3 Key Questions about Listening What are listeners doing when they listen?What factors affect good listening?What are characteristics of “real life” listening?What are the many things listeners listen for?What are some principles for designing listening techniques?How can listening techniques be interactive?What are some common techniques for teaching listening?
4 What makes listening difficult? ClusteringRedundancyReduced formsPerformance variablesColloquial languageRate of deliveryStress, rhythm, and intonationInteraction
5 What types of listening skills are developed? Microskills- attending to smaller bits of language; involving bottom-up approach to listening comprehension- is achieved by dividing and decoding the sound signal bit by bit.; the ability to separate the stream of speech into individual words
6 What types of listening skills are developed? (cont’d) Macroskills- focusing on larger elements; involving top-down approach to listening (listening forgeneral idea; use of background knowledge)
7 What kinds of listening skills are taught? Reactive (listen and repeat)Intensive (listen on a focused sound)Responsive (listen and respond – briefly)Selective (listen for particular items in a longer passage)Extensive (listen for interactive/responsive purposes)Interactive (listen to discuss, respond, debate)
8 Principles for teaching listening Integrate listening into the courseAppeal to students’ personal goalsUse authentic language and contextsConsider how students will respondTeach listening strategiesInclude both bottom-up & top-down listening
9 Common listening strategies Looking for key wordsLooking for nonverbal cues to meaningPredicting a speaker’s purpose by the contextActivating background knowledgeGuessing at meaningsSeeking clarificationListening for the gistDeveloping test-taking strategies for listening
10 Activity (Take a break!) With a partner/group, consider some listening strategies. Briefly plan how you might teach these strategies to students.Report back to the whole group on at least two of the activities.
11 Current issues in teaching oral skills Conversational discourseTeaching pronunciationAccuracy and fluencyAffective factorsInteraction effectQuestions about intelligibilityQuestions about what is “correct” speech
12 What makes speaking difficult? The same things that make listening difficult:ClusteringRedundancyReduced formsPerformance variablesColloquial languageRate of deliveryStress, rhythm, and intonationInteraction
13 Types of classroom performance Imitative (this should be limited)–repetition drillIntensive – practise a grammatical/ phonological featureResponsive – to respond to a questionTransactional (dialogue) – to convey informationInterpersonal (dialogue) – to interact sociallyExtensive – monologue (intermediate/advanced)
15 Guidelines for Drills Keep them short Keep them simple Keep them snappyEnsure that students know WHY they are doing the drillLimit the drill to phonological/grammatical pointsEnsure that they lead to a communicative goalDON’T OVERUSE THEM(Excessive use becomes poisonous)
16 Principles for Teaching Speaking Focus on fluency and accuracy (depending on objective)Use intrinsically motivating techniquesUse authentic language in meaningful contextsProvide appropriate feedback and correctionOptimize the natural link between listening and speaking (and other skills)Give students the opportunity to initiate oral communication.Develop speaking strategies.
18 Should we teach pronunciation? According to Wong (1987), “sounds are less crucial for understanding than the way they are organized” (as cited in Brown, 2008, p. 339).Native speakers rely more on stress and intonation than accurate articulation of a particular sound.
19 Factors that affect pronunciation Native languageAgeExposureInnate phonetic abilityIdentity and language egoMotivation/concern for good pronunciation
20 When and how should I correct errors? Global errors- affect meaning; hinder communication- prevent listeners to comprehend some/all aspects of the conveyed messageLocal errors- do not prevent message from being understood- minor violation of a segment of a sentencePerformance slip or competence error- e.g. slip of the tongue, spoonerisms
21 Question to ponder on!What is your attitude towards errors/mistakes (in speech/writing)?To what extent has your teaching or learning been characterised by a progression of noticing and repairing?How does your approach affect your pupils?
22 Common speaking strategies Asking for clarification (what?)Asking someone to repeat somethingUsing fillersUsing conversation maintenance cues (uh-huh, right, yeah, okay, hm)Getting someone’s attentionUsing paraphrases for structures one cannot produceAppealing for assistance from the interlocutorUsing formulaic expressionsUsing mime and nonverbal expressions
23 ReferencesBrown, H.D. (2007). Teaching by principles: An interactive approach to language pedagogy (3rd ed). White Plains, NY: Pearson Education.Richard-Amato, P.A. (2003). Making it happen: From interactive to participatory language teaching theory and practice (3rd ed.). White Plains, NY: Pearson Education.