an active process in which listeners select and interpret information that comes from auditory and visual clues in order to define what is going on and what the speakers are trying to express Thompson, I. & Rubin, J. (1996) Can strategy instruction improve listening comprehension? Foreign Language Annals, 29(3) We listen twice as much as we speak, 4 times as much as we read, and 5 times as much as we write. What is listening?
Receptive Listening = receiving sounds what the speaker actually says Constructive Listening = constructing and representing meaning working out what is in the speaker's mind finding out what is relevant for you understanding the content and why the speaker is talking Types of listening
Collaborative Listening = negotiating meaning with the speaker and responding negotiating shared information or values showing interest signalling to the speaker Transformative Listening = creating meaning through involvement, empathy and imagination being involved with the speaker empathising with the speaker imagining a possible world for the speaker's meaning Rost, M. (2002). Listening in language learning. New York: Longman.
Why is it difficult? I dont even recognize words I know. I miss the next part when I think about meaning. I cant hear where the sections are in the stream of speech. I concentrate too hard and miss things. I quickly forget what I heard. I cant picture the words I hear. When I understand the words, I lose the message. I get confused and cant spot the key ideas in the message.
You cant really blame them! lack of control over the speed at which speakers speak not being able to get things repeated the kind of material /teaching techniques used failure to recognize the signals problems of interpretation inability to concentrate established learning habits Underwood, M. Teaching listening London: Longman (1989) adapted
Inappropriate strategies I should pay attention to every word and understand every detail in the text. I have to translate the target language to my native one in order to understand the text.
What sort of listening? Participatory vs. non-participatory - the learners role
Participant/listener present: +visual Most conversations Participant/listener absent: -visual Phone calls, call centre menus Non-participant/listener present: + visual Lectures, plays, eavesdropping Non-participant/listener absent: +/- visual Radio, podcasts, TV, DVD, films, classroom recorded material What is the demand on the listener in each case?
What kinds of discourse? Unmodified vs. modified input Baseline talk I'm a vegetarian. Dyou know what that is? Grammatical foreigner talk I dont eat meat. Im a vegetarian. Veg-e-tar- ian. Do you understand? Interlanguage talk I no like meat. I eat vegetable, no meat. Ungrammatical foreigner talk MEAT...ME...NO...LIKEY! NO MEAT.. SAVVY?
spontaneous > careful > scripted chatting with friends explaining instructions reading the news
How do teachers model listening in the classroom? Natural vs. evaluative T: Do you like English food? S: No, I dont like. T: Oh? Why? T: Do you like English food? S: No I dont like. T: No, I dont. S: Oh, sorry. No, I dont.
prediction grasping the main idea key-word strategy selective attention using contextual clues grouping inferencing self-monitoring O'Malley, J.M. et al. (1985). Learning Strategy Applications with Students of English as a Second Language. TESOL Quarterly, Vol. 19, No. 3
Skilled strategy use more proficient listeners use wide distribution strategies e.g. inferencing, anticipating, conclusion drawing, selective attention less proficient listeners use text heavy strategies (reliance on bottom-up processing)
Essential strategy training Students need to/Teachers should plan tasks to: make use of redundancy/weak forms get background information on topic make predictions ignore information not needed attempt guesses for unknown elements
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