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Listening skills: how to train the skill Chris Morris.

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1 Listening skills: how to train the skill Chris Morris

2 Bottom Up/ Top Down Processing Top-down vs. bottom-up listening Imagine the following situations: Over lunch, your friend tells you a story about a recent holiday, which was a disaster. You listen with interest and interject at appropriate moments, maybe to express surprise or sympathy. That evening, another friend calls to invite you to a party at her house the following Saturday. As youve never been to her house before, she gives you directions. You listen carefully and make notes.

3 1 Bottom-up processing

4 Good foundations 1 Bottom-up processing - aspects of phonology Redundancy repetitions, false starts, re- phrasings, self-corrections, elaborations, tautologies, and additions such as I mean or you know.

5 Upper intermediate Elementary Redundancy

6 Stress, weak forms and unstressed syllables Underline the content words in each sentence. 1 Can I have a cup of coffee and a cup of tea please? 2 Would you like another one? 3 Thanks for a lovely meal. 4 Sorry but I can't come on Monday because I'm working late. 5 I've never been to a car rally. How are the other words pronounced? Activity

7 Natural Dictation Im going to the shop. Do you want some chocolate? Lets have a party! Id better go soon. You shouldnt have told him. What are you doing? There isnt any coffee. What have you got? He doesnt like it. Its quite a long way. Why did you think youd be able to? Can you tell him I called? Presentation Title runs here l 00/00/007

8 Look at these telegram messages and expand them into what you might say if you were talking on the phone. 1 CONFIRM ARRIVAL ORDER NO. 235. 2 PLEASE CONTACT RICHARD URGENT MESSAGE 3 REGRET DELAY FERRY STRIKE 4 ARRIVING MILAN AIRPORT TUES 0900 Activity

9 2 Top-down processing

10 Good foundations 2 Top-down processing – socio-cultural and contextual knowledge 1 Which city is this? 2 Who are the three people? 3 Where do you think the woman is going? 4 What do you think is the mans problem? 5 Is the woman sympathetic to him? 6 What aspects of cultural behaviour can you observe?

11 Aegean Airlines advert

12 1 What goes wrong? (gist) Second view: 2 When is the womans train? 3 How many people are there in the restaurant? 4 How many times does the waitress say Ready to order? 5 How many times does the waitress come to the table? 6 How much soup is there left in the bowls at the end?

13 Two soups


15 3 Listening Tasks

16 Listening tasks 1 Doing: respond physically 2 Choosing: select from alternatives (pictures, texts, actions) 3 Transferring: transform the message (drawing a route on map, or filling in a chart) 4 Answering: answer questions about the text 5 Condensing: take notes or make an outline/summary

17 6 Extending: go beyond the text (continuing the story or discussion) 7 Duplicating: simply repeat or translate the message 8 Modelling: perform a similar task 9 Conversing: an active participant in a face-to-face conversation How hard are the tasks? Order them in terms of task demand. Which are authentic? Lund, R.J. (1990). A taxonomy for teaching second language listening. Foreign Language Annals, 23

18 Task demands Extending Conversing Duplicating Choosing DoingTransferring Modelling Condensing Answering

19 Task difficulty Non-verbal response: doing, choosing, answering (T/F, tick answers, multiple choice, matching), drawing Simple verbal response: duplicating, modelling, answering (yes/no answers) Complex verbal response: transferring (fill in a table), condensing (note-taking, summary), answering (WH- questions)

20 4 Activities

21 Comprehension tasks WH-questions Get away from this... and try different formats:

22 Multiple choice

23 Gap filling Add realia for authenticity

24 Note-taking This is very difficult...

25 Add visuals Add note- taking skills

26 To summarise What is the learners role in the listening context? What are the demands in each case? What kinds of input are the students exposed to? How planned or spontaneous is the discourse? Good foundations in skill training – bottom up (aspects of phonology) and top down processing (activating socio-cultural and context knowledge) The use of authentic material – control the task, not the text Listening tasks – how difficult are they? How authentic are they? Variations on traditional types.


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