Listening and Speaking


Tuesday’s Tips (Education Connections)

Erik Halvorson

Education Connections

How do you mix up your lessons and units to make sure all students have the opportunity to practice active listening and speaking?

For EL students, speaking and listening in group activities can be challenging, since other more confident students often monopolize active speaking time and contributions to the group. During lesson planning, it’s important to consider how you can provide safe spaces for all to share ideas and contribute to lessons. Luckily, there are already many effective techniques that you can use in your lessons to better enable all students to refine their listening, speaking, and group work skills. A wonderful example is the “Save the Last Word for Me” activity, which balances students’ contributions in group work by encouraging them to actively listen and contribute, giving them the opportunity to think aloud, respond, and interact with ideas. “Save the Last Word for Me” can be used across all grade levels and English skill levels, and can be adapted to work with text, images, or even film and audio samples.

For a closer look at “Save the Last Word for Me,” plus some thoughts on using it in your classroom, visit the activity outline from Facing History.

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