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Upper-Intermediate Skill Builders: Listening

Use the below topics to improve your students' listening skills. Each monologue contains a script of 400-500 words, which comes to 4-5 minutes of spoken text. Instructions for the students, listening strategies, comprehension questions, and optional activities are part of each pdf download. You can preview the article and audio file, though. Just click on the hyperlinks.

As with other materials at Heads Up English, flexibility is the key. Any of the articles can be used as homework, individual practice, or to supplement a lesson. Take a look at A Less Painful Approach to Improving Listening Skills for other ideas. Or try these for listening practice:

  • Prior to playing the audio file, arrange students in pairs or groups. Tell them the title of today's monologue, and have the pairs/groups speculate and discuss today's contents. Listen to the audio file, and confirm the previous ideas.
  • Play only one paragraph at a time. Students listen once, take notes, and then come together into groups. Next they should compare notes to reconstruct as much of the paragraph as possible. Repeat once more, then move onto the next paragraph.
  • Students listen for pauses, stress, and/or how words are linked together (for example, vowel and consonant links between two words, as in "Did you..." becomes "Did'ja"). They should mark their copy of the monologue, practice, and present to a partner. As 400-500 words can take a lot of time, work with one or two paragraphs only.

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