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Describing a Personal Memory: Improving Listening Skills and Learning New Vocabulary
Intermediate level


The subject is describing a personal memory. In this lesson the students will listen to three different people talking about their memories.Prior to the listening practice,the students will learn new words and new phrases and verbs related to them. After listening they will answer a couple of questions for each story and do some speaking practice about the story they listened.


Abc Vocabulary Exercises and Questions for Listening Practice

Main Aims

  • To provide clarification and practice of some words, verbs and phrases mentioned in the listening practice
  • To provide gist, specific information, detailed and inference listening practice using three narratives in the context of childhood memory

Subsidiary Aims

  • To enhance vocabulary and to provide listening skills through the subject about describing personal memories


Warmer/Lead-in (5-7 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

Ask the students whether they think about the past, the future or the present most of the time. Ask them which period of their life was the best? Give them 2-3 minutes to talk in pairs and ask a couple of students to tell the class what their partner told them.

Pre-Listening (15-20 minutes) • To teach some vocabulary related to the listening task

* Separate the Task sheet and some post it notes to the students. * Ask them to work in pairs with the person sitting next to them and try to guess the meanings of the words (an anchor, a cheery tree, a branch, a sailing boat, a budgie and a swing) with each other. That should take about 1 minute. * Stick the visual of a budgie on the board. Don't tell them what it is and ask them to work in pairs and write the word for it on stick it notes and get one person from each pair come to the board and stick it onto the picture. The students can come to the board all together so there won't be loss of time. Afterwards, have a look at the post it notes and see if they get it correctly. Drill the word and pronounce it. * Keep the same routine with all the pictures. Use your stick the other visuals of vocabulary words on the board and ask the students to use their post it notes and stick them on the board. * Ask them to work in pairs and discuss the meanings of the verbs and phrases in 1.b which are to be tame, to get tangled, to rescue, to fall off, to perch, to fly off, to black out, to float and to get choppy. Give them 1 minute to discuss. * Don't go through the verbs and phrases in order. Tell them you are going to elicit the verbs and phrases but not in order. They should try to guess which verbs and phrases you are talking about. * Choose to get tangled first. Try to run your fingers through your hair and tell them that you can't do it. What happened to my hair? Show your tangled cables of your mp3 player and ask them 'What happened to the cables of my mp3 player?' Make them guess. If they cannot guess, ask questions like 'Did it get tangled?' * To float: I was drinking a bottle of coke in the ferry last night and I accidentally dropped it in the sea. It didn't sink. It floated. It stayed on the surface of the sea. Did it go under the water? No, it didn't. Where was the bottle? -On the surface of the sea so did it float? Yeap * To blackout: Ask the students if they know the meaning of blackout. Ask someone to show the others with gestures. Ask some questions to check. Give some examples if not guessed correctly. She had an accident yesterday. Her car hit a tree. She blacked out. She didn't remember anything in the hospital. What happened to her? She blacked out. * To perch: Use your prepared visual to make the students guess the meaning. Ask questions like what does the bird do? What does a bird do on a branch? İt perches. * To rescue: Use your visual to elicit the meaning. Ask what the people are doing in the picture? * To be tame: I have two cats. They are indoor cats. They are not wild cats. How are my cats? Are they tame? * To get choppy: How is the sea today? Is the sea wavy? There are many waves in the sea because of the wind. Draw a picture of the sea with small waves and ask them what happened to the sea. Try to elicit the answer get choppy. * To fall off: I wasn't very careful. I fell off the ladder. Be careful! You are about to fall off. *To fly off: If you go somewhere quickly and you are in a rush. You are like a bird. How do we say it? You are flying off. This should take around 5-10 minutes. * Ask the students to work in pairs and look at the phrases and verbs in exercise 1.b and the words in exercise 1.a and match them with each other. * When they are finished, ask them to check under their desks for a piece of paper adhered. Ask them to control their answers with the paper underneath their desks.

Listening to grasp the overall idea (5-7 minutes) • To provide students with less challenging gist and overall idea in the listening text

* Ask the students to change pairs. * Tell them to check the titles in exercise 2 with their partner * Tell them they are going to listen to an audio about three childhood memories and choose the best title for each story. Check if understood with ICQ. * After the listening task ask pairs to speak with each other between their partner and decide the best title for each story.

Listening for specific information and deduction (15-20 minutes) • To provide students with more challenging detailed, deduction and inference listening tasks

* Ask the students to work in pairs and have a look at the questions on exercise 3. * Tell the students that they will listen to the listening text again and these questions should be answered for all the stories. * Check with ICQ. * Following the listening text, ask the students to discuss the answers in pairs for 5 minutes and monitor them while doing so. * Ask the pairs to ask each pair the questions and answer them.

Post-Listening: A Short Conversation about the listening text (3-5 minutes) • To provide with an opportunity to respond to the text and expand on what they've learned

* Ask the students which stories they liked most with reasons. 'Which story was your favorite? Why?'

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