Teaching Listening To Teachers In Training English Language Essay

I work in a College of Education that trains instructors for primary and lower secondary schools. And the purposes of linguistic communication instructors ‘ instruction in Nigeria as set in the minimal criterions by the National Commission for Colleges of Education ( NCCE ) include to:

Prepare pupils to execute aptly in spoken and written signifiers of their chose linguistic communications. Fix them as competent instructors of their chosen languages literatures in Primary and Junior secondary Schools. ( Yusuf, 2005:2 )

Listening comprehension is taken in the 2nd semester by 100 flat pupils of English in a category of about 160 pupils. The class is taught by the instructor as reading sum-up and comprehension. The job here is that Listening comprehension is non taught at all. Consequently, pupils graduate as instructors of English without cognition of trifles and methodological analysiss involved in acquisition and learning listening accomplishment. Second, the instructor does non cognize how to utilize the multi-media linguistic communication research lab in the section to learn and this is a job because, a valuable instruction resource is under-utilized and pupils do non profit from it. No inquire the UNESCO study ( 2009:76 ) said “ Serious quality shortages in instruction exist across Nigeriaaˆ¦ ”


The inquiry this paper seeks to reply is ‘how can we learn listening comprehension better to trainee instructors? ‘ Specifically, the focal point is the listening procedure, listening accomplishments, techniques and schemes for learning hearing, forming hearing categories, and proffering possible solutions to jobs identified.


The focal point will be the construct and procedure of listening. Oxford ( 1993 ) sees listening as the procedure of having aural stimulations and giving significance to it. Yusuf ( 2007 ) sees it as the perceptual experience of verbal signals utilizing the ear and begins with go toing, understanding, construing, measuring, retrieving and terminates with reacting.

Yusuf discountenances the function of ‘non-verbal ‘ signals in listening unlike Oxford and sees listening as consecutive but, introduces the component of response which in my experience as a instructor is of import. For Field ( 2008 ) hearing is non consecutive but, a model of two strategic actions ‘decoding ‘ and ‘meaning edifice ‘ one running into the other.

I see some relatedness in these positions. Oxford ‘s ‘receiving ‘ is the same as Yusuf ‘s ‘attending ‘ and together organize an facet of Field ‘s decryption. This is because, for Field ‘Decoding ‘ goes beyond response of signals to interlingual rendition, and reading at a actual degree. It implies that intending giving Begins from decrypting.

In add-on, intending giving refers to the development of farther significance based on what has been said and Field ( ibidem ) says it has two maps. It enables the hearer to spread out the significance of what the talker said and brings in extra information to the talker ‘s position of the discourse.

Furthermore, Field ( Ibidem ) identifies three necessities for decrypting and intending giving as “ input, lingual cognition, and context ” The first two are used for decrypting while the last is used for intending giving.

Input and context influence the message that the hearer derives, intending deduced, and methodological analysis employed for the lesson, Field ( 2007 ) . Research shows that simplification of input may look attractive but, on the long tally it is disadvantageous. And schoolroom experience shows that it does non fix the scholar for existent life state of affairss.

The hearer makes usage of context and co-text to enrich significance, do it relevant, and aid the decryption procedure. But research cited by Field ( Oakeshott-Taylor, 1977 ; Osada, 2001 ; & A ; Tsui & A ; Fullilove, 1998 ) show that less skilled hearers either pass more clip decrypting unfamiliar words or rely more on context to decrypt. The grounds deduced for these are that less skilled hearers are either excessively captive with inside informations or miss the lingual competency to decently decrypt signals. The positive deduction I see is that they help in placing scholars ‘ listening jobs at input degree.

Another facet of decryption is the manner a hearer processes input. Hansen and Jensen ( 1994 ) called them ‘Global and local coherency schemes ‘ ; Harmer ( 2007 ) calls them top-down processing and bottom-up processing. For Hansen and Jensen, the former is used to do sense at clause and sentential degree, while the later is used to recognize links between major thoughts in a discourse and the overall construction of the discourse. Harmer agrees but, adds that top-down processing is activated by the hearer ‘s scheme. Experience from the schoolroom shows that these predications help in explicating the reaction of 2nd linguistic communication ( henceforth L2 ) pupils to homophonic inputs e.g. when is /?i/ ‘I ‘ or ‘eye ‘ . These state of affairss are hard to follow, Field ( ibidem ) .

Closely linked is Stanovich ‘s ( 1980 ) Interactive Compensatory Hypothesis cited by Field ( 2008 ) . It tries to explicate the manner less skilled native talkers ( henceforth L1 ) readers handle text. Stanovich assumes that the function of top-down information is little when assurance is high. But, it ‘s function becomes greater where assurance is low and there is trust on information provided by context and co-text. For Field ( 2008 ) this shows the variable relationship between input and context with each state of affairs. For illustration, ‘noise degrees ‘ determine the degree of trust on context and co-text. Noise refers to lexical, semantic, phonological, or physical barriers in listening.

The deduction for instructors is to construct up the decryption procedure in scholars when instruction, and utilize this in the pick of content and stuff for direction.

However, Field ( 2008:127 ) unlike Yusuf and Oxford sees input as “ aˆ¦ a group of acoustic characteristics ” . This is because these characteristics occur together and decrypting them takes topographic point as a duplicate procedure on the hearer ‘s portion. The hearer uses anticipation and cognition of the linguistic communication in an on-line state of affairs to decrypt at the same time as the input comes in. These in my position explain why the response by the hearer is immediate or about immediate.


Research ( e.g. Kutlu et al 2009 ) grounds emphasizes the importance of listening accomplishments in both educational and interpersonal relationships in the life of a scholar. A listening comprehension programme harmonizing to Bryne ( 1986 ) should take to expose scholars to assortments of the mark linguistic communication, develop them to listen flexibly, supply a stimulation for other linguistic communication activities, and the chance for scholars to interact. I find these really general and suited as course of study aims

Oxford ( 1993 ) identified six ‘listening behaviors ‘ associated with different undertakings. These include listening for inside informations, chief thoughts, emotional content, grasp, analysis and passing of valued judgement, and for paying attending. The hearer requires selective attending, planetary, empathetic, appreciative, critical and relational thought severally. Oxford matches each purpose with a undertaking and experience shows that this is more purposive and easy to measure.

Field ‘s ( 2008 ) grounds for learning listening include ‘accuracy ‘ , ‘fluency ‘ and the development of the ability to pass on interactively with talkers of the linguistic communication in the scholars. These purposes recognize the communicating procedure in existent life and can merely be achieved if proper schemes, undertakings, and activities are used in the schoolroom, Bryne ( Ibidem ) .

Listening accomplishments have been independently classified by experts. Rost ( 2002 ) loosely classifies them as ‘Linguistic processing ‘ and ‘Pragmatic processing ‘ accomplishments ; Field ( 2008 ) sees them as either decrypting or intending edifice and identified sub-skills to include ability to retain balls of linguistic communication for different lengths of clip ; observe cardinal words ; deduce links and connexions in texts. ( See Field, 2007: 98-102 )

White ( 1998 ) classifies them based on their ability to cover with information, create interaction, use cognition of the universe, employ linguistic communication accomplishments, and map as perceptual experience accomplishments. Lynch ( 2009 ) calls them perceptual experience, reading, and ordaining accomplishments ; while Goh ( 2002 ) analysed them as schemes.

My analysis of these categorizations shows differences exist. Rost recognizes listener response and like White identifies hearer coaction with the talker. Field integrated the ‘Interactive Compensatory Hypothesis ‘ therefore, recognizes the changeless dialogue of significance by the hearer. Lynch ‘s categorization is seemingly based on the Speech act theory and therefore stresses the consequence of vocalizations on the hearer. But, Goh ‘s is most luxuriant and structured. It recognizes the self-regulatory map of listening by the hearer and the function of monitoring and rating in the hearing procedure.

My experience from learning listening schemes to instructors of English in assorted workshops in Abuja shows that, Goh ‘s is non easy to accommodate in the schoolroom. For illustration, how do instructors measure ‘hard concentration ‘ in the schoolroom? Conversely, Lynch ‘s is easy adaptable because they are mensurable. Rost and Field provide better listening process descriptions. White ‘s gives input on pick of category activities.

My experience besides shows that In add-on to Field ‘s sub-skills, others that enable scholars listen actively with high perceptual experience should be taught.


Having identified listening accomplishments, focal point now goes to learning schemes. I agree with Tarone ( 2007 ) that, In order for teacher-learners to develop their ain linguistic communication accomplishments they should non merely be taught about the use of these accomplishments but, should be encouraged to develop the ability to learn them in their schoolrooms. Tarone ‘s sentiment was approximately grammatical analysis but, the function of grammar in linguistic communication development makes it relevant to listening.

Furthermore, the instruction of listening focal points on either the merchandise ( accomplishments ) or the hearing procedure itself. Product attack emphasizes lingual cognition over listening comprehension accomplishments, acquisition is through imitation, the scholar is inactive and the lesson is teacher-centered. ( Field, 1998 ) But research ( NCRLC, 2007 ) indicates that it neglects the function of conventional cognition and de-emphasizes procedure accomplishments. Conversely, procedure attack recognizes cognition brought in by scholars and emphasizes planning. The instructor here is a facilitator and from experience acquisition is participatory.

Apart from that, Field ( 1998 ) adopts a ‘comprehension ‘ attack that is diagnostic and uses micro-listening exercisings to pattern single sub-skills of listening. Field outlined activities to utilize here e.g. favoritism, cleavage, and strategic accomplishments patterning preparation.

My experience shows that instructors in developing demand these attacks as portion of their repertory of pedagogic accomplishments to be competent. From the renunciation, the two attacks for learning and larning listening include Top-down and Bottom-up schemes.

The NCRLC ( 2007 ) says that ‘Top-down ‘ schemes are listener based and require usage of hearer cognition of the context, type of text and lingual accomplishments to treat input and develop listening accomplishments. Research ( Oxford, 1983 ) has shown that these schemes include listening for chief thoughts and expectancy of contexts and inside informations while listening.

The ‘Bottom-up ‘ scheme ( Field, 2008, 1998 ; Harmer, 2007 ) holds that the hearer relies on the nexus between the component lingual parts to make significance e.g. sounds, words, and grammar. Skills needed include listening for specific information and identifying lingual forms e.g. word order and collocation forms ( NCLRC, 2006 ) . These schemes can look into the defects in the comprehension attack challenged by Field ( 2008 ) .


Here my focal point is puting lesson aims, lesson organisation, choice and usage of undertakings, activities and stuffs, and lesson rating. In add-on to my experience, illustrations will come from Allan ‘s listening lesson. ( picture in Harmer, 2007 ) .

Puting aims.

When forming a comprehension category, Ross ( 2006 ) says the instructor should put the aim of each lesson and do it known to scholars. In finding these aims, the instructor should look at the overall purpose of the comprehension class so, interrupt it down into specific accomplishments for each lesson. This enables the instructor to learn single accomplishments before associating them together into a sequence with increasing eloquence. Field ( Ibidem ) says this enables the scholars to travel from the phase of possessing information in the head, ‘declarative cognition ‘ to that of been able to execute a sequence of accomplishments, ‘procedural cognition ‘ .

As experience shows, such strategic planning will assist scholars develop specific aims and activate their scheme to an extent.

Lesson organisation

The patterned advance of lesson activities enables the instructor to travel the scholar from being a passive to an active scholar. Several attacks have been suggested. Ross ( 2006 ) suggested four stairss ; dwelling warm up activities, listening comprehension activity, controlled pattern, open-ended listening/speaking activity. And Harmer, ( ibidem: 271 ) suggests a basic theoretical account for learning receptive accomplishments. It consists of four major stairss with a cringle for feedback and ‘Type ( 1 ) 2 undertakings ‘ . Harmer ‘s theoretical account is luxuriant and I find it more adaptable because it gives the instructor the chance to manage multiple accomplishments in a lesson. Allan ‘s lesson adapted the Harmer theoretical account. He begins by stipulating undertakings for the pupils, gives the rubric of the narrative, sets clip bounds for each activity and what the instructor ‘s function will be.

Choice and usage of undertakings, activities and stuffs.

Here I will handle the three points above in an inter-related mode because, that is how they are used in the schoolroom state of affairs. Activities and stuffs are used to carry through linguistic communication undertakings by the instructor.

Lynch ( 2009 ) mentioning ( Richards, 1983:233-4 ) says that listening activities must fulfill some standards like content cogency ( determining the extent to which a undertaking engender pattern of and relevancy to listening sub-skills ) ; is the undertaking focused on comprehension or merely regurgitation of information from memory ; does a undertaking mark real-life hearing intents or does it enable accomplishments reassign to real-life hearing ; as for proving and learning, does the undertaking give chance for the pattern of bing accomplishments and the acquisition of new 1s. From experience, the instructor ‘s function is to fit listening undertakings to lesson aims, intent of hearing, and scholars ‘ proficiency degrees. Allan does these by utilizing ‘live hearing and Reconstruction activities in the schoolroom ‘ . He gives grounds for transporting out the activities.

Furthermore, when planing listening stuffs, Lynch ( 2009 ) suggests that instructors must see their degree of trouble for L2 hearers and genuineness.

Research grounds ( NCLRC, 2009 ) and learning experience show that the degree of trouble can be assessed when the instructor looks at how the information is organized. The instructor checks whether the information is presented in a chronological signifier that is easier for scholars to grok.

Apart from that, one must inquire if the subject familiar to the scholars i.e. does it easy activate their scheme or is it civilization edge. Ross ( 2006 ) says that instructors should besides determine whether the stuff is filled with redundancies. This I understand to intend whether the stuff is overloaded and overwhelms the scholar.

The other points to be considered include whether the stuffs contains clearly contrasted multiple persons and objects. The more the contrast the easier it is for understanding. Finally, see whether the stuff offers ocular AIDSs that help contextualize the input, ( NCLRC, 2009 ) .

The other issue raised by Lynch is genuineness. The usage of reliable stuffs and state of affairs ( NCRLS, 2007 ; Field, 1998 ) is critical for the success of listening comprehension because they prepare scholars for existent life hearing.

Harmer ( 2007 ) describes reliable stuff as a state of affairs where normal and natural linguistic communication used by the native talker or competent user of the linguistic communication is presented to the scholar. Widdowson ‘s ( 1979 ) proposition cited in Lynch ( 2009 ) separated two facets of linguistic communication used into ‘genuineness ‘ and ‘authenticity ‘ . Widdowson described texts as ‘genuine ‘ if the linguistic communication contained is typical of that genre in existent life. And used ‘authentic ‘ to depict the appropriacy of reader/listener response to genuine texts. Lynch ( 2009 ) says that a echt text could be invented for learning intents and I observed Allan ( in Harmer, 2007 ) making this in his hearing lesson.

Other beginnings of reliable stuffs include pictures, tapes or CD/ DVDs, wireless and telecasting broadcasts and the cyberspace. These stuffs are of import for L2 hearers because they provide critical ocular and paralinguistic hints ( Yusuf, 2007 ; Lynch, 2009 ) that print can non. I would state they supply some type of ‘immersion ‘ in the linguistic communication for L2 scholars.

Field ( 2008 ) mentioning McGrath ( 2002 ) suggests steering rules to follow in the choice and innovation of reliable stuffs. Briefly put, reliable stuffs must be relevant to the course of study and demands of scholars, possess intrinsic involvement, and are culturally appropriate. One should besides determine the lingual demands of the stuff ( i.e. its centrality to understanding ) ; see the cognitive demands ( i.e. the complexness of thoughts ) ; logistics, quality and exploitability of the stuffs while doing choices.

The deduction I see is that a hapless pick can be thwarting for both scholars and instructors. But an informed pick of reliable stuffs would supply a rich assortment for schoolroom usage.

In planing and choosing activities Kutlu et Al ( 2009 ) suggest and I agree that, activities must hold existent and communicative intents, use reliable linguistic communication, allow scholars to deduce significances, have hints to help hearing, require meaningful responses, and utilize general mundane linguistic communication except where specified.

These activities can come at different phases in the lesson. Lynch ( ibidem ) identified phases to include Pre-listening, foremost listening, 2nd hearing, 3rd hearing, and post-listening. Allan ‘s lesson has six different phases and apart from the first two which are ‘lead-in and Teacher ‘s way of comprehension undertaking ‘ ( Harmer, 2007 ) , the remainder consist of Reconstruction activities.

Reconstruction activities raise learner outlooks and do them listen carefully. Allan besides uses duologue, group treatments, inquiries and reply Sessionss and linguistic communication activities like utilizing vocabulary to build meaningful sentences. These I understand from experience, will do acquisition relevant to existent life linguistic communication usage.

Classroom rating.

The focal point here is classroom appraisal by the instructor. On a general degree, Harmer ‘s ( 2007:384 ) recommendation is that trials that are valid and dependable be used for measuring hearing. He states that a good trial should “ make a flat playing fieldaˆ¦ replicate real-life interaction ” . These I find besides utile for puting scrutinies.

At schoolroom degree, Yusuf ( 2007 ) says that listening comprehension is most adequately assessed when inquiries are task directed. Nuttall, ( 1996:188-9 ) cited in Lynch ( 2009 ) suggests types of comprehension inquiries to be used as summarized below.

These inquiries should prove: Actual comprehension, reorganisation of information, illation ( i.e. relationship of idea ) , text rating ( i.e. accomplishment of communicating intents ) ; response ( necessitating hearer ‘s reaction to information presented ) ; and metalinguistic abilities ( i.e. consciousness about linguistic communication signifiers ) .

This categorization makes it possible for the instructor to utilize comprehension undertakings to measure accomplishment of listening accomplishments. For illustration, true or false inquiries are comprehension undertakings that can be used to prove listening sub-skills like “ aˆ¦ability to observe cardinal words ” ( Lynch, 2009:101 ) .


The major job here is that listening comprehension is non taught as it should. It is handled like a reading comprehension programme which is against NCCE ordinances ( Yusuf, 2007 ) In position of this ; I suggest that a comprehensive re-training programme be put in topographic point to control this anomalousness.

There should be re-training in the content country of listening. Training may cover theories, procedures, types, teaching method, jobs, and features of the accomplishment ( Field, 1998 ) . These in my position will construct the instructor ‘s cognition of the capable affair.

Next, the instructor should be re-trained in teaching method needed to go through on content cognition to teachers-in-training. This may take the signifier of hands-on preparation to do the instructor better equipped for the occupation, ( Yusuf, 2007 ; Ross, 2006 ) .

I am of the position that the instructor be trained to utilize the linguistic communication research lab as a tool to learn listening comprehension. From experience as a linguistic communication research lab director, it is ideal for group work and single pattern in linguistic communication accomplishments.

Finally, to look into lacks ( UNESCO, 2009 ) rigorous quality control steps have to be devised and implemented in the college to guarantee quality. My experience as departmental scrutiny officer shows that external moderateness helps guarantee criterions. This technique could be applied internally excessively.

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