Listening: Textbook Dialogs With Captur

Most English conversation textbooks contain model dialogs for students to practice. Usually, these model dialogs are included on a course CD or as a downloadable mp3 file. Here's an idea to use Captur to focus students' attention while they listen to these dialogs.

Standard Classroom Practice with Dialogs

The usual approach to model dialogs is to start with listening. Students shut their books, and the teacher plays the recorded dialog for them to listen to. This page shows you some ways to enhance this listening experience with Captur paddles.

Basic - Change of Speaker

Tell the students to show you the Captur paddle's "A" while the first person is speaking, and to show you "B" when the second person begins to speak. Instruct them to continue toggling their Captur throughout the dialog. (Make sure to warn them if there are more than two speakers!)

With this activity, almost anyone who is paying attention can do this. In other words, to do this, one must be paying attention. The student may not necessarily have a great understanding of the dialog at this point, but the first step toward understanding is to pay attention.

Challenge - Keywords

Depending on the content of the dialog, you could have the students show you a letter on the Captur paddle whenever the most important points of the dialog appear. For example, if it's a shopping dialog, the could show "A" whenever they hear a price, and "B" whenever they hear a size.

For those "getting to know you" dialogs that are pretty common in textbooks ("So, where are you from, Keiko?"), you could have the students to show you "A" whenever they hear a question being asked.

Challenge - Comprehension Questions

Often, teachers will ask students to listen for some specific information while listening to the dialog. After listening twice, the teacher elicits answers from the students. Here's an idea that helps you see whether or not the students are catching the right information while they're listening.

Write four questions on the board. For example, let's pretend we have a basic dialog in which a character named Joe is introducing himself to another person. We write these four questions on the board:

Option A What country is Joe from?

Option B Is Joe married?

Option C  What does Joe do?

Option C  Where does Joe live now?

As the students listen to the conversation, they show you their Captur paddle letters when they hear the answer to each question. So, for example, when Joe says something like, "My wife's from Italy", the students hold up "B", because now they know the answer to that question ("Is Joe married?").


The point here is to focus students' attention on the dialog they're supposed to be listening to. The teacher shouldn't try to get perfect responses from the students; it's enough to know that they're all staying attentive to the dialog (and, with Captur, the teacher can see how well they're doing).

Type of Activity: