Advanced Listening and Vocabulary Development

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EFS 693B
Week 9 Notes


I. Listening to comedies: Friends

II. Understanding accents: Understanding accents is largely a matter of processing--focus on the accent of an individual or group over a period of several days, trying to understand as much as possible. Use a combination of linking to transcript or subtitle, dictation, and slowed speed to improve accuracy. Also, analyze the patterns you notice so that you can pay close to attention to them.

III. Small group discussion: prep for your final report. Additional questions to consider:

    1. What specific strategies and techniques (parts of procedures) have you found most useful this quarter?
        What types of online materials have you personally found most useful?

    2. Has your use of online sources for learning English changed as a result of this course? How?

    3. What will you do to continue improving listening and vocabulary after next week?

Note that this discussion should help you decide what to offer us for your final presentation next week.

IV. Linking listening, speaking, and language learning: The output hypothesis and private speech

  1. Recording summaries and comments (helps you concentrate, helps you discover what you can and can't say easily, helps you identify vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation problems)

  2. Practice--listen to an audio clip and summarize it.

V. Finding accents on TED: use the search function with the language or country you want




Some tips for adapting to accents

    1) Listen till you hear something you don't understand. Rewind, turn on the captions, and make the connection. Try to isolate what made it difficult.

    2) Listen straight through while reading the captions or transcript, but focus on the sound. Then, close your eyes and listen again with no distrctions

    3) Become aware of patterns in sound substitution, like v for w or z for th in words like this and that.

    4) Notice the rhythm and intonation. Notice also how words are connected to each other: Are they separate or linked? Does a sound disappear? Is an extra sound added?

    5) Try to speak along with it for a minute or two, imitating the speaker.

V. Looking ahead: final picture ID test and presentations next week


Homework: Note--this is your last assignment: do the best you can.

1) This is your final independent project, for the usual for three hours total (not three hours for each week), divided in whatever way you think would be best. Be sure to answer all the additional questions on it. It's due as usual Monday at 8:00pm.

2) Identify an accent you want to understand more easily. Find one example (other than the ones I've provided) on TED or ecorner. Spend at least 40 minutes working with it intensively using any tools or techniques you think will help you adapt (this is in addition to your 3-hour project). Come prepared to discuss your experience next week.

3) Prepare a 3 to 5-minute presentation in which you introduce your classmates to 1) your favorite materials and 2) your favorite procedure, providing an explanation in both cases of how they have helped you in developing your listening and/or vocabulary. You can use either PowerPoint or just a Word document. I recommend bringing your own laptop to present. Otherwise, please send me whatever you need for presenting before class.

Last modified November 28, 2017 by Phil Hubbard