2 Teaching Listening Why does listening seem so difficult? Characteristics of the listening processTypes of listeningPrinciples of teaching listeningPre-listening activitiesWhile-listening activitiesPost-listening activities
3 Why does listening seem so difficult? Task:Discuss this question in your group
4 Why does listening seem so difficult? Students:Quickly forget what is heard.Do not recognise words they know.Understand the words but not intended message.Neglect the next part when thinking about meaning.Unable to form a mental representation from words heard.Do not understand subsequent parts of input because of earlier problems.
5 Characteristics of the listening process Task:In groups, discuss the following question:What is the difference between reading and listening?
6 Differences? You have just one go at it The presence of stress, rhythm, intonation etcCharacteristics of fast, natural speech (e.g. weak forms)Often the need to process and respond immediatelyOften visual clues but also other noiseInformation is often less densely packed and more repetitive than in readingNatural redundancyLess complex in grammatical and discourse structure
7 Characteristics of the listening process SpontaneityContextVisual cluesListener’s responseSpeaker’s adjustment(Ur 1996:106-7)Active listening?!!
8 The listening process Listening is a two or three stage process RecognitionUtilisationThese stages can be summarised in three questions:‘What did he say? (recognising)What did he mean when he said X?What did he intend when he said X? (utilising – applying to the context)’
9 The listening processBottom-up processing – we use our linguistic knowledge and ability to process acoustic signals, which we first decode into phonemes, then words, phrases, and finally sentencesTop-down processing – the speaker’s meaning is interpreted from expectations based on the context, world knowledge etc(Hedge, 2000)
10 Types of listeningSelective listening – for a specific piece of informationGlobal listening – for overall gistIntensive listening – for precise information and detail(Ferguson, 2005b)Transactional listening – to obtain new informationInteractional listening – to maintain social relationshipsCritical listening – in academic contextsRecreational listening – for relaxation, entertainment (Rost, 1990)
11 Principles of teaching listening Focus on processCombine listening with other skillsFocus on the comprehension of meaningGrade difficulty level appropriately
12 Principles of teaching learning Look at the text from Headway Upper Intermediate (p86). Think about the following:What is the general purpose of pre- listening work?What are the specific purposes of the tasks in 1,2 and 3?Why are the students given a task while listening?What roles must the teacher perform during this listening work?(Hedge, 2000)
13 Principles of teaching listening Pre-listening activitiesWhile listening activitiesPost-listening activities
14 Pre listening activities RATIONALE:Motivating students by making the topic relevant and interestingActivating existing knowledge for new knowledge to be built uponIntroducing key vocabulary and key structures, that students need in order to understand the text
15 Pre-listening activities Predicting (eg. “What are these people doing? What are they saying to each other?”)Setting the scene - introduce people/ places (activating schemata)Gist listeningListening for specific information
16 While listening activities No responseTick boxes eg.SequencingActDrawGap fillTake notes
17 Final thoughtsDon’t expect learners to remember more than a native speaker would!Testing understanding rather than memoryThink more about the process than the product (wrong answers more interesting...)
18 ReferencesFerguson, G. (2005) Lecture Handout: Listening and Teaching Listening. MA Module: Language Teaching Methodology. University of Sheffield.Hedge, T. (2000) Teaching and Learning in the Language Classroom. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Rost, M. (1990) Listening in Language Learning. London: Longman.18