- What do you have to do before you can speak?
- What does a child learn before he talks?
- What do we do before chatting?
Why is listening good?
- When listening, we are reviewing a lot of English usage such as vocabulary, grammatical structures, intonation, accent and our own interpretation.
- We can learn new words and expressions by hearing them frequently.
- Besides the English revision, general knowledge from news, features, or even advertising spots is certainly beneficial for regular listeners.
- We can imitate what we hear and apply it with great confidence.
- Listening can be a good "hobby" while we do other things such as cooking, ironing, exercising, relaxing etc. In other words, we have no wasted time at all.
- Listening is also a great way to train our attention.
- predicting what people are going to talk about
- guessing at unknown words or phrases without panic
- using one's own knowledge of the subject to help one understand
- identifying relevant points; rejecting irrelevant information
- retaining relevant points (note-taking, summarizing)
- recognizing discourse markers, e. g. , Well; Oh, another thing is; Now, finally; etc.
recognizing cohesive devices, e. g. , such as and which, including linking words, pronouns, references, etc.
- understanding different intonation patterns and uses of stress, etc. , which give clues to meaning and social setting
- understanding inferred information, e. g. , speakers' attitude or intentions.
- To practice and extend the learners' use of a certain language structure or function
- To develop the learners' ability in the use of two or more of the skills within real contexts and communicative frame work.
- Level 1. This mood is listening. Here, the sound remains in the background - there is usually limited comprehension, and, indeed, limited attention. One becomes directly aware of sounds only when they stop. Nevertheless, a certain amount of learning may take place.
- Level 2. Here the purpose is relaxation, escape, getting your mind off something rather than on it. The material is comprehended but usually not analyzed for its value. This listening may result in useful ideas, but they are usually peripheral and/or accidental.
- Level 3. On this level, answers are sought as a key to action. One listens to weather reports, traffic information from a plane-temporarily useful but what we might call forgettable transient information. This form of listening does not require long, sustained concentration.
- Level 4. This is the stage of analytical and critical listening. The listener not only seeks a serious answer to a serious question but evaluates the quality of the answer. Round-table discussions, serious listening to talks, spirited conversation, symphonic music are at the fourth level. At this stage, listening to music is in the foreground of attention not in the background as on previous levels (Wittich and Schuller, 1962).
- Adopt a positive attitude.
- Be responsive.
- Shut out distractions.
- Listen for the speaker's purpose.
- Look for the signals of what is to come.
- Look for summaries of what has gone before.
- Evaluate the supporting materials.
- Look for non-verbal clues.
*John A. Kline, Speaking Effectively (Maxwell AFB, Ala.: Air University Press, 1989).
*Aristotle, Art of Rhetoric (NEW YORK: Viking Penguin, 1992).
*In Speaking Effectively (Maxwell AFB, Ala.: Air University Press, 1989), I discuss the concept of logical thinking in more detail than is given here.
At times, of course, no response (at least no verbal response) is required. And the act of remembering may or may not be necessary. For example, if someone tells you to “watch your step,” you have no need to remember the message after you have completed that step.
- By providing prior experience with aspects of the text (i.e., with language, ideas, skills or text-type).
- By guiding the learners through the text.
- By setting up cooperative learning arrangements (for example, shared reading approaches).
- By providing the means by which learners can achieve comprehension by themselves.
- The learners listen to a report of a robbery and draw the robbers’ route through the house on a diagram of the house.
- Communication strategies-strategies to assist comprehension, for example making predictions before listening, listening selectively, knowing how to interrupt politely, etc.
- Learning strategies-strategies for noticing language forms in the input in their independent listening, for example negotiating (seeking clarification), listening for patterns, focused listening.
- It is worth discussing note-taking with learners, covering the points described above. Information about deep processing is useful not only for note-taking but also for other learning.
- It is useful for learners to see examples of various ways of taking notes.
- The lecturer can structure lectures to give help with note-taking.
- Learners can compare their note-taking with the note-taking of their classmates.
- Learners may be given a checklist to help them evaluate the storage and encoding values of their own notes.