Teaching listening skills and Spoken Communication Skills

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Spoken Communication Skills


  • 1. Spoken Communication Skills Developing Listening and Speaking Skills

2. Communication

  • What should be the main goal of an English language cousre?
    • To focus on developing students mastery of thethe language form
    • OR
    • To focus on developing students ability to effectively communicate for study, work or leisure

3. Features of using language for communication

  • We communicate because we want to or need to,NOTjust to practise the language
  • Focus is onwhatwe are communicating NOT onhowwe are communicating (ideas vs. language)
  • The language that is used is VARED in grammar and vocabulary, NOT made of a single structure or a few structures and NOT normally repeated over and over again

4. Communication in the Classroom

  • If you want to encourage real communication in the classroom you need to
    • Establish English as the main classroom language
    • Try to use interesting topics and stimulating activities, which take the learners minds off the language
      • Real life events ( weather, the students cloths, their health and mood, pictures and realia brought to class)
      • Events in the world outside ( new films, a circus in town, national sports victory, the students families, etc.)


  • Focus on fluency vs. accuracy
    • Support and encourage listeners in their efforts to communicate their ideas
    • Dont try to control what they say
    • Dont interrupt learners everytime they make a language mistake tocorrect them.

6. Listening Skills

  • Listening is not a passive skill but a receptive skill. It requires as much attention and mental activity as speaking.
  • That of the time an individual is engaged in communication, approximately 9 per cent is devoted to writing, 16 per cent to reading, 30 per cent to speaking, and45per cent to listening.

7. Debates concerning the development of listening skills

  • Debates focusing on the nature of listening input
    • Whether or not listening should be made comprehensible for learners through simplification?
  • Debates focusing on the role of listening in the early ELT curriculum
    • Whether teachers should stress the importance of learners haing a silent period in the early stages of learning and wait for readiness to produce the language

8. Debates concerning the development of listening skills

  • Debates on the role of listening for comprehension and development of oracy (the ability to understand and participate in spoken communication)
    • How can classroom practice rehearse the kinds of listening purposes and situations that learners will experience outside the classroom?
    • How can we help learners build confidence in dealing with authentic spoken English?
    • What kind of classroom procedures will develop listening ability?

9. What do we know about the listening process?

  • There are two types of listening processes
    • Bottom-up process
    • Top-down process
  • Bottom-up:
    • We use our knowledge of language and our ability to process acoustic signals to make sense of the sounds that speech presents to us
  • Top-down
    • We infer meaning from contextual clues and from making links between the spoken message and various types of prior knowledge which we hold.

10. What learners need to be able to do in order to listen effectively

  • Bottom-up processes
    • Retain input while it is being processed
    • Recognize word divisions
    • Recognize key words in utterances
    • Recognize key transitions in a discourse
      • Another interesting development was
      • One of theproblems was.. / In contrast
    • Recognize grammatical relations between key elements in sentences
    • Recognize the function of word stress in sentences
    • Recognize the function of intonation in sentences

11. What learners need to be able to do in order to listen effectively

  • Top-down processes
    • Use key words to construct the schema of discourse
    • Infer the role of the participants in a situation
    • Infer the topic of a discourse
    • Infer the outcome of an event
    • Infer the cause and effect of an event
    • Infer unstated details of a situation
    • Infer the sequence of a series of events
    • Infer comparisons
    • Distinguish between facts and opinions

12. Types ofListening

  • Participatory Listening
    • Interactional (for the purpose of engaging in social rituals)
    • Transactional (for the purpose exchanging information)
      • dentification of specific details
  • Non-Participatory
    • Listening to live conversations without taking part
    • Listening to announcements to extract info.
    • Listening to or watching films, plays, radio and songs where purpose is enjoyment
    • Following instructions in orderto carry out a talk efficiently
    • Attending a lecture or following a lesson
    • Liistening someon egive a public address

13. What are the implications for the English Language Classroom?

  • Creating reasons for listening (motivate students)
    • Teachers need to ensure that learners experience a range of listening purposes, especially those that might be immediately relevant to their lives outside the classroom.
      • What purpose might there be for listening to this particular text?
      • Is thatpurpose similar to the purpose a listener might have in real life?
      • Does the task given to the learner encourage that listening purpose?


  • Which is more authentic?
    • Asking learners to listen to a short airport announcement to obtain information about a particular flight, as a passenger ?
    • OR
    • Asking learners to listen for the details of four different flights ?
    • Skills that are practised
    • Listening for key words
    • Picking out relevant information
    • Retaining significant details

15. Designing listening activities for the classroom

  • The standard procedure used for listening activities are
    • Pre-listening stage
    • While-Listening stage
    • Post-listening stage

16. Pre-Listening stage

  • The purpose of the pre-listening stage is to
  • Prepare the learners for what they are going to hear by
    • activating existing prior knowledge
    • introducing necessary schematic knowledge
    • Introducing the language which students will encounter
  • Objectives
    • Contextualize the text
    • Provide any information to help learners appreciate the setting and the role relationships between particiapnts

17. Activity types for the pre-listening stage

  • Predicting content from the title of a talk
  • Talking about a picture which relates to the text
  • Discuss relevant experiences
  • Discussing the topic
  • Answering a set of questions about the topic
  • Agreeing or disagreeing with opinions about the topic
  • Associate vocabulary about the yopic
  • Predict info. about the topic
  • Write questions about the topic

18. While-Listening Stage

  • Purpose of While-listening stage is
    • TO HELP learners understand the text
    • While learners listen they need to be involved in an authentic purpose for listening and encouraged to attend to the text more intensively

19. While-Listening activities

  • Ticking multiple-choice items
  • Filling in a chart
  • Complete a table, map or picture
  • Matching pictures with the text
  • Making notes
  • Answer questions
  • Complete sentences

20. Post-Listening Activities

  • The purpose of post-listening activities is to help learbners connect what they have heard with their own ideas and experienxe.
  • Helps learners to move easily from listening to another skill.

21. Post-listening Activities

  • Give opinions
  • Relate similar experiences
  • Role-play a similar interaction
  • Write a brief report
  • Write a similar text
  • Debate the topic


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