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Extensive Listening Materials

Graded reader Cassettes and Tapes

Some ways to use graded readers

3 ways to use the tapes and books

Listen only


But ....

* practising listening to a story

* more focused on the pronunciation than if they were reading



* usually quite difficult for many Japanese

* cannot go back and listen again easily

* not interactive but easier than say listening to the radio

* have to process the text at the speed of the tape (or delivery)

Read only


But ....

* own pace

* can stop easily

* not restricted by the pace of a tape

* no aural re-enforcement




Listen while reading


But ...

* can hear how words are pronounced

* can build listening recognition vocabulary through their reading

* dual processing – two ways to understand

* dependent on the speed of the tape

* may be difficult to catch up if they lose their place.

* difficult to notice new language due to time constraints

* dual processing may create confusions at times



Oxford Playscripts (plays) can be used for class productions too. Listening to the tape will help learners practise their part.

Hints for using the graded reader listening tapes/CDs for extensive listening

Responses to Reader cassettes and CDs


Hints for class use of graded listening tapes for intensive listening

Makes sure that the listening is not too difficult but is  interesting to the listeners.


Whole Class Listening

(all with the same text)

Individual listening


* Teacher can help all students with the same things

* Teachers can find out what the general problems the class are having

* can check comprehension



* not everyone will benefit equally

* the text may not be interesting to all

* restricted to class time




* can go at their own pace

* can select the material

* can learn out of class





* the teacher does not know what problems the learner is having

* teacher can’t always ensure that everyone understands

* difficult to assess their reading


Some activities

 Before listening


While listening


Age / sex


Other information













Or from a factual book e.g. Factfiles or biographies


What happened?



Day / date


Born in London


They started the company

August 1982




The factory opened







After listening

For reading aloud

Against reading aloud

* gives extra pronunciation / listening practice

* can bring a ‘dead’ text to life

* appropriate for poetry and drama

* many students are motivated by oral reading

* can be used as a pronunciation check of students

* learners are often used to it

* can be useful for consolidation

* learners can hear how to read out loud properly

* provides a possible unnatural pronunciation model if done by non-natives (or highly proficient non-natives)

*the reader is often so focused on the articulation that the message is lost, or not understood at all. You can probably read the sentence The grifty snolls clappered rauchingly along the unchoffed trake very clearly but it doesn't mean you know what it means.

* learners waiting their turn to read may be practising their next line and not listening to others

* it does not allow natural reading strategies – they have to revert to slow reading of every word

* takes considerable class time

* it only usually exists in very restricted circumstances in real life