2 Outline What is listening? Listening skills & strategies Principles for teaching listeningDevelop a listening activityClassroom languageReferences
3 Is listening an active or passive skill? I. What is listening?Is listening an active or passive skill?
4 Let’s look at listening as an interactive process! Neither!Let’s look at listening asan interactive process!
5 Process of listeningAccording to Clark & Clark (1977), the following happens when we listen:Hearer processes the “raw speech” (the actual phrases, clauses, etc.)Hearer determines the type of speech (conversation, speech, etc.)Hearer infers the objectives of the speaker (to persuade, request, etc.)Hearer recalls schemata (own background knowledge)Hearer assigns literal meaning to utteranceHearer assigns intended meaning to utteranceHearer determines whether information should be retained in short-term or long-term memoryHearer deletes the form in which the message was received
6 Simply put, there are many processes interacting with the actually sounds received by a listener. Understanding these different processes of attaching meaning to sound can be a helpful starting point for a teacher to understand how to teach listening to students.
7 Listening is interactive Listening is also interactive because in most situations listening is part of a two-way communication between a two or more parties.Besides lectures, sermons (religious worship), ceremonies, and radio, what are some other forms of one-way forms of communication?What are some two-way forms of communication?Which list is larger?
8 Therefore, listening is a part of an interactive process Your list for two-way communication was probably larger because language is used mostly for communication between two or more speakers.Therefore, listening is a partof an interactive processof communication.
9 II. Listening skills & strategies Before looking at the development of listening skills with young learners, let’s look at a basic taxonomy of listening “microskills” developed by Jack Richards (1983).This comprehensive list can be helpful for teachers to recognize the individual microskills skills that they are developing with each listening activity.
10 Listening Microskills Retain chunks of language of different lengths in short-term memory.Discriminate among the distinctive sounds of EnglishRecognize English stress patterns, words in stressed and unstressed positions, rhythmic structure, intonational contours, and their role in signaling information.Recognize reduced forms of words.Distinguish word boundaries, recognize a core of words, and interpret word order patterns and their significance.Process speech at different rates of delivery.Process speech containing pauses, errors, corrections, and other performance variables.Recognize grammatical word classes (nouns, verbs, etc.), systems (e.g., tense, agreement, pluralization), patterns rules, and elliptical forms.Detect sentence constituents and distinguish between major and minor constituents.
11 Listening Microskills (Cont’d) Recognize that a particular meaning may be expressed in different grammatical forms.Recognize cohesive devices in spoken discourse.Recognize the communicative functions of utterances, according to situations, participants, goals.Infer situations, participants, goals, using real-world knowledge.From events, ideas, etc., described, predict outcomes, infer links and connections between events, deduce causes and effects, and detect such relations as main idea, supporting idea, new information, given information, generalization, and exemplification.Distinguish between literal and implied meanings.Use facial, kinesic, body language, and other nonverbal clues to decipher meanings.Develop and use a battery of listening strategies, such as detecting key words, guessing the meaning of words form context, appeal for help, and signaling comprehension or lack thereof.(Brown, 2001)
12 Take a close look at this list… Which of these listening microskills can be appropriately developed for young learners?If you are a teacher, which of these microskills do you regularly develop in your listening activities?Which ones could you incorporate in your listening activities more?
13 Listening strategies for YLs Brewster, Ellis, and Girard (2004) mention that developing “intelligent guessing” is very important to develop in young learners. They suggest the following strategies:Predicting: learners guess what they will be listening to nextGuessing from context: learners guess the meaning of a word through the context givenRecognizing discourse patterns and markers: learners understand signal words, such as first, then, finally, but, so, etc.
14 These are strategies that teachers should help learners develop These are strategies that teachers should help learners develop. If learners develop the use of these strategies independent of the teacher, then they will be improving their ability to listen effectively on their own.Consider the list of microskills again. Which ones can teacher encourage young learners to use? Which ones are appropriate for your particular student profile?
15 III. Principles for teaching listening (Brown, 2001) When designing listening activities for your students, it is important to follow these 6 principles as compiled by Brown:
16 1. In an interactive, four-skills curriculum, make sure that you don’t overlook the importance of techniques that specifically develop listening comprehension competence.Most likely your YL program integrates all four skills interactively, which is the ideal situation for communicative language teaching. However, it is still very important to focus on learners’ development of listening, especially for young learners who are just at the beginning stages of developing their comprehension of target language.
17 2. Use techniques that are intrinsically motivating. All activities should take into consideration learners’ background knowledge, interests, and goals to make the activities motivating and fun for students.
18 3. Utilize authentic language and contexts. Activities should try to use authentic language and real-world contexts as much as possible to make the learning more meaningful, motivating, and useful for students.
19 4. Carefully consider the form of listener’s responses. Often we ask students, “Do you understand?” Of course, the response is always, “Yes!” However, how can you know if students truly understand without something concrete or observable?Lund (1990) provided a comprehensive list of ways to check students’ comprehension:
20 Showing listening comprehension by… Doing: listener responds physically to a commandChoosing: listener selects from alternatives such as pictures, objects, and textsTransferring: listener draws a picture of what is heardAnswering: listener answers questions about the messageCondensing: listener outlines or takes notes on a lectureExtending: listener provides an ending to a story heardDuplicating: listener translates the message into the native language or repeats it verbatimModeling: listener orders a meal, for example, after listening to a model orderConversing: listener engages in a conversation that indicates appropriate processing of information
21 See the following list of important strategies to build: 5. Encourage the development of listening strategies.Again, it is extremely important to build listening strategies. This cannot be emphasized enough. Building strategies that help students improve their listening comprehension beyond the classroom should be the most important goal.See the following list of important strategies to build:
22 Listening strategies to build: looking for keywordslooking for nonverbal cues to meaningpredicting a speaker’s purpose by the context of the spoken discourseassociating information with one’s existing cognitive structure (activating background information)guessing at meaningsseeking clarificationlistening for the general gistvarious test-taking strategies for listening comprehension
23 6. Include both bottom-up and top-down listening strategies. It is important to use both bottom-up and top-down techniques when teaching listening. With young learners who are at the beginning stages, it could be easy to focus too much on bottom-up techniques, so be very wary of which of the skills each listening activity focuses on and strike a good balance between the two.
24 Bottom-upBottom-up processing = proceeds from sounds to words to grammatical relationships to lexical meanings, etc. to a final message.Bottom-up techniques usually focus on sounds, words, intonation, grammatical structures, and other components of spoken language.Examples:Students listen to a pair of words and circle if the words are same or different.Students match a word they hear with its picture.Students listen to a short dialogue and fill in the blanks of a transcript.
25 Top-downTop-down processing = begins with the schemata or background knowledge that the listener brings to the text.Top-down techniques focus on the activation of background knowledge and the meaning of the text.Examples:Students listen to some utterances and describe the emotional reaction they hear: happy, sad, etc.Students listen to a sentence describing a picture and select the correct picture.Students listen to a conversation and choose a picture showing the correct location of the dialogue.
26 IV. Develop a listening activity When developing a listening activity, be sure to set up the activity in three distinct stages:Pre-listeningListening activityPost-listening
27 Pre-listening activating schema Before the listening activity, prepare students for the activity byactivating schemaconnecting the activity to their background knowledgegetting them to predict what they will be listening tointroducing useful words and concepts
28 Listening activityWhile students are listening, be sure that they are actively listening byusing of visuals, such as pictures, facial expressions, body movementasking them questions and eliciting answershaving them respond to the listening by doing, choosing, etc.
29 Post-listeningAfter the listening activity, be sure to follow-up with some comprehension checking activities which can include the same types of activities mentioned above.In addition, the post-listening activities can flow smoothly into a speaking activity that practices the language learned in the listening activity.
30 V. Classroom languageRemember that the classroom language you use is an on-going development of learners’ listening skills. In addition, to the language objectives set up in your school curriculum, consider the types of classroom language used and set up your own objectives based on them. Using English as the medium of communication in your classroom naturally develops students’ listening comprehension.What kinds of listening strategies can you build through the consistent use of classroom language in English?
31 VI. ReferencesBrewster, J., Ellis, G., & Girard, D. (2004). The primary English teacher’s guide. Essex: Penguin English.Brown, H. D. (2001). Teaching by principles: an interactive approach to language pedagogy. White Plains, NY: Addison Wesley Longman.