I found this short article and thought I would share it with you.
TED Talks for students provide an engaging context from which they can autonomously improve their English at home. There are thousands of videos to choose from, so there should always be something of interest. They can help students improve, not only their listening skills, but also improve their pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar and writing.
This is the obvious one, but students should be encouraged to listen ‘actively’. Ask students to look at the title before they listen and try to predict what they are going to hear. They can also pause at different points and try to guess what they will hear next. Another useful exercise is ‘micro-listening’ where they rewind and listen again and again to any sentences they didn’t quite get until they fully understand, thereby getting used to connected speech and any other barriers that might prevent comprehension.
‘Micro-listening’ can also be used to help students produce sentences. Identify a few sentences that caused the listener trouble and identify elements of connected speech, weak sounds and or difficult phonemes. A comparison with the transcripts should highlight important differences between written and spoken English. Students can then practice reproducing these features at home.
Learners listen for unfamiliar words and then try to guess the meaning from context. They can also look at the transcripts for extra help. Students can then note down their new words together with definitions, synonyms, antonyms and example sentences.
Students could be encouraged to think about the grammar used. What verb tenses were used and why? How did the speaking use sequencing words? How did they use discourse markers? What phrases did they use to make their points or persuade the audience?
Below every TED video is a comments section where people discuss the video and the issues that came up in the video. Students can enter these debates and practice their writing at the same time.