Guidelines to Consider When Teaching Listening

listening is learning

1. Relate listening to students’ interests, goals and experiences to keep their motivation and attention high.

2. Select authentic material both in language and tasks. Language should reflect real discourse using videos, audio tapes and TV or radio broadcasts of actual exchanges.

3. Give opportunities to develop both top-down and bottom-up processing skills

* Top-down activities = discussing what students already know about the topic.

* Bottom-up activities = practicing components of the language ( sounds, words, intonation, grammatical structure )

4. Encourage development of listening strategies such as predicting, asking for clarification, using non-verbal cues, … that increase the chances for successful listening.

* e.g. using videos:

When sound off, students make predictions and answer questions about setting, actions, interactions, …

When sound on, students confirm or modify predictions.

5. Teach activities not test them:

– Don’t focus on memory rather than on the process of listening.

– Don’t give practice rather than help students develop listening ability.

e.g. * having students listen to a passage followed by true/false questions might focus on the learners’ ability to remember rather than help them to develop the skill of determining main idea and details.

– Pre and post listening activities should help students focus attention on what they listen so that they can transfer the listening skill to the world beyond the classroom.

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