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Teaching Listening Sonja Follett English Language Fellow

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1 Teaching Listening Sonja Follett English Language Fellow
Play “This I believe”- Sarah Roahen. Ask Ts to take notes. Don’t give further instructions…revisit activity later to demonstrate the importance of context. Sonja Follett English Language Fellow Khovd University, Khovd, Mongolia

2 Listening Is an ‘active’ skill Is a ‘receptive’ skill
Happens in real time Is it a neglected skill?

3 Why Teach Listening? It helps students acquire language  subconsciou sly It provides vital information – grammar structure – contextualization of new vocabulary – pronunciation, rhythm, stress, intonation • Real communication requires both listening  compre hension and speaking

4 We Listen… Twice as much as we speak Four times more than we read
Five times more than we write (Rivers 1981, Weaver  1972 in Celce- Murcia, M. Teaching English as a Second  or Foreign Language, p. 70)

5 Considerations in Teaching 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  techniq ues How can listening techniques be interactive? What are some common techniques for teaching  listenin g?

6 Listening is a Complex, Interactive Skill
Processes in listening comprehension Raw speech is processed into short‐term memory Type of speech event is determined/assigned  (conv ersation, lecture, TV ad, etc.) Assessment of speaker’s objective (inform, persuade ,  request, etc.) Background information (schema) applied to aid in  comprehension Literal meaning assigned to message

7 Listening is a Complex, Interactive Skill
Processes in listening comprehension Intended meaning assigned to message; different  from  literal message Determination to commit information to short‐term or  lo ng‐term memory Original words, phrases, and sentences are (largely)  “pr uned” and the message concept is retained. Listening is an interactive process and learners  may  have difficulty at any of these steps

8 What Makes Listening Difficult?
Clustering - Spoken language is “chunked” into phrases and clauses Redundancy - Rephrasing, repetition, elaborations are helpful (extra information, extra time) but make “tracking” speech difficult Reduced forms -Phonological (“Jeet?”), morphological (“I’ll”), syntactic (“Finish yet?”)

9 What Makes Listening Difficult?
Performance variables -Hesitations, false starts, pauses, corrections, ungrammatical forms Colloquial language -Idioms, slang, reduced forms, shared cultural knowledge Rate of delivery -Speed of stream of speech; little opportunity to “re- listen”

10 What Makes Listening Difficult?
Stress, rhythm, and intonation -Prosodic features of English cause difficulty Interaction - Rules of conversation, negotiation, turn-taking, topic nomination and maintenance; two-way, interactive skill

11 How do we listen to listen to incoming incoming messages?
Top­Down Processing Interactive Processing Bottom­Up Processing

12 Bottom-Up Processing Knowledge of: -Vocabulary, grammar, sounds
Use background knowledge Driven by text factors – Sounds – Words – Phrases – Stress/intonation patterns

13 Types of Listening Skills
Micro-skills Sentence level Retain chunks of language in short-term memory Discriminate among the sounds of English Recognize stress and intonation patterns Recognize grammatical word classes Process at different rates of delivery Distinguish word boundaries Recognize word order patterns

14 Top Down Processing Based on :
General Knowledge/Life experience (Content Schemata) Knowledge of situational routines (textual schema) Activate previous knowledge Driven by learner factors: the listeners – Expectations – Understanding of the topic – Context – Knowledge of the world (Rubin and Peterson)

15 Types of Listening Skills
Macro-skills Discourse level Recognize cohesion devices Recognize communicative functions Distinguish main and supporting ideas, new and understood information Distinguish literal and implied meanings Understand nonverbal communication signals Use listening strategies: guessing from context, asking for help, signaling (lack of) comprehension

16 Types of Classroom Listening
Reactive (listen and repeat) Intensive (listen for specific sounds, discourse  mark ers, intonation patterns, etc.) Responsive (listen and respond – briefly) Selective (listen for particular items in a longer  stret ch of discourse) Extensive (listen for global comprehension) Interactive (authentic communication; listening as  p art of discussion, conversation, debate, etc.)

17 Selective Listening ­­Prepositions­ Beatles: Eleanor Rigby
Warm up Activity: Students listen and write  the prepositions  Is one listening enough?

18 Extensive Listening: This I Believe
Listening for global comprehension Listen to the “This I believe…” presentation and identify the main idea. What is important to the speaker?

19 Principles for Teaching Listening
Integrate listening practice into the course Don’t assume it “just happens” Appeal to students’ intrinsic motivation Include local culture and preexisting schema Use authentic language and contexts Highlight relevance to real-life needs Consider how students will respond Listening cannot be seen; infer comprehension Teach listening strategies Include both bottom-up AND top-down listening

20 Successful Listening Activities
Purpose for Listening A form of response (doing, choosing, answering, transferring, condensing, duplicating, extending, conversing) Repetition depends on T objectives and students’ level A motivating listening text is authentic and relates to students’ interests and needs Have the skills integrated Stages: Pre-task , While-task, Post-task

21 Listening Strategies Teach student how to listen Looking for keywords
Looking for nonverbal cues to meaning Predicting a speaker’s purpose by the context of the spoken discourse Associating information with one’s existing background knowledge (activating schema) Guessing meanings Seeking clarification Listening for the general gist For tests of listening comprehension, various test-taking strategies

22 Easy-to-plan Pre-Listening Activities
Brainstorming Think-Pair-Share Word Webbing/Mind Mapping Team Interview

23 Easy-to-plan Listening Tasks
Agree or disagree (with explanation) Create Venn diagrams List characteristics, qualities, or features Strip story (sequencing game) Match speech to visuals Compare and contrast to another speech or text Give advice

24 More Listening Tasks Compare and contrast to your own experience
Create your own version of the missing section Plan a solution to the problem Share reactions Create a visual Reenact your own version

25 Easy to Plan Post-listening Assessments
Guess the meaning of unknown vocabulary Analyze the speaker’s intentions List the number of people involved and their function in the script Analyze the success of communication in the script Brainstorm alternative ways of expression


27 References Bailey, K.M. (2005). Practical English Language Teaching: Speaking . New York: McGraw- Hill. Bishop, G. (2006). AP State English Lecturers Retraining Program Teacher’s Handboook . Senior ELF Seminar Series given in Hyderabad, India. Brown, H.D. (2001). Teaching by principles: An interactive approach to language pedagogy . White Plains, NY: Longman. Helgesen, M. (2003). Listening. In D. Nunan (Ed.). Practical English Language Teaching . New York: McGraw-Hill. Liao, X.A. (2001). Information Gap in Communicative Classrooms. EL Forum, 39 (4). Retrieved from . Lynch, T. (2003). Communication in the language classroom . Oxford: Oxford University Press. Richards, J.C. & Renandya, W.A. (eds.) (2002). Methodology in language teaching: an anthology of current practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Slagoski, J.D. (2006). Teaching Listening Skills. Senior ELF Seminar given in Samara, Russia. Retrieved from .

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