MyNotes: ListenWise, Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of MyNotes on ListenWise, a fantastic book by Monica Brady-Myerov. Her book, ListenWise: Teach Students to Be Better Listeners, is a great read for any educator, whether you decide to use the National Public Radio (NPR) audio-based service, ListenWise, in your classroom. Whew, there is so much amazing content in this book, it's guaranteed to stay close at hand. I highly recommend it.



This is part of the two blog entries featuring her book share great strategies that jumped out at me. Be sure to read Part 1

Here are my takeaways or "my notes" from the book. 

My Notes

These notes include my takeaways from the book, as well as instructional strategies (wow!) included. I've split them up below.

Read Part 1 of this blog entry, where I cover quotes from the text. Lots of great ideas shared and underscore the fact that the book is worth reading, whether you get ListenWise or not.


Instructional Strategies


In her book, Monica covers a variety of listening strategies. As I worked my way through the book, I took notes in a yellow tablet (some shown right) since that is what I had at hand. 

As such, my notes may be a little incomplete or fail to capture an idea as well as Monica shared it in her book. If you encounter that error (all mine), I strongly encourage you to get her book (see link at top of this blog entry) so that you can read it in full.

  1. For Discriminative Listening, make a 3-column chart with these column headers:
    1. What I Hear
    2. What I Visualize
    3. Where This Is
  2. Precise Listening: Focus on clues, color, size, shape, location, texture or function
  3. Strategic Listening: Use the SWBS Approach by Kylene Biers (see cultural update). This generally goes like this:
    1. Make a chart with these column headers: Somebody | Wanted | But | So
    2. Somebody column refers to one character in the story.
    3. Wanted column refers to what a character wanted to do or wanted to obtain
    4. But column refers to a challenge or problem a character faced
    5. So column refers to what a character did to address the challenge
  4. Playing a Story: This involves the following:
    1. Play for gist
    2. Play for vocabulary
    3. Use graphic organizers to listen for who the characters were, what they wanted, challenges faced, how they responded, and what happened in the end
  5. Critical Listening
    1. Review: Students review what they hear, consider...
      1. What surprised them
      2. What challenged what they believe
      3. What changed how they think
      4. What confirmed what they already knew
    2. Reflect: When students reflect they consider how they feel based on what they heard.
      1. Do they feel calm or angry?
      2. Do they agree or disagree?
      3. Do they feel confident or confused?
    3. Respond: When students respond, they should:
      1. Consider if they're responding to an opinion or a fact
  6. SW/BST: Allows for students to interrogate audio they listen to
    1. Somebody wanted: What are characters trying to get?
    2. But: What challenges did the characters face on their quest to get what they wanted?
    3. So: How did the characters react? What did they do? What choices did they make in response to the challenge they faced?
    4. Then: Finally, what was the result of the actions the characters took
  7. SLANT by Doug Lemov
    1. This helps students remember what behaviors they can use to be better active listeners
    2. The acronym SLANT looks like this:
      1. S: Sit up
      2. L: Lean toward speaker
      3. A: Ask questions
      4. N: Nod your head
      5. T: Track speaker with your eyes
  8. Guidelines for Teaching Listening:
    1. Before Listening
      1. Set a goal
      2. Build background
      3. Prepare the environment
      4. Introduce Listening Strategies
    2. During Listening
      1. Note-taking strategies, including use of a listening organizer 
      2. Listening organizers can include 
        1. T-Charts, 
        2. Venn Diagrams, 
        3. Problem-Solving Strategies
    3. After Listening
      1. Reflect on audio story
  9. There are three core components of listening:
    1. Identifying the main idea
    2. Recognizing literal meaning
    3. Making inferences
  10. Cognitive Listening is the understanding or comprehending part of listening
    1. After listening to a 3-min story, can students understand WHAT the story is about and identify the main idea?
  11. Metacognitive listening is monitoring the listening process
      1. Can students use the surrounding context to decipher an unfamiliar word (metacognitive)?
  12. Better listeners make better readers. Studies show that listening skills have been linked to literacy at an early age. Teaching listening as a method of developing literacy skills in K-12 schools is largely overlooked.
  13. Listening comprehension is a fundamental building block of learning to read.
  14. Word Recognition/Decoding x Listening comprehension = Reading Comprehension
  15. Reading aloud or listening to podcasts makes complex ideas more accessible and exposes children to vocabulary and language patterns that are not part of every day speech
  16. Directed Listening Thinking Activity (DLTA)
    1. About DLTA
      1. This helps engage students in listening to identify the main idea of a story.
      2. The ability to make and confirm predictions is an important comprehension strategy. It helps students determine the speaker's main points.
    2. Before listening
      1. State the objective. This is to better comprehend an audio story by making/continuing predictions).
      2. Divide a piece of paper into four squares.
        1. Square 1: Photo. Prediction of story based on a photo. What will it be about?
        2. Square 2: Words. Show vocabulary words in story. "Based on these words, what do you predict story will be about?"
        3. Square 3: Title. Predict from the title.
        4. Square 4: Think-Pair-Share
      3. Process:
        1. Show kids a photo.
        2. Show vocabulary words
        3. Show title
        4. Think Pair Share
          1. Two columns: My Predictions on the left, Other's Ideas on the right
          2. Include a Summary row at the bottom
  17. Using visual aids is key to helping students understand a new language. Showing photos, graphics, slides, posters, and other visual representations of the words that students be learning can help with comprehension.
  18. Five Key Practices
    1. Before Listening
      1. PreTeaching Vocabulary
      2. Activating Prior Knowledge and building Background Knowledge
      3. Teaching Language and context togther
    2. During Listening
      1. Scaffolding instruction for listening
    3. After Listening
      1. Encouraging speaking practice to deepen listening comprehension
  19. BICS vs CALPS
    1. Basic interpersonal communicative skills (BICS) and cognitive academic language proficiency (CALP) was introduced by Cummins ( 1979, 1981a) in order to draw educators' attention to the timelines and challenges that second language learners encounter as they attempt to catch up to their peers in academic aspects of the school language. 
    2. BICS refers to conversational fluency in a language while CALP refers to students' ability to understand and express, in both oral and written modes, concepts and ideas that are relevant to success in school.(source: Jim Cummins, external citation to ListenWise)
    3. Academic language is about vocabulary, grammar, syntax and other language elements
    4. Listening can help build language facility and sentence variety muscles (source: Jeff Sziers as cited in text)
      1. Zwiers suggests assigning students to listen to four podcasts on a similar topic because that would reinforce vocabulary and sentence structures that help build language.
    5. Unscripted podcasts or interviews use more BICS than CALPS.
  20. Preteaching words improve student comprehension. There are three tiers of classifying vocabulary:
    1. Tier 1: Words that are frequently used in English conversation and probably known in L1
    2. Tier 2: Words that include academic language frequently used in different contexts across disciplines.
    3. Tier 3: Words used less frequently in speech and are often specific to the context of a story. The words are key to understanding the discipline specific concepts in English
  21. Collocations: pair or group of words such as "take a nap" or "easy money"
  22. Nonfiction podcasts are good to use because there are a number of Tier 2 words in the stories
  23. 2020 WIDA Framework:
    1. Multilingual learners develop content and language concurrently
    2. Academic context is the context for learning and language as a means for learning academic content
    3. Teachers are encouraged to use multiple means of communications including speaking, images, gestures, and other means.
  24. Content-based Teaching: two types of CBT.
    1. In the story approach, the primary goal is to leanr context with the secondary goal of becoming fluent in the language
    2. Explicit instruction in listening skills when accompanied by interactive tasks in a context-based language learning program can improve English instruction.
  25. Listening organizers: Create an organizer with three columns:
    1. Fact: Record interesting or useful factual information.
    2. Question: Write questions as they occur as they listen
    3. Response: Make a list of responses to the story.
      1. Clarification: 
        1. An answer to a question a reader had
        2. A reaction with examples based on categories of:
          1. What surprised you?
          2. What confirmed something you knew?
          3. What was something confusing you heard?
          4. What's something that made you think differently?
          5. What's something you found hard to believe?

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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