Shadowing In The EFL Classroom
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Teaching skills in the English as a Foreign Language classroom can be tricky. Teaching vocabulary and grammar, in contrast, is pretty straightforward if somewhat challenging at times, but teaching listening, reading, speaking and writing is a whole other ball game. Shadowing is one technique which can be used in the EFL classroom to help improve both reading and listening.
What is shadowing?
Shadowing is when learners read aloud to a text they are listening to. In other words, an audio text is played and the learners read a transcription of the text aloud at the same time as the recording. Essentially they are trying to speak at the same pace and with the same pronunciation, tone and rhythm as the audio.
The benefits of shadowing
Shadowing has many benefits for learners. Firstly, it has been shown to improve learners’ perception of phonemes. This means that learners become more aware of the differentiation between words. Ultimately this means they will improve their listening comprehension.
Secondly, shadowing can highlight issues of connected speech, such as elision and assimilation. By trying to mimic the recording, and by reading the text at the same time, learners will learn to utilise these techniques. In this way they will sound more natural when speaking English.
However, it must be noted that the best results have been seen in low level learners. While it can still be beneficial to more advanced learners it is not yet clear how useful it is to them.
How to use shadowing
There are a few different techniques to utilise shadowing. Here is just one example.
Play an audio recording for your learners. It should not be too long nor too complex. Once they have heard it once, discuss a few comprehension questions to check understanding.
Give the learners a written transcription of the recording. Play the recording again. This time let the learners read the transcription, without speaking. Afterwards, they can ask any questions they may have with regards to content and language.
This is a good time to focus on the effects of connected speech, so draw your students’ attention to these instances in the text and play those sections a few times to illustrate your point.
Once this has been done to your satisfaction, you are ready to begin shadowing.
Play the recording and let your learners read the transcription aloud. They must try to speak at the same pace as the audio, copying the pronunciation, rhythm and tone of the recording. This can be repeated a few times but not too many that it becomes boring!
A few notes on shadowing
Your students may not be familiar with this technique. They may feel shy in front of their peers and may be reluctant to read aloud in the class. Encourage your students by urging them to speak together. Once one student starts the rest usually follow. This is because as soon as more than one person is speaking, it is difficult to differentiate the voices so learners will feel more anonymous and more confident.
As students feel more comfortable with the technique they will forget the humour of the situation and focus more on the accuracy of their reading. They will grow in confidence the closer they get to the recording. In this way, shadowing helps build our students’ confidence as well as improve their listening skills.
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In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.