People always talk about that for an ESL students should just speak out without hesitation, even when there’s some grammar error. Of course to speak fluently is everyone’s priority, but to speak accuracy is important, too . Therefore, I think that the accuracy in English what I consider in teaching speaking.
Listening comprehension exists in a lot of English exams, it is an important factor for ESL students to get high score in English exams. So, ESL students focus to remember vocabulary, it will help them comprehend the listening material. But, when they meet the idioms in listening, we can say it is the most difficult part for ESL students.
Why idioms is the hardest part for ESL students??
Each country has their own culture, each ESL student has their own idioms.
When they learn a new language, they should face to a new culture, but they are not live in that culture, so they can't understand idioms easily, although sometimes the idioms are formed by some simple words.
To answer this, we must take a look at exactly what the listening process is
The listening Process can be defined as:
“ an active process in which listener’s select and interpret information that comes from auditory and visual clues in order to define what is going on and what the speakers are trying to say” (Thompson & Rubin, 1996).
But as we know, many L2 listeners believe they can’t do this well. What exactly are some of the reasons they give:
Three major reasons that L2 listeners give for not understanding are:
Speed of Speaking: what L2 listeners hear seems to be spoken too quickly; they can’t control the pace at which the speaker speaks
Phonology: L2 listeners often can’t hear or pronounce letters/sounds that don’t occur in their mother language; they often can’t decode reduced forms
Interpretation Problems: L2 listeners often hear words/phrases correctly but get the wrong meaning. They get lost in the idioms and colloquialisms
Therefore, how can we as teachers help L2 learners who have such difficulties improve their listening comprehension?
Now, we will focus on the cognitive listening strategy and how it relates to the 3 problems above
The cognitive listening strategy can be partially defined as
“ situation-specific techniques used during the performance of a speaking/listening task to facilitate comprehension, for example, listening for details, making inferences, using background knowledge (top-down processing), getting the gist of material, etc.”
Cognitive listening strategy as it relates to L2 problem “Speed of Speaking”:
Since L2 learners think speakers speak too fast, teachers need to be aware of why this happens. Teachers need to understand how to better organize a listening activity in the classroom. Teachers need to understand that students, when hearing a recording in class, are unable to get non verbal clues or pick up on sounds or catch the gist.
Therefore, when planning a listening activity that includes a recording, a teacher could:
Explain the situation in the recording and have students predict what the dialogue might be, before they listen to it
Repeat the recording several times
Have students take notes of the recording
Explain the dialogue
Role paly the dialogue so as to reveal nonverbal clues
Have students get into groups and role play the dialogue
Have the students change some words in the dialogue to keep the same meaning, or to get new meaning