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How to work with your audio materials

October 1, 2012

Textbook audios: except the ones we’ll do in class (the ones similar to exam listening exercises), you need to listen to the rest, and do the exercises. The ones we do in class: you will have to listen to them several times at home, to learn as many sentences as you can BY EAR. You shouldn’t read when you listen, if you want to learn to UNDERSTAND SPOKEN ENGLISH.

Audio Podcasts: poems to learn by ear by heart! Stories to learn how to read aloud. Sentences and dialog(ue)s to learn by ear, too.

DVDs: try never to read the transcripts. It’s important you learn to understand. The TV series episodes: you need to watch each several times and then try to jot down the sentences you understand, to practice saying them naturally! The final collection of these sentences will be part of your OP on TV series. Don’t use subtitles, please! Life has no subtitles! Using subtitles is a Reading/Listening exercise, not a Listening exercise! Subtitles can only be an option when you have reached your maximum level of understanding and you wish to expand your knowledge. Check with your teacher.

You can also use your audios to take dictations. In this way you also work on your spelling.

Monolog(ue)s: if you listen several times to an audio, you will gain fluency and accuracy, and then you can put together a monolog(ue). You should NOT write out your monologue. You should learn to do an outline and give your talk following it. After you have done your monolog(ue) you can write it down and check for mistakes.

Dialog(ue)s: it’s good to base them in different Life Situations, and that you practice on your own at home, but also with a partner in class.

OPs, Oral Presentations, are longer monolog(ue)s, and you can pick your topic.

When you listen, sometimes you will be practicing (gap-filling exercises) SCANNING for specific information/words, and sometimes you will have to get the general idea, this is SKIMMING the text. When you practice the exam-like audios, you should read the questions first, and underline key words that will avoid you get lost if you miss something! Learning to underline correctly needs practice but it helps you very much to solve the listening comprehension problem! In dictations you will be practicing SPELLING, too.

IMPORTANT: If you are doing a lot of READING or WRITING while you use your audios, you are not exploiting them well. So check with your teacher.

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