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Rob Jenkins


  1. Nancy Pakdel says:

    Friday, June 13, 2014

    With regard to the District’s Pre-Test and Post-Test Listening results, I did compare the same students for Spring Semester 2014, Beginning 2 level. Although the students’ improvement was not as remarkable as I had hoped, there was improvement, nevertheless, after having 2 or 3 listening assessments per week.

    One major problem this semester was attendance, which dropped dramatically after Spring break because half my class consisted of students working all night. The fatigue factor eventually took over, and, frankly, I was lucky to have a class until the end of the semester.

    With this prelude, you can imagine the listening test results were less than spectacular. Still, four students showed marked improvement in their listening ability, going up as much as 20%. Four other students stayed about the same, and five students did not make any progress whatsoever.

    Still, I was encouraged that 75% of the students passed to Beginning 3, and the students did show progess in their listening assessments when they attended during the semester.

    This teaching experiment has changed my strategy for teaching reading. “That’s Life” series is particularly good because the students can listen to short stories on a c.d. before they see the story. So, we can practice listening comprehension before they read, which has proven to be an effective way to teach the students how to concentrate and pay attention, with a listening focus, before they read the passage. It also helps them with pronunciation when they do read.

  2. Nancy Pakdel says:

    Friday, June 13, 2014

    While it’s still fresh in my mind, let me share about listening assessments for Spring semester, 2014, Beginning 2 level. Using the All Star I c.d. audio tests, which are very short dialogues at the end of each unit, the students would listen once, then have the test questions in front of them on the second listening. They definitely made progress throughout the semester, and I found the All Star I audio tests to be ideal for this purpose.

    I created my own test questions, which were all multiple choice, about the details of each dialogue. It sounds easy, but the students had to pay strict attention to correctly answer the questions. I think it was really quite challenging. What I noticed was that they definitely improved their test scores as they learned how to listen for specific information.

    February 20, the first listening assessment, half the students passed (8), but by March 5th, all 16 students passed, including 9 with a perfect score! All 19 students passed on March 6th, with 11 students attaining 100%. March 12, all 18 students passed, with 12 scoring 100%. So, March was a good month!

    What I’m learning is that active listening and focused listening can be taught, and the students can make progress in their ability to listen for specific information. So, I will continue to have listening assessments for the students this summer, formal and informal, to work on this skill. Sometimes, informal assessments can be more effective (and realistic), because the students are more relaxed, and just responding to questions after the second listening of a story, for example. Some students (who have no academic background) get extremely nervous for taking a formal test, and their anxiety adversely affects their ability to excel.

  3. Nancy Pakdel says:

    July 10, 2014

    With four more weeks of summer session, I want to share informal listening assessment results. By “informal”, that is to say the students listen to a short story (“That’s Life” series, which comes with a c.d.). After the second time listening to the story on c.d., the students respond to comprehension true/false statements about the story, which are in the book. It’s a wonderful way to get students into gear to begin a class, and they really do pay attention. It’s definitely informal, but they seem to answer correctly in unison.

    A week before the district post-test for promotion, I plan to assess the students more formally with written questions, such as the ones we created in our PLC group. I think this is excellent preparation for the district post-test without “teaching to the test”. That is, they seem to be learning how to listen for specific information.

    So, the experiment continues. I’ll report back after the students take the district post-test on August 5th. Whether they test well or not, I do want to keep the listening comprehension focus for reading. It’s helping the students in both their pronunciation of vocabulary and their understanding of the story. The listening assessment technique has definitely changed the way I present stories to the students and has raised their general confidence in processing the reading material.

  4. marti says:

    This is my comment. It’s a test.

  5. marti says:

    For my first listening SLO assessment I read the questions and possible multiple-choice answers using the Smart Board. Students could see and hear the questions and possible answers. Results were good, but not as good as the reassessment.

    For the reassessment, I asked individual students to read a question with the possible answer choices. The reading was slower and therefore easier to absorb, because it gave students more time to think about each question and possible answers. Also, for the reassessment, we went over key vocabulary words and discussed the questions, i.e., the meaning of the questions. Results were better.

    Reading the questions and possible answers carefully and slowly, and reviewing vocabulary words and discussing the questions results din better overall scores.

  6. Nancy Pakdel says:

    July 25, 2014

    Since my summer session class has been cancelled, due to low enrollment and attendance, I won’t be able to complete this listening assessment experiment at this time.

    However, I plan to continue teaching with this focus on listening comprehension, especially when reading a short story. That is, the students will listen to the story (without seeing it) twice before they read it. After the second listening of the story, comprehension questions will be addressed before they read the story.

    This technique has not only been successful in getting the students’ attention, it has mine! Since we learn language originally by listening, this seems like an excellent and effective way for the students to sharpen their listening concentration skill, and it also helps them with basic pronunciation when they do read the story aloud. (I only invite volunteers to read aloud. Not all students want to attempt it in front of their peers!)

    Another reason to look forward to Fall Semester. I like the way the PLC has changed my teaching techniques to improve both the students’ listening and reading comprehension in Englsih.

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