Friday, May 4, 2012

Teaching Listening Follow Up

So in my earlier post Is it possible to teach listening? I talked about some problems I was having with my students listening, and more importantly my teaching of listening.

So, I went back to the two listenings and gave the students the scripts from the listenings to follow along with while we listened. As we did each one, when we got to the questions, I encouraged the students to feel free to change their answer if they felt it was now incorrect. The first listening was very short, about a minute and a half. There were really no unknown words in the listening. In the listening the narrator talked about how fast paced life was now and how she just longed for the slow life. This was the listening that had one of the answers as "we should return to prehistoric times." After a gave the students the answers, we went over them, and I was amazed that there were still about 40% that still had that answer chosen. (Now that is in my regular 3 classes. In my PreAP, they all had it correct.) When I talked to them about it, I even had some students try to argue with me and pointed in the script to where is said that. They totally missed the "no" in the sentence. Out of the three questions in this listening, most had 2 out of 3 correct.

In the second listening, which is about 2 and a half minutes, a guy is looking for something talking to a friend and she is commenting on how dark and disorganized his place was. They talk about the problem, he explains the problem, and then the friend offers to come over and help him organize. Now in this listening , there is a small amount of new vocabulary. Between that and the longer length, I did not expect the students to do quite as well. However, after following the same process as above, I was very surprised that the majority only got 2 of five questions correct.

I am hoping that you Spanish (or any other foreign language teachers out there) might be able to help. I am not sure what else to try. Clearly, it is too late for me to make changes this year, but I want to improve for next year. How can I better present the listenings? How can I best utilize my time in the flipped class to help the students improve this vital skill?