Listening

Long jumper

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Listening - hancockmcdonald.com/skills/listening

"My sister went out with a long jumper". Here's a claim with two meanings, and reading it, you'd never be sure which was intended. But hearing it would clarify things, because the speaker has a way of communicating the intended meaning. It's the vocal effort known as 'stress'. "Long jumper" (athlete) is two words acting as a single lexical item.

Surreal Soundscapes

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In a language where "What's your address?" can become a homophone of "Watch or a dress?", there's plenty of scope for misunderstanding, even for what you might call 'native listeners'. For learner listeners, the situation is many times more perilous. For them, listening can be like wandering in a surreal soundscape.

Surreal soundscapes: the weird world of the learner listener

Speaker: 
Event date: 
Saturday, February 4, 2017 - 10:45
Venue: 
Stafford House Annual Conference, opening plenary
Location: 
19 New Dover Rd, Canterbury CT1 3AH
Extra info: 
Plus downloads
Listening - hancockmcdonald.com/skills/listening

For the native listener, homophones, puns, misheard lyrics and the like are the occasional source of delight. For the learner listener, they belong to the surreal soundscapes they inhabit for much of the time. This talk will explore the intersection between pronunciation and listening, in order to identify what it is that makes listening so tricky and weird for the individuals in our classes.

Long and short; tense and lax

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Listening - hancockmcdonald.com/skills/listening

Following last weeks post featuring a box set on the price/prize minimal pair, here's a box set on the bean/bin distinction. Again, one person is the speaker and says one of the phrases. His/her partner is the listener and says which they understood - A, B, C or D.

Vowels and voicing, belt and braces

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This image is a minimal pair, squared - what I call a box set. One person says one of the phrases. The other has to listen and say A, B, C or D. The minimal pairs in this instance involve /s/ and /z/ - these are a pair of related consonants, the first unvoiced and the second, voiced.

Someone called Anne

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Listening - hancockmcdonald.com/skills/listening

This pair of sentences could almost be phrasal homophones (oronyms), except for the differences in punctuation. They play with the fact that the sound bite 'call Dan' is identical to the sound bite 'called Anne'. There are also two meanings of 'called' (to phone or shout out to someone or to be named), which make the pair of sentences rather confusing!

Sick Spies or Six Pies?

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Listening - hancockmcdonald.com/skills/listening

Look at the pictures. Are the two pictures: a. a minimal pair, b. homophones, c. whatever?

Acoustic Drills and Audio Concordances

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There is something missing at the heart of the listening component in most ELT course materials. They fail to dig deep into the actual raw material of the skill – what Richard Cauldwell calls the ‘sound substance’.

Making Listening Memorable: Listening in chunks

Speaker: 
Event date: 
Sunday, March 13, 2016 - 10:15
Venue: 
TESOL-Spain
Location: 
Vitoria-Gasteiz
Extra info: 
Plus downloads
Listening - hancockmcdonald.com/skills/listening

When it comes to ‘doing’ listening, many students feel they are starting from scratch rather than building on what they have already mastered. In this workshop, we’ll discuss the notion of ‘verbal stickiness’, and consider how we could exploit this phenomenon by focusing on various language patterns and using different activities to help students become more efficient and fluent listeners.

Pronunciation for Listeners

Speaker: 
Event date: 
Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - 14:00
Venue: 
Driestar conference
Location: 
Houten, Netherlands
Extra info: 
Plus downloads
Listening - hancockmcdonald.com/skills/listening

Pronunciation is just as important for listening as for speaking. In this workshop, we will look at what features make connected speech difficult to follow. We will try out a series of tasks and games for raising awareness of these features. Finally, I will suggest how teachers can prepare their own micro-listening activities.

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