Why Your English Language Learners Listening Comprehension is Bad and What to Do About It

Why Your English Language Learners Listening Comprehension is Bad and What to Do About It

When English EFL foreign language learners have listening comprehension problems it can be quite frustrating. If you use videos, CDs or audio cassette tapes, or even perhaps when speaking your learners can have their lesson input interrupted by a lack of listening comprehension skills. Comprehensible input (Krashen, 1989) is an essential part of any English or foreign language class.

Contributing Factors

These seven factors can directly or indirectly contribute to your learners' listening comprehension skills and comprehension.

1. Vocabulary

ELT author, researcher and lecturer Scott Thornbury said, ". count one hundred words of a (reading) passage. If more than ten of the words are unknown, the text has less than a 90% vocabulary recognition rate. It is therefore, unreadable." (S. Thornbury, 2004) The same then is likely true a listening passage. Remember, "You can never be too rich, too thin or have enough foreign language vocabulary" as the nugget of advice goes.

2. Rhyming Sounds

Have you taught or learned poetry? If so, you'll remember that a variety of types of rhyming patterns which may be employed. Alliteration, onomatopoeia, assonance and consonance, simile, metaphor and allusion, among others, all lend specific ambience to written or spoken language in English.

Note: If you prefer or desire a quick refresher on these poetic elements, you should read, "How to Evoke Imagery, Emotions and Ideas in Writing Poetry That Captures Your subscriber list Imagination" and "How to write Poems That Capture heart and soul and Imagination of Your Readers" by the author. (L.M. Lynch, 2007)

3. Idioms and Expressions

In every language there are frequently-used idioms and expressions that allow its speakers to convey nuances of thought together effortlessly and with greater clarity that simply "explaining" everything verbally. It's a helpful to learn as you will sometimes as possible, but in order to don't, the meanings lots of conversations or spoken exchanges may you "lost" for the listener.

4. Pronunciation

Everyone speaks differently and uses forms of connected speech in distinctive ways. Elements including elision, contraction, juncture, liaison, register, accommodation, aspect, intonation and others, affect pronunciation and speech patterns on an Free 9 Grade Papers individual basis. When learners are unfamiliar, or ignorant of, these elements, listening comprehension can be significantly sourced.

5. Regional or National Accents

The same sentence when spoken by people from different first language (L1) backgrounds, regional locations, or ethnic backgrounds can be decisively diverse. Unfamiliarity with such on the part of EFL learners can cause a definite deficit of listening comprehension or "comprehensible input" as mentioned previously.

6. Grammar in Context

When grammar and its aspects are taught as "separate" themes, that is, outside of any relevant context, learners could be "handicapped" so to speak by not understanding just how and when particular grammar structures are suggested by native speakers during an oral discourse or verbal exchange. So when they, the learners, hear a grammar structure that they "know", but learned "out of context", they can often "miss it", misinterpret it or hardly understand what they are hearing.

7. Language Rhythms

One of the big differences between English and say, Spanish, will be the one language is "syllable-based" while the other is "accent-based". This is answerable to non-native speakers sounding "funny" when speaking a language other than their native language.

With epithets like, "oh, she luv-ed him but chew-no it wuzn't not no guud, mahn for demm ship."

These forms of epithets derive not from being a lack of English or another foreign speaking skills in particular, but rather from pronunciation based on using an "incorrect" spoken language groove.
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