March 26, 2005

Summarizing (and using Audacity to edit sound files for listening)

Summarizing: Today in class I did a difficult listening exercise. I found a 2:26 clip from the audio book of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and played that in class. In order to stop my self from scanning on a tape or jumping around looking in the middle of a track on a CD I used audacity to cut the clip to the correct length. In class I played the clip three times and had the students in groups of three or four prepare a short summary of what they heard. The key was to not get bogged down in details but to give a rough explanation of what happened in the clip. At first the students were all stressed because they couldn't hear every word. But after each listening I reminded them to take notes and focus on the main idea. After the third listening i gave them a further 6-7 minutes to prepare a 2-3 sentence summary. In the end students did really well and seemed satisfied with their achievement.

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