Saturday, September 3, 2011

Are You Listening?

In our ESL classes, we work on reading, writing, speaking and listening.  I know I plan a lot of instruction for my students covering the first three areas, but I need to increase the opportunities I provide for students to become better listeners.  I found an excellent article from Larry Ferlazzo at Education Week Teacher.  The article, "Response: Several Ways To Help Students Become Better Listeners" has some ideas I want to present to my students' classroom teachers AND some other ideas I am going to implement in my classroom.

We are fortunate to have many good teachers in our school, but I need to remember to gently remind some about providing verbal and written instructions for our English Language Learners.  In Ferlazzo's article he mentions,

Verbal/Written Instructions & Modeling
A major mistake many of us make is not providing verbal instructions before an activity. Extensive research emphasizes the importance of providing verbal and written instructions to English Language Learners, and this classroom practice works well for all learners. This will not only reduce the number of repetitive student questions, but it is also far easier for a teacher to point to the board in response to that inevitable repeated question, "What are we supposed to do?"

Teacher modeling is also an important instructional strategy that is often shortchanged in the classroom. After you give instructions, teachers actually demonstrating them can go a long way towards students understanding of what they are supposed to do. In addition, researchers have found that modeling has a major impact on increasing student self-confidence that they can replicate the task. Robert Marzano also recommends teacher modeling as a way to "deepen" student comprehension.

One of his readers, Heather Wolpert-Gawron, suggested an idea for listening practice.  She said,

If you're looking for a cool listening lesson, however, visual note-taking is a great activity to build up those listening muscles. Read them a passage, excerpt, etc...then time them as they sketch every detail they recall. When time is up, slowly remind them of the itemized list of details they may or may not have heard. If they sketched it, they get points. The goal is to get the most points, and the teacher decides what details the students should have absorbed with only one reading.

I think I might try this and see if it makes a difference with my students! 

No comments:

Post a Comment