By Tarun Patel
15 ways of combining listening and reading
By Alex Case
Copyright 2009 Alex Case/ TEFL.net, republished with permission.
1. Radio news
Many sites that offer streaming or downloadable radio news also have a short text summarizing the story. Reading this before listening will make comprehension easier, especially if students discuss what they read and/ or think about what they might hear before they listen. Reading first also allows students to look up some of the difficult vocabulary in their dictionaries. In class, tasks that combine the two include predicting what extra information will be given in the listening text, writing questions that they still want answered after reading the text and listening for the answers, and expanding the written text with the information in the listening text.
2. Graded reader plus CD
Most graded readers (= easy readers- simplified and shortened books of stories etc especially for language learners) nowadays have some kind of recording. I usually recommend that students read through the whole book without the CD, then read and listen at the same time to check the pronunciation, then just listen to the CD on their MP3 player as many times as they can bear. If the whole class has a set of one particular graded reader you could do more interesting things like playing the first part of the story before they start reading to get them interested in the whole story. With a range of different books, students could listen to a short extract of each book and decide from that which book they would like to take home.
3. Movie with subtitles
The advantages of having English subtitles include being able to easily look things up in a dictionary and learning the spelling and pronunciation at the same time. There is occasionally an argument for watching the film with subtitles in their own language, as understanding what is going on will make comprehension and so memorizing of the language easier the second time they watch it. The disadvantages with having any kind of subtitles are that students will come to rely on them and will get too used to being able to understand every word rather than pick out the message. In a similar way to the recommendation for graded readers above, I usually suggest watching the first time with English subtitles and the second time without. They will eventually need to work their way up to watching a film or episode of a TV series with no subtitles the first time too, and this can be made easier with careful selection of what they watch (e.g. the next episode of a series they know well or a film they already know the story of because they have read the book) or by turning the subtitles on every time they get completely lost and then back off when they know what is going on.
Read the remaining 12 ways at http://edition.tefl.net
Alex Case has been a teacher, teacher trainer, Director of Studies, ELT writer and editor in Turkey, Thailand, Spain, Greece, Italy, Japan, UK and now Korea, and writes TEFLtastic blog (www.tefl.net/alexcase)
*ELTWeekly would like to thank Alex Case for contributing this article.
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