15 wayselt


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15 wayselt

  1. 1. TANTALIZING THE TEACHING OF LISTENINGListening is one of the most important skills a language learner must handle because we cannot develop speaking skills unless we also develop listening skills; to have a successfulconversation, students must understand what is said to them. Later, the ability tounderstand spoken English may become very important (for listening to the radio,understanding foreign visitors, studying, etc). To develop this ability, students need plentyof practice in listening to English spoken at normal speed.Listening to spoken English is an important way of acquiring the language – of “pickingup” structures and vocabulary. In a situation where learners are living in a country whereEnglish is not spoken as the first language, they need to be given the opportunity to listento spoken English as much as possible.What are some of the problems that a student trying to understand spoken English couldencounter?To native speakers, listening is such a natural and easy task that it is easy for us tounderestimate how difficult listening in a foreign language is. However, a student trying tounderstand spoken English is confronted with an impressive range of obstacles and has tolearn to:1. Hear small differences between English sounds; for example the vowel sounds in fear, fair, fire, far and fur.2. Comprehend reduced forms of pronunciation, which are very common in normal spoken English.3. Attend to intonation or emphasis cues.4. Adjust to regional, class or group accents.5. Understand a great deal of vocabulary when they hear it.6. Understand grammar structures.7. Develop a range of cultural background knowledge.How do learners cope with the difficulties at understanding spoken English?When we consider all of the ways in which a spoken English sentence can trip up students,it may seem miraculous that students ever learn to understand English at all. Fortunately,students do not need to be able to cope with every utterance to be able to comprehend.The process of comprehension is much like that of completing a puzzle. Learners do notneed to have every piece of the picture in place in order to make sense of it; at some pointTeaching listening – San Juan de Pasto Dec 2010 William Sastoque V
  2. 2. the pieces of the puzzle that the learners do understand allow them to make a guess aboutwhat the whole picture should look like, and this hypothesis guides the process ofcompleting the picture.Listeners deal with the comprehension problem in two ways:BOTTOM-UP PROCESS, which means using the smaller pieces of the picture to make aguess at the larger picture. For example, when a student sees the teacher and hears amuffled sentence starting with “How . . . today?”, the words which the listener doesunderstand provide the clues to the whole utterance.TOP-DOWN PROCESS, involves using the background knowledge to guess what goes inthe blank spots in the picture. The context makes it fairly likely that the teachers utterancewas some kind of greeting, and this knowledge can help students to fill in the missingwords.(Taken from: TEACH ENGLISH A Training Course for Teachers Doff Adrian, 1988)PRE-LISTENING ACTIVITIESSet general and specific goals for the task.Have students predict what they will hear.Use visual or environmental clues.Have students personalize the information.BrainstormingDiagramsWHILE-LISTENING ACTIVITIESListen for emphasis and intonation.Ignore unknown words.Take notes.Use TPR when listening to key words.Grab the wordPOST-LISTENING ACTIVITIESRelate the situations to your own experience.Paraphrase.Keep track of new vocabulary.Dissapearing dialoguesSummarizingTeaching listening – San Juan de Pasto Dec 2010 William Sastoque V
  3. 3. ALWAYS KEEP IN MINDMATERIAL * Do I have all the material I need?LINK: Is the activity connected to the topic Im teaching? Is the activity related to my students knowledge?INTEREST: Is the topic or the activity appealing?LEVEL: Is my activity OK for the level Im teaching? Have my students done this activity before?PURPOSE: What do I want my students to do? What are they supposed to achieve?STRATEGIES: Do my students know the kind of strategies needed to complete the task?STAGES: Did I plan pre, while and post listening activities?SOME USEFUL LISTENING ACTIVITIESSELECTIVE CHART: Beforehand, have students brainstorm words related to the topic ofthe listening. Have them listen and identify those words that are included in the listening.WHO SAID WHAT: Make a chart with the names of the people in the conversation andsome of the things they said. Students select who said what.COOPERATIVE LISTENING: Divide your listening excerpt into two or three parts.Have groups of students listen to different parts and then put the information together.LISTENING BAZAAR: Have students record conversations and create comprehensionquestions. Listen to conversations with the whole group and answer making correctionswith the whole.THE RIGHT ORDER: Write a sequence of events based on a listening and have studentsorganize the sequence.SEQUENCED REPORT: Students listen to a story or a dialogue and then report bywriting a narrative of what it was said.Teaching listening – San Juan de Pasto Dec 2010 William Sastoque V
  4. 4. BINGO STORY: Choose some key words from a conversation and play bingo with thestudents having them circle words in a chart.T/F STATEMENTS: Make up statements based on a listening excerpt and after listeningto it, have students complete to guess which ones are true or false.TWIN SENTENCES: Select some sentences from the piece of listening and make up someothers including minimal pairs in them. Have students choose the ones that are in thelistening.CRAZY PUNCTUATION: There are two ways to go about it. Provide students with aconversation and no punctuation, have them listen to it and come up with the rightpunctuation. The other one, dictate the conversation including the punctuation and havestudents come up with the right intonation.FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS: Convert a conversation into instructions on how tosay whatever it expresses. Have students come up with their versions and then listen tocompare.FAST HANDS: Make two groups and get some representatives to listen to a statement.Whoever writes it correctly first gets a point.SYNONYMS FIT: Come up with a conversation in which some words have been replacedby synonyms. Have students think of the words that could replace those words. Finally,have students listen and find out if their guesses were right.GUESS THE QUESTION: Have students listen to some answers taken from aconversation and work on the questions that might have been asked.CLONING THE DIALOGUE: Students listen to a conversation and try to “clone” it byrecording it using the same intonation.SURPRISE QUESTIONS: Record some questions on a tape including your studentsnames and play it to start your class. Leave some room for students to answer.Teaching listening – San Juan de Pasto Dec 2010 William Sastoque V
  5. 5. Teaching listening – San Juan de Pasto Dec 2010 William Sastoque V