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Having Fun with the Listening around You (Listening Activities)

The following is a list of listening activites that you can do to supplement the work you are doing in your English classes. You may follow the activity as described or do your own activity using some of the strategies you have learned about in the listening strategy readings.

We are still putting together materials in the listening library so you will need to try to find many of your own listening materials. By the middle of the semester, there should be more listening materials, so until then please do the best you can. Many students don't have BS stations so if you can, ask others who do get BS Stations or have Bilingual TV's (i.e. your parents or friends) to record programs for you.

Keep a record of your listening in a diary. Include the following information:

(a) date and the time you finished and the time you began.

(b) kind of material and title, if available

(c) your listening strategies, reactions and questions

(d) what you learned from the listening

Link to: Listening Diary Samples

Meidai Student Diaries


1) Choose a commercial in which people are talking. What is being advertised? Describe the people, their relationship and the situation. Then transcribe the conversation. There is a video of commercials in the LL.

2) Choose a commercial from the commercial video. Why did you choose this commercial? What did you like about it? Does the commercial tell you anything about American culture?

3) Listen to the NHK English Conversation Program on the radio this week. Record it and listen to it three times. What did you learn from it? Write down at least three things that you remember.

Monday through Saturday




4) From a movie or TV program you like, record a 1- or 2-minute scene in which two people are talking. Describe the people, their relationship, and the situation. Then transcribe their conversation. What interesting things did you notice or learn about the interaction in English?

5) Choose one video or audio recording from the LL or find your own source to record. Listen to a short portion of it at least ten times over a period of several days. Write down something new each time you listen to it.

6) Choose your favorite song in English and transcribe it. Check your work by checking the lyrics to the song.

7) Choose two or three sounds whose pronounciation you would like to improve. Listen to any English song. You can record one from Zip FM. Pay attention to these sounds in the song. Write down all the words with the sounds you have chosen.

8) Choose one or two sounds whose pronunciation you would like to improve. Listen to a favorite song several times, and write down all the words with the sounds you have chosen. Check your guesses by looking at the lyrics. How did you do?

9) Listen to a weather forecast in English on any news broadcast. Write down the temperatures and conditions of at least two cities. Compare the weather in these cities to the weather in Nagoya for the same day. (Weather programs will not be available until mid-November, so you will need to record your own.)

10) Watch the sports portion of an English broadcast. Choose one sport (preferably your favorite sport) and write down notes about what you heard. What teams played this week and what were some of the scores?

11) Choose one program from the list of English programs for this month. (Beverly Hills 90210, ER, Full House, Beauty and the Beast, Chicago Hope, Star Trek, etc) Watch it (in English!) and record it or have a friend record it for you in English. Choose one scene. Describe the people, their relationship and the situation.
Transcribe two minutes of it.

12) Call the NIC (Nagoya International Center) 24-hour telephone information service. The number is (052) 581-0400. (This information is in English and has information on living in Nagoya, recreation and events, and it is updated monthly.) Take notes on the main events of the month. Write more specific details about one event and check your notes with a Japanese newspaper or other Japanese source.

13) Do the above assignment (#12) again next week but choose a different event to write details about.

14) Go to a Taiken lesson of any Conversation school. What did you learn? What did you think of the lesson? Write down where and when you went. Describe the lesson and in English write down your opinions about the teaching method. Also, write down new things that you learned.

15) Choose one Movie from the list of programs and arrange to watch it together with your friends in English. Record the movie. Get together with your friends the following week and choose three scenes from the movie. Describe the people, their relationship and the situation. Transcribe the scenes together. Then record yourselves acting out one scene. Hand in the tape at the end of the semester.

16) The next time you are on the subway, try to listen to the English on the announcements. Listen to it for a week and try to write down what you heard after you get home.

17) Listen to a recording of this class. I will try to record the class every week and put the tape in the LL. Take the recording home and listen to a portion of the class that you didn't understand. Listen to it several times. After you understand it more clearly, write a summary or dictation of the part that you didn't understand.

18) Use the material that was used in one of the presentations. (This is only for students in the B2 Listening Class) Do a different activity with it by yourself. What new things did you learn?

19) Listen to a thirty minute news broadcast from this week (record your own, if you can. There should be a tape in the LL in another two weeks). Were there any stories in the broadcast that made headlines in Japan? Choose one story and watch it several times. Then write down any words you learned or remembered from the broadcast. Summarize it in English to the best of your ability.

20) Redo a listening activity that you did in class with Interchange. Listen to it five times. What new things did you learn?

English Programs on TV

Please check a TV Guide for updated information