Listening to a lecture

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As I am always pointing to other teachers’ resources on this site, for a change I thought I’d point to one of my own. Here’s a lecture I gave to students at Exeter University called Postwar Reconstruction and the Welfare State. It’s designed as a lecture for students on Academic English courses who need practise in listening and note-taking so the content is not too difficult and you should be able to follow it. It’s about how the Labour government rebuilt Britain after world war two by setting up the welfare state and implementing policies of nationalisation and full employment. It’s not a professional production! That means that I set up the camera and left it. As a result I keep walking in and out of the camera shot, oops. If you want to watch it then look at the powerpoint presentation which goes with it to help you follow the talk. It doesn’t sound like a very interesting topic but if you want to try watching then give it at least five minutes before you turn it off as I think you may well get interested if you give it a chance. Once you get interested in a lecture and concentrate on the content your language acquisition will really take off. The power point slides are here and the lecture is here. If you are good at manipulating windows on your computer you’ll be able to open the powerpoint slides and the video at the same time. If you can’t quite work this out or find it too cumbersome (awkward/difficult) then you could print out the slides.

Academic listening

You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t been posting very frequently recently. That is a sign of a busy time! Now that most of the end of year marking is done I hope there’ll be some more posts.

My students will be bored with me telling them to read all the time, well today for a change I am going to tell everybody to listen. Like reading, listening to English will tune your ear and your brain into the language. As you listen to something interesting you focus on the message and you forget that you are a language learner. When this happens you are relaxed and you will subconsciously be acquiring a lot of language. Many language learning experts believe that this is the most important part of language learning – some even say that all language learning should be like this, and that conscious study is a waste of time!

Today’s link is to a great site where you can watch a huge variety of academic videos of lectures and TV programmes. When you visit the site you should try to find something on your subject, or something that genuinely interests you. You can do this by doing a subject search. If you want to watch something on climate change you will find some programmes by following the Science subject link and then scrolling down the alphabetical list of topics to find some videos on Climate Change. This incredibly useful resource is called Research Channel and you can find it here.