Wednesday, February 15, 2006

A Few General Suggestions for the Selection and Presentation of Listening Comprehension Exercises


You should select your teaching points for listening comprehension from various language components. While the presentation is made, you should help students focus their attention on the presentation. You may alert the students to what they are going to do. You may give them written material to complete the task before they listen to the passage.
This will help them understand what they are expected to do after listening to the passage. Are they going to answer comprehension questions? Are they going to draw pictures or other physical response activities, or are they going to do problem solving exercises? Are they going to involve others in doing physical tasks, or are they going to tell the answers (oral answers)?
Are they going to write the answers, or are they going to put together and narrate? It is also important that you give a model question and a model answer in the beginning of the exercise.
While asking students to listen and complete a set task, your presentation should be given in normal speed and intonation. Do not reduce the speed. However, read the exercise over again, if demanded. The length and difficulty of exercise will decide the number of repetitions. If you focus upon recalling facts, you may repeat the exercise several times.
Feedback on the performance of students in listening comprehension exercises is better done by giving an answer key so that students themselves will check their answers. You may discuss the progress with students so that they will know how well they are progressing in listening to native English.
Remember that listening is an important skill which facilitates the mastery of other language skills. Continued exposure to native English speakers both in face to face communication and audiovisual means will help foster the listening skill. The unstressed vowels and the process of vowel reduction make listening a difficult process to master. If students have a better listening skill they are more likely to have a better pronunciation.


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