Category Archives: Learning

Practice Listening Skills in English with Micro Dictations

Practice Listening Skills in English with Micro Dictations

This is a guest post by Chris Bargery from MicroEnglish.net. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. If you would like to feature your product or service on PurlandTraining.com, please get in touch.

Practice Listening Skills in English with Micro Dictations

Practice Listening Skills in English with Micro Dictations

Practice Listening Skills in English with Micro Dictations

When you listen to native English speakers, do you understand everything, or just enough to survive?

Most students find listening extremely difficult. Native speakers talk very quickly, connect words together, speak in a wide range of accents, and use lots of difficult language like phrasal verbs and idioms. All of this can make understanding them difficult and stressful!

Most students get very good at what I call ‘survival listening’ – understanding just enough to survive. Maybe they only understand 20-30% of what they hear, but that is usually enough to get the message, especially if they understand the context.

For example, imagine one of your colleagues says to you on Monday morning:

“Blip blap blop blep weekend?”

You only understand one thing (the word ‘weekend’), but because it is Monday morning you can make a good guess that your friendly colleague wants to hear about your weekend! You’ve survived.

The site features a wide range of listening activities

The site features a wide range of useful listening activities

This kind of listening is a very useful skill, but it is also really important for students to get better at a different kind of listening – decoding the stream of speech into individual words and phrases which you then use to understand what is being said.

Using the previous example, you would understand that your colleague said:

“What did you do at the weekend?”

Being able to correctly identify individual words and phrases means that you don’t need to make so many guesses. You are no longer just surviving, you’re understanding!

So, how do you get better at this kind of listening? The key is intensive listening.

Listen very closely to this short sentence:

Try to understand and write down every word that you hear. Listen as many times as you need to (seriously – listen 100 times if you have to!) and then check your answer at the bottom of this post.

Try to think about your mistakes. Why did you miss or misunderstand a word? Did the speaker pronounce it strangely? Was it connected to other words?

I think of this kind of listening practice as like sending your ears to the gym. It’s not easy, but it will make you a much stronger listener over time.

An interactive activity on MicroEnglish.net

An interactive activity on MicroEnglish.net

With regular practice, you will get better at automatically recognising individual sounds and phrases. You won’t need to worry so much about making guesses, so you will have more brain power available to plan what you’re going to say.

To do intensive listening, all you need is some audio with subtitles or a transcript. Ted Talks is a good start. My own site, MicroEnglish, provides lots of English listening exercises which are specifically designed to give students regular intensive listening practice. It has a large and growing archive of interactive dictations to give you practice understanding rapid conversational English in lots of different accents.

Do a little bit of intensive listening practice every day and you’ll quickly become a stronger and more confident listener in English. Good luck!


Try the interactive activity based on this phrasal verb by clicking here.


Answer to micro-dictation: I have to drop the children off at school at 9, so I’ll be with you at about 9.30.

May They Marry? FREE ESOL Lesson Plan

May They Marry? FREE ESOL Lesson Plan

May They Marry? FREE ESOL Lesson Plan

This is a brand new free lesson plan for English and ESOL teachers and students at Intermediate level and above.

We are often told that ‘If two people love each other, they should be allowed to marry. Love wins!‘ But how true is this? May we really marry who we like? What does the law say? Students work in pairs or small groups and discuss marriage law in the UK and around the world, while learning useful new vocabulary associated with family, relationships, and social status.

If you have any feedback about this free resource, we’d love to hear from you! Please feel free to leave a comment or review below or on Facebook or Twitter.

Direct download: https://purlandtraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/may-they-marry-lesson-plan.pdf

may-they-marry-lesson-plan

Direct download: https://purlandtraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/criteria-page-1.pdf

May They Marry? Criteria – Page 1

Direct download: https://purlandtraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/criteria-page-2.pdf

May They Marry? Criteria – Page 2

Direct download: https://purlandtraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/people-cards.pdf

people-cards

Direct download: https://purlandtraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/criteria-blank-cards.pdf

criteria-blank-cards

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

FREE Resource Pack for English - Holidays

FREE Resource Pack for English – Holidays

FREE Resource Pack for English – Holidays

Do you deserve a holiday? Are you dreaming about a relaxing break or hitting the beach? What about sightseeing in an exotic place? This pack could be the next best thing! Improve your English lessons immensely with our helpful FREE printable resource pack on the topic of Holidays.

Featuring great material to practice:

Vocabulary, English Idioms, Grammar, Tense Conversion, Verb Forms, Word and Sentence Stress, Speaking and Listening, Connected Speech… and much more!

This resource pack is completely free and in the public domain, so please feel free to share it widely!

If you like it, please share it with your friends on social media – and join us on Facebook!

Direct download: https://purlandtraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/holidays-complete-pack.pdf

FREE Resource Pack for English – Holidays

Image by Walkerssk from Pixabay

FREE Resource Pack for English - Creepy Crawlies

FREE Resource Pack for English – Creepy Crawlies

FREE Resource Pack for English – Creepy Crawlies

How much do you know about creepy crawlies? Are you scared of spiders? Fascinated by flies? Worried about worms? Boastful about bees? Improve your English lessons inordinately with our helpful FREE printable resource pack on the topic of Creepy Crawlies.

Featuring great material to practice:

Vocabulary, English Idioms, Tense Conversion, Verb Forms, Word and Sentence Stress, Speaking and Listening, Connected Speech… and much more!

This resource pack is completely free and in the public domain, so please feel free to share it widely!

If you like it, please share it with your friends on social media – and join us on Facebook!

Direct download: https://purlandtraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/creepy-crawlies-complete-pack.pdf

FREE Resource Pack for English – Creepy Crawlies

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

200 Top English Idioms

If You Only Ever Learn 200 English Idioms, Learn These!

200 Top English Idioms

Here are 200 of the most common everyday English idioms that native speakers use all the time. Check how many you already know, then make a conscious effort to learn the rest.

If you only ever learn 200 English idioms, learn these!

If You Only Ever Learn 200 English Idioms, Learn These!

If You Only Ever Learn 200 English Idioms, Learn These!

Title image: https://pixabay.com

Talking about... Christmas in an ESOL Vocabulary Class

Talking about… Christmas in an ESOL Vocabulary Class

Talking about… Christmas in an ESOL Vocabulary Class

Get your students speaking together and enable them to learn 40 new helpful vocabulary words about Christmas with this great FREE printable worksheet.

You could use this worksheet with any of the activities on this page.

Direct download: https://purlandtraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/discussion-words-christmas-.pdf

Talking about… Christmas in an ESOL Vocabulary Class

Image: https://pixabay.com

Practice Reported Speech with the Parable of the Good Samaritan

Practice Reported Speech with the Parable of the Good Samaritan

Practice Reported Speech with the Parable of the Good Samaritan

a) Read the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37.

b) Use your knowledge of reported speech to complete the account of ‘Malachi’, the man who was helped by the Good Samaritan.

Remember, in reported speech:

reported speech

This free worksheet is in the Public Domain, so please feel free to share it widely!

Direct download: https://purlandtraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Q-reported-speech-the-good-samaritan.pdf

Practice Reported Speech with the Parable of the Good Samaritan

Answers:

Direct download: https://purlandtraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/A-reported-speech-the-good-samaritan.pdf

Practice Reported Speech with the Parable of the Good Samaritan – Answers
FREE Bible Puzzle Worksheet - Names of God

FREE Bible Puzzle Worksheet – Names of God

FREE Bible Puzzle Worksheet – Names of God

Learn English and study the Bible with this free printable puzzle worksheet which focuses on the names of God in the Bible.

a) Read the Bible verse and complete the crossword with the correct name of God. (Note: all Bible verses use WEB translation: http://ebible.org/web/index.htm)
b) Decide whether the name refers to God the Father (G), God the Son (J), or God the Holy Spirit (S). Write the correct initial in the right-hand column.
c) Work out the central verse (in grey) and write it down.

This worksheet is free and in the public domain, so please feel free to share it widely!

Direct download: https://purlandtraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Q-names-of-god.pdf

FREE Bible Puzzle Worksheet – Names of God

Answers:

Direct download: https://purlandtraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/A-names-of-god.pdf

FREE Bible Puzzle Worksheet – Names of God – Answers