Presentation on theme: "LG 629 TEACHING LISTENING FOR ACADEMIC PURPOSES. LISTENING FOR ACADEMIC PURPOSES When students go to a lecture, they may already have some academic."— Presentation transcript:
LISTENING FOR ACADEMIC PURPOSES When students go to a lecture, they may already have some academic background knowledge of the subject and be able to predict some of the contents of the lecture at least, not least from its title. However it is at this point that problems may develop; the main problems tend to be within three broad areas; 1. Decoding, i.e. recognising what has been said. 2. Comprehending, understanding the main and subsidiary points in relation to the subject of the lecture. 3. Taking notes, i.e. writing down quickly, briefly and clearly the important points for future use.
NOTE TAKING Note taking can also cause problems, as a skill it involves several processes including; 1. The ability to distinguish between important (or relevant to one’s essay topic) and less important points. 2. Deciding when to record the points (so that other important points may not be lost during the writing down). 3. The ability to write concisely and clearly in a kind of personal shorthand which will probably make use of devices such as abbreviations, symbols etc. 4. The ability to decipher one’s own notes at a later date and to recall the essence of the lecture.
LECTURING STYLES Some lectures are more formal, others tend to the informal, it may depend partly on academic area, with science subjects being more formal whereas arts areas may be more informal. Students generally have more difficulty understanding informal styles than the more formal ones. Styles of lecturing include 1. Reading style, the lecturer reads aloud from notes (or sounds as if he is so doing). Sometimes this may be a straight reading of exactly what is on the page, sometimes the lecturer may digress to provide more examples, thoughts, ideas that have occurred in the course of the lecture or as a result of the response of the learners to lecture content
INFORMATION STRUCTURE AND IDEAS STUCTURE Some lectures give factual information point by point, and others may develop an idea point by point with input from student discussion and workshop problem solving style activities (re; student response on CELTA course in Cambridge.. we wanted information not small group discussion!!.. a mixture of traditional lecture and seminar style)… Students may have more trouble absorbing information from the problem/discussion style lecture than the one that gives straight facts.
LISTENING CUES Whichever style of lecturing is adopted, the lecturer will normally make use of various devices in order to indicate to the listeners the relative importance of the ideas an information contained in the talk, such cues or devices may be of different types. 1. Prosodic features such as stress, intonation, pauses. 2. Syntax, questions, relative clauses. 3. Lexical markers such as connecting phrases or ideas, numbers.
INFORMAL LANGUAGE Most lecturers do not realise just how much colloquial language they actually use, for example, ‘this is pretty difficult’ or ‘we need jack up the figures’ (or, ‘sex up’ the results). Practice materials may be devised in which students are asked to guess the meanings of colloquialisms and to find equivalents in formal written or spoken English. Detailed analyses of lectures and the language used may be useful for EAP students. An analysis of lecture transcripts may draw attention to asides, colloquialisms, cues, markers, references, redundancy.
TAKING NOTES A distinction may be made between note-taking and note-making. Note-taking is simply the straightforward writing down of whatever is said or written or displayed during ta lecture at the time of the lecture itself. Note-making is the creation of one’s own notes towards a specific slant on the topic (perhaps of those elements of the notes thought to be relevant to an essay question; note-making may be as one reads a text, or alterations to notes taken during a lecture by highlighting, summarising, paraphrasing, putting in question marks against an item in order to query or to check it.
LECTURE LENGTH To the problems facing students in lectures may be added one more item, the sheer length of the a lecture, which may vary from 45-60 minutes or as long as two hours (typically more like one hour and forty minutes with breaks, as at Essex university). Two hours would most likely be the maximum length for a lecture, as even native speakers would find problems and begin to lose concentration or focus after such a time. Not every one has the same capability to pay attention to longer lectures, and students need help in building up their ability to concentrate and maintain focus in longer lecture.
LECTURERS’ ROLE Of course students’ tasks in understanding and note taking in lectures would be considerably easier if lecturers would clearly structure and deliver their lectures, perhaps with structures notes/handouts/powerppoints sent to the students before the lecture itself. Many universities do now provide some kind of staff training sessions before newly recruited staff give their initial lectures, but such sessions do not necessarily prepare the lecturers for the specific issues or difficulties they may face with non- native speaker students. Some universities have increased their IELTS requirement to 7.0 or even 7.5
INTERACTIVE LISTENING Another element of listening needs for students, especially for postgraduate non native speaker students are the interactive listening skills which may be needed in seminars and group discussions as well as one to one meetings with tutors and academic supervisors, which skills are a combination of both the listening and note taking skills discussed, as well as the academic speaking skills required for full participation in seminars and meeting. It is suggested then that academic speaking skills and academic listening skills should be integrated
REFERENCES LYNCH, T. 2004. STUDY LISTENING. CAMBRIDGE. LYNCH, T. 2009. TEACHING SECOND LANGUAGE LISTENING. CAMBRIDGE. Journal of English For Academic Purposes (online Journal). Hyland, K. 2006. English For a Academic Purposes. Abingdon. Mendelsohn, D. & J. Rubin. 1995. A Guide for Second Language Listening. San Diego. Jordan, R. 1979. Listening Comprehension and Note-taking Course. London.