Studiu de specialitate – Teaching Listening

Autor: prof. Miulescu Florina Oana
Colegiul de silvicultură și protecția mediului Rm. Vâlcea

Listening skills are vital for your learners. Of the ‘four skills,’ listening is by far the most frequently used. Listening and speaking are often taught together, but beginners, especially non-literate ones, should be given more listening than speaking practice. It’s important to speak as close to natural speed as possible, although with beginners some slowing is usually necessary. Without reducing your speaking speed, you can make your language easier to comprehend by simplifying your vocabulary, using shorter sentences, and increasing the number and length of pauses in your speech.
There are many types of listening activities. Those that don’t require learners to produce language in response are easier than those that do. Learners can be asked to physically respond to a command (for example, „please open the door”), select an appropriate picture or object, circle the correct letter or word on a worksheet, draw a route on a map, or fill in a chart as they listen.
It’s more difficult to repeat back what was heard, translate into the native language, take notes, make an outline, or answer comprehension questions. To add more challenge, learners can continue a story text, solve a problem, perform a similar task with a classmate after listening to a model (for example, order a cake from a bakery), or participate in real-time conversation.
Good listening lessons go beyond the listening task itself with related activities before and after the listening. Here is the basic structure:
Before Listening
Prepare your learners by introducing the topic and finding out what they already know about it. A good way to do this is to have a brainstorming session and some discussion questions related to the topic. Then provide any necessary background information and new vocabulary they will need for the listening activity.
During Listening
Be specific about what students need to listen for. They can listen for selective details or general content, or for an emotional tone such as happy, surprised, or angry. If they are not marking answers or otherwise responding while listening, tell them ahead of time what will be required afterward. (fragment)