How to Teach Listening Alice Chiu Passive or Active? Is listening a passive or active skill? Listening is considered to involve the active selecting and interpreting of information coming from auditory clues so that a listener can identify what is happening and what is being expressed. -Richards, JC. 1983. Listening Comprehension: Approach, design, procedure. TESOL Quarterly 17:2. What does listening involve?
Identifying information Searching memories Relating that information to those memories Filling it in the proper spot (or) Creating a new place for it Using it when needed Effective listeners monitor comprehension associate new information with background knowledge make inferences about unknown words continue listening even if they dont
understand certain words have metacognitive knowledge about the task manage to get the main idea rather than listen word-for-word What interferes with listening comprehension? Unfamiliar vocabulary
Grammar Text too long Several people talking Unfamiliar Context Lots of details Topic not interesting Theme not clear
Accent Speed Idiomatic speech Task too difficult Unprepared for the disc ussion Not prepared for the for mat A lack of background in formation How do most teachers in Taiwan teach listening comprehension? TTT Approach Test-test-test A
sink or swim method The use of passage with multiple-choice questions to teach listening comprehension. If not TTT Approach, then how? How to prepare students for listening tasks? Principles of teaching listening comprehension Let students understand how foreigners speak English and build students
sensitivities. All we can do is give them some guidelines, provide an opportunity for meaningful practice and trust they will learn these things for themselves. (Buck, 1995) Buck, G., 1995. How to become a good listening teacher. In Mendelsohn and Rubin 1995. A guide for the teaching of second language listening. San Diego: Dominie Press. 113-130. Involve ss in focused listening Make it relevant to ss (interesting) Provide background knowledge Pre-listening exercise to activate content Use a variety of activities
listening activities (with focus) to overcome the difficulties giving them charts / categories asking questions ahead of time showing pictures/charts discussing the topic first
describing the context role playing the situation providing key word list brainstorming (situations / pros / cons) Predicting Doing follow-ups that allows them to connect directly with their lives Other listening activities Follow-up activities More listening Writing activities Role playing
Use activities to wake up ss Jazz chants Jokes Puzzles poems Strategies to teach Listening Comprehension Bottom-up Strategies Top-down Strategies Bottom up strategies 1: words Counting syllables by using a rubber band Teaching word stress
1. 2. circling stressed syllable underlining unstressed syllable circle the most stressed word in a sentence using noise maker (or a flute) so that students can understand the sound and stresses (focus on the movement) Bottom up strategies 2: words Pronunciation
1. minimal pair practices pin/pin/pen (choose) They share the food. They shared the food. pronunciation change / blurred speech 2.
pin / pen present tense or past tense lice / rice What do you mean? Wheres the boy? Teach intonation Bottom up strategies 3: words-phrases
listen and find the word groups which carry meanings take a script mark where they think the thought groups are Listen to the tape get students to notice they way how English is sp oken Top-down Strategies 1: (thinking strategy) Get
students to determine: The setting Interpersonal relationships Topic Mood Main idea Top-down Strategies 2: (thinking strategy) Help them to hypothesize predict Infer Example: Give them one/two words Let students make inference and guess what the story is about to develop the g uessing ability
Example: Guess the answers as soon as th ey see the multiple choices Dictation Activities Single word dictation Line-by-line dictation Full-text dictation Student-centered dictation Dictation (for both strategies): Single Word dictation 1. 2.
3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Students have to match the words with the pictures. Students have to choose the word they hear. Students have to write down the word they hear. (or write down the word when they hear the definition.) Students have to do odd-man-out. Students have to make word association. (Circle two word s that are associated with the new vocabulary word.) Students have to make a sentence out of the word they he ar.
Students have to write words in groups or columns accord ing to pronunciation differences. The words may be read a lone or in complete sentences. Students have to write words read out by the teacher. The y need to put the words in groups or column according to t heir characteristics. Dictation (for both strategies): Line-by-line dictation Students respond to the line/sentence by 1.
2. 3. Filling in the word or the verb Doing multiple-choice exercise Correcting errors (deleting unnecessary words, for example) Putting scrambled words in order Students each have a line from a text. They dictate their line to the teacher in the order they think is appropriate. The teacher writes exactly what they say, as they say it, including mistakes. The class then adjust and correct as necessary. Teacher reads out the text line by line. After each line, students pass their paper to their right, and
correct any errors before continuing the dictation. Dictation (for both strategies): Full text dictation-1 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Students read a list of sentences and check whether the sentences are true or false when listening to the text. Students have a multiple-choice exercise.
Students have an incomplete version of the text with gaps to fill in. Students respond to the text by answering the questions. (Short answers or complete sentences) Students write down the content word in the blanks. Students reorder a list of scrambled sentences when listening to the text. Dictation (for both strategies): Full text dictation-2 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.
Students draw what the teacher describes. They may color it, complete it, etc. Teacher reads out the text. Students have a copy of the text with errors, missing words or extra words added. They correct the text to make it the same as the teachers. Students write down the whole text. Teacher reads out the text very quickly while students write down what they can. Then, in groups, they try to reconstruct the text. In the end, they compare with the original text. Students write a summary of the text after listening to it. Dictation (for both strategies): Student-centered dictation
1. Information gap: students work in pairs, each on having an incomplete version of the text, with gaps in different places. Not allowing to look at each others text, they read out what they have, each completing their own text. 2. Information Hunting: Students work in groups of 3. The text for each group is put on the other side of the room. S1 goes to the text, reads and memorizes a section, returns to the group and says what is remembered. S2 writes it down and S3 checks what S2 has written. They may then change roles and continues.
Sample of Listening activities Information Gap (pair work) Predicting Listening Comprehension Phantom of the Opera Online Resources
Randalls ESL Cyber Listening Lab BBC Online Soap Opera CNN Student News Podcast English Idioms and slang Breaking News English ESLpod
ESL Podcast TOEFL Podcast English Through Stories End of this session
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