Developing Listening Skills forTertiary Level Learners

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Developing Listening Skills forTertiary Level Learners by Mind Map: Developing Listening Skills forTertiary Level Learners

1. Specific Listening Skills/Micro Skills of Listening

1.1. Although students require training in both interactional and transactional language, we need to specify the particular sub-skills that our students should attain in listening in order to

1.1.1. There are a number of sub-skills that our students need to develop in order to improve their listening skill. Harmer (1990) divides the skills into two categories These units serve as supplements to the main study skills and they work towards improving vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation. In this section of the paper we have suggested some tasks for the tertiary level learners, the materials have been developed focusing on the needs of our learners such as: • Listening for specific information • Listening for general information • Listening for detailed information • Listening for transactional and interactional functions • Listening for academic purpose

2. Difficulties in Listening

2.1. Listening requires considerable training because it is a difficult skill requiring multiple sub-skills and stage

2.1.1. 1. The spoken signals have to be identified from the midst of surrounding sounds. 2. The continuous stream of speech has to be segmented into units, which have to be recognized as known words. 3. The syntax of the utterance has to be grasped and the speaker’s intended meaning has to be understood. 4. We also have to apply our linguistic knowledge to formulating a correct and appropriate response to what has been said.

3. Theories of Listening

3.1. Bottom-up Model Traditionally, listening had been treated as a receptive skill, similar to reading, as both require processing input. Hence models of listening followed the same analogies as reading, namely bottom-up and top-down processes. Rixon

3.1.1. Top-down Model of Listening A more effective means of processing listening is the opposite type of processing, the top-down approach. Top-down processing is a whole-to-parts approach where considerable stress is given to context. Hedge recommends the following strategies for top-down listening: • Listeners will work out the purpose of the message by considering contextual clues, the content and the setting. • Listeners will activate schematic knowledge and bring knowledge of scripts into play in order to make sense of content • Listeners will try to match their perception of meaning with the speaker’s intended meaning, and this will depend on the many different factors involved in listening, both top-down and bottom-up. (Hedge, 2000 : 234) Interactive Model of Listening Hedge’s last point is very important because like Helgensen (2003) she also feels that over-reliance on one approach will be detrimental.

4. Aim of Teaching Listening

4.1. While comprehension remains the goal of most teaching activities of listening, Hedge (2000) reminds us that it is not the whole picture.

4.1.1. To make the listening class relevant and motivating for learners the first thing is to establish the purpose of listening. It is important to recognize and identify the different functions that learners may have in different situations. Brown and Yule (1983) identify two types of language functions – transactional and interactional

5. Sample materials/tasks for our learners

5.1. We often listen to something because we want to get specific information. We may listen and concentrate only when particular things which interests us comes up.