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Ear you go

Do you ever find yourself saying: "If only they would listen"? To help pupils listen attentively and enthusiastically, prepare the most important content you want to get across to the class. It could be a passage from a book. Add a couple of fascinating facts or amusing anecdotes of your own to make it interesting.

Before you read the passage to the class, tell pupils they will be tested on what they have heard and what they can remember. Treat it as a challenge.

When you have read the passage, ask the class to write down the answers to five questions that you have prepared. This works best if you use these top tips:

- Insist that the answers are written not called out (this takes a bit of practice with some classes).

- Write the questions on the board and show them to the class before reading the passage. This helps them to listen for a purpose.

- Make the questions increasingly difficult. For example, the first two could be true or false answers.

- Ensure answers are clear and unambiguous. This saves stress on the teacher

Andy Steward is Advanced Skills Teacher at Ashton Park School in Bristol.

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