Tip: Have fun with listening exercises such as telephone calls by pausing the audio at frequent intervals and asking the students what they think is going to come next. Make it clear if you want them to predict the content (“How do you think the other person will respond?”) or language (“Complete the phrase”). You need to be following the script closely to see where to pause.
There are many ways to pause audio in class:
1 On the first listening, pause the audio at the end of a speaker’s turn and ask the students how they think the other person will respond. Then play the next turn and see how close the various guesses were. Pause again for laughter and comments. Continue, pausing like this several more times. This is a great way to get the students to really focus and pay attention to the listening.
2 On a second or third listening, pause at the end of a speaker’s turn and ask if the students can remember the response of the other person. Then listen to check. This is a memory game.
3 On a second or third listening, pause in the middle of a key phrase and ask if the students can complete the phrase. This is recycling and activation of key phrases.
4 On a second or third listening, pause in the middle of the audio and ask the students to work in pairs to continue the dialogue themselves (an instant zero-preparation role-play). This works particularly well with telephone calls. Tell the students that they can improvise and change the call if they wish – it’s not a memory exercise.
5 You could try #4 on first listening, but it would only work if all the students had clearly understood the first part of the call with just one listening. In this case it would be like a prediction exercise – did the call develop in the way the students expected?