When designing listening activities keep in mind that, in addition to global comprehension, we need to focus our attention on intensive listening. This is crucial to help students develop effective listening strategies and build bottom-up listening skills, in addition to the top-down skills that are emphasized in global listening activities.
Intensive listening involves zeroing in on particular segments of the text, and this should come only after the students have developed global comprehension of the text. Intensive listening may target different goals such as
- getting more detailed understanding of some segments of the text,
- transcribing certain segments in the text,
- guessing the meaning of a word or phrase from context,
- looking at certain grammatical structures in the text to see how they can aid comprehension, etc.
Intensive listening activities can be done in class or in the lab or can be given as homework assignments. At the lower levels of instruction, consider doing global comprehension activities in class to work on strategies and utilize group work, and assign the intensive listening part for homework.