in touch with real speech
In touch with real speech

Listening Cherry 30 – Waterfall listening

Some listening lessons are like standing under a waterfall – you centre the student under the main flow of the water so that it is directed at the centre of their head. Sometimes the flow of water is a gentle trickle and they wonder what the value of standing there is. Suddenly torrents hit them hard on the head and cascade down over the shoulders and becomes a force under which it is difficult to stand. The student moves to one side and looks up as if to reprimand the waterfall and is surprised by a new, differently-angled cascade  that catches them full in the face. They take in mouthfuls of water, and are blinded by dollops of water catching them in the eyes which they have to rub to clear them. In doing so they lose balance and stagger, and a new harder cascade catches the top of their swimming costume, and hands come off the eyes onto the swimming costume to prevent it slipping. The student is flustered, embarrassed, temporarily blinded, coughing and spluttering water.

And the teacher asks ‘Did you see the way the sunlight caught the stream of water and made a rainbow out of the fine spray?’

Image from here.

This was, of course, a strategy-free lesson.

One Response to Listening Cherry 30 – Waterfall listening

  • What a terrific image and what a damaging picture.
    Waterfalls need not overwhelm. Rainbows need not be the goal.

    Just following Richard’s training will do it along with some teaching nous. See below.

    Initial careful modelling from the greenhouse, through to the garden, and on into the jungle is the key. I stand in the same spot when I model the greenhouse, move to my next spot for the garden, and over to my last spot for the jungle. I make it absolutely clear that it is the same word or phrase being modelled even when it sounds so very different.

    It’s simple, effective and fun. And we all stay dry.

Richard can be contacted at

Tel: 07790 629859