Effective Listening Instruction in ESL

It is very difficult to teach and assess listening because listening is demonstrated through speaking and writing. Listening is a skill that needs to be taught and not expected. "Listen to the story" is not sufficient. We need to explain how to listen and how to demonstrate that we have listened.

What does listening look like?
Sitting up straight with your eyes focused on the speaker.
What does listening sound like?
When you are listening you are quietly comprehending what the speaker is saying.

How can we demonstrate that we have listened?
When the speaker is finished, you can demonstrate that you have listened by restating what the speaker said and asking your own question. "I heard you say that you like to baseball afterschool, why do you like playing baseball." This shows that you heard what the speaker was talking about and you are trying to understand more.
Another way to demonstrate you have listened is by writing a response. After the speaker is finished, write a response that retells what you heard and gives your opinions on the topic.

This is a simple way to teach your ESL students to listen and to teach them how they can show you that they are practicing listening. So next time you ask your students to "listen" explain to them how you want them to listen (looks like, sounds like) and how you want them to demonstrate (speaking or writing) that they have listened.


peter smith said...

happiness today to my friend.

Trust, faith, love and smile

Lead you to happiness.

pavlo said...

Hey, its Pavlo

Thanks for comenting on my blog you are the first teacher to comment on my blog by the way what class do you teach as in 6/7 1/2 and what does ESL mean?

Melissa said...

Hi Pavlo,
I teach 6, 7, and 8 grade. ESL is English as a Secon Language. When kids come to the United States from otehr countries and don't speak English, it is my job to teach them English.