Alice Savage

Listening Practice: Mind Control


It can be challenging to find listening content that is graded to lower levels, so we are giving you a holiday gift. The following MP3 is a free audio file of a unit from Big Ideas Intermediate: Variety Pack read by Houston actors, Vivi Collymore and Jackson Burnham.

The unit theme, titled Mind Control, is based on psychology and contains an introduction and two articles. The first, The Zeigarnik Effect, describes a psychological phenomenon that can help people become more productive at learning, creating, and even selling. The second, Is Your Mindset Holding You Back? discusses and gives examples of Carol Dwek’s research into mindset. Together the two explore how one might consciously apply metacognitive skills to achieve goals in work and life.

Each article is approximately 1000 words in length and is written in simple grammar with high frequency vocabulary and minimal figurative language. In addition, the texts are read at a slower pace. While each article is in a different actor’s voice, they include some of the same language to provide multiple “hits” on specific words in context. The result is that the two pieces together can potentially provide a successful listening experience for English learners who are not yet able to understand native speaker lectures.

In addition to the spoken text, each article is followed by a short conversation between the actors about the topic. The discussion is based on one of the reflection questions in the print book and provides students with an experience listening to a conversation about the readings.

While the audio file can be used as listening material alone, some students may want to read the print version. The book can be purchased in paperback or as a kindle file by clicking here.

We hope this is a useful feature for teachers looking for a quick and easy way to provide practice. If you do use it, let us know how it goes, and we’ll add more.

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