ESL Podcasting Project @ ISU

Project Materials

Grand Canyon National Park

Overview

One stated goal for this project is for all materials used in our ESL academic listening course to be woven together seamlessly; this includes lectures and exercises from the course textbook, audio and video podcasts, and other online assignments. To do this, we will complete unit overviews describing the topic, objectives, materials and sequence of materials in order to help other teachers and researchers envision how this might be done as well as provide a comprehensive overview of the project.

Units 1 and 2

Units 1 and 2 in our course textbook introduce students to transcripts of academic lectures. Through the study of these transcripts, students learn to listen for key words that indicate organization of the lecture, and to use these keywords to begin predicting the content of a lecture. Download the Unit 1 and 2 overview (.doc)

 Topic

Objectives

Out-of-class Homework

Introduction to course, podcasts, and WebCT

  • Introduce students to the materials we are using in class

 

Quiz over Welcome podcast in WebCT; look at available ESL podcasts online

  • Clarify questions on materials
  • Resolve technical difficulties
  • Raise student awareness of available podcasts on the Internet

Log in to WebCT; Listen to the Welcome podcast

Unit 2: Looking at lecture transcripts. Work through exercises in course textbook.

  • Introduce organization of lecture
  • Identify lexical, grammatical, and rhetorical features of lectures

Read unit 2

Unit 2 continued, non-academic English

  • Targeted practice identifying lexical, grammatical, and rhetorical features of lectures

Listen to “Listening for Lecture Cues” podcast; complete exercise on WebCT

Non-academic English

  • Review concepts covered in unit 2
  • Targeted practice of skills learned in unit 2

Listen to Unit 2 summary podcast; Complete Unit 2 quiz on WebCT

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Unit 3

Unit 3 in our course textbook focuses on the basics of taking notes while listening to an academic lecture. We discuss and practice strategies such as noting key words, using symbols, and visually organizing notes on the page in order to show relationships between ideas. Download the Unit 3 overview (.doc)

 Topic

Objectives

Out-of-class Homework

Unit 3: Note-taking Basics

  • Learn how to choose key words to note
  • Learn how to judge the relative importance of information
  • Learn how to visually represent relationships between pieces of information

Read unit 3

Taking notes: In-class Practice

  • Model both effective and not effective note-taking strategies
  • Targeted practice of note-taking strategies covered in class

Download notes for podcast from WebCT, or get notes in class; Watch video podcast “Taking notes during a lecture”; complete quiz with the notes you downloaded

Taking notes: In-class Practice

  • Targeted practice of note-taking strategies covered in class
  • Provide students with an outsider’s point of view on the topic

Listen to podcast “Tips on taking notes in class”

Unit 3 quiz; Non-academic English

  • Review concepts covered in unit 2
  • Targeted practice of skills learned in unit 2

Listen to “Unit 3 summary podcast” and watch part 2 of the “Spider” lecture. Take notes, and bring notes from video podcast and also your notes to class

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Unit 4

The fourth unit in our course textbook focuses on listening to and writing down numbers and statistics. The strategies we focus on during this unit include listening for the stressed syllable to differentiate numbers that sound alike and using background and context knowledge to help determine spoken numbers, and we review the English number system to help in noting large numbers in isolation. At tne end of the unit, we spend time listening to a variety of lectures containing numbers and statistics. Download the Unit 4 overview (.doc)

Topic

Objectives

Out-of-class Homework

Begin Unit 4: Noting Numbers and Statistics

  • Discuss strategies for differentiating between numbers that sound similar
  • Discuss relevant vocabulary and concepts for noting years
  • Targeted practice using exercises from the text

Read unit 4

Noting numbers: In-class practice

  • Review English number system
  • Practice listening to, reading and writing down large numbers

Listen to podcast “Grocery store” and complete exercise with the written transcript (download from WebCT or get in class)

Noting numbers and statistics: In-class practice

  • Practice listening to, reading and writing down large numbers
  • Discuss noting fractions and decimals
  • In-class practice

Write short dialogue (and quiz!) including numbers to share with your partner

Noting numbers and statistics in context (listening to academic lectures)

  • In-class practice listening to and noting numbers and statistics in context

Study for Vocabulary Quiz

Noting numbers and statistics in context (listening to academic lectures)

  • In-class practice listening to and noting numbers and statistics in context
  • Assess developing vocabulary

Listen to unit 4 summary podcast, complete quiz on WebCT

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Unit 5

Unit five in our course textbook centers around the micro-organizational structure of academic lectures. We review some of the lecture cues discussed in unit 2 and students then complete a group project outlining an authentic academic lecture from the University of California at Berkeley. Download the Unit 5 overview (.doc)

Topic

Objectives

Out-of-class Homework

Begin Unit 5: Lecture Organization

  • Discuss difference between micro- and macro-level organization
  • Talk about how an Iowa State professor organizes and presents his lecture
  • Identify lecture cues

Listen to podcast “Interview with a professor on organizing and giving lectures” and take quiz in WebCT; read pg. 52 in book

Discussing lecture cues

  • Students present lecture cues and examples

Work with a small group to complete Unit 5 activity (download assignment sheet ).

In-class group work

  • Identify lecture cues in an authentic lecture

Work on group activity

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Bonus unit: Online listening strategies

Because this is the highest-level listening course offered at Iowa State, many students will be continuing their formal listening study independantly and with online materials. We devoted three classes during the course to working specifically with a variety of online listening materials, paying special attention to the use of help options. Download the Online listening strategies unit overview (.doc)

Topic

Objectives

Out-of-class Homework

Introduction to online listening strategies

  • Discuss a variety of online listening strategies
  • Work with online listening materials

Watch video podcast on “Online Listening Strategies”; take quiz in WebCT

Online listening activity

  • Practice using strategies

Write a short reflection of the strategies you used during the class activity

Online listening activity

  • Discuss online activity and listening strategies;
  • Practice using strategies

Listen to the combined Unit 5 and on-line listening strategies summary podcast

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