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Listening Strategies - Literature review Example

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Instructor Date Literature Review Listening Strategies 2.0 Introduction The literature relating to listening strategy is not as wide as that relating to strategies associated with other language skills such as reading, writing and speaking. However, in similarity with the learning of the first language, listening is also critical…
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Download file to see previous pages Language learners were normally expected to develop their listening skills without any assistance, while the other three skills of reading, writing and speaking are given the necessary attention (Mendelsohn 1984; Oxford 1993). Second language learners were expected to listen to the target language all day and then expected to improvements in their ability to comprehend. This approach was described as the osmosis approach (Mendelson 1984) The arguments in relation to the importance of listening were initially voiced in the middle of the 1960’s. Rivers (1966) indicated that speaking can only be described as communication when it is understood by someone else and so teaching learners how to comprehend spoken words is paramount in importance if the aim of communicating is to be achieved. Thus, Hedge (2000) indicates that the literature relating to ELT has emphasised the point that listening skill has been taken for granted over the years. In fact, a number of second language teachers have refused to pay attention to the significance of listening in facilitating the acquisition of a second language (Luchini and Arguello 2009). However, Nunan (1999) points out that listening has been treated as relatively important as it is the means by which the skill of speaking is attained. The incorporation of listening into a more modern set of guidelines, including functional language and approaches to communication was the main focus of the 1980’s (Morley 2001). This attention increased significantly in the 1990’s and this has continued into the decade of the 2000’s. Even though listening is now regarded as a critical aspect of language learning, it continues to be the least understood of all the processes (Osada 2004). Thus, Luchini and Arguello (2009) states that allowing students to answer questions after listening to tape-recorded material is not a means of teaching them to listen. In this regard, Hedge (2000) points out that the aim of answering questions after listening to recorded material is only for administering tests and not teaching second language learners to listen. This practice was found to have a negative impact on the ability of second language learners to communicate well in the target language. In relation to the neglect of listening comprehension in both research and practice, Osada (2004) indicates that even up to recently there has been insufficient research in this area. In fact, Nunan (1997) referred to listening as a Cinderella skill because it has been ignored in preference for other skills such as speaking. Listening is important in order to facilitate language learning as it facilitates a better understanding of the inputs. Osada (2004) also emphasised the complexity of the listening comprehension process. Anything that is said has to be understood at the same time as it is heard and so knowledge and skills necessary for doing so has to he used at the same time. In order to process the speech the comprehension of the text has to take place at the same as the listening. Additionally, it has to be retained in order to have a better understanding of the speech that follows. Furthermore, it requires continuous adjustment based on previous knowledge and incoming information. This poses a problem for listeners as the space available to process the information is limited. Osada ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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