Author: Elaine Kirn
Suitable for: Older Youth, Young & Other Adults
Author: Elaine Kirn
What It Is: The WLE Level 5 Competency Based Listening/Speaking Book is a 120-page student text for aural/oral competency with the overall theme, “Language & Culture in Depth." As in the corresponding Grammar and Reading/Writing books, its ten (10) Chapter titles are:
• Meeting People • Getting an Education • Money, Money, Money • Earning a Living • Getting Help • Going Places • Getting Along with People • Having Fun • The Media • A Lifetime of Learning
Why You Need It: At advancing learning levels, students need as much information about the major areas of work and life as they can get. Using such content to also advance oral language skills provides many advantages.
What It Does: The text and audio contribute not only to English improvement. They also help learners to develop abilities far beyond survival basics, contributing to future work and life accomplishments.
The Intro and Part One of each chapter are entitled "Learning to Listen." After preparing to do so with vocabulary and pictures, students hear first-person accounts and academic lectures that summarize what's important to know about the topics listed above. They demonstrate understanding of the "Main Ideas" and "Important Supporting Details." Then they tell "their own stories."
Part Two helps improve students' "Pronunciation Through Role-Play." It addresses such topics as rising vs. falling vs. sustained intonation; stress & pitch patterns; sound, word, & phrase reductions; sound linking; phrase & sentence rhythm; and sentence focus, all features of clear and fluent speech. Text-users work on these in scripted and real conversations.
Part Three is called "Practical Listening." It features casual, professional, & personal (relationship) conversations; academic lectures; courtroom simulations; travel descriptions; sports commentary; plot summaries; opinion exchanges; and other kinds of "sophisticated" speech commonly heard and used by people that really live in a culture. Learners improve and demonstrate comprehension through exercises--before going out on their own to communicate similarly in their own lives.
Part Four "Listening Activities" are varied. Text users categorize and evaluate what they hear; play with language; make cross-cultural comparisons; brainstorm to solve problems; simulate legal conflicts; plan travel; fill out and use "Compatibility Questionnaires," learn sports rules; have debates; and play "Self-Exploration Games." And of course, they make good use of the knowledge they've acquired and the skills they've developed in the real world beyond the classroom.
The text ends with an Appendix that elucidates the intended "Points of the Stories" in the audio material.