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English through Drama for Secondary School Children.

Organising Listening Activities by Bogdan Lazanu, coala Alecu Russo, Iai Keywords: drama, listening skills, responses, pre-listening, while-listening, post-listening activities.

Whenever we plan to practise listening skills we should remember to set different tasks for the listening material, which must be solved either while listening or after it. That is why most of the activities should run after the following pattern: Pre-listening: Before getting the class to listen we should introduce the topic of the listening material. This is of vital importance because it will set our students in the mood for listening and will arouse the students' interest in the subject and increase their motivation to listen. It will also help them to predict what the material will be about. While-listening: We could give them one or two guiding questions to focus their attention on the main points. At this stage the students listen and then answer the guiding questions. This will allow students to listen to the tape with only a very general task to perform. They will concentrate on the general meaning which will help them to understand the listening material. On a second listening we can give our students a task to check detailed comprehension. The students listen for particular points, which require careful listening. After-listening: The listening activity should be accompanied by a follow-up stage. The students can reflect on what they have heard or use the material as a starting point for discussion, or written work. There are different ways of classifying listening activities. Anca Cehan classified them by the learners' responses to the listening material. The need to produce a response provides students with immediate motivation for listening and it also directs them towards certain kinds of meaning and therefore structures their listening activity. Sometimes students can give short answers to what they hear. Cloze texts The listening text has occasional, widely spaced brief gaps, represented by silence or some kind of buzz. The pupils write down what they think might be the missing word. Saying the text ourselves, we can more easily adapt the pace of our speech to the speed of the pupils' responses.

Listening activity. The Passport Office - for pre-intermediate students

Pre-listening. In order to introduce the topic we show students a passport and ask them different questions related to it like: "Do you know what this is?" / "Do you have a passport?" / "Where did you get your passport from?" / "What do you need a passport for?" / "Have you ever travelled abroad?" / "Where?". Then we tell our students that they will listen to an incomplete dialogue between a man and the clerk from the passport office and they have to try to guess what words are missing and write them in their notebooks. While-listening. We start reading the following excerpt from the dialogue and students write down the words they think are missing. Every seventh word is missing and they have a blank space before followed by the correct word between brackets.

The clerk is working at her (desk). The man comes in and coughs (twice). Clerk Man Clerk Oh, good morning. Can I help (you)? Yes. Have you got any passports? (Yes), we have.

Man Oh, good. The shop next (door) hasn't got any. I'd like twenty, (please). Clerk Man Clerk Man Clerk Man Clerk Man Twenty? Yes. All different colours. I'm (sorry). That's impossible. All right. All the (same) colour. No, no - it's impossible to (have) twenty passports. Is it? Yes. You (can) only have one. Oh, all right. (One) passport, please. He offers some money.

Clerk (Just) a minute. It isn't as easy (as) that. You have to answer some (questions). Man Clerk Man Clerk Man Oh. What kind of passport do you (want)? What kind of passport? Yes. A (big) round yellow one.

Clerk We've only got (small) blue rectangular ones. When I say ('What) kind?', I mean: How long? Man Clerk Man Clerk Man Clerk Man How (long)? How long? Five years? Ten years? (I) want it today. No, I mean: (How) long do you want it to (last)? How long do I want it (to) last? Yes. A hundred years.

After a normal speed reading we read the dialogue again but this time with faster speed so that students can check what they have written. Post-listening. In pairs, students check up their answers and then we check with the whole class. After that students get the script of the dialogue and in pairs they act the dialogue out. In the end one or two pairs will act the dialogue in front of the class.

Bibliography 1) E. Gheorghiu, Developing Language Skills - Speaking and Listening, in In-Service Distance Training Course for Teachers of English, Polirom, 2003, 141.

2) A. Cehan, Limba i Literatura Englez - EFL Methodology I, MEdC Proiectul pentru nvmntul Rural, 2006, 116. 3) ***, English Sketches 1, Macmillan Publishers Ltd, 2002, 40.