Advanced Listening and Vocabulary Development

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Advice to Future Students from Previous EFS 693B Students

Reprinted from their final project reports with permission

Fall 2014

1.       What three websites have you found most useful this quarter?

         Ecorner, CNN student news and NOVA.

         PBS news hour, TED and the vocabulary profiler website.
 I like the website because it give chance to review the frequently used word easily. TED: TED offers great speeches from different aspects and have different accents to practice. CNN Student News: Student news is of the right level to listen and great source to find new words.

         English Baby, CNN Student News, pbs

         TED, CNN, PBS Newshour

         CNN student news, TED, Nova

         Youtube, ecorner and Ted are the three websites I have found most useful this quarter.

         NOVA, Ecorner and TED

         CNN student news, NOVA and TED

         Nova, CNN student news, Ecorner

         Ted, studentnews, ecorner

2.       What three strategies/techniques (parts of procedures) have you found most useful this quarter?

         Pausing and rewinding, making summarizations and using transcriptions.

         Using the vocabulary profiler to decide the importance of a new word, combining intensive and extensive listening and dictation.

         Dictation, adjusting the speed, listen with captions.

         Read the background before listening. Do dictation is also helpful. Do not use material that is too hard

         Dictation, oral summary, using subtitles and transcripts

         1. Dictation. 2. Reading carefully transcript. 3. Listen some of parts again.

         Note-taking, oral dictation and adjusting speed.

         (1)Dictation  (2)Build knowledge (through reading maybe) in this area before listening, also itís useful to do ďnarrow listeningĒ (3)Linking listening to speaking and language learning

         Choose clips to do dictation, toggle the subtitles and rewind.

         Writing down the summary, making a comparison, pausing on each small part

         Listening for at least two times, read the transcript instead of subtitles, listen every day

3.       What advice do you have for a student just starting this course?

         Try to practice listening (and also speaking, vocabulary building) everyday, even a short period of time. And try to build you vocabulary which is the basis of listening comprehension.

         It is a nice class to take, but you also need to get prepared for the homework.

         Donít miss the importance of the vocabulary.

         Do what professor recommends and find out the best strategy for listening.

         Form a daily habit of practicing listening to English

         This class is really helpful to improve listening skill and good starting point to learn English itself. Especially, you can get good resources and references which help improve listening. Professor will give you great advices to direct you on the right way. But one thing you might want to keep in mind is that you should use right procedures and spend a lot of time to improve your listening. Good Luck!

         I will suggest them using Anki to memorize their word lists and applying what they learn from this class not only to their independent project but also to their daily life, like to their lectures and conversations with their friends.

         A great course for improving not just listening but speaking and other language skills. But you have to be active, actively participate in the class discussion, actively do the assignments and actively try every strategy introduced in the course, this course offer you a better environment to actively improve your English.

         (1) Have a clear goal about how far you want to reach at the end of the course. (2) Schedule the listening practice wisely and do not wait until one or two days before deadline to start the assignment. (3) During individual meeting, discuss the problems you have about listening in daily life with Mr. Hubbard. That is really helpful.

         Keep listening and try to practice every day.

         Listen to a short material everyday



Replies to Question 3 from other classes

Fall 2013

3.       What advice do you have for a student just starting this course?

         To improve listening ability, you have to keep learning English and never stop with the methods introduced in this course. Only in this way, could you really see your improvement.

         Try different ways to find the method that suit you the best.

         Well, exercise as much as possible.

         Compare your English learning style with the skills learnt in this course carefully. Try your best and spend time to test whether a method is suitable for you or not. Keep practicing and be selective on both the material and strategy you use. Be a smart and proactive learner.

         If you decide to select this course and are an EE graduate, donít take many high-workload EE courses simultaneously. Do try to do the individual project every day.

         I would recommend that they use Oxford dictionary for increasing vocabulary.

         Try to spread every timeís homework into everyday of the whole week.

         Try to finish what you started at the first place

         Explore different resources first and find out the materials more suitable for you.


Winter 2012

         I agree that itís better to schedule fixed time for listening every day or week, donít wait until you think you have time for it.   

         1) Making an everyday schedule for spending time on listening to English. 2) Starting from interesting and relatively short materials to challenging and long materials.

         Choose interesting and funny materials and enjoy them.

         First of all improve process speed and capacity is important, dictation helps the most.

         Choose what is close to your life

         Keep working on following the same topic for weeks or working on the same speaker for weeks really helps a lot.

         Spend more time on this course. Itís better to practice everyday. The result you achieve will be in direct proportion to the effort you apply.

         Try something easy (like Obama speech and documentary without too many high level words)

         I will strongly recommend they start to use EnglishBaby, since it has important vocabulary list and background reading before the listening practice, and also the transcript afterwards, from which they can complete the necessary steps within one website. This would very helpful for those just start and have no idea how to do it efficiently.

         Think seriously about building vocabulary. Selection of vocabulary is also important.

         Following the theme of the week and manage to work every day. No matter how busy you are, try at least 10 mins.

         Try to make deliberate listening a daily practice.

         Making very good plan, Trying both short/intensive materials and (very) long talks, Taking effort on managing the word list in a good shape from the very beginning.

         A large vocabulary will help you a lot in understand the listening materials So keep building up your vocabulary..

         This course really teaches a good methodology to learn English. What you need to do is just practice more using the method learnt on class.

         Divide listening training into short sessions and do it every day; learn vocabulary first before listening to the material.




Last modified: January 21, 2015 by Phil Hubbard