ESL Listening

ESL Listening, ways to help student improve their listening in English.

Exercises, using movies to improve your English listening ability are valuable and the English is natural.

Advising students to go and watch movies, or even better, rent DVDs, is a great idea. Not only will they learn more about other cultures, and English speaking countries in general, but they can improve their listening.

But why do so many Japanese complain that they watch movies but their listening doesn`t

improve? Students need to watch movies without using Japanese subtitles.

ESL Listening Activities, how to improve your TOEFL or TOEIC score?

Many students find that their reading speed is too slow for a timed test. So even before practicing listening, perhaps improving one`s reading speed is a good idea.

Most students don`t try to read quickly in English. When they do read they read for pleasure or trying to comprehend the English. Improve your reading speed in a few months by buying some easy graded readers by Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press or others. They are available in bookstores in Japan like Yurindo, Kinokuniya and others. Just ask the store staff about easy books in English. Then choose a book you would like to read and read it without a dictionary.

Pictured, Himeji Castle in Japan

Tim Murphey argues for better teaching and testing in his book, "The Tale that Wags." Murphey states through his character Frank:

"But there is a more important reason, in my opinion, to put listening on the tests than just these figures. It`s what it will do to high school teaching. Most of my evening graduate students, who are high school teachers during the day, say they have no time to teach real English communication, they have to cram more grammar into their students for the entrance exams. Putting listening on the exams hopefully will change their teaching style. Korea and China have been doing this for some time and are far ahead of us."

-p, 31, The Tale that Wags

Karaoke Day: Using Songs In The Classroom

Why Karaoke?

Some teachers think of using songs as a mere “filler activity” for use in a Monday or Friday class. This is a real shame as songs, when exploited wisely, are a very powerful teaching tool. My Japanese wife says that her interest in the Beatles and their music helped her with her English rhythm, intonation, and vocabulary. Tim Murphey, an expert on English language education in Japan, introduced a concept he called the “song stuck in your head phenomenon”. People tend to remember and retain song lyrics for a long time. Knowing that this is the case, how can we use songs how can we use songs to create an environment which is both fun for the student and in which learning takes place?

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