It is obvious to the teacher than input is CRUCIAL to the student’s growth in language proficiency. They need to see it and hear it before they can really produce it. However, if your students are like mine, sometimes they won’t read or listen to that article/video that I spent 3 hours to find, edit, and plan a lesson around. If only they knew how much it could help them!
If students are to be ACTIVE listeners then they need to DO something while listening. Always give them a task to do when reading or listening to the language. One thing I always try to do is to physically put something in their hands that allows them to connect to a conversation in class. When I’m modeling some of the phrases/vocab they are learning I will ask questions. I can’t get a response from every student each time, but these help me get an idea of who is actually listening and who really understands.
When the students are learning to tell what he/she likes to do I’ll say things like “Me gusta mucho hablar por telefono… (they all put up ‘me gusta’) con mis padres” (and they all switch to ‘no me gusta nada’). “Me gusta estudiar en la clase… (‘no me gusta’ cards go up all around) con mi profesora nueva Megan Fox (all the boys switch to “me gusta MUCHO”). Me encanta ir a fiestas (‘Me gusta mucho’) con muchos chicos guapos… a las siete de la manana. (most then switch to “no me gusta nada”)
I’ve also used signs that say “Estoy de acuerdo” and “No estoy de acuerdo” that help open up the class and let students give their opinion without having to raise their hand and wait to be called on. Plus, seeing the words as they use them seems to help ingrain the new bits of language in their mind!
Any other good ideas to help students become active listeners in class?