What is TALKS?
In this activity, people from around the world talk for one minute about something that happened in their daily life or something that interests them.
These free lessons come with audio, a transcript, a quiz, and interactive gap-fill activity.
Why TALKS are a good way to learn or teach English!
The people in these lessons discuss things in their real life. The TALKS are great preparation for what students may hear from English speakers in a natural setting such as at the dinner table or at a party.
The language in listening lessons in many textbooks is expository, meaning it has a journalistic or academic tone, and these lessons often cover topics people usually do not talk about in daily conversation, such as a lesson about the Amazon, the Great Wall of China, or Super Bowl. While these topics can be interesting and useful, they do not serve as good examples for everyday conversation.
True to Life!
In reality, people talk about a wide variety of things in life, often topics that are only specific to the speaker. The lessons in TALKS represent topics that people might discuss in casual conversation when talking about family, their job, their friends, their town, etc. All of the topics in TALKS were chosen by the speaker.
As the famous quote from the movie Forest Gump goes:
Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get.
The lessons in TALKS prepares students for hearing a wide variety of topics people could discuss in daily conversation.
Listening lessons in textbooks are usually scripted and recorded with professional voice actors. As a result, the language used is not how people talk normally. Students benefit greatly from hearing how people talk unprompted and unscripted.
One unique feature for the TALKS lessons is that there is little visual support. Unlike other lessons like Views, Mixer, or One Minute English, with these lessons students focus more on listening, and not viewing. The other lessons offer more images to help the students follow the conversation. In TALKS, students get just one visual cue. In real life, students will usually not get a visual cue when listening to a person talk about something. Therefore, these lessons focus on listening to help students prepare for real-life listening encounters. With this in mind, the transcript is hidden on the content page unlike other lessons on elllo, so it is not as easy for students to see the script before they listen.
How to study with TALKS?
1) Listen for Fun
For the first listening, students should just listen for the main idea and to hear what people have to say, just like in real life!
2) Take a quiz
For the second listening, students can take a quiz and test their listening comprehension. These quizzes are also a great way to develop test-taking skills.
3) Read and Listen
For the third listening, students can read the text as they play the audio. When they read, students will likely notice more language than before.
4) Fill in the Blanks
There's also a fun game where students fill in missing words from the story as they listen. This helps students learn new words and develop listening for specific information.
Use Any Device
Students can use TALKS on a computer, tablet, or even a phone. This way, students can learn anytime and anywhere.
Students can listen to these free lessons here.