Advanced Listening and Vocabulary Development

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EFS 693B
Week 9 Notes


I. Listening to comedies: Friends

II. Understanding accents: Indian: 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.

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 distractions

    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.

III. Listening to comedies with Indian accents: Outsourced -

Description: Mid America Novelties is an all-American company that sells novelty items such as whoopee cushions and foam fingers. When the company outsources its call center to India and sends Todd Dempsy there to run the operation, he discovers that his staff needs a crash course in all things American. But the culture shock isn't one-sided -- life in India is its own challenge for Todd. This show ran for one season on NBC, 2010-2011, and is available for free streaming at

IV. 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.

V. Listening to comedies: Friends (continued)

VII. Looking ahead: final project, final tests, and presentations next week


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

1) This is your final independent project, for just two hours total (not two hours for each week), and just 15 new words/phrases required. Be sure to answer all the additional questions on it. It's due Sunday December 1 at 11:59 pm.

2) Prepare a 2 to 4-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.

3) We will have our final individual meetings starting Wednesday 12/4. I will go over your final project report, and you are responsible for knowing all the words on your word lists, so be sure to practice.

Last modified November 20, 2019 by Phil Hubbard