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Before presenting listening activities for primary school learners, teachers should keep in

mind some pieces of advice when dealing with teaching listening skills. The teachers should
encourage the learners to make predictions before listening in order to build up confidence.
Also, the teacher must explain to the learners that they should listen for key words in order to
get the general meaning of the audition.

Listening is an important skill but, teachers incline to neglect this skill in English classes.
Listening is different from hearing because it implies understanding. We hear, but we do not
necessarily understand what is being said. Listening should be delivered by activities through
which students can prove their understanding. In order to develop learners listening skills,
teachers should expose them to an authentic speaking model because the students are required
to produce the language. Furthermore, the teacher should make listening activities motivating
and educational, so as to raise interest in the topic.

In order to decode the meaning from a listening text, students have to work out the purpose
for listening , listen for specific information and check understanding while listening and after
the task is over.

Before going to the listening activity, the teacher should use pre-listening activities to prepare
students for what they are going to hear or view. Thus, the teacher can have the students

look at pictures, maps, diagrams, or graphs, review vocabulary or grammatical structures or

maybe, read a relevant text. Before the listening activity begins, the teacher must ensure that
the learners have understood their task and has the students review the questions they will
answer orally or in writing after listening.

Here are some examples of while-listening activities that can be used with primary school

Filling in graphs and charts as the teacher, or a student, reads

Following a route on a map as the speaker/teacher gives directions

Checking items off in a list as speaker/the teacher reads

Listening for the gist

Searching for specific clues to meaning

Completing cloze exercises as the passage is read aloud

Following instructions; where students are given certain instructions and show their
understanding by a physical response (they draw, write, circle, cross, tick, underline etc.)

Filling in gaps; while listening to a dialogue students hear only the utterances of one of the
speakers and are asked to write down (or say) those of the others
Detecting differences or mistakes from a listening passage; students respond only when they
encounter something different or contrary to what they already knew about the topic or the

Ticking off items; where students listen to a list of words and categorize (tick off) them as
they hear; or raise their hand when they hear a word (as in the game: Bingo)

Sequencing; students are asked to give the right order of a series of pictures

Information search; that is listening for specific items, (e.g., answer a particular question from
the pre-listening stage)

Filling in blanks of a transcript of a passage with the words missing (e.g., lyrics of a song)

Matching the items which have the same or opposite meaning as those the students hear, or
matching the pictures with the descriptions heard

Listening for general or specific information

For young children, one of the most popular while-listening exercises is marking/checking the
items in pictures. A picture is presented to students during the pre-listening stage and during
the while-listening stage they are asked to mark/check/tick/circle etc. certain things in the
picture they hear in the listening text. This is a very simple exercise, but teachers due to its
apparent simplicity should not reject it. The aim here is not to test students abilities to make
correct sentences based on the listening passage, but to assist concentration on the text