It was a delight to take part in Ken Wilson’s workshop with suggestions on listening comprehension activities.
In the beginning of his talk he explained that there are three kinds of listening for the students:
- Listening to the teacher
- Listening to a machine
- Listening to other students
Students usually appear to listen to the teacher, but how can we make them listen to each other?
The first activity combined pictures, speaking and listening as well. We were divided in to groups of five people, turned around to face a wall and each one had to turn around to see a picture, which was different each time. We then had to discuss with each other how these words were combined and find the word that represented all of them
The second activity included writing. We had to write a sentence beginning with “I want to” . We then went around telling people what we “want” and the answer they had to give was: “I’m afraid you can’t”. We then had to ask “Why not?” and the person we asked had to find an excuse. We had to get five different answers.
The third activity is called T-shirts.
Ken Wilson showed us five pieces of cryptic information about himself (names, numbers, places) and we had to guess what they meant. Afterwards we tried the same about ourselves. Our partner had to ask three Yes/No questions to try to find out what the facts were.
Next activity: we had to stand in line in two groups. The first group had slips of papers with questions and the other group had the answers. They asked the question to a random person from the other team and had to notice the answers, so in the second time they had to find their pair answers.
Activity number 5 was called Where? When? How? We closed our eyes and listened to three pieces of music. After the first one, we had to write do the place that the music made us think of, after the second, a time of the year (spring, for example) and after the third, a means of transport. We then had to imagine that we had been to that place at that time by that means of transport, then mingle and find someone who had been to the same place at the same time by the same means of transport.
The last activity had to do with a song. We got slips of papers with one line of the song and while we listened we had to stand in the correct order.
All in all, it was an amazing, informative and fun workshop.
By Theodora Papapanagiotou