Monday, July 23, 2012

Article 1: Listening strategies in the L2 classroom: more practice, less testing

College Quarterly, Winter 2012 - Vol 15 #1

It's 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...

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