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Emma Halliday
Lesson Plan
LSA 2: Listening
Helping Learners Listen to a One
Minute World News Summary

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Contents

Page 3

Lesson Aims

Page 4

Class Profile

Page 5

Page 6

Page 7

Students Profile

Class Needs and Timetable Fit

Material

Page 8

Analysis of Sub-Skills

Page 10

Assumptions

Page 11

Anticipated Problems and Solutions

Page 13

Commentary

Page 15

Procedure

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Lesson Aim: By the end of the lesson students will have developed their ability
to use top-down and bottom-up processing skills to better understand a BBC One
Minute World News Summary.
Top-Down sub-skills

Use images and visual clues to activate schemata in order to predict news
content.

Bottom-Up sub-skills

Decode meaning of unknown lexis from the context.
Use prominence to better hear the key words in a news story.

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Class Profile
There are 11 students in the class, 4 female and 7 male. Most of the
class are Arabic speakers. One student is Turkish, one is Italian and one is
Japanese. The class meets 2 times a week for two and half hours. The
lessons are held on a Sunday and Wednesday, from 7:15-9:45. However
due to Ramadan the class times have changed to 8:30 until 11:00 for the
final classes of the course. This is an Upper Intermediate conversation
course. The class is following a syllabus based on Real Speaking and
Listening 3.The students are B1/B2 level on the CEFR. This is a strong
motivated class. They get on well with each other and are happy to work
together. Four of the students have studied together in the last
conversation course, which was for 17 hours, the other half are new to the
British Council.

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Student Profile

Studen
ts

Gender,
Nationalit
y, Job,
Age
Male
Egyptian
English
teacher
26

Reasons for
Learning
English

Strengths

Weaknesses

To help him with
teaching
techniques in his
own lessons.

Sara
Ageeb

Female
Egyptian
Biology
Teacher
29

Confidence in
speaking

Strong
metalinguistic
knowledge. Very
enthusiastic and
he really enjoys
being challenged
when listening.
Very keen.
Confident to ask
questions and
clarify points.

Peter
Anwar

Male
Egyptian
Student
19

Personal
improvement and
for social reasons.
Meet people in
the class.

Very keen. Works
on his listening
outside of class.

Magdi
Galal

Male
Egyptian
Civil
Servant
39

Career.

Enjoys listening to
the news and has
good knowledge
of world affairs.

Dina
Sadik

Female
Egyptian
Arabic
Teacher
26

Aiming to be a
translator.

Very motivated
student. Excellent
vocabulary.

Grammatical accuracy.
Finds proper nouns
difficult and distracting
in listening text. He
might find the names of
people difficult to
decode in this text.
Lack of fairly basic lexis
which makes listening
practically challenging
for her. She needs lots
of praise to maintain
motivation when
listening authentic text.
Quite shy at times.
Relies on colleagues to
ask for clarification
after a listening text
even if he is fairly
confident of his own
answers.
Finds non-standard
accents difficult to
understand. Although in
this lesson speaker
uses a standard RP
accent BBC news
summaries use a
variety of presenters
with different accents.
Finds it difficult to hear
known words in
connected speech.

Valentin
a
Velente

Female
Italian
Diplomat

For social work
engagements.

Good lexis. Good
knowledge of
world affairs. Uses

Self-conscious about
her voice at times.
Difficulty hearing words

Gamal
Abdulno
ur

6

Mina
Hosny

Male
Egyptian
Civil
Engineer
24

To communicate
socially.

Hussien
Hagag

Male
Egyptian
Students
19

Love of language
learning. Going to
learn Italian.

Mehme
t Getin

Male
Turkish
Diplomat
32

Work

Hassan

Male
Student
18

Studies

Kazumi

Female
Research
Scientist
31

To integrate into
the expat
community

Class Needs

cognates from
Italian to make
predictions about
unknown words
she hears in in
listening text.
Motivated and
engaged likes to
be challenged.
Enjoys authentic
material and
always practices
the listening at
home to similar
genres.
Enjoys authentic
text.

in connected speech,
this could be a result of
the syllable timed
rhythm in Italian where
weak syllables don’t
exist.
Self-conscious about his
pronunciation worried
he can’t be understood.
Has difficultly catching
words in connected
speech.

Is used to
hearing lots of
different accents
due to work so
is happy with
non-standard
forms of
pronunciation.
Often asks to
leave class for
no real reason.

Speed of native
speaker speech.

Reticent in
giving opinions
but
knowledgeable
about current
affairs.

Finds it difficult to hear
known words in
connected speech.

Speed of native speaker
speech.

Very tech savvy. Uses
technology to make
notes in lesson. Uses
technology to access
authentic listening
material.

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This is a conversation class, designed for students who particularly want
to improve their speaking and listening skills in English. The needs
analysis showed that most of the students enjoy non book lessons and like
to use the book for self-study. They really enjoy having non Egyptian
speakers in the class and like finding out about the other students’
cultures and experiences in Egypt. They are interested in global issues
and enjoy talking about a wide variety of topical and current issues. Most
of the students are in the class for personal rather than professional
development.
Timetable Fit
The students are keen to learn how they can improve their English outside
of class. I am trying to incorporate some study skills into the course using
materials students have access to online. Students have been exposed to
a number of different authentic listening genres including personal
narratives from the website Story Corps (Rauch, 2015)and persuasive
speeches from TED (Robinson).
While these authentic texts have been extremely demanding for the class
they have responded very well and clearly enjoy the challenge. We have
worked on some listening sub-skills in these previous lessons such as
being able to summarise the main ideas in personal narratives and
identify persuasive devises in TED talks. Broadcast news is particularly
challenging genre but with the work we have done with other text so far
on the course students will further develop their listening sub skills. Future
lesson students will look at the written content on the BBC website and
consider how they can read the articles to build content and cultural
knowledge to help predict listening content.

Material



IWB (Questions in appendix)
White board
Worksheet (appendix)
Audio and video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vWBt1CbE1Y

Transcript
This is BBC World News I’m Rajesh Murchandany with the latest headlines.
In New York State in the US they’re preparing for another big snow storm
a day after freak weather dropped well over a metre of snow on the
region at least seven people died.

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A court in South Korea has jailed the chief executive of the company that
operated the ferry which sank in April err for ten years Kim Han Six ran
the company.
A Qatari woman has told the BBC she’s living in fear after making
allegations of corruption against her county’s world cup bid she’s claimed
the bid executives offered to pay three African football officials for their
support.
The American soul singer Jimmy Ruffin has died he was 78 his hits
included What Becomes of the Broken Hearted and Farewell is a Lonely
sound the founder of Motown Records which was his label, called him a
wonderful human being.
And those are the latest headlines

Analysis
Use images and visual clues to predict news content.
Research has demonstrated that when there’s an overlap between visual
and audio content in news broadcasts it significantly aids the
comprehension of a text (Cross, 2011). Listeners use visual information to:



Identify text type.
Generate a number of hypotheses about the content.
Confirm or reject initial hypothesis or adapt initial hypothesis.
Help listeners narrow an interpretation from other plausible
meanings (Gruba, 2006).

In the lesson students will watch the text without the audio. Students will
use the images to identify the genre and predict where the story is taking
place and what the news story is about. Students will then watch and
listen checking and perhaps reformulating their initial hypothesis.
Decode meaning of lexis from the context and co-text.
When a listener hears a word in a text they have to match that word to its
meaning (Field, 2008). When a listener hears the word “pass” for example

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they have a multitude of possible meanings to choose from. It could mean
pass a ball, pass an exam, pass by something or make a pass at someone.
The listener has to relate the word they hear to the context of the
situation in which it occurs and the surrounding co-text. When proficient
listeners hear an unfamiliar word or maybe can’t hear a word due to
background noise of unfamiliar accent, they will guess the meaning of the
word or guess the most likely word to fill the gap.
Students will be given words that are unknown or used in unfamiliar ways.
Word
Freak

Contextual Meaning
/friːk/

Ran

/ræn/

fear

/feə/

Allegations /ælə
ˈgeɪʃəns/
soul
/saʊl/
Hits
/hɪts/
latest

/leɪtɪst/

Adjective. Unusual strange. Collocates with weather
and accident.
Verb. Past. Irregular.To control or organise
something like a business.
Noun. UC .The feeling you have when worried or
something bad will happen
Noun. C/P. Statement someone has done something
wrong. Collocates with make.
Adjective. Music genre.
Noun C/P A song that sells a large number of copies
and is successful.
Adjective Superlative. Most recent.

Students listen and try and hear the words or phrases surrounding the
target language. Using this co-text and the overall context of the story
students will try and work out the part of speech and then negotiate
together the meaning of the word.
Use prominence to hear the content words.
News summaries are content heavy transmitting high load of information
in an extremely short time. Prominence in news is used to highlight parts
of a message which are the most pertinent In contrast function words,
which don’t carry the core meaning, are spoken in their weak forms.
Prominence helps the listener pick out the key words needed to piece
together the message.
In the lesson students will listen and read a typescript where the
prominent words are highlighted. Students will be asked what they notice
about how the highlighted words are said in comparison to the other
words. Students will hypothesise why the news reader stresses these
words and the impact on the message. Students will then categorise the
type of words often given prominence and types of words left unstressed.

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Students will then try and use this knowledge to predict which words will
be stressed in a different news story

Assumptions
Genre
Students will be familiar with the BBC News. They will be able to identify the text
from the info graphics and format.
Students will be motivated by news and authentic material.
Language
Students have enough meta-linguistic knowledge to talk about the parts of
speech. This needed for the prominence activity.
Students will have enough meta-linguistic knowledge to talk about stressed
words.
Although the students need the co-text/context to accurately define the word. I
don’t expect the lexis to be so difficult it will distract from the aim of the lesson.

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Activities
Students will be able to reflect on listening problems and be able to identify
them.
I expect students to have enough universal knowledge to identify the weather, a
sinking boat and a musician and be able to use this knowledge to make
predictions. The one story which is difficult to make predictions, I expect the
students have more prior knowledge of the story. It is about the Qatar world cup
and corruption scandal which I expect all the students in the class to have some
prior knowledge about.
Students have tried to guess words from context in an earlier reading activity so
the concept of using co-text won’t be completely alien.
Classroom/Affective
The students will be happy to work together in any pair or grouping.
Students enjoy talking about study skills and are happy to share their personal
experiences with each other.

Anticipated Problems and Solutions
Genre
Problem: Students may identify the clip as BBC news but may not recognise it
as international news. They may think the news clip shows one story with each
visual relating to each other, rather than three separate stories.
Solution:
CCQ



Where’s the text from?
How do you know?
Is it national news?
How many different stories were there?

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Linguistic
Problem: The pronunciation of Qatar in Egyptian Arabic is /qætɑ/ and this may
make it more difficult to recognise for Arabic speakers.
Solution: If the students don’t hear it when they check their predictions I will
ask some CCQs to try and get them to use the information they did ascertain to
guess her nationality. If they still don’t get it I will tell them, before the second
listening.
CCQs

What’s the story about?
What countries in the news connected with the world cup?

Sub skills
Problem: Students listen they won’t use visuals to predict the content they will
rely on the audio.
Solution: Watch first without audio and students just use visual clues to make
hypotheses. Then listen and watch to check predictions.
Problem: When students look at the words in the second activity they will make
incorrect assumptions about the meaning and the word class. For example, with
hits, they may think it is the verb to strike something. Almost all the words in the
activity have more than one meaning. It is the context which defines the use.

Solution: Students discuss what they think the word means and its part of
speech. Students then listen and write some of the co-text. They then use the
context/ co-text to confirm or reject their initial hypotheses.
Problem: Students won’t be able to write fast enough to keep up with speed
speech even if they do hear the correct words.
Solution: I’ll pause the audio after each chunk of target language to allow
students to check their idea and write before moving on to the next phrase. This
is a very challenging activity and students may need to listen more than once.
Problem: Students find the speed of speech overwhelming because they try to
hear every word.

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Solution: Focus on how prominence is used in news to transmit the key
information. Students identify the key words in a news story and listen and check
for stressed words.
Classroom Affective
Problem: Due to Ramadan some students are arriving late.
Solution: If a student is late , welcome them to the class and ask another
student to explain the task at a convenient time.

Commentary
The conversation syllabus at the school aims to develop students’ general
speaking and listening skills. It is one of the most popular courses. Students in
Egypt generally place a much greater importance on spoken communication
than written communication.
A Process Approach to Listening
Field argues that the sort of comprehension activities typical of many listening
lessons, only succeed in testing students’ understanding ,informing them that
they passed or failed at certain points but doing little to teach them how to listen
or how to deal with a breakdown in listening (Field, 2008). This lesson takes a

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process approach to listening, where the micro processes or sub-skills of
listening, rather than the final product is the focus of activities.
The idea of identifying listening subs kills and actively making students aware of
what they are doing when listening is gaining currency in academic circles. A
process approach aims to train learners to identify and replicate the listening
behaviours of proficient listeners whereas a strategy helps learners deal with
actual or anticipated breakdowns in communication. By progressively guiding
learners in the different skills, strategies and processes needed for different
types of listening, they can take a more active role and use this knowledge in
future listening situations (Tennant, 2014).
These students are extremely self-aware learners and are able to articulate quite
specific problems they have when listening to different types of text. On
numerous occasions they have asked me for advice on to improve their listening
and how to deal with their particular difficulties. The choice of tasks in this lesson
is informed both by the types of process a native listener would likely employ
when listening to a news summary as well as some useful strategies to help
learners deal with some of the problems they have identified as general listening
difficulties. These specific difficulties include:



Speed of speech.
Weak sounds in connected speech.
Unknown lexis.
Recognising known lexis in connected speech.

Choice of Genre
The BBC One Minute World news summary is an authentic text. It is published
daily on the BBC World News Website. It’s a daily summary of international news.
When asked about their listening habits outside class, all the students said that
they tried to watch the news in English but found the content challenging due to
the aforementioned problems. The students said they watched the news in order
both to improve their English as well as inform them on current affairs. Many of
the Egyptian students said they found Arabic news lacking in depth, the Italian
student was equally cynical about Italian media. All the students said they
generally trusted the BBC for accurate and reliable news coverage.
The length of the text makes it practical for classroom use. Within the lesson
students can listen to the text but practice different listening sub-skills and
strategies. The whole text in class as it appears online and so the text fully
retains its authenticity. This is extremely important for the motivation of this
class who said that using ‘real’ material which they can practice outside of class
on their own was the most important factor when considering how useful a text
is.
This Text

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This text contains four news stories, it has been chosen as it requires the listener
to use both top down and bottom up processing skills in order to comprehend the
message. For some of the items the listener are able to use visual clues to
predict the content, but for one news story this isn’t possible and listeners would
have to rely more on bottom up processing. This forces students to use a variety
of different sub-skills.

Procedure
Stage/ Aim

Procedure

Interactio
n

Tim
s

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Aim:

Aim:

Students use visual
clues to identify
text type. Activate
students’ formal
schemata.

Pre -Listening
Tell students to watch the video clip without
sound ask them where the text is from.
Elicit answers in open class and ask students
what helped them in identifying the text type.
1. What do you find difficult about listening
to the news in English?

Students reflect on
their listening
habits and
difficulties when
listening to the
news.

Feedback
Elicit some ideas about specific problems they
have when listening to the news and write them
on the whiteboard.

Students use
images and visual
clues to activate
schemata in order
to predict news
content.

Pre Listening
Tell students they will watch the clip again
without the sound. Watch the clips and guess;
Where is the story?
What is happening?
Tell students to write their guesses in their note
books.

S

5
mi

S-S

S-T

S

5
mi

ICQs
What are you listening for? (nothing, without
sound, just guessing)
What do you write( where and what they think
the story is about)
How many different news stories are there? 4
Students watch and write their predictions.
Students check their ideas in pairs/groups.

S

Students use
images and audio
together to confirm
or reject their
initial predictions.

5
mi

While Listening
Students they will watch and listen to the news
story and check if their ideas were correct.
Post Listening and Feedback

S-S

Students talk together and discuss how accurate
their initial predictions were.

OC

Feedback
Nominate students to give you the location and
the gist of the story.

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Aim:

T-S
Students will
practice decoding
meaning of lexis
from the context
and co text.

Example of Activity

5
mi

Write the word freak on the white board. Ask
students what part of speech is and what they
think the words means. Elicit student ideas and
write them up.
Write: _____freak_______
S
Tell students the word is from the first news
story. Tell students to listen very carefully and
tell you the word before and freak.
OC
Play the first story. Elicit the correct answers and
write them up. Ask students again what part of
speech the word is and what they thinks it
means in this particular context.
Answer: after freak weather/ adjective/
strange unusual
Pre Listening

S-S

5
mi

Give students worksheet one (appendix 1).
Tell students these words are taken from the
four different news stories. Before listening
again students guess the meaning and part of
speech?

S
S-S

While Listening
Students listen to the news stories and listen
carefully for the surrounding words and phrases
and write them on the worksheet.
Post Listening

5
mi

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Allow students to check their answers and play
the whole or part of text again if necessary.
Allow negotiation of what students heard or
thought they heard as much as possible.
Teacher monitors and guides students by asking
relevant CCQ’s grammatical and contextual.
Eg.
make allegations of corruption
 Who are we talking about in the story?
Qatari government.
 Are we sure they were corrupt? No
 Who said they were corrupt? The woman
 Do we use allegations accuse someone of
good things or bad things. Bad things.
 What part of speech is it? Noun/
countable.
 Have you seen this word in another form?
(yes, we studied allegedly in a newspaper
story.
 What verb comes before allegations?
Make.
CCQs

T-S

5
mi

Feedback
Ensure that all students get the correct co-text
and an approximate if not exact meaning of the
words from the text.

Aim:

Pre Listening
Students use
prominence to hear
the content words
in order to get the
main points of a
news story.

Give students tape script from story two
(appendix 2). Tell students to look at the words
in bold.

5m
s
S

Tell students to listen to the news story carefully
and focus on these words. Ask if they sound the
same or different to the other words. If they
sound different elicit how.
While Listening

S

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Students reflect on
the activity and
how they can use it
to help understand
the main points of
a news story.

Students listen focusing on the emboldened
words.
Post Listening and Feedback
Elicit some ideas. Louder, longer, stressed.
Show students the tape script on the IWB
showing only the prominent words in the news
story and the news story with only the
unstressed words
Ask students the questions:
1. Why do you think these words are
stressed?
2. Can you understand the story without the
other words?
3. What types of words are stressed?
4. What types of words are unstressed?
5. Do you need to hear every word to
understand the main idea of the news
story?
6. What words are useful to listen for?

OC

5m
s

T-S

S
S

5m
s

Flexi Stage
Students predict which words will be stressed in
the first news story based on what they think
are the most important parts of the message.

Aim:

Aim: Give students
the chance to
respond personally
to the text.

Students work in pairs to answer the questions:
Which story would you share on Facebook?
Why?

S-S

Give students an
opportunity to
reflect on the types
of listening
activities we have
developed in class
and how it
addresses their
difficulties when
listening to the
news. Give
students an

Students work alone and think about the
answers to the questions on the IWB. Put
students into groups and students discuss their
answers together. Teacher monitors.
Questions
What activities have we done today?
Think about the problems you said you had with
listening.
How can the activities we have done today help
you listen in the future?
Which activity was the most difficult? Why?
Which was the most useful? Why?

Ss-Ss

10
mi

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opportunity to
think about how
they can apply
these processes
and strategies in
the future.

News
Story

Have you got any other advice to help listening
to the news?
Feedback
No direct feedback teacher monitors and listens
to student responses.

Listen and write the missing words

2.

ran

______ __________

What part of speech is the blue
word? What do you think the
word/phrase in blue means?

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3.

________

____ fear

3.

_______ allegations____

___________

4.

________

soul ______________

4.

________

hits

___________

Conclusio
n
____ latest ____________

Appendix One
Appendix 2

Task One:
Look at the tape script and listen to the news story. Are the
words that are bold pronounced in a different way to the other
words?

A court in South Korea has jailed the chief
executive of the company that operated the ferry

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which sank in April err for ten years Kim Han Six
ran the company.

Task 2:
Underline the words you think will be stressed in this story.

In New York State in the US they’re preparing for
another big snow storm a day after freak weather
dropped well over a metre of snow on the region at
least seven people died.
Listen and check

Reflection Task IWB
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

What activities have we done today?
Think about the problems you said you had with listening.
How can the activities we have done today help you listen in the future?
Which activity was the most difficult? Why?
Which was the most useful? Why?
Have you got any other advice to help listening to the news?

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Bibliography
Cross, J. (2011). Comprrehending News Videotexts. Language Learning and
Technology , 44-68.
Field, J. (2008). Listening in the Language Classroom. Cambridge University
Press.
Gruba, P. (2006). Playing the Videotext: A media literacy perspective on video
mediated L2 Listening. Language Learning and Technology, 77-92.

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Rauch, M. (2015, 5 18). Eyes on the Stars . Retrieved from StoryCorps:
http://storycorps.org/animation/eyes-on-the-stars/
Robinson, K. (n.d.). Do schools kill creativity? Retrieved 6 10, 2015, from
www.ted.com: https://www.ted.com/
Tennant, A. (n.d.). Listening Matters: Process Listening. Retrieved June 11, 2015,
from http://www.onestopenglish.com/:
http://www.onestopenglish.com/skills/listening/teaching-tips/listeningmatters/listening-matters-process-listening/154594.article