Monday, 23 July 2012

Reading 1

For me as a language teacher, listening is the hardest of the four skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening) to teach. I always found the standard listening exercises we present to our students a little dull, so I tend to avoid them in my classes. Another difficulty with listening is that it cannot be tested directly: the only way of measuring what a student understands is by letting the student talk or write about what he or she heard. I do think though that listening is an essential skill that needs attention and practice, as Aponte-de-Hanna points out. We should focus on teaching listening strategies, and I would really like to work on this aspect of my language teaching. But Aponte-de-Hanna does not really provide us with any concrete examples of such strategies. It would have been helpful if the author had included a list of listening strategies that we could teach our students. Apart from strategy use, I wonder how to make listening a more appealing exercise. How can we make listening less of a repetitive, robotic task and more of an interactive activity?

1 comment:

  1. Good point, Deborah! Perhaps the problem you mention vis-a-vis the dullness of listening exercises could be remedied by a simple change of the language taught. No one really likes listening to French, for example, but some German listening exercises would quickly rouse your jaded students!