Teaching Listening Effectively in ESL Classrooms

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  • Listening skills play a critical role in language learning, providing the aural input needed to develop other language skills (Krashen, 1985). In many language classrooms, however, Vandergrift and Goh (2012) have found that listening often receives the least attention from both teachers and instructional materials; these authors maintain that even when listening is the focus of a lesson, the activities intended to develop listening skills often merely test them. Fortunately, researchers have studied many factors which influence second language (L2) listening comprehension and have reported on their efficacy. In this paper I highlight the promising trends identified by L2 listening research and then discuss current practices instructors use to teach listening skills in adult English as a second language (ESL) classes in Edmonton, based on survey data and three focus group interviews. Next, I identify gaps between research and practice and provide recommendations of evidence-based principles. Finally, I offer examples of ESL classroom activities to develop effective listening skills.

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  • Type of Item
    Research Material
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    Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International