WRITING FOR LISTENING

Brief summary of activity

This is an activity that offer several options to enable learners to start making use of the descriptive language.

Aim of the activity

To learn the principles and the specifics of writing for radio
To become capable of structuring contents

Expected Outcomes

At the end of the activity, learners will be aware of:
The necessity of becoming aware of different materials an all-round broadcaster works with (voice, original tunes, music, sound) in order to compose a written piece for radio
The necessity of determining the focal point for a piece
The famous 5 W+ H questions to be answered (Who? Where? When? What? Why? How?)
The factors influencing news value
The requirements for being understood (being simple, well-structured short and precise sentences, using elements which stimulate attention)
The use of vivid language

experience and skills required

Trainer will require facilitation skills.

infrastructure, setting, resources

Playback equipment in case sound recordings are being used as part of the exercise.

Length

1-2 hours depending of the option selected for the exercise.

Materials

Paper and writing implements
Newspapers, press releases, press agency releases
Recorded sounds, photographs or postcards

How the activity should take place

There are different approaches to this activity

- The participants will be given an excerpt of literature which they should treat as a press release and take as a source for writing news.

- or the participants analyse already published texts the participants should identify the focal point and rewrite them as radio news.

- or the instructor will offer key words or phrases (e.g. alcohol) for the participants to create short radio texts centred around them. First they will identify the focal point and then organise a short piece presenting it to the entire group.

- or the participants will engage in an activity focusing on using descriptive language. All the participants will go out onto the streets, find an interesting topic and write a radio text about it using descriptive language. The aim of this activity is to learn how to create images in the audience's mind.

- or the participants could be divided into two groups (A and B). Group A will leave the room. One person from Group A will then enter the room. One person from Group B will be asked to describe his/her favourite room and then leave the room to be replaced by another person from Group A. The person from Group A who was already in the room will then repeat the description to the best of his/her ability to the person who just entered. This procedure will be repeated until all the members of Group A have relayed their version of the original description. Meanwhile the members of Group B will observe the variations in the original description of the room as each different person describes it. Note: the participants may only describe the room orally. The entire group of participants will then analyse the variations.

- or the instructor will create an unusual, provocative situation which should be approximately three minutes long (e.g. changing the language, changing the discourse, doing something unexpected like climbing on the table or playing an unexpected noise for vision impaired/blind participants) without telling the participants the purpose of his/her action. The participants will then be asked to write a short story describing the event.

Recommended max. number of participants and trainees to trainers ratio

10 to 1 4 to 1 for vision impaired/blind learners and trainees with learning difficulties

Risk and possible adaptation

For vision impaired/blind participants the activity can be adapted by using sounds to ask participants to elaborate and create a particular landscape. Participants will need their own laptops to carry out the activity, so ensure that the room is prepare for them.
Again, trainer needs to be aware of the needs of trainees with learning difficulties and select the exercise according to them.
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