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Spotlight on Listening Comprehension 6-Book Set
Ages: 6-12   Grades: 1-7         

Different communication situations have different goals, whether it's obtaining information, securing directions, or solving a problem.  This series teaches students to know what they are listening for and match their listening strategy to the communication situation. 


  • Learn to listen with a purpose and adjust listening strategies to fit the situation
  • Improve performance in the classroom; on tests; and in everyday listening, reading, and speaking
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*The CD contains the complete book.  All pages are printable.
** This is a Cloud E-Book that is accessible from any device with Internet access. .

Written in the proven format of the Spotlight series, these activities help students develop listening skills with:

  • picture-supported lessons that shift to listening-only activities
  • carefully controlled vocabulary
  • a wide variety of curricular content as well as daily life experiences
  • minimal demands for writing
  • a pretest/posttest

The books are listed below in order of difficulty.  The books may be purchased as a 6-book set or individually.  The 6-book set consists of:

Spotlight on Listening Comprehension Details
Listen for details with tasks progressing from matching clues to pictures, to following verbal directions and answering questions about details in a passage.

Spotlight on Listening Comprehension Main Idea
Learn to listen for the "big picture."  Start by differentiating the main idea from details in pictures and progress to labeling groups of items.  Finally, identify the main idea of articles, messages, fables, and more. 

Spotlight on Listening Comprehension Sequencing
Begin by listening for numerical/alphabetical order and word order.  Progress to learning the vocabulary of sequencing (e.g., first and last, before and after) and following multi-step directions.  Then, sequence multi-step picture stories and events heard in reading passages. 

Spotlight on Listening Comprehension Story Comprehension
Students listen to pictured-supported dialogs and stories and answer questions about them.  They listen as more complex passages are read and answer questions about absurdities, missing events, and conflict and resolution.

Spotlight on Listening Comprehension Reasoning and Problem Solving
Listen and practice these core skills: association, categorization, and exclusion; comparing/contrasting and true/false; determining cause and effect; predicting and preventing problems; and determining fact from opinion and supporting or rejecting opinions.

Spotlight on Listening Comprehension Making Inferences
Learn to reason and make logical inferences by answering questions with and without picture supports.  Includes lessons on making predictions, making inferences from the speaker's speaking style, and understanding nonverbal language. 


Copyright © 2006


6-Book Set: each book 40 pages, pretest/posttest, answer key
  • Students may receive up to 90 percent of school information through listening.  "It is essential for language teachers to help their students become effective listeners....this means modeling listening strategies and providing listening practice" (NCLRCb, 2004).
  • Effective listening strategies include (NCLRCa, 2004):
    - listening for details and main ideas
    - predicting
    - drawing inferences
    - summarizing
    - recognizing cognates
    - recognizing word-order patterns
  • "Listening instruction is especially scarce in primary and secondary schools notwithstanding the fact that listening is linked to both literacy and academic success" (Beall, Gill-Rosier, Tate, & Matten, 2008).

Spotlight on Listening Comprehension incorporates these principles and is also based on expert professional practice.


Beall, M.L., Gill-Rosier, J., Tate, J., & Matten, A. (2008). State of the context: Listening in education. The International Journal of Listening, 22, 123-132.

National Capital Language Resource Center (NCLRCa). (2004). Strategies for developing listening skills. Retrieved March 17, 2009 from

National Capital Language Resource Center (NCLRCb). (2004). Teaching listening. Retrieved March 17, 2009 from


Carolyn LoGiudice, Paul F. Johnson


Carolyn LoGiudice, CCC-SLP, and Paul Johnson, B.A., are editors and writers for LinguiSystems.  They have collaborated to develop several publications, including Story Comprehension To Go, Reading Comprehension Games, and Spotlight on Reading Comprehension.  Carolyn and Paul share a special interest in boosting students' language, critical thinking, and academic skills.

In their spare time, Paul and Carolyn enjoy their families, music, gourmet cooking, and reading.  Paul, a proud father of three children, also enjoys bicycling, playing music, and spending rare moments alone with his wife, Kenya.  Carolyn is learning to craft greeting cards and spoil grandchildren.


In all of our everyday listening, the key to what we understand is not what we hear; it is our purpose for listening.  For example, in the morning, we may be vaguely aware of a TV playing in the background while we focus on getting breakfast or our "to do" list for the day.  When the weather or something else we want to know comes on the TV, we shift our attention to focus on the televised information.  If a child needs our immediate attention, we shift our listening focus and adopt a parental listening style (Is the child okay physically and emotionally?  How could I best help in this situation?).

Young children learn to listen for different reasons with different attention levels well before they enter the classroom.  Within the classroom, they are taught to "be good listeners" by looking at the speaker, keeping their bodies still, not interrupting, etc.  Such training covers more social behavior than listening comprehension or choosing the purpose for listening.

Most students learn to control their listening patterns without direct instruction as they are exposed to various listening situations.  They learn to anticipate the teacher's directions for what to do and to predict what questions the teacher will ask during various kinds of academic lessons.  Other students need direct instruction in how to listen effectively.

Spotlight on Listening Comprehension was developed to teach students the importance of knowing what they are listening for and matching their listening comprehension strategies to their listening purposes.  The six books in Spotlight on Listening Comprehension focus on these essential listening purposes and the corresponding comprehension strategies:

  • listening for details
  • listening for making inferences
  • listening for main ideas
  • listening for reasoning and problem solving
  • listening for sequencing
  • listening for story comprehension

These target areas parallel critical reading comprehension skills and will boost students' performance in the classroom; on tests; and in everyday listening, reading, and speaking.

The content of the activities reflects a wide variety of curricular areas as well as daily life.  The vocabulary and sentence structure are controlled at an elementary grade level to help your students focus on the listening comprehension element vs. novel terms or concepts.

Each book includes a Pretest/Posttest to assess and monitor your students' proficiency and progress.  The worksheet activities require minimal writing and often feature a multiple-choice or fill-in-the-blank format similar to tests.  Use your own judgment and teaching purposes to present the activity sheets orally or as overheads for group presentation.

The activities in each book are sequenced by complexity.  They begin by featuring the target skill in pictures to give visual information to facilitate comprehension.  Then they address the target skill in reading activities so your students can easily reread or scan for key information.  Finally the activities depend on listening without visual cues.  Students must then visualize what they hear, keeping their listening purpose of finding the main idea in mind as they hear the information presented orally.

Wherever possible, encourage your students to explain the rationale or clues for their answers.  This strategy strengthens their oral expression skills and gives other students practice in critical listening.  It also allows your students to provide alternative answers that may be appropriate, depending on the students' explanations.

We hope you and your students enjoy the Spotlight on Listening Comprehension series! 

Carolyn and Paul