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News Lessons: Listening
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Warm Up
1: Discussion: Students discuss questions to focus conversations and activate pre-existing knowledge held on the topic.

Step One: The teacher writes three questions on the board related to the topic and allows ample opportunity for discussion.

Step Two: Students get into pairs and discuss the three questions at their own pace, either discussing all or some of the questions in the time allotted. However, all pairs should still be talking, adding information, and asking additional questions when the teacher ends the activity after ten minutes. There shouldn't be a lull in conversation.

Pre-Listening
1: Sentence Fragments: Students use sentence fragments from the article to better focus their thoughts.

Step One: The teacher writes on the board or dictates portions of key sentences from the article. There should be at least one sentence from each paragraph, and the teacher should also give the corresponding paragraph from which the sentences come. For example, the teacher says, "The first fragment comes from paragraph one, the second fragment comes from paragraph two..."

Step Two: In pairs, students first try to determine the subject/content of each paragraph based on the fragment. They then try to complete the sentences based on the little information thus far provided and discussed. This will focus their listening in the next step, as well as provide an interest in the material as they confirm/correct the assumptions.

Step Three: Optional. If there's time, students get into groups of four and compare their answers.

Listening
1: Listening for Gist: The students confirm information from previous steps here.

Step One: The teacher reads the first paragraph aloud. Students listen but don't take notes.

Step Two: Once finished with the paragraph, students get into pairs and discuss the contents of the paragraph. Pairs confirm/correct their previous assumptions, including the information they imagined for the sentence fragment(s) for that paragraph. However, students don't need to take dictation or rewrite the sentence fragment.

2: Listening for Gist (continued): The teacher and students repeat the previous part with each paragraph.

The Article
1: Read, Confirm, and Correct: Students read through a copy of the article for roughly five minutes. Students confirm and/or correct the information previously discussed. As the focus here is on the general content, students don't need to understand every word or sentence. Better comprehension can be assigned as homework and self-study.

Application
1: Recreate the Article: Students now apply the contents of the article.

Step One: With the sentence fragments and the summaries for each paragraph, students recreate the article in their own words in pairs. Pairs write this information looking at the article as little as possible. The teacher instructs students beforehand to rewrite the article as a formal presentation, in order to persuade, or to factually analyze the piece. This will change the tone and the register.

Step Two: Students change pairs. Each person presents their recreated article to his partner in the style selected by the teacher.