Chapter 4 Listening for advanced level learners Helgesen, M. & Brown, S. (2007). Listening [w/CD]. McGraw-Hill: New York. ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines • Summaries of all ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines • This book discusses listening for novice, intermediate, and advanced proficiency language learners. • This chapter focuses on advanced learners. Advanced Listening Abilities • Able to understand: – Main ideas and most details – Speech about a variety of topics, including those beyond the immediate situation. – Interviews, short lectures if the topic is familiar, and factual reports such as the news. Discourse Issues • At this level, learners need to improve listening to longer texts • This is often ESP (English for specific purposes) – EAP (English for academic purposes) – Job/career listening skills • Also – Interpersonal skills – Disorganized or non-linear listening Cultural Issues • Connotations are the hidden meanings behind language. – There is a need to go beyond dictionary definitions. • Cultural literacy is the ability understand culturally embedded language, norms, expectations, and so forth. • Issues of L1 interference in listening, speaking, and (non-)verbal feedback (back channeling). Authentic Texts • The use of “authentic” materials is a significant focus in CLT – Genuine text authenticity • Created for real-life purpose. Not intended as a teaching aid. Not altered for the classroom – Altered text authenticity • No change in meaning (or language). Extracts or shorter segments are presented for easier consumption. – Adapted text authenticity • Meaning is the same, but the original has been edited for use in a classroom (vocabulary/grammar). The information is authentic, but the form is not. – Elaborated text – Simulated text authenticity • Text was created specifically for the classroom, but it was created as if it were for an authentic use – Inauthentic texts • Created with little concern for the appearance of authenticity Authentic Tasks • Target tasks (real world) vs. Pedagogical tasks (classroom) – Genuine task authenticity • Tasks done in ways and for reasons they would be in the real world. – Simulated task authenticity • Task that reflects a real world task, but modifies it for classroom practice and assessment. – Pedagogical task authenticity • No attempt is made to make the task resemble a real world task. Build on what learners already know about listening • Build on what learners already know about listening. – Techniques used with lower-level learners can be paired with more difficult texts. • Increased difficulty of tasks – More sophisticated learning strategies (pp. 65-68) • Metacognitive strategies – Strategies that cause us to evaluate our own learning processes. • Self-regulation, Meta-memory, & Meta-comprehension • Questioning, reflecting, journaling, planning, etc… Teach the culture as well as the language • Provide cultural information that is not always included in activities with authentic materials. • As a teacher, you need to take the time to learn this cultural information as well to better serve your learners. • Draw connections between your students’ background and the background shared by participants in the text Help learners understand the structure of longer texts • Help learners understand common formats of different genres: lectures, stories, news reports, etc… • Micro-skills (pp. 109-110) (mostly for lectures, but true for many genres) – Identify: • • • • • • • • • What the lecture is about How topic changes over time Main ideas and their connections Relationship between different parts (cause/effect, main argument, conclusion) Discourse markers (connecting words/phrases) Picking out important information and topic changes from language and voice. Vocabulary Understanding words from context Speaker’s attitude (language, tone, etc.) – Recognize • Difference between relevant and irrelevant topics • Body language used to indicate important ideas, changes in topic, etc. Tasks and Materials • Condensing – Collecting and organizing information. • Extending – Providing opinions, predictions, rationales, and so forth that go beyond the text. • Modeling – Listening as an example of how learners can interact, such as role plays. • Conversing • Songs, movies, TV, & stories Assessment • Focus on norm-referenced tests (TOEFL, TOEIC, IELTS, etc.) – TOEIC • Listen to question, choose best response • Main ideas and details based on short conversation • Short talk or announcement and answer questions about main ideas, details, and purpose of speaker. – Responsive listening – listen and choose from several answers. – Information transfer questions – Choose picture or other response based on short text. • Classroom assessment for beginner/intermediate works as well. • Portfolio – Selective collection of learner’s work with reflections on their performance. • Listening activities from both inside and outside of class. • Formal assessments as well as informal activities. – Digital portfolios provide many options for use with multimedia. Hints • Great general listening hints (origin pp. 120121) – Don’t try to listen to all the words and sentences. – Don’t stop listening when facing unknown words. – Don’t focus on sentence structures. – Don’t try to translate the dialogues into your first language.