Ten Post-Listening Activities

post-listening activities

Ten Post-Listening Activities

In this final installment of this series of articles, I’m going to share ten different activities that you can use in the post-listening stage. In this stage, students have done a pre-listening activity, participated in a few while-listening tasks, and they are ready to move on to something else. Some possibilities for the post-listening stage include noticing new words and phrases that came up in the listening, recalling and reconstructing information from the listening, and practicing new words and phrases from the listening in speaking or writing.

This time around, I’m using a track from ELLLO. The dialogue is titled Change of Clothes.”


  1. Reviewing The Transcript – Provide each student with a copy of the transcript. Tell the class to underline any sections of the transcript that they think they understand, but have some uncertainty about. Also, instruct them to circle any sections which they don’t understand at all. Put them in groups of 4 to discuss the parts they underlined and circled. Finally, ask students to write on the board any phrases or sentences they still can’t understand. Go over these with the class.


  1. Quiz Your Classmate – Give each student three post-it notes. Review different types of test questions, such as true or false, multiple choice, short answer, and fill-in-the-blanks. Ask students to make up three quiz questions based on the listening track, and each question should use a different type of question. Students should write one quiz question on each post-it (without the answer). Also, they need to write their names at the bottom of the post-its. When everyone is finished writing, they need to circulate and give each post-it to a different student. Students then try to answer their classmates’ questions, and return to the test creator for a grade.


  1. Quizzing Teams – Before class, make one copy of the transcript and divide it into two parts. (Part Two should begin where Danny says, “Good idea.”) Make several copies of each part. In class, separate the class into two teams. Give each team one part of the transcript (one team gets the first half, and the other team gets the second half). Give each team 15 minutes to come up with 5 very difficult questions to ask the other team. Make sure that the teams are sitting in different areas, and can’t see the other team’s transcript. When time is up, get the teams to take turns reading out their questions and letting the other team guess the answers. Each team gets 1 point for each correct answer. When the questions have all been read out, congratulate the winning team. You can also let students read the entire transcript to check all the answers.


  1. What Do You Recall? Put students into pairs. Ask them to take turns recalling one bit of information from the listening without repeating anything. Challenge students to continue as long as possible.


  1. Discussion – Ask students to compose 3 discussion questions based on the topics that came up during the listening. Some potential questions are:


Do you prefer casual clothes or formal clothes? Why?

What kind of clothes do you wear during the summer?

How often do you buy new clothes?

Do you change clothes during the day? Why or why not?

If someone bought you some clothes that you didn’t like, would you tell them? Why or why not?


After students have been writing for a few minutes, circulate and make suggestions on how they can improve their questions. Later, choose a few students to write their best questions on the board. Once there are 7 questions on the board, put students into groups of 3 or 4 to discuss the questions.


  1. Revising the dialogue – Put students into small groups. Give each group a copy of the transcript. Ask them to change the dialogue in one of the following ways:


1) Danny not only asks Alex about his clothes, she talks about her clothes, too.


2) A third character enters the conversation and interacts with Alex and Danny.


3) Add 3 lines to the beginning and 3 lines to the end of the dialogue, giving it a smooth beginning and ending.


Ask them to write their changes on the transcript (or a separate sheet of paper, if necessary), and then practice it. Groups take turns performing their dialogues for the class.


  1. A Gift – Elicit from the class different items of clothing. Write them on the board. Suggest different categories (men’s clothing, women’s clothing, casual clothes, formal clothes) and ask them to tell you more items. Write more words on the board. Next, get students to tell you some words that describe clothing. Make another list. You can bring up more categories (color, size, style) and write more words on the board. Next, give each student a slip of paper, and ask them to write their names. Collect the slips of paper, and redistribute them, so that everyone has someone else’s name. Tell the class that they need to choose an item of clothing they want to give to the student whose name is on their slip of paper. Insist that they be as specific as possible about their gift (a large, expensive, yellow hat is better than a hat). When everyone is ready, have them take turns reading out their gifts and allowing the recipient to respond and ask questions.


  1. Dictogloss – Tell students that you are going to read a short section of the dialogue, and you want them to listen, without writing anything down. Read the following at a normal speech rate:


“Yeah, even in the summer. It’s basically the company policy that we look business-like. It’s crazy. You know that time of year is really hot. You’re sort of waiting for the train, and you’re sweating and it’s just, ugh!”


Read it again, and tell students to write down just the key words.

Now, put students into groups of 4, and ask them work together to write what they heard, as close as possible to the original. When the class is finished, ask them to tape their paragraphs up on the board. Ask students to compare the different versions.


  1. Interviewing Danny – Tell your class that during the listening activity, you noticed that Danny asked the questions, but didn’t answer any. Tell everyone that they are going to have an opportunity to ask Danny questions, and they don’t have to limit the subject to clothes. They can ask Danny about anything! Give the class around 10 minutes to write as many questions as they can think of. Next, put a chair in front of the class and call on a student to take the role of Danny. Tell students ask their questions. After 3 questions, give the student in the chair an opportunity to choose a new “Danny”. Repeat the activity 5 times.


  1. Spin-offs – Ask the class if they know what a spin-off is. Tell them it’s a TV series that is based on some of the characters or situations from an earlier series. Put students into pairs and ask them to brainstorm some possible spin-offs from the dialogue, situations that are suggested by the dialogue. Ask each pair to list 4 or 5 situations. After a few minutes, ask students to read out their ideas, and write them on the board. Aim at getting 6 or 7 spin-off situations up on the board.


Here are some ideas that might come up:


Alex’s wife buys him a very unattractive shirt. Alex pretends that he really likes the shirt.


Danny is walking home and sees a very important client. Danny has to explain why he is so sweaty.


Alex’s wife sees Alex and Danny finishing up their conversation and saying goodbye. Alex’s wife goes up to Alex to ask him what is going on.


Next, put students into groups of 5. Ask them to choose one of the situations, and practice it several times, each time with different students playing different roles. At the end of each role play, the other group members should offer suggestions on how to improve the role play.

After 15 minutes, call on each group to send its’ best performers to do their role play for the class.

Todd Beuckens’ ELLLO (English Listening Lesson Library Online) website contains a huge assortment of listening practice activities for students. The dialogues have a broad range of speakers, accents and topics, and are accompanied with transcripts, vocabulary notes and quizzes. In addition, the site also features games, videos and animations. (www.elllo.org)

What other post-listening activities have you used in class before? Can you share some alternative ways of teaching the post-listening stage?

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