A Cowbird Lesson example

cowbirdI’ve long been a member of Cowbird and it’s a sterling example of real, authentic listening/reading/watching for ELLs. Along with several other sites that are truly “authentic”, it is ranked at the top of my list.  Off the top of my head, for students, I’d recommend:   Voicethread, EnglishCentral and Woices.

I’ve  done a few of my own Cowbirds recently and your students can too.  Challenge them!  Here is a nice one, focusing on the Irish accent. I love the Irish “lilt” and the sound of an Irishman/woman makes me dizzy. Really.

First, let the students listen to the whole thing. I think this very important for a listening lesson and especially when using authentic content. But give them a simple task, so they are listening actively. For this one, ask them to listen and finish the sentence, “Sean believes it is good to ………….”.

Second, take up student answers. Ask them where they think the man is from, what do they know about Ireland?

Third, provide the handout with simple listening questions. Listen again and students note the answers. Repeat as necessary. Take up the answers.  Download the Early Mornings listening sheet

That’s it. This type of listening lesson can be used with so many Cowbirds! And as I suggested, you might challenge students to make and share their own.  EFL Classroom 2.0 members can get some great St. Patrick’s Day videos and resources HERE.

This video complements this lesson perfectly. Hat tip to Sylvia Guinan for letting me know about it.

Read more posts about authentic materials. 

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Teacher trainer, technology specialist, educational thinker...creator of EFL Classroom 2.0, a social networking site for thousands of EFL / ESL teachers and students around the world.

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