examples of free activities are given below that are given to students in the classfor 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 evokes different 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 of theirs 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 be related 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. they can 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 the two 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. They might listen to it again if required.
Production and Evaluation:Towards the end of the whole lesson, the teacher needs to evaluate the students about whateverhe/she has taught to the students. For example, we might ask them what we have taught duringthe lecture. This can be done by asking them a few questions and listening to the answers thatthey give attentively.The teacher might encounter a few problems that are still faced by the students while listening totheir feedback. These problems can be corrected by the teacher at that time, or they might be leftfor the next lectures if they are not relevant to the topic of that day.Some activities at this stage are also advisable. For example, in order to evaluate our students forglobal listening, we will ask them a few general questions regarding our topic. ___________________