Chapter 5 Key issues in teaching listening Helgesen, M. & Brown, S. (2007). Listening [w/CD]. McGraw-Hill: New York. Listening as a Social Activity • Listening is not done in isolation. It is part of a social practice. • How to listen “socially” – Put Ss in social situations – Teach active listening. Interactive listening. Both listening and responding. – Teach culturally appropriate listening. Appropriate feedback, body language, touch, distance, eye gaze. – Practice how to engage with different types of people (shy vs. outgoing) Listening Technology • Analog – Tapes, video cassettes, … – Somewhat uncommon these days, but still used in some schools (public & private) – Distinct methods for using these tools • Digital – – – – CD/DVDs, portable audio/video digital files (mp3, mp4, avi, etc), streaming audio/video, and listening software Video • Video can be motivating, entertaining, and easier to understand. • Video can distract from the audio and impair listening. – If the images don’t match the audio this can be confusing. – Watching the visuals can take attention away from the audio. • Video can replace, to an extent, the need to listen in order to comprehend. – However, this may be more realistic than audio alone. • Benefits of video – Gestures, facial expressions, body language, physical proximity of speakers, cultural imagery, etc. Video Activities • Strip stories – Put screen shots in the proper order. • Dialogue differences – Have students guess what the dialog in a scene is (given options) without playing the audio, then run it again with the audio to check. • Silent viewing – Watch a video without sound and guess what it is about. • Predict the action – Stop a video at a critical time and ask learners what will happen next. • What do you want to know? – Show a clip from an unknown movie. Student then must come up with questions to ask about the scene. • Five Ws and H – Have students watch a clip and create questions with who, what, where, when, why, and how. Then get into groups and ask those questions to partners. Subtitles • Should we use subtitles? • L1 subtitles – Not usually advisable. Learners are less likely to process English (particularly older learners) – Could be useful for motivation purposes, used in multiple instances, comprehension check, etc. • L2 subtitles – Good for reading, less so listening. – Used in multiple instances, comprehension check, etc. • None – Best for focus on the listening – Difficult texts can be split into shorter segments Sites Designed for ESL/EFL Students • Some of the most popular sites: – Randall’s ESL Cyber Listening Lab (http://www.esllab.com) • This is the oldest listening site on the Web. There is an incredible amount of material with audio and other learning materials. – English Listening Lesson Library Online (ELLLO http://www.elllo.org) • Another huge repository of listening dialogues with transcripts and activities. – English Central (http://www.englishcentral.com) • Amazing site that has videos with transcription, quizzes, and even pronunciation activities (speech analysis). Podcasts • Internet audio episodes (primarily mp3 format) are referred to as podcasts. • Most listening sites can be considered podcasts. – I prefer to think of podcasts as mp3 files that can be downloaded and automatically updated through RSS and podcast software (like iTunes) • Examples: – ESL Podcast (http://www.eslpod.com) – Business English Pod (http://www.businessenglishpod.com) Voice Chat • Skype (http://www.skype.com) is a great VoIP software that can be used to speak to anyone in the world. It is currently the world’s largest phone company. • Many social networks for language learning have chat built-in. – Livemocha (http://www.livemocha.com) – Babbel (http://www.babbel.com) – italki (http://www.italki.com) Self-study & Learner Autonomy • It is important to provide both encouragement and resources for self-study. • Learner autonomy is more than just self-study. It is the desire and action to learn on one’s own. • What to use: – Many websites are available (some noted in this presentation. – Many books come with software and/or listening DVDs/CDs – Authentic listening: TV, movies, music, etc. Extensive Listening • Useful for increasing vocabulary, motivation, grammar skills, cultural knowledge, and more. • May provide graded materials for students or authentic materials of a student’s choosing. • The vast amount of material on the Internet can fuel both your classroom as well as the interests of the learners.