Radio Diaries: Stories for Listening Comprehension

Radio Diaries is a non-profit initiative that documents everyday people telling their stories. You’ll find a link to the stories at the top of the page, under the diaries tab. Each story has a picture, a description, the option of listening with RealPlayer or as an embedded MP3 (downloadable), and a link to the transcript. The pieces are 15-30 minutes long.

This is a great site to provide authentic language from native speakers which can springboard into fabulous classroom conversations.

Follow this outline to turn one of these radio entries into a full classroom lesson:

  1. Summarize what the student is about to hear.
  2. Have the student listen to the piece without reading a transcript.
  3. Have the student listen again without the transcript and jot down notes and/or questions.
  4. Ask the student a set of comprehension questions and/or to summarize what she heard.
  5. Have the student listen a final time while reading the transcript.
  6. Discuss the questions generated from #3, as well as any topics you’d like to add.