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Teaching Listening: How Technology Can Help

An article by Elizabeth Joiner and reviewed by me.

Aileen Farida Mohd Adam

on 8 April 2010

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Transcript of Teaching Listening: How Technology Can Help

listening: then and now the holy grail Extralinguistic clues Facilitates separation of speech sound from environmental noise Potential to use all senses Immediacy and interactivity Lack visual and kinesthetic clues Compensation for lack of visual support Listening to time-expanded (slowed) speech
has been found to build confidence (Ko, 1992)

Listening to time-compressed (accelerated) speech
is believed to increase concentration (Duker 1974; Ostermeiter, 1991) Unable to control aural messages
by asking speakers to slow down/clarify Typically used for audio-only listening activities Recorded audio:
Adds control missing from "live broadcast", pause and rewind "...foreign language specialists think television as a more complete medium compared to radio - extralinguistic and contextual clues to meaning provided by visual image" (Joiner, 1996) "When sound and image co-exist, their relationship is normally complementary rather than redundant" (Joiner, 1996) Example by Philips (1991):
Weather reports from South America,
temperatures on map in Celcius but orally given in Fahrenheit Implications in choosing videos:
Provide sufficient clues for info processing
Do not present contradictory messages
Rubin (1990):
"It is the selection that is critical, not just the use of video..." Problems with video:
Difficulties in simultaneous processing of auditory and visual materials
May need repeated viewings to take in the various stimuli Point to ponder:
Do visual images help or hinder comprehension in language learning (especially among children)?
Videos did not prove to be effective in producing verbal recall in young children acquiring their first language Audio rating by Consumer Reports Audio-Video Buying Guide:
Only 2 out of 18 television models were excellent. Solution:
Use newer hi-fi videotape recorders (Amyes 1990)
Transfer audio from videotape/videocassette to videodisc (Joiner, Dumenil & Day, 1994) Video has the 'immediacy' feeling as in F2F communication
but lack interactivity and listener control...

Except if material is recorded and played back on video player Point to ponder:
Do subtitles/ captions help or hinder
learners' comprehension in the FL? Using captioning for specific content will improve the comprehension of learners within that content but were unable to show that this improvement would transfer to other listening situations (Smith & Shen, 1992) "a technique that combines images, sounds, and text with interactive control by the learner" (Noblitt, 1990) Multimedia can be formatted for two types of listening distinguished by Morley (1990):
Two-way interactive (conversational) listening
One-way reactive (for info or entertainment) listening Ideal multimedia tool characteristics for listening Listening Tool software (Otto and Pusack, 1992) and
Montevidisco (Larson and Bush, 1992) http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/spanish/mividaloca/ sound pedagogy strategic listening special listeners "...there are many important 'inside the head' and 'outside the head' factors that contribute to comprehension" (Samuels, 1987) video audio Elizabeth G. Joiner
Professor of French,
University of South Carolina "Each medium has its own characteristics, as does each text and each student." (Joiner, 1996) Authentic media/situation Listeners are active participants Availability of various options for language comprehension help Instantaneous random access to any sentence or segment Pause, rewind/review and fast forward features Visual context clues Individualized/classroom learning Feedback and response provided multimedia Different speakers:
different accents, speaking rate & discourse levels Successful learners:
used greater range of strategies in a more flexible manner
have increased awareness of and able to use background knowledge effectively
combine a number of strategies
had systematic training in use of strategies

Bacon (1992); Swaffar and Bacon (1993); Thompson and Rubin (1994);
Glisan (1995); Rubin (1996) Metacognitive strategies
(techniques for learners to control their learning process)

a. Planning
b. Defining goals
c. Monitoring
d. Evaluating Cognitive strategies
(responses to specific processing problems)

a. Predicting content
b. Listening for the known
c. Listening for redundancies
d. Listening to tone
e. Resourcing Conclusion:
More time to be spent on listening both in and outside of language classrooms
Emphasis on process of listening rather than just giving listening activities Rubin (1996) model of strategy instruction:
Teachers are taught about learner strategies and how to teach learners to use them more effectively. They then present these strategies during a FL or L2 class. Crucial elements contributing to students' success in video task:
1. Strategy training
2. Selection of appropriate video materials

(Glisan, 1995) Thompson and Rubin's study on 3rd year students of Russian Findings:
Several students commented that they sometimes choose to make use of only one channel at a time e.g. sound off/ picture off Older learners
attention How?
selection of audio/video and
captioning of video material
rate alteration
computer assisted self-paced learning
strategy training
instruction in using equipment Learning disorders disability VS anxiety high anxiety consequence of low language aptitude, rather than main cause of failure Auditory ability/ phonological skills distinguish good from poor learners "deafness" to sounds of language remedy by Tomatis (1991): Problems with audio Factors associated with study of SL and FL listening skills:
1. Listening process
2. Types of listening texts and tasks
3. Characteristics of listeners View listening as key to language acquisition Comprehension Approaches Independent Listening Real-World Listening The Learnables:
Combines recorded audiocassettes with booklets of drawings
Students associate sound and concept from beginning
Progress from words to phrases to sentences to narratives
Inexpensive and ideal for self-instruction The Rosetta Stone:
Tutorial approach, associates sound and image from beginning
Wide variety of learning and self-testing possibilities
Allow learners to choose language skill to be developed Vi-Conte:
Contains narrative sound track that replicates animations
Film can be viewed without sound tracks
Association of sound (narrative text) and image
Episodic structure
Aural-plus dictionary, multiple choice comprehension checks and listening cloze exercises Narrative input is logical sequel to simple comprehensible input

Text is easier to produce, understand and recall if structured episodically:
Thompson and Rubin recommend increased use of texts episodic in nature with intermediate language learners
Winitz uses simple illustrated stories as input for the intermediate level in The Learnables Intermediate level uni students ranked listening:
"defined as the ability to understand conversations, radio, TV, news broadcasts and films" (2nd out of 14 goals) ACTFL and the Council of Europe highlighted the importance of using authentic materials in FL instruction Resources of authentic listening texts:
Satellite broadcasts
shortwave radio
Recorded audio/magazines/books/films What technology cannot do is:
Select suitable materials for different learners
Design tasks that will bring learners and text together toward a specific goal Lund (1990) proposes that authenticity is crucial in all aspects of listening instruction, including text, function and response. Question:
Give an example where you provide authentic responses/feedback in class. Joiner (1996) concluded:
Effective learners should be actively interacting with an interesting and authentic oral document Based on reading theory, model for teaching listening: Pre-listening During-listening Post-listening Lund's taxonomy (1990) key elements;
Listener function (more important)
and listener response Lund's (1990) 5 elements in designing effective listening tasks:
1. the function
2. the response
3. the text
4. the topic
5. the method of presentation Glisan (1995) identified 4 important factors in planning listening instruction:
1. listener's background knowledge & prediction strategies and how to activate them
2. listener's purpose for listening
3. listening input (text type/length/difficulty)
4. treatment of new structures and vocabulary Disadvantages:
everyone is required to listen to the same material at the same time
learners have little input into or control over their listening instruction Effective listening tool Teacher centered instruction Teacher selects text and topic, manipulates equipment, conducts prelistening and postlistening activities Researchers (Morley, 1990; Bacon, 1989) advocate outside listening practice - in-class listening input insufficient for language acquisition or development of listening skills How complex and sophisticated authentic materials can be made accessible to novice/intermediate learners? How to integrate out-of-class listening into in-class activities so independent work does not seem irrelevant to students? Published materials + outside listening practice with guided activities
Authentic audio and video materials + written support materials to guide listening practice (instructors create their own exercises based on models outlined)
E.g. Champs Elysees and videos in different FL by PICS
Advantages of independent listening (outside listening activities):
Listener controls the technology
Linguistic and moral support available when working in pairs or groups In-class prelistening activities purpose is to provide essential preparation for outside listening - underscoring the weightage teacher attaches to specific assignments

Especially true when post-listening conducted after the assignment

Prelistening should include in-class demonstration of the features of a multimedia program so students can take full advantage of it

Listening built around multimedia application integrated into classroom practice e.g. Montevidisco - keep a travel diary of their adventures as tourists in that Mexican town Multimedia for independent listening:
Comp-assisted multimedia = ideal technological aid
allows faster and easier autonomous control
include variety of online help that listener can access at will Effectiveness of medium: ability to live up to F2F comm
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