The Listenwise quizzes are very similar to what my students will experience on the listening portion of Smarter Balanced test so the practice is very valuable. It also lets me know which listening skills my students need help with and I discuss the different listening strands with them. I also like to pair the listening content with other texts for a Socratic seminar or set up a debate where students working on speaking skills as well.
It’s hard to find authentic sounding listening content for ESL, especially once our students are working on academic language. I use Listenwise to work on academic vocabulary since it’s presented in context, both orally and written. We practice with language directly from the stories, focusing on the Tier 2 word list. We go through multiple listens and including one of each the regular speed and slower audio.
The topics and narrative of Listenwise podcasts enable me to get my students talking and digging deeper into the curriculum. It’s a great hook! Once they see the relevance of what they’re studying, they ask better questions and retain knowledge. It’s also a good way to get my weaker readers engaging in the content area. I like to start and end a unit with Listenwise to illustrate the connection between history and today. Students listen for homework on their own Chromebooks then we have a class discussion.
My students struggle with reading so I use same language subtitling to work on comprehension. I’m able to leverage their listening comprehension paired with transcripts to improve their fluency and ability to engage with the text. I will often use graphic organizers and work individually with students on close listening routines to analyze the story and explore the vocabulary. I’ll also use the quizzes to determine where they might need to improve their listening comprehension since problems with listening comprehension can limit their reading success.