jueves, 30 de septiembre de 2010

"Grandmother, what big ears you have!" "All the better to hear with, my child."

Find an example of listening activity in a textbook. Evaluate these criteria:

1) The extent to which learners are given a reason to listen.

Students will be given a good reason to read the text provided that the teacher is able to build up an adequate amount of intrigue as regards their guessing on the lifestyle the protagonist is leading, the reasons why she is abroad and the difficulties she is facing (among others)

2) Whether appropriate contextual information is required.

I believe appropriate contextual information is given. General ideas about the protagonists and their situation is clearly presented and discussed prior to the listening activity.

3) In what ways pre-listening stage prepares students for the language of the text.

Firstly, students are asked to relate the topic to their own reality by asking them to work on some questions connected to their preferences. This might bring up some doubts as regard vocabulary related, for example, to possible difficulties when living in a foreign country, which is one of the topics dealt in the listening.

Secondly, some general context is discussed so as to frame the issues dealt in the listening such as the interviewee’s profession and her decision to move abroad for a year. The questions also provide some guidelines to the listener with regard to the ideas that will appear in the text. In addition, discussion on the pictures gives some place for the students to brainstorm possible topics. For instance, in the pictures we can see a woman painting so students may infer that the teacher decided either to teach art or to learn art. They can also think of the differences in the cultural backgrounds and customs.

4) In what ways pre-listening stage activates prior knowledge

In the very first activity, learners are asked to discuss with a classmate some questions connected to the topic and their own opinions on it. By doing so, the students start making connection of ideas, grammatical structures, lexical items, contexts, etc. Additionally, as I mentioned above, describing the pictures will help visual students activate other brain areas apart from those related directly with language.

5) The usefulness of any while-listening work

Usually, while-listening activities are useful to check student’s predictions, and to try to verify that they understood the general ideas developed in the text. On a more detailed work, while-listening activities can be used to work on new vocabulary or grammatical structures.

6) The relevance and range of any post-listening work

The main aim of a post-listening activity is to relate the listening to the student’s own world so as to make it relevant to them, and therefore, memorable. In this case, the learners are asked to discuss the answers with a classmate. In this way, they talk about the possible answers. Therefore, I would include some questions related to their own opinions as a way of integrating the text contents with their own personal views.