CAL: Developing Oral Proficiency of Adults Learning English: Instruction: Listening Comprehension

Practical tools, activities, and resources
to guide instruction

Instructional Activity Packets

The following Instructional Activity Packets demonstrate how teachers can combine the elements of listening comprehension, language complexity, and communication in various ways to help students improve their speaking and listening skills. These packets are designed to be used by any ESL teacher, regardless of the assessment tool he or she uses in the classroom.

  • Listening and Speaking Activities for Adult ESL Learners Aligned with the BEST Plus Assessment

    The activities in this packet are organized by three elements of speaking and listening skills: listening comprehension, language complexity, and communication. For each activity, the description notes the real-world purpose, what the communication task is, and what the learner is expected to listen for or produce. The activities are not tied to any particular learner proficiency level. Activities are listed in each subsection in a general progression from most simple to most complex. This activity packet was created by Jane Miller, ESL Specialist and Professional Development Coordinator for the Colorado Department of Education. The activities in this packet can also be found in the sidebars of the preceding pages of this section.
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  • Instructional Activities for Building Oral English Proficiency: Thematic Unit on Employment

    The activities in this packet are organized by three elements of speaking and listening skills: listening comprehension, language complexity, and communication. The activities are designed for adult ESL students at SPL 2 who are learning English through a content-based unit on employment. This activity packet was created by Sarah Young, Adult ESL Specialist at the Center for Applied Linguistics.
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  • Hot Seat: Student-Generated Interactive Questions and Conversation Activities

    This packet describes a student-centered conversational activity that encourages students at all proficiency levels to communicate meaning through eliciting, recycling, and extending classroom speech. This resource was created by Sarah Young, Adult ESL Specialist at the Center for Applied Linguistics.
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  • Activities to Promote Interaction and Communication

    The packet gives an overview of communicative activities and step-by-step instructions for doing class surveys, conversation grids, line dialogues, information gaps, the Language Experience Approach, and games in the adult ESL classroom. This activity packet is part of the Practitioner Toolkit: Working with Adult English Language Learners, developed by the Center for Applied Linguistics and the National Center for Family Literacy.
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