English Language Study Skills and the Internet (ELSSI)

Computer connecting to Internet

Module 5: Listening Skills
ELSSI Navigation

In this module, we will learn how to find and use some of the listening materials available on the Internet.

Listening is another important skill to develop in English, and it too requires lots of practice. This may not be so easy, especially in places where little or no English is spoken. Luckily, there are many opportunities for practice on the Internet, most of them free.

Our advice is as follows:

(1) Choose your listening materials carefully. This is especially important for beginners, who will benefit more from materials prepared especially for language learners.

(2) Use a variety of listening strategies. Sometimes you will want to concentrate on short segments. At other times, you can have the material playing in the background while you do something else. Not all ways of studying are the same. You can also listen to the same material over and over again until you understand everything or listen to lots of different materials. Both ways will help improve your listening skills so try to do both.

(3) Try various activities like dictation, dictogloss and answering comprehension questions.

(4) Concentrate on what you do understand, not on what you don't understand. Try to keep a positive attitude.

One of the best websites for listening practice is Randall's ESL Cyber Listening Lab. This website has listening clips (mostly dialogs) and exercises divided by level (Easy, Medium, Difficult). Each activity includes pre-listening exercises (questions to get you thinking about the topic), listening activities (questions you answer while listening) and post-listening exercises (follow-up discussion questions). You can also find out about two popular software programs for playing audio files, RealPlayer and Sanako Media Player (formerly Divace).

When you are more confident you can listen to Internet radio programs like the Special English version of Voice of America (VOA). The announcers speak slowly and clearly, which is a big help for language learners. This website also includes transcripts for many of the news stories.

One website that was free but now charges a fee for membership is English Listening Lounge. They still have a few listening activities for free and each one includes a listening clip (mostly one person speaking), questions and transcripts.

Again, remember the advice above and try to have fun.

(1) Read the information for First Time Users at Randall's ESL Cyber Listening Lab. Then, try one or two activities at different levels.
(2) Visit
Voice of America (VOA) and listen to two or three news stories.

(1) After visiting the websites above and in the Links section below, send me a short e-mail telling me which you thought was most useful and why.
(2) Participate in the ELSSI Forum at MSN Groups. Initial postings will be due on 11/29 (Mon) and responses to at least two classmates will be due on 12/6 (Mon).
(3) Post your thoughts, questions and comments on this module in your blog. Due by 12/6 (Mon).

Book Pop - Listen to children's stories while you read along.
California Distance Learning Project - Listen to short articles being read on a variety of topics. Includes new word study and other activities.
Audio Bible - Text and audio for King James version of the Bible.
Classic Stories Online - Sound files of classics being read aloud.
ESL: Listening - List of websites providing online listening material and activities.

ELSSI Navigation

- Introduction
  This is the ELSSI homepage.

- Syllabus
  Includes course description, goals and other useful information.

- Schedule
  A list of starting and ending dates for each module.

- Evaluation
  Grading rubric for evaluating learner performance and survey to evaluate the course.

- Module One
- Module Two
- Module Three
- Module Four
- Module Six
- Module Seven

Requires - needs
Opportunities for - chances for
Benefit - gain
Strategies - battle plan
Concentrate - focus your attention
Segment - part
Dictation - writing down what you hear as you listen
Dictogloss - writing down what you heard after you finishing listening
Comprehension - understanding what you hear (or read)

This course was designed and developed as a requirement for the L630 Course Development for Online Educators course through the Education Department at Indiana University.
The work of both Karen Hallett and Eileen Cotton provided inspiration for the content and organization of this course. This page was created with Netscape Navigator Gold.

Contact Information
For more information, email me at bjones_jp@yahoo.com.

This page last updated on September 12, 2004.
Copyright © 2004 Brent A. Jones. All rights reserved.