Randall’s Esl Listening Lab in Language Teaching
School of Post Graduate UHAMKA, Jakarta, Monday, July 22nd
Language is the way to communicate used by people to make easier their activities and
their works. To make easier communication in their activities and their works, they have to learn
a Foreign Language. One of the Foreign Languages is English. Richards (2006, 3) adds
“Whereas today English is the World‟s most widely studied foreign language.”
English is also one of the International Language, used by most of countries in the world.
One of the countries is Indonesia. In Indonesian Education, English is also used as a target
language in many schools. Harmer (1991, 1) says, “Probably the greatest number of Language
students in the world do it because it is on the student curriculum whether they like it or not!”
According to Harmer‟s statement, students learn the language because it has been stated in
curriculum so English as a target language is important to be mastered by the students.
From this situation, the students have problems in learning English. English is different
from Bahasa Indonesia. English learns language outside of students‟ mother tongue. The students
can find the difficulties in learning activities, especially in comprehending the four skills, they
are listening, speaking, reading, and writing. That is way evaluation has to relate to the learning
teaching activities. English is very unique language, because it is very challenge our skills. In
fact, if we can improve it regularly, we can easy to understand with English language. I am as a
students feel that all of the subjects at school can be interesting if the teacher can explain them
clearly, especially to learn English.
I share my experience in using the Randall‟s ESL Listening Lab environment for
teaching language courses in English with different levels, for learning terminology, and ESP
(English for Specific Purposes). My focus will be on how the web-based environment can be
used for supporting student-centered learning, increasing student motivation, individualization
and cooperation in creating the study-materials, at the same time developing a feeling of “me”
and of belonging together. Taking a look at my different past and current courses, I will view
different ways of motivating students by engaging them in building the learning materials. I
analyze how the ICT solutions can be used as a support for different classroom activities, group-
work and pair-work assignments; for independent work; for enforcing student-centered learning
and the principles of individualization; forming one´s personal opinion, and being able to express
it on topical issues.
ICT is generally defined as technology functioning to support the process of conveying
information and communication. With the development of ICT, the communicator and
communicant can communicate through telephone, internet, email, satellite, television, video
conference, and the like. According to Hartoyo, M.A., Ph.D., There are some advantages of
utilizing ICT-computer in language learning. For example, (1) ICT serves as the „media‟
bridging and enabling the learning process or event direct communicator between students and
teacher although they are not present in the same room or place; (2) ICT can be created to enable
students to learn the lessons with the guidance, instruction, information, or further explanation
for specific terms merged on the program such as „tutorial‟; (3) ICT-computer in language
learning is that it can be an inseparable; (4) ICT-computer can serve as a peer for students in
playing educational games, or as source of learning material, which can give illustration for
verbally difficult to explain concepts as well as other interactive and attractive illustration If
combined with other media, such as video. Moreover, ICT as a medium for teaching is becoming
more and more acknowledged. In this article I wish to share some aspects of using ICT that have
proved the topic from two points of view: (1) strengths and weaknesses, and (2) advantages and
disadvantages both for students and the teacher.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Nowadays, there are the ways of teachers try to teach English in improving listening
comprehension, one of them is Randall‟s Esl Listening Lab. As my experiences, firstly I think
listening is very difficult to learn because of less of vocabularies. In this website, it gives me
motivation to learn listening. Therefore, we have to know the strengths and the weakness media
The Strengths of Randall’s Esl Listening Lab
In this website, there are six sections containing more than one hundred conversations
and interactive lessons which can give a very fast response and also having different function of
1. General Listening Quizzes.
In general listening quizzes, students are able to hear the daily conversations with
adult and children's voices, so the activities of the conversation making students are
interesting to learn. In this part, there are three sections of the difficulties like easy, medium,
and difficult. For example, the teacher can use the easy conversation to teach the elementary
students. From each conversation there are some parts of assignment and the material, there
are pre listening exercise (to show the general material to the students about what the speaker
shows), the listening exercises (there is the quiz script that can improve students to answer
the multiple choice while listening the conversation), vocabulary (in this case there are three
parts: mixed up sentence, sentence and vocabulary matching, text completion quiz. From
those parts students can increase their vocabulary, for example in the text completion quiz
can improve the students to write fill in the blank while listening the conversation), post
listening exercise (the students try to summarize about the conversation), and the last about
2. Basic Listening Quiz.
In basic listening, there is no conversation, but the speaker just gives a question for
learners. For example, the speaker just gives short listening activities for beginning and
intermediate students with two sections of the difficulties such as easy and medium. For each
material, there are three parts are given like pre listening exercise (to show the general
material to the students about what the speaker shows), listening exercise (there is a quiz that
the students have to be done by completing the question and answer the multiple choice
while listening), and the last is post listening exercise (the students try to make and practice
the real situation in conversation)
3. Listening Quizzes for Academic Purposes.
In listening quizzes for academic purpose is usually used to prepare for
TOEFL/TOEIC. There are three sections of the difficulties like medium, difficult, and very
difficult. In each material, there are four parts like pre listening exercise (to show the general
material to the students about the speaker shows), listening exercise (there is a quiz that the
students have to listen the long statements and after that they have to answer the multiple
choices, the purpose of this quiz to help students improving the TOEFL/TOEIC skills),
vocabulary activities (there are three parts of this section, there are mixed up sentence,
sentence and vocabulary matching, and text completion quiz(the students have to complete
fill in the blank)), and the last is post listening exercise online investigation (students try to
give some opinion about the material),
4. 20 Minute ESL Vocabulary Lessons.
In 20 minute ESL vocabulary lesson, the speakers try to help students to build their
vocabulary and the correct pronunciation of key vocabulary. In this case, it is just a medium
level of difficulties, but there are three sections of each material. They are introduction (in
this section, the speakers try to teach a new vocabularies and mention the correct
pronunciation), practice (the students try to complete the sentences below with the best
answer), and the last is follow up (in this sections the students can give and opinion about the
material or they can gives some the summaries from the material).
5. Learning and Life Tips.
In learning and life tips, the students not only improve their listening skills but also
they are given some tips to improve our English language. So the students can find some
information which is useful for their knowledge. Nevertheless, it is different ways from the
speaker; they try to give some questions to the learner to know the general information about
the topic, and if we can to look the language learning tips, we just click the top bottom of the
6. Long conversations with Real Video.
In long conversation with real video, the speakers try to help students to improve their
listening skill both an audio and video. In this case, there are three of the difficulties; for
example, pre listening exercise (to show the general material to the students about the
speaker shows), listening exercise (there are quiz script (the students have to hear and to
watch the material and then they have to answer some of question) and completion quiz (the
students have to make a complete sentences fill in the blank), post listening exercise (the
students can practice or discusses that related with the material).
In this website, the strengths of the website are more than one hundred conversation, and
learning through Randall‟s Esl Listening Lab is accompanied by multiple choices quizzes which
is interactive and can give a very fast response because there are six sections in esl_lab such as
General Listening Quizzes, Basic Listening Quiz, Listening Quizzes for Academic Purposes,
Listening Quizzes for Academic Purposes, 20 Minute ESL Vocabulary Lessons, Learning and
Life Tips, and Long conversations with Real Video.
The Weakness of Randall’s Esl Listening Lab
Randall‟s esl Listening Lab has a little bit disadvantages in teaching learning activities.
Because of using Randall‟s esl Listening Lab, we need the media and facilitation to support it
such as connection internet and available place.
First, I need the connection internet to support my activity in using Randall‟s esl
Listening Lab. If we have bad connection, it is difficult for us to learn because Randall‟s esl
Listening Lab should be connected to the internet. We can download the audio, but in Randall‟s
esl Listening Lab does not provide listening scripts. Therefore, we need to copy paste directly
from the screen.
Second, after choosing the material we need to play the audio in the class, but it is better
if I can practice it in the language laboratory because the teaching and learning activities can be
more effectively. All of the section in Randall‟s esl Listening Lab need a clear pronunciation, so
it is better providing it with a good media like a good visual and audio visual.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Randall’s Esl Listening Lab
Nowadays, there are the ways of teachers try to teach English in improving listening
comprehension, one of them is Randall‟s Esl Listening Lab. In this website, it gives me
advantages and disadvantages in learning teaching activities.
The Advantages of Randall’s Esl Listening Lab
Nowadays, teachers can easy teach students at the school, and one of the easy ways is
through using website, especially Randall‟s esl Listening Lab. It is my ideas for teaching; we
have to understand to open this website connecting to the lesson plan and choosing the
appropriate material listening in this web. In my experience, these are the advantages of
Randall‟s esl Listening Lab.
My first experience, when I get a material about enjoying the zoo, it is very interesting to
learn because there is a children‟s voice, so it makes enjoy listening. This conversation helps me
to improve in listening skills. Firstly, I do a text completion quiz, I hear a conversation and then I
write fill in the blanks of the text after that I can get a score directly because in this web we can
get score automatically. After I have completed the text, I try to answer some questions to make
sure that I understand about the conversation. And then, I practice the conversation to improve
My second experience, I get a material about emergency call. In my opinion it is difficult
material because the conversation not clears although it‟s the medium level. Firstly, I try to hear
the conversation more than one, but I still confuse because I think the voice of the transportation
in this conversation disturb the concentration and too crowded. Nevertheless, it is a difficult
conversation; I try to do fill in the blank until I can finish all of them. In fact, a half of my answer
is wrong because I get less understands with this conversation, so I reopen the complete
conversation to make sure that my answer is wrong. Then, I try to make more understand by
answering some questions. This conversation makes me have to work hard because the speakers
speak fast. Therefore, the solution in finishing, I have to play the conversation more than one.
The advantages of Randall‟s esl Listening Lab is I can reopen the material directly after I know
my ability, and in this web, it provides by listening scripts to make me understand each section.
My third experience is listening about conversation starters in basic listening quiz part.
This conversation not demanding me to listen the conversation, but I have to heard the speaker
that give a question and I have to write it to make complete question. In this part we don‟t give a
specific material, so to answer the question I have to know the appropriate answer. Firstly, I
listen what the speaker said and after that I write the correct question. Then, I try to answer the
question. The advantages of Randall‟s esl Listening Lab is enlarge my vocabulary to complete it
The forth experience in Randall‟s esl Listening, I am able to explain to my students about
the material what my students listen, so they don‟t feel confused. Probably, before I want to play
the audio, I want to give them music to make them relax. After that, I distribute a work sheet to
the students containing listening exercise of that paper. They fill in the blank, answer the
multiple choice questions, and practice the conversation. Then, I start to play the audio to my
students and they have to hear carefully. For the first time, I play the audio two times, but if my
students still confused to answer about fill in the blank, I want to give the tune of the audio
sentence by sentence. After that, I give 10 minutes for my students to answer the multiple
choices. I will know that my students understand or not about the material that I have given.
Then, I have given the instruction for them to correct and discussion, so they know the correct
answer and I can get the direct score to them. Then, some of students practice the conversation
with the partner, so it can make the interesting class.
Based on my experience of Randall‟s esl Listening Lab, there are some advantages I can
get in learning teaching process. For example, I am able to practice the conversation to improve
my pronunciation, I can reopen the material directly after I know my ability, and in this web, it
provides by listening scripts to make me understand each section, I am able to enlarge my
vocabulary to complete it each section, and I am able to be facilitator of my students like
facilitating them in teaching learning activities.
The disadvantages of Randall’s Esl Listening Lab
There are so many advantages, but Randall‟s esl Listening Lab also has a disadvantages.
For example, Randall‟s esl Listening Lab is one of the on line server having the answer in each
section. It means that students are able to know the answer if the teacher makes the Randall‟s esl
Listening Lab as a test.
Davis, Randall. Randall’s Esl Listening Lab. http://www.esl-lab.com/. Accessed July 22nd
Hartoyo. 2012. ICT in language learning. Semarang: Pelita Insani Semarang.
Harmer, Jeremy (1991). The Practice of English Language Teaching New York: Longman
Richard, Jack C and Rogers, Theodore (2006). Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press