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Listening: One of These Statements is False

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The textbook I'm using in two of my classes(*) has the following type of listening exercise:

Listen. One of these statements are false. Three are true.

  1. They are cousins.
  2. They work at the same company.
  3. One of them is very tall.
  4. They're eating lunch.

So, the students listen to a conversation, and try to decide which statement is false. It's useful to have students in pairs or small groups to give their reasons for their answers, especially if they're willing to try it in English. After that, we might play the conversation again, and then it's time to check the answer.

Checking the Answer

Checking this type of question can be tricky.

  • We can ask the whole class, "Is the first one false?" or "Are they cousins?" The vocal, outgoing students will probably chime in to answer.
  • We could ask for a show of hands ("raise your hands if you think the first one is true"), but the slow responders might be just following what they see other people doing.

These really aren't the best way to go, especially if the first sentence is actually the false one. What are some other options?

  • We could just ask the class, "Which one is false?" The outgoing students would all say what they thought the answer was. If answers are varied, though, we may not actually know who thought what. We really won't know how many students were "voting" for each option.
  • One innovative non-Captur way to get students' answers quickly is to have them all raise a fist, and then the teacher counts down 3-2-1-0; when the teacher reaches zero, each student should show their answer by raising that many fingers.

Checking the Answer the Captur Way

The Captur way, of course, is to assign a Captur paddle value to each statement. If you have the Captur Board Magnets, put a magnet on the board and write each option next to it, like this:

Choice A They are cousins.

Choice B They work at the same company.

Choice C One of them is very tall.

Choice D They're eating lunch.

If you don't have the Captur board magnets, just write A:, B:, C: and D: for each option.

On the teacher's signal, the students show their answers with their Captur paddles. This gets an answer out of every student, and it also lets the teacher know how unanimous (or not) the consensus is.

* The textbook is Communication Spotlight: Speaking strategies and Listening Skills, ABAX. The example is completely made-up, though.

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