Advanced Listening and Vocabulary Development

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EFS 693B

Notes: Week 1

I. Video 1. What did you learn?

        Pre-listening strategy: view all or part of a video silently and try to figure out what's going on before you begin listening

II. Introductions: instructor, students, and course

III. Video 2:

III. Video 3: Introduction to listening to informational videos (history, culture, science, technology...)

      Take notes: What are the most important points of this? How well did you understand it?

IV. Three types of dedicated listening practice (in addition to listening in everyday settings for learning and entertainment)

A. Practice in comprehending more effectively

Getting the basic meaning (preparing, using context, maintaining focus, dealing with lapses)

-  Retaining important points (note taking & short-term memory)

-  Interpreting and integrating (reflecting, judging, linking to existing knowledge and understanding)

B. Improving processing of language forms (sounds, words phrases, sentences) in conjunction with meaning

-  Comprehending faster speech

-  Comprehending a range of accents

-  Making processing more automatic: improving accuracy, speed, and capacity

C. Increasing language knowledge

-  Sound system (phonology): individual sounds, sound clusters and syllables, linking, reduction, rhythm, and intonation

-  Vocabulary (words and phrases), including recognizing pronunciation of known items

-  Grammar: recognizing the meaning in grammatical endings (like -ing), words (like prepositions and modal auxiliary verbs such as can), and structures (like passive or present perfect)

-  Discourse: typical organizational structures of lectures, newscasts, discussions, etc.; how speakers introduce and shift topics and comments

V. Video 4:; introduction

VI. Importance of vocabulary - How many words do you know? How many words do native English speakers know? What do you know when you know a word?

                        1. General service list; Academic word list (similar to the University Word List)

                        2. Keeping a list and reviewing it:
                            a) note unknown words that 1) you've seen before, 2) that seem important: decide whether to take time to learn them (check frequencies)
                            b) get the word, its definition, and a sentence from the context you saw it in if possible
                            c) collect in groups of 10-20 and review regularly (till you know them)
                            d) try actively to notice these words in other contexts, and use Google to find more examples

                        3. Target minimum vocabulary learning for this course: 25 words/phrases per week.

To find word frequencies, go to and paste in a transcript (up to 2000 words): this will help you determine which words to learn. The lower the frequency, the less likely you are to see the word again soon. In general focus on words at the 9000 level or below.

HOMEWORK. Note--we will probably be moving most of this to Coursework--I'll confirm that soon.

Listen to again. Watch it once all the way through. Try to understand as much as you can. Then, listen to it again, and this time pause when you notice an unfamiliar word or phrase. Try to find as many new words or phrases as you can (at least 10). If you are unable to hear/spell the word clearly enough to look it up, write down the phrase or sentence it occurs in. Important: Bring your list to class next week.

2. Listen to How much better did you understand it this time from your experience in class? See for more information about Tesla if you're interested, or simply search for Tesla on Be prepared to discuss your experience at the next class.

3. Review the General Service List at Make two sublists: 1) words you think you know but aren't sure of, and 2) words you are sure you don't know. You should receive this assignment through Coursework--please return your lists to me through that by 8:00 PM Sunday, October 2 at the latest. Please put the lists in one document and title your document YourName-GSL; (e.g.PhilHubbard-GSL).

4. Start thinking about what you want to do for your first independent listening project.

Last modified: September 29, 2011, by Phil Hubbard