Listening Strategies

As I begin my TPRS journey, I know I need to change a lot of things I’m currently doing.  One of those things is how I assess listening.


What I’ve done in the past:

1. T/F – I did these in English, because I wanted to know what my students were actually comprehending. I didn’t want them to be confused by the question in addition to what they were hearing.

2. Fill-in-the-Blanks: I usually did these with songs.  Students would listen to a song (that I usually LOVE and want to sing) and fill in missing words.  Click here an example.

3. Circle-the-Word: I would listen to the audio, pick out the words we were working on, and write them down, making sure to change the order so students couldn’t pick up on a pattern.  I then added words that weren’t on the audio.  Click here for an example.

4. Order Sentences:  Students listen to audio and have the script of the audio in front of them, each sentence or body paragraph cut up.  Students then have to put the strip in order.  I usually did this with the Telehistorias that came along with Avancemos, but I should start using it with more authentic texts.

After attending the TPRS Conference in Omaha at the end of June, I had heard of other awesome ideas for assessing listening.

1. Find the Intruder: Read students the audio (or listen to it), and students have 5 or so sentences in front of them.  Students have to identify which sentences are NOT about what they just heard.  I recommend using English sentences so that students focus more on listening than reading the statements.

2. Pictures: Students listen to the audio and circle which picture best represents what they are listening about.  I used Tengo tu Love as a fill-in-the-blank activity (here’s mine), but it was neat to see how Martina Bex turned it into a picture assessment (here’s hers).  It makes it more creative for the students AND me.  Plus I like that hers is actually checking for meaning – which is much more TPRS-style.

3. Picture-Audio Combination: Have a picture in your hands.  Describe a scene that is similar yet different from the picture in your hand.  Students have to write down some similarities (maybe 3-4) and also differences (again, 3-4) between the audio and the picture.

4. Dictation: I’m not sure how I feel about this one, but it couldn’t hurt to try it out!  Martina Bex suggests doing dictation, where students write what they hear and then actually draw it to prove comprehension.  If you’d like to see it, check it out here.  It also includes a rubric.


…. and my last note on listening activities?  I need to make them interesting!  I won’t have Avancemos to fall back on (ok, well I technically do because I didn’t throw out the materials) so I want to make sure my materials are interesting so students DO listen.

I’m sure I’ll keep updating this list as I come across more!

4 thoughts on “Listening Strategies

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