Lesson 3: Putting it into Practice


The activity we will see here is based on a listening text included in the Aswaat Arabiyya Arabic listening web site at the Advanced level. The text is about six minutes long and is taken from an interview on Syrian TV with Baba Shnuuda, Pope of the Christian Copts in Egypt. A full translation of the text is included here for your review.

Arabic listening text (English translation)

The students in class had not seen the text before or done any preparation for listening.

Here you see the teaching goals in this pre-listening phase:

  1. To activate the students' schema and vocabulary related to the topic.
  2. To form some preliminary assumptions about the content of the text.
  3. To pose some questions that could provide them with a reason for listening. For example, I asked "do you think the Pope comes to the US often?" and the students said that they didn't know, so I said "Ok, we will see".

Classroom example of a pre-listening activity.

Duration: 02:07

Notice here how the teacher uses the chalkboard to write basic vocabulary and ideas given by the students. Use of the board provides visual reinforcement for ideas and vocabulary items presented by the students during all phases of listening.

Notice also how the teacher asked a student to correct her pronunciation of the word aqbaaT ("Copts") in Arabic. After the student finished her sentence, the teacher pointed to his throat indicating the need for the student to pronounce the "q" in the word aqbaaT correctly. The student repeated the word twice and was able to pronounce it correctly on her third try. Attention to pronunciation should be constant in class activities and can usually be done through self correction.

Notice also the phrases the teacher uses to provide positive reinforcement to students. Such reinforcement is important to build self confidence in all class activities but especially when doing listening activities.