Listening Options Overview
With a Listening Options activity, students can listen to words, sentences, or passages that have been spoken or read aloud in more than one way. For example, an author might record the casual speech of a native speaker, followed by the same phrases spoken as a teacher might say them in a classroom (at a slower rate, enunciating words clearly, avoiding elision, etc.). Or, the same word or sentence could be presented having been recorded by multiple speakers, to show differences between male and female speakers, variations among speakers from different geographic areas, or distinctions in register or degree of formality. The Listening Options template is particularly useful for languages in which a common “standard” version differs greatly from spoken vernacular students are likely to encounter when traveling or studying abroad.

The Listening Options template easily allows authors to present audio player controls in a table, with a configurable number of rows and columns. Before creating an activity, the author should think through the best way to lay out such a table: typically, each phrase is listed down the left, with columns for each type of speech or dialect being compared. However, the template is flexible enough to allow a variety of table layouts. Table cells can include text for headings or captions, and audio files can be linked to transcripts that are displayed during playback. Authors can also include instructions and a vocabulary word list in an activity.

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