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Listening round/Round-robin

Listening and Speaking Strategies: Listening round/Round-Robin

ESOL Principles:

Most strategies can be used to support all seven of the ESOL principles dependent upon how the teacher decides to use the strategy within their teaching and learning planning cycle. This strategy is usually used to support:

Principle 1: Know the learner- finding out about learners’ language and schooling backgrounds and their prior knowledge, using approaches that build on prior knowledge. What do you know about your students' language skills? What do you know about their prior knowledge? How will you find out this information? How will it affect your planning?

Principle 3: Maintain and make explicit the same learning outcomes for all the learners. How can I make the lesson comprehensible to all students? How can I plan the learning tasks so that all the students are actively involved? Do my students understand the learning outcomes?

Principle 5: Provide multiple opportunities for authentic language use with a focus on students using academic language. Is the language focus on key language? Do I make sure the students have many opportunities to notice and use new language?

Principle 6: Ensure a balance between receptive and productive language. Are the students using both productive (speaking, writing) and receptive (listening, reading) language in this lesson?


Listening round/Round-Robin 

A Listening round or Round-Robin is a technique to ensure that all students have a voice and that students who might otherwise monopolise a conversation do not limit anyone else's opportunities to participate.

In a Listening round, students share their ideas in a group. Each participant has a turn to offer her or his answer. Nobody should interrupt the person who has the floor. Agreement, disagreement or surprise can only be communicated kinaesthetically. Nobody can pass. If a participant's answer is similar to or the same as prior ones, the person has to start by acknowledging peers who had similar ideas.

A Listening round provides opportunities for noticing and hearing new language for English language learners. It gives opportunities for forced language output for all students.

video icon Secondary level: Making Language and Learning Work DVD 2 - Social Studies, Year 10.

Teaching and learning sequence planning example:

There are no teaching and learning sequences or unit plans currently on ESOL Online that demonstrate the use of the Listening round/Round–Robin strategy.

Some possible Teacher Inquiry questions:

  • What do I notice about my English language learner’s' (ELLs) use of English that will inform my next learning steps for them?
  • Do my ELLs use academic language when speaking? If not, how will I scaffold them to use it?
  • Do my ELLs notice the language structures and vocabulary used by the other students, and do they begin to use them when it is their turn to contribute?
  • Do my ELLs' contributions show that they understand what the other students have said? And that they understand the academic content?


Useful website:

Published on: 24 Aug 2012