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Teaching Listening

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o   LISTENING is the ability to identify and understand what others are saying (Howatt and Dakin:1974)

o   NUNAN points out that  in order to develop appropriate approaches to teaching listening skills, it is first necessary to understand the nature of listening.

o   Two models of listening can be identified: the bottom-up and the top-down processing models.

Ø  The bottom-up processing holds that listening is a linear, data-driven process. Comprehension occurs to the extent that the listener is successful in decoding the spoken text.   The bottom-up processing model assumes that listening is a process of decoding the sounds that one hears in a linear fashion, from the smallest meaningful units (phonemes) to complete texts.

Ø  The top-down model of listening, by contrast, involves the listener in actively constructing meaning based on expectations, inferences, intentions, and other relevant prior knowledge.

 

o   FIELD involves three stages in a listening activity: pre-listening, listening, and post-listening.

o   Materials and teaching often tend to test listening rather than teach it and do not practice the kind of listening that takes place in real life.

 

Stage 1: PRE-LISTENING ACTIVITIES

o   Pre-listening activity is involving brainstorming vocabulary, reviewing areas of grammar, or discussing the topic of the listening text. Revising language points in advance encourages learners to focus on examples of these particular items when listening – sometimes at the expense of global meaning.

o   Aims for the pre-listening period:

Ø  To provide sufficient context to match what would be available in real life

Ø  To create motivation (to speculate on what they will hear)

o   Pre-listening activities can be divided into two main categories according to their functions:

Ø  Language oriented activities, aim to prepare learners for the type of language and even specific words that they may hear.

Ø  Knowledge-oriented activities, prepare your students to activate or acquire relevant types of world knowledge.

Types of pre-listening activities

Activity

What students do

L.O

K.O

Brainstorming

Call out words or phrases to be put on the board (C)

Ö

Ö

Mind-mapping

Write down words or draw simple picture in a web (1)

Ö

Ö

Discussion

Discuss similar or related issues based on prompt questions or picture (G/P)

Ö

Ö

Games

Simple word or information-gap games (P/C)

Ö

Ö

Guiding questions

Guess answers to questions on the text (I/P)

 

Ö

Pictures/diagrams

Complete illustrations with simple drawings or words

Ö

Ö

Questions

Draw up some questions to ask about the topic (I/P)

 

Ö

Prediction

Predict contents, characters, setting (I/P)

Ö

Ö

 

Note:   I – Individual  P – Pair            G – Group       C – Whole Class

            L.O – Language-Oriented       K.O – Knowledge-Oriented.

 

Stage 2: LISTENING ACTIVITIES

Ø  Extensive Listening (followed by general questions establishing context)

Ø  Intensive Listening (followed by detailed comprehension questions)

 

Stage 3: POST LISTENING

Ø  Examining functional language.

Ø  Inferring vocabulary meaning

o   A post listening activity can be carried out in the last part of a lesson or conducted as another lesson or even a series lesson.

 

Types of post-listening activities.

Activity

What students do

Short written text

Write letters, post cards, messages, diaries, poems based on the listening text or to extend it (I)

Summaries

Summaries the whole text or a pre-selected part orally or in writing (I/P)

Oral presentations

Short informal presentations of listening outcomes (I/P/C)

Role play

Continue the story or situation by assuming the roles of people in the text (G/P)

Vocabulary work

Use selected vocabulary items in further writing or speaking tasks (I/P)

Group sharing

One member of each group circulates among other groups to share listening outcomes (I/P)

Oral practice

Use the listening text (e.g. poem, transcripts of dialogues) to practice pronunciation/reading aloud (I/P)

Note:   I – Individual  P – Pair            G – Group       C – Whole Class

 

WHAT MAKES LISTENING DIFFICULT?

1   Clustering

Ø  In teaching listening comprehension we need to help students to look at these clusters before they are to understand larger parts of language unit.

2   Redundancy

Ø  In a conversation, notice the rephrasing, repetitions, elaborations, and little insertions of “I mean” and “ You know”.

3   Reduced forms

Ø  Reduction can be phonological (“Djeetyet?” for “Did you eat yet”), morphological (contraction like “I’ll”), syntactic (elliptical forms like “when will you be back?” “Tomorrow, may be”), or pragmatic (phone rings in a house, “Mom! Phone!”).

4   Colloquial language

Ø  Idioms, slang, and reduced forms are all manifested in conversations.

Ø  Colloquials appear in both monologues and dialogues.

5   Rate of delivery

Ø  Every language learner initially thinks that native speakers speak too fast!

 

Tue, 31 May 2011 @14:25

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