interesting to read that listening was thought of as a "passive,
receptive skill" in the beginning where students can absorb the
information through listening. It was not recognized as an "active
mental process" till a lot later! And like all active skills, students
need to be taught how to use it properly. I recall when teaching FSL,
the aural component is just as important as the other aspects like
reading and writing. In French class, students always whined that they
did not understand what I was saying or what the audio clip was saying.
It was always like this until we talked about listening strategies and
then model how to use it that they suddenly realize that they can
understand. We teach kids strategies for listening so that even if they
do not fully understand what is being said, they can use their tools to
decipher the overall message. I agree that it is important to teach the
students listening strategies so that they "become aware of the
strategies that work for them" (Mendelsohn, 1994; Chamot, 1985). It is
part of the learning process. We all know how to listen as it just
happens but we don't really know how to listen well. The article goes on
to talk about the steps teachers should take to help the student
succeed in listening. I think I already do all the steps outlined by
Aponte-de-Hanna although some could be more in-depth.
Actually, as an after thought, I don't recall any mention of the "less testing" aspect of the title...