How can I make great comprehension exercises? I thought to myself. First I need to start with a picture. Not just any picture. I want a picture with humans in it. I want a picture with drama in it. The picture that I use will form the core of my story. I have to mold my story around the target learning. As you can see, not just any old picture will do. It has to make us feel something. I has to have a story in it already.
The other day a visitor to my website e-mailed me requesting more listening comprehension exercises. Many people tell me, I can't understand English when I hear it. I realized I had to make some more stories. And I had to make great questions to ask about the stories. Then people could check their comprehension.
My next step in making these great exercises is to think of what my target learning is. Cheap Rosetta Stone Am I targeting vocabulary? If so, I have to write a story about the picture, that uses the vocabulary appropriately. This is often very challenging, and this is what makes it fun.
Am I targeting grammar? In that case, I need to write a story about the picture with grammar that is used appropriately in the story. This is sometimes even more challenging. I have to be very creative matching the grammar that I want to use to the story. cheap rosetta stone website Sometimes it makes the story long. I cannot let the story get too long, or it is too difficult to listen to for intermediate learners.
My next step is to actually write the story. Some people find this step difficult, cheap rosetta stone store but I think it's the most enjoyable part of the process. I can be creative and write any story I like about the people in the picture. Of course the target learning will push my story in one direction or another. I have to find a connection between the words that I need to use, and the characters in the photo. I try not to use deus ex machina - the hand of the gods. rosetta stone software I want to find a natural, even if unexpected - connection between the target language and the characters.
After all, I have include the target learning in the story. And the story has to make sense. That's kind of fun. Sometimes the story is a little bit silly, but that makes it enjoyable. Sometimes the story is unexpected. That is even more enjoyable.
Too Much Can Spoil Things
I try not to add more characters than are necessary. discount rosetta stone italian That makes the story complicated. If I want a difficult story, there are better ways to make it complicated than just adding characters. Too many characters makes the story too silly. I want it to be just a little bit silly, a little bit fun.
In fact, when it's a little bit silly, it adds just a touch of realism to it. In real life the best stories are a little bit interesting and sometimes silly.
Just being silly isn't very good on its own. You need to have likable characters so the story will be good. discount rosetta stone japanese Likable characters draw the reader in, and the silliness is a bit of spice. I want to have a character who the reader can feel they want to see win. A character with a real problem or difficulty. Then the reader can feel empathetic to the character. This makes it easier to listen to and really focus on.
Weak Characters? No, Just Weakness.
I make my characters likable by adding some small weakness. http://dnr982.blogspot.com This makes the characters realistic. It adds real flesh to the characters. People without a weakness are not real, and characters with a weakness are more like a real humans. The reader can identify with the character that seems real.
Now we have a story that we can see because of the picture. It has a real character, a touch of silliness, and the target language. It's time to write the questions. Some questions should just check for the understanding of the flow of the story. Some questions. Check that the target language was understood properly. and some questions check both.
After writing the questions it's time to read everything, and proof read it. Fix any mistakes and record the story. Now you want to test the story and the questions with some students. There are often problems that you couldn't see in advance.
You'll see the problems in the responses the students make. When you read the students responses, you can fix the questions or fix the story. Congratulations, now you've got some excellent listening comprehension exercises!