Successful Listening Activities in the English Language

Listening is an essential activity for any language learner. In listening we come up against a series of obstacles that prevent progression.

It is therefore vital for a teacher to prepare listening activities which are achievable and at an appropriate level of difficulty that will boost a student’s confidence.


It is also a good idea to instill in students the attitude that listening skills develop over time and that it’s not necessary to comprehend everything in order to make progress. This is because the development of listening skills is a process of exposure to the new sounds that a new language is going to have.


Languages have different sound systems, containing sounds that don’t necessarily exist in different languages. Moreover a language could be tonal, anxiety timed or syllable timed, meaning that the rhythms, cadence and intonation of a student’s language can be radically different to English. TEFL TUSCAN is a Teaching resources provided including online platform.








Successful listening activities in the classroom will begin with some type of introduction action that will set up expectations for students. The context of this listening should not come out of the blue. The students should have a reason to listen and they should have the opportunity to listen as many times as they require so as to achieve the activity. The teacher ought to be able to isolate and play particular problem passages repeatedly.   TEFL Courses – TEFL TUSCANYprovides  International courses are internationally-accredited and recognized by organizations and institutions across the world.


Tasks should be structured to deal with different listening styles. When we listen to things we do so in various ways depending upon our needs.

If our plane is late we will listen intently to any statements because we would like to catch the detail of what is being said. If we’re listening to a radio programme whilst driving we will sometimes just listen for the jist, not take in every detail; if we hear something of specific interest we will tune in more closely.


The consequence of these thoughts for listening activities is that the first time we allow students listen we often just ask them a general question – Where are the speakers? What are they talking about? Then, subsequently the teacher may ask questions that require the students to listen for specific pieces of advice – What time? Where? When?


Eventually a third round of questions for the listening might be determined by inference, questions that require the students to comprehend the context of the interaction of the speakers, their motives and their own feelings.


Activities for detailed listening can include gap fills where students listen and fill in missing words. If this is done skilfully with specific students in mind it may focus on particular problems. Generally speaking to English is difficult due to the discrepancy between the written word and the spoken word.

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