A group of EFL freshman students practiced listening using TED lectures. The instructor searched for TED lectures on YouTube. The TED lecture themes chosen depended on the students’ interests, degree of familiarity, difficulty level and complexity of the TED Lecture language and content, the students’ proficiency level in English, the lecture length in minutes, and speed of the speaker. The instructor started with short lectures with slower speech and familiar topics and moved on to longer lectures and less familiar topics.
Before watching a TED Lecture, she posted its title and URL on Blackboard LMS. She summarized its content, gave some vocabulary overview and pre-questions to help the students focus on the lecture content, she set goals for watching a TED lecture and told the students what they needed to do and focus on.
The students viewed the TED lectures on their smartphones or on a smart TV in the classroom. While watching a lecture, the students answered listening comprehension questions. After watching a TED lecture, the comprehension questions were discussed.
Results of the posttest showed significant improvement in the students’ listening ability as a result of the TED listening practice sessions. TED lectures provided a variety of real-life themes, subject areas, speakers and English accents. They bring listening courses alive and allow learners to use their visual and auditory senses to learn complex concepts (Hartsell and Yuen, 2006). They save instructors’ time and effort as they are available on YouTube and instructors do not have to prepare any lecture videos. Instructors can share the TED Lectures they find useful with colleagues. Results of the experiment will be reported in detail.