Teaching students how to listen is really important because students spend a lot of time listening to others, watching Youtube videos, listening to podcasts and lectures and watching television among other things. We also know that listening is the main source of comprehensible input and that is good for the development of speaking skills.
If you have been paying attention in class, you already know that a listening lesson is more than just playing the track and expect students to complete some classroom tasks. In fact, it takes some skills to teach a listening lesson successfully. These are some of the mistakes that teachers should avoid When Preparing and Teaching Listening Lessons.
Mistakes to Avoid when Preparing and Teaching Listening Lessons
#1 You didn’t Set Rules: You need to give your students a brief overview of what you are going to do during your lesson and what type of behavior you expect from them in each one of the stages of the listening lesson.
#2 You Chose the Wrong Listening Passage: Finding the right track for your lesson might be a difficult task but you must try to choose a passage that meets your expectations. You need to take into account some of these important considerations such as the accent of the speakers, numbers of speakers, cultural factors, entertainment factors and some other factors covered in the “10 Important Considerations to Take When Choosing a Listening Passage”
#3 You didn’t Include Pre-Listening Tasks: Sometimes teachers go to the classroom and they don’t spend some time preparing students for what they are going to listen to, not doing that decreases their motivation to listen and doesn’t get them ready for the task ahead, there are several pre-listening tasks that you can do in the classroom, for more information, visit one of my most visited posts called “12 Types of Pre-Listening Task Activities“
#4 You didn’t Check your Equipment: Sometimes you go to the classroom, you tell your students that today they are going to do some listening , you start with your warm-up and pre-listening tasks and when you play the track, the sound is too low and students can barely listen to it so you have to figure out what to do to fix the problem and you lose momentum. Test your equipment before starting the class, if the sound is too low, you can increase MP3 volume using MP3 louder to fix that.
#5 You didn’t Set Clear Expectations: Remember that students don’t need to understand every word of the listening passage, sometimes they have to listen for specific details and sometimes they have to understand the general meaning of a passage. I know you know but you also have to remind that to your students.
#6 You didn’t Teach Students any Techniques: When students haven’t taken part in listening lessons before, they might have some problems to accomplish tasks successfully despite their good listening skills, for example, in gap-fil tasks, they try to write the missing words fully and they don’t continue listening to the rest of it.
#7 Don’t Forget to Include Engaging While-Listening Task: There is a wide range of while-listening activities and choosing one of them highly depends on the type of listening that you bring to your classroom. If you need some help and inspiration in this matter, why don’t you start visiting my “12 Examples of While-Listening Activities” post? That can be the starting point and then you can move from there using your creativity.
#8 You didn’t Make the Most out of your Listening Lesson: It is recommended that you play the track at least twice, also you can try to prepare more than one while-listening task so students have more reasons to listen to the passage.
#9 You didn’t Include Post-Listening Activities: Remember that a listening lesson doesn’t end when the while listening activities are over, you have to connect that listening passage to other skills such as speaking and writing. I covered some of the Most Important Types of Post- Listening Tasks post.
#10 You didn’t Evolve: Take into account that you need to make an effort choosing your listening sources and the type of tasks that you include with them, don’t overuse one type of listening material or any of the activities in each one of the stages of the listening lesson.