TEFL teaching materials

teaching professional people english

Of hearing and listening

Pastors, psychotherapists, teachers, we all do loads of it.  Then there’s bank tellers and bar  tenders, bus conductors … listening, listening, all day.  I get to the end of every academic year totally maxed out on listening, and chances are that you do too.  So … This year’s holiday project for me is to get over the past year’s listening, and prepare myself as best I can to deal with it better come September.

Should you care to join me as I travel hopefully towards these goals, you are most welcome.  For today, I invite you to discover this talk by Julian Treasure, an expert in listening.  If listening to him sounds too much like hard work, you can just click here, and read the transcript.  He won’t mind.

I intend to work on the things he suggests.  There are tricks and tips to not working as hard listening, too.  It’s not that we want to learn to tune people out, it’s just that in a context such as a conversation lesson, there can be too much listening for one poor little brain (mine) to handle.  I find that I’m listening harder than a therapist most of the time – not only am I trying to keep up with the conversation, but I’m also trying to pick up any mistakes, mis-chosen vocabulary, syntax problems …. how can I best help the student to correct?  Do I interrupt?  Do I make a note of it for later?  Do I use next lesson to work on it?  Exhausting it is.  Probably more so than is necessary.   Twenty years’ experience has taught me a few techniques.  I’ll get around to telling you about them before September.

(Like, ask Ophelia – you CAN get too much of a good thing!)


About Catherine Kennedy

Second year undergrad (super-mature) at Sheffield Uni doing single honours Religion, Theology, and the Bible. (Formerly TEFL teacher in France)

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July 2012
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