12 Examples of While-Listening Activities

While-Listening activities are activities that are completed by the students when they are listening to a passage.

While-listening activities are also called during-listening activities.

You needed to do some pre-Listening Tasks in order to prepare your students before this stage of a listening lesson.

These activities are followed by post-Listening activities and all together made up the three stages of a listening lesson

Why are While Listening Important?

Well-designed  activities can help students to:

  1. Identify what’s important in a passage.
  2. Perceive the text structure.
  3. Keep themselves concentrated throughout the passage.
  4. Show their understanding or non-understanding of the passage.

What While-Listening Activities are there?

Most While-listening activities focus on these subskills:

  • Listening for the gist
  • Listening for specific information
  • Listening for the speaker’s attitude or opinion

Take into consideration these guidelines when using While-listening Tasks

  • Allow students to listen to the passage two or three times
  • Encourage student to focus on global meaning first and let the questions about details after the first listen.

There are many While-Listening activities that you can do, some of the best ones are the following:

1. Listen and Describe

The teacher tells a story but stops regularly and asks the students to write or give a description.

2. True or False

The teachers tells a story and the students has to determine if the sentences that he has are true or false statements

3. Hidden Picture

The teachers gives a picture to the students about any particular subject and one of the students describes a picture and another student has to note down some of the things that her or his classmate says.

4. Dictation of short passages

 This is an activity which has been discontinued but it helps students to practice skills, they have to listen to the sentences, they have to write them down, they have to  read and say their sentences to their teacher to make sure they got their sentences right.

5. Dictogloss 

Dictogloss is a language teaching technique in which students form small groups and summarize a target-language text.

First, the teacher prepares a text that contains examples of the grammatical form to be studied.

The teacher reads the text to the students at normal speed while they take notes. Students then work in small groups group to prepare a summary of their work using the correct grammatical structures,and finally each group presents their work to the rest of the class.

6: Picture Dictation

The teacher describes a pictures without showing to the students  and they have to draw it.

7. False Facts Dictation

The teachers reads some statements which are false facts and students has to correct them silently and then they have to discuss them with a partner.

8. Running Dictation

Running dictation involves a text stuck out of view of the students. In pairs, the students decide who will be the runner and who the scribe.

The runner goes to the wall, memorises a chunk of text, runs back to the scribe and dictates it. After a minute or two, the scribe and the runner change roles. The activity is extremely lively, with students running to and fro.

9. Listen and Do Activities

Simon Says is a classic game that works really well as a fun ESL classroom activity.

Tell the students to listen to the instructions you will give them, they can follow your actions too but at some stage you will try and trick them so they have to be very careful not to get caught out.

Other variations of the game are stand up if and change chairs if

10. Twelve Questions

 Prepare a diagram or something similar with 12 questions that students need to answer while they listen to a extended passage.

11: Gap Fill

Give students a transcript and ask students to fill in the blanks as they listen to the passage.

12: Multiple Choice

Ask students to read questions before they listen to the passage and then they have to select the correct answer out of 3 or 4 options.

Remember that this is the second part of  a listening lesson, we need to learn more about Post-Listening activities  so we can be able to say that our work has been finished.

More Information

Make sure that you check some of these resources before you leave:

Lesson Planning – Reading Lesson

Lesson Planning – Listening Lesson