Teaching listening in English lessons for adults

Teaching listening in English lessons for adults

Blog / Tips and tricks

Today, we dive into a crucial aspect of language acquisition: listening skills. As ESL teachers, we understand the challenges that adult learners face when it comes to grasping English through their ears. In this blog post, we will explore effective strategies, techniques, and activities to help adult ESL learners enhance their listening abilities. So, let’s embark on this exciting journey of mastering listening skills in English lessons for adults!

Cultivate a learning environment

Creating a positive and encouraging learning environment is the first step in fostering effective listening skills. Adults feel more comfortable when they are in an atmosphere that encourages active participation and minimizes anxiety. Start by building rapport and trust with your students, as this will motivate them to engage actively in listening activities.

Authentic listening materials

Engaging adult learners with authentic listening materials is paramount for their language development. Incorporate a diverse range of audio resources, such as podcasts, TED Talks, news broadcasts, interviews, and even movies or TV shows with subtitles. These materials provide real-world contexts and expose learners to various accents, speech patterns, and vocabulary. Every single english4tutors lesson plan provides a video and accompanying activities to test the student’s listening comprehension skills. Check out our free lesson plans and see for yourself!

Pre-listening activities:

Before diving into the main listening tasks, it’s crucial to prepare students for what they are about to hear. Incorporate pre-listening activities to activate their prior knowledge, build interest, and provide a context for the listening task. This can be done through discussions, brainstorming sessions, or vocabulary exercises related to the topic at hand. These activities set the stage for successful comprehension. 

English4tutors lesson plans usually introduce video vocabulary through a matching activity or a basic ‘fill in the gaps’ prior to watching a video. Sometimes, a pre-listening activity is in the form of a warm-up discussion.

Interactive listening activities

Engage your adult learners through interactive listening activities that make the learning process enjoyable and memorable. Incorporate video/audio-based discussions, role-plays, or critical thinking activities that require active listening and response. This approach not only enhances comprehension but also builds their confidence to express their ideas verbally.

Authentic listening assessments

To gauge the progress of adult ESL learners, incorporate authentic listening assessments into your lessons. Assign tasks that mirror real-life situations, such as listening to customer service calls, understanding job interviews, or interpreting public announcements. This enables learners to apply their listening skills to practical scenarios, preparing them for real-world communication.
To spice things up and lighten up the atmosphere in class, we sometimes include satirical videos of real-life situations, like in our Business lesson plan I need to speak to your supervisor.
English lessons for adults encompass various skills, and listening is undeniably one of the most challenging areas. However, with the right strategies and activities, we can help our adult ESL learners conquer this obstacle. By cultivating a positive learning environment, utilizing authentic materials, incorporating interactive activities, and implementing effective techniques, we empower our students to become skilled listeners. Remember, patience, practice, and persistence are the keys to success in teaching listening skills to adult ESL learners. So, let’s embark on this journey together, equipping our students with the tools they need to become confident and proficient English listeners!

About Tijana
About Tijana

Tijana is an ESL Teacher, Teacher Trainer, and ESL Content Creator with a decade-long working experience. She designed 600+ lesson plans. Tijana holds a B.A. in Applied Linguistics from UVic, an M.A. in Curriculum and Education from UBC, as well as a 120-hour TEFL certificate.

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