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1. RATIONALE OF THE STUDY It can not be denied that English is the international medium in the fields of science, technology, culture ,education , economy and so on . It is also considered a means to promote mutual understanding and cooperation between Vietnam and other countries . It is widely seen as the key language toll in the integrating process in the world . With the rapid development and expansion of informational technologies , there needs to be a common language for people of all countries to exchange information with each other and it is English that is used as a means of international communication. Therefore, there has been an explosion in the need of teaching and learning English all over the world. In Vietnam in recent years the number of people who wish to know and master English has become more and more increasing, especially since Vietnam adopted an opendoor policy , teaching and learning English have been paid much attention to. English has been part of the general education . It becomes a compulsory subject at high schools in most towns and cities through out the country. Moreover , each city or province there is a specializing school for gifted students at several subjects such as maths , literature , physics, chemistry and foreign languages especially English. Among these schools is the Foreign Language Specializing School, College of Foreign Languages, Vietnam National University. However, the teaching and learning process in FLSS seems to still focus too much on grammar, structures and vocabularies. Our students are very good at doing exercises of written forms, these forms of exercises mostly concern grammar , reading or writing comprehension. The consequence is that students have much difficulty in listening. Listening skill seems to be the most difficult to our students. We all know that in order to learn a foreign language successfully, students should be helped to develop four skills : listening , speaking , reading and writing. These four skills are closely interrelated to one another and they all necessary. Of the four skills, listening is regarded as a prerequisite to understand what is being said and to pick up the general idea of what is being discussed.
In our professional and personal life there will be situations where we will hear and have to absorb a lot of details, facts and figures and then extract some points from them. In our private life we may wish to listen to talks in English about subjects we are interested in and wish to consolidate what we have learnt in order to progress to other and more difficult areas. Thus , it is possible to give students the chance to practise what they have learnt in the way listening to spoken English. To listen successfully to spoken English language need be able to work out what speakers mean when they use particular words in particular ways on particular occasion and not to simply understand the words themselves. As I am one of the teachers of English of this school. I would like to do something with the hope of improving listening skill for our students and as a result, the thesis title goes as : “Techniques for improving listening skills of gifted students of Foreign Language Specializing School, College of Foreign Languages, Hanoi National University.” 2. AIMS OF THE STUDY The purpose of this study is to investigate the difficulties in listening which the students at FLSS encounter so that some effective techniques can be given to help them improve this skill. These are the specific aims : - investigating the students’ attitudes at FLSS towards listening - finding out the difficulties encountered by the students - suggesting techniques with the hope of helping the students improve the ability of listening 3. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY This study may provide insights into the process of learning listening comprehension skill for the students. It may play a crucial role in enhancing listening skill to the students at FLSS, CFL, HNU. 4. SCOPE OF THE STUDY Though the study focuses on techniques to improve listening skill for gifted students at FLSS, CFL, HNU, due to the limitation of page numbers of the minor thesis, the researcher
can only conduct a survey on the students of 10th and 11th form to identify listening problems experienced by the students, after that suggest some techniques to help them better in learning listening. 5. METHOD OF THE STUDY In order to achieve the aims mentioned above, quantitative method is used and the following tasks have to be done: - doing a survey on the learning listening to English from 200 students of 10 th and 11th form at FLSS ( except for students of 12th form as there are no listening lessons for 12th form students ) - collecting data for the analysis - assessing the difficulties - evaluating the best techniques that are most suitable 6. DESIGN OF THE SDTUDY This minor thesis consists of three parts: Part one, “INTRODUCTION”, presents the rationale, the aims , the method, subject and design of the study. It expresses the reason why the author decided to choose this study and the methods for the fulfillment of the study. Part two, “DEVELOPMENT”, is divided into three chapters : - Chapter one presents the concepts relevant to the research topic such as different point of views of listening comprehension skill, the importance, classification of listening, difficulties in learning listening and three stages of listening session . - Chapter two deals with analyses on general learning situation at FLSS, learning requirements, teachers and teaching methods, materials as well as material assessments. Also in this chapter there is a focus on data collection, findings and discussion. - Chapter three emphasizes the implication of the study in which certain techniques for improving listening skills to the students at FLSS are suggested. Part three, “CONCLUSION”, summarizes the key issues in the study, points out the limitations and provides some suggestions for the further study
PART TWO : DEVELOPMENT CHAPTER ONE: LITERATURE REVIEW
1.1. INTRODUCTION To provide a theoretical background to the study, this chapter is devoted to the reexamination of concepts most relevant to the thesis’s topic. Firstly come the different points of view about listening comprehension. Secondly the importance and classification of listening comprehension are discussed. Thirdly the potential problems in learning listening are also referred to. Finally there is a discussion of three stages of the listening session. 1.2. LISTENING COMPREHENSION 1.2.1 Traditional point of view. There are some traditional views that listening is considered a passive language skill along side the reading skill. It means that learners are almost passive in practising listening activities in the classroom. Learners just hear what they are to listen without paying sufficient attention in the discourse such as the background knowledge of the speakers as well as their intentions, attitude , implication and other shades of meaning etc. The learners mainly hear the message, they only try to elicit the meaning from the individual syntactic and semantic components of the utterance and the manner in which it is spoken. This leads to the result that it is hard for the learners to communicate. Having this attitude, the teacher often conducts the lesson as “tested” listening comprehension rather than teaching it. The method of testing the comprehension of the learners is based on the ability to remember the utterance, which they have just heard. Obviously, this method is not effective as the ability to remember the utterance does not mean that the listener can understand the message. Just like a child who is good at remembering songs and poems, but he does not know what they are about. In fact the learners are not provided enough information about what they are going to hear before the tape plays and they cope with a wide range of problems while they are listening and the result is that they can not get any listening experience from the teacher. 1.2.2. Present point of view.
The first level is that the structure and the relationship between syntax and phonology of the language are recognized. That is why there is the following stage which is called “selection”.2). The two levels of this activity are recognition and selection. From the point of view of Broughton (1978). The nature of listening comprehension means that the hearer should be encouraged to engage in an active process of listening for meanings. There are two levels activities of the aural process. the hearer must actively contribute knowledge from both linguistic and nonlinguistic sources. Therefore. can the hearer divide the continuous stream of sound into meaningful units and only by comparing these units with the shared knowledge between himself and the speaker . Extensive listening is related to the freer. Mary Underwood (1989) divides the aural process into 3 stages and Clark (1977) divides it into 4 stages but generally they have the same idea. more general listening to natural English. Teaching Listening. Only by applying the knowledge of the language . At the first stage . can the hearer interpret their meaning.For the past few years some present studies on listening comprehension have to come to another view in which the role of the listeners is thought to be active. but not passive any more. Listening is divided into intensive and extensive listening. “ Echoic memory” is just the short term memory because there is continuous arrival of new information before the listener has opportunity to deal with it. In this stage. not necessarily under the direct guidance of the teacher whereas intensive listening is much more concerned with just one or two specific points. words or groups of words are checked and compared with information already held in the long term memory and the meaning is extracted from them (Mary Underwood. the listener usually remember the meaning rather than the exact words spoken when he has to recall what have been heard. the sounds go into a sensory store called the “ echoic memory”. At this point. Listening is really a receptive skill along side reading skill. listening demands active involvement from the hearer. using not only the linguistic cues but also has nonlinguistic knowledge. The basis of listening comprehension is the ability to recognize and select the 5 . the listener selects what he finds most interesting or important or comprehensible in the utterance. the actual words of the spoken discourse are generally forgotten and only the meaning is retained. In order to construct the message that the speaker intends . p. When the meaning is grasped . According to Littlewood (1981).
and the word in general. They consider the listener as active model builder. The Functional Notional Approach in Language Teaching.(1986) Teaching Foreign Language Skill. Oxford University Press) have another point of view.3. When nobody listens to a speaker or when a listener fails to understand the message.1995. Listening. speaking. 1. communication is considered unsuccessful. p. listening is an important way of 6 . Second. we should remember that : “ Listening comprehension is not a skill which can be mastered once and for all and then ignored while other skills are developed. (1981). The two authors use the term “ mental modal” to refer to the listener’s “ coherent interpretation” . 80 . The mental model that we build as a representation of a spoken message is the result of our combining the new information in what we just heard with our previous knowledge and experience. Moreover . it needs to be coherent both with what we believe has just been said and with what we already know about the speaker. M. According to Pearson Ian. Aderson and Lynch ( Listening . in order to be successful in listening."(Rivers Wilga . the first thing anyone must have is the ability to absorb the pieces of information from the speaker by listening. needs a certain time for the learners to become used to listening and process some familiar utterances more automatically. of course. There must be regular practice with increasingly difficult material. The University of Chicago Press.specific details in the discourse. it is an interpretation. the context. THE IMPORTANCE OF LISTENING It is now widely accepted that oral communication can not take place without listening and listening plays a central and possibly predominant part in the whole process of language learning. in the sense that it is our version of what the speaker meant. They say that in order to listen successfully we have to construct our own “coherent interpretation” of any spoken message. This emphasizes the active and personal nature of successful listening. 157). reading and writing are the four skills of parts of that “indivisible range called communication”. They are interrelated and interdependent . listening is tied to the essential cognitive elements of comprehension and understanding. In order to take part in oral communication. clearly. It. as far as we are able to assess that meaning. First .. Both parts of this term are important. In short. p.
1968. the speakers. It is the most important of the four arts since nearly half of the adult working day and more than half of the child’s classroom activity time is spent in listening. Apart from communication interaction. there are a lot of problems that sometimes we meet when listening in our mother tongue. Teaching listening to spoken language is . Someone from the North may find it difficult to understand a speaker from the Middle or the North. the students can gain a lot of experiences of listening to a wide variety of samples of spoken English. the topic and so on. Chicago & London. Teaching Foreign Language Skills. much of the enjoyment in second or foreign language use comes from listening activities like watching films and plays or watching T.Rivers. in Vietnam the accents of the three zones (the North. listening occupies the basic portion in the context of the language arts and progress in reading.” ( Wilga. It also helps the students know different varieties of language such as standard or regional. 135. 1.therefore. For instance. However . Listening as the final goal of learning a language According to Donoghue (1975). This is resulted by a number of factors including our exposure to the large amount of language and to the great number of different speakers over the years and our acquired knowledge of the context. sometimes bad conditions created by bad situations also hinder our comprehension.3. the Middle and the South) are quite different. For example. Mother – tongue listening It is assumed that people can listen in their mother-tongue with little or no effort. Moreover . The University of Chicago Press. Particular accents can cause problems.2.V or listening to the radio. of primary importance . formal or 7 .acquiring the language . In class the students learn a lot from their teacher. p. we can not deny that we generally listen and comprehend the speech in our native language with ease.) 1. speaking and writing is directly governed by listening ability. From very young. we can understand at least the gist of what is heard. In spite of these minor problems. it may be hard for listener to follow and understand what a quiet speaker is conveying when everything around him is noisy. songs or talks by the speakers. to tape or records or to each other. “ Teaching the comprehension of spoken language is therefore of primary importance if the communication aim is to be achieved. a good way of picking up vocabulary and structures.M.1.3. Further more .
speed and voice tone without paying attention to grammar. narrative or informative types. and different text types like conversation. 1. listening is regarded to be among the most important educational goals.4. accent and correct grammar. 8 . in real – life conversations learners encounter various people speaking with different accent.life listening Many learners of English will . they are able to understand. with perfect voice tone . to interpret. Real . Students are trained to listen for the main ideas . the faster and easier we can acquire it. to evaluate and to response to what they hear. Whereas. P :199 ). This is because in listening materials learners listen to dialogues . Therefore .3. Listening as a means of acquiring a language “ Listening to spoken English is an important way of acquiring the language of “ picking up” structures and vocabularies” (Adrian Doff. It is obvious that developing the ability to understand the spoken foreign language is a long continuous process and listening is a skill that must be taught and that does not happen automatically. The result is that there is an increase in the amount of language contact through communication.1. Thus the more frequent we are exposed to the language. The speakers often speak at perfectly controlled speed. CLASSIFICATION OF LISTENING 1.informal language. However. students .day by day . If students learn to listen effectively.life listening 1.V.1. 1995. listen to the radio or have direct conversations with native speakers.3.1. reading and writing.4. they feel a big gap between listening activities in the classroom and actual situations. Kinds of real . It has a great influence on value formation and it increases an individual’s level of vocational skills and it results in great emotional response changes in attitude and it provides students a stimulus for other activities such as discussion. for specific information or to react to instruction. So it is very important for students to develop the ability to understand spoken English. 1. In daily life they can watch English programs on T.4.can train their listening skill and they can flexibly listen to everything. which are the main language skills.sooner or later. conversations which are very grammatical and controlled in many ways. Further more . find themselves in a variety of situation where they need or want to listen to English being used in real – life for a range of purposes.
his listening is likely accurately perceived and understood than that which is unexpected. therefore we may not remember much of what we hear or there may be nothing in our mind. This leads to our “listening out” for certain key phrases or words. Even when listening to entertainment such as plays. Characteristics of real . 9 the listener expects and needs are intentional .“ Casual” listening : In daily life we sometimes listen with no particular purpose and often without much concentration . .4. but we do not listen to everything we hear with equal concentration. for example. it depends on what job I get.“Focused” listening : When we listen for a particular purpose to get the information we need. it is from a desire to know what is happening in the world. When we ask a question like: “ Where are you going to be?”. however. we want to know the answer to a question. 1. is jerky.” – then we shall wait for and note the last two words. and will pay more attention to the first part. the same answer is the response to the question: “Are you definitely going to Boston?” – then the last two words of the answer are virtually redundant.2. but I expect I shall end up in Boston. If we listen to the news. on the other hand. I haven’t decided yet. it is called “focus” listening. If the answer is. “I don’t know. jokes or songs .1. we want to know what is coming next. and we shall expect to hear about certain subjects of current interest in a certain kind of language.According to Adrian (1995). a lot of students have the habit of listening to the radio while studying or the television set is on while we are doing something else. The typical feature is that we do not listen closely and intentionally. For instance. They are “ casual” listening and “ focused” listening . volume and pitch. If. In this case we often listen with much attention. there are two ways which people often listen in real – life. If irrelevant or helpful. we will ask and expect to hear a relevant response.life listening According to Penny Ur . The former is characterized by a fairly even pace. This kind of listening is called ‘casual” listening. there is a distinct difference between the auditory effect of a piece of spoken prose and that of informal conversation.we have a definite purpose (enjoyment). . and we expect it to cohere with what went before. we then listen out for the expectation of the place. There is an association between listener expectation and purpose and his comprehension. Spontaneous conversation. For example.
noise and colloquialisms. To summarize. And vocal emphasis does not just mean saying a particular word or phrase louder. 1. or pausing for effect before or after a vital phrase. It means also gabbling quickly through what is less important and slowing down over the main point. We made an immediate response to what we hear. louder and softer. more comprehensible or easier to listen to. We see the person we are listening to. irritation or amusement. or raising the pitch of voice to stress one thing and then lowering it to play something else. There are some visual or environmental clues as to the meaning of what is heard. exclamations. when watching television we are not normally expected to respond. the fact that he has not thought out carefully what he has to say beforehand. for example.has frequent pauses and overlaps. when listening to a lecture we may have to hear uninterrupted speech for a very long time indeed. are bound to cause an uneven and constantly changing rhythm of speech. Most heard discourse is spontaneous and therefore differs from formal spoken prose in the amount of redundancy. higher and lower. The overall effect of all this is perhaps more dramatic and interesting than that of formal speech. Even if only one person is speaking for a relatively long period.4. emotional reactions of surprise. Hesitation. goes intermittently faster and slower.all in all. and in its auditory character. Sometimes particular situations may lack one or more of these characteristics. Class-room listening 10 .but it is very rare that none of them is present at all. interruptions. Stretches of heard discourse come in short chunks. means that he has to rely heavily on vocal emphasis to make his meaning clear. but this does not mean that it is .2. and has not necessarily chosen the best words. which are all liable to occur in natural dialogue. We seldom listen to stretches of “ disembodied” discourse of any length. we may say that most of our real-life listening activity is characterized by the following features: We listen for a purpose and with certain expectations.
have several tries at difficult parts and to be fitted within the time allowed of a lesson. Extensive listening Extensive listening is free and general listening to natural language for general ideas. 1. The language that is used in this type of listening is often within the students’ current ability so that students find it pleasing and interesting when they are listening. Learners also feel it easy. Inability to control over the speed of the speaker 11 . This helps learners develop their listening skill or knowledge of the language in their effort to do exercises or other activities. There may be much concrete information for this kind of listening and learners often find it difficult to get full comprehension in the first listening. it . 1. interesting and encouraging when they listen to a short passage .1.4. Some have trouble with factual or literal comprehension.Intensive listening Intensive listening is the careful. there are three kinds of listening in classroom.therefore. they are: intensive listening and extensive listening.2. Numerous learners have difficulties with different aspects of listening comprehension. Others have trouble with interpretation. For example. They are not asked to do any language work and they can do their listening freely without any pressure.5. Students feel satisfied as they can understand the passage well. listening to the announcement . motivates students to develop their listening skill as well as exposes them to valuable extra contact with spoken language. poems). not for particular details. The listening passages for extensive listening can be long (stories) or short ( jokes. .1. focused listening to a short passage for detailed information or for full comprehension. they often listen with a great concentration and stretching effort. listening to the instructions or listening to the weather forecast. 1. POTENTIAL PROBLEMS IN LEARNING LISTENING It is undeniable that listening is considered to be the most difficult among the four skills. Moreover the topics are various and entertaining. Still others have problems with evaluational listening. Therefore.2. Others have trouble with critical listening. The followings are some potential problems that should be paid attention to in order to help listeners feel self-confident to overcome them.According to Rixon (1986) and Hubbard. R and others (1984).2.4. The passage should be short so that learners have chances to get to grip with the content. 1.5.
2. Even in classroom. Inability to get things repeated Another problem is that the listener is not always in the position to ask the speaker to repeat his utterance . One of the reasons for this is that learners can not keep up with the speed and they often try to understand everything they hear. listeners easily lose their concentration. the following will be missed. Therefore.5. Teaching Listening. not the learners. This can lead to the ignorance of the whole chunk of discourse. When doing listening work in listening lessons. Concentration of the listener is considered vitally important in a successful listening lesson. Sometimes. Longman. when listening to lectures.3. “They are so busy working out the meaning of one part of what they hear that they miss the next part. the teacher does not replay the exact parts that the listeners wish to listen again.”( Mary Underwood. This is the case when learners join in conversation outside the classroom. Or they simply ignore a whole chunk because they fail to sort it all out quickly enough.In learning English. The break in attention. it is the teacher. p. learners can not frequently order the lecturers to repeat the utterance as many times as they wish. can seriously impair the comprehension of the whole process of listening. When they fail in sorting out the meaning of one part. Other reason for loss of concentration is that the topic is not interesting or not familiar and learners find it difficult to understand. This problem can be solved only when learners are given the opportunity to control their own machines and proceed in whatever way they wish. even very short. the teacher can not judge if the learners can fully understand what they have heard. who decides to stop or to replay the record and in many situations. the poor quality of listening materials. 1989. This can be caused by a number of things such as : the bad quality of machines.16). 1. 1. as they feel tired of making a great effort to hear word by word. Obviously they fail to listen. the greatest difficulty in listening comprehension is that learners are not able to control the speed of the speaker. Repetition can not be asked for when listening to the radio or watching television. Inability to concentrate It is a major problem if learners lack concentration in listening work.5. Learners often feel that the utterances disappear before they can sort them out or they can get the message. 12 .
The fact is that there are a lot of sound that do not exist in Vietnamese such as : the sound /θ / as in “ think”. Teaching Listening Comprehension. or hear a vowel that is not in fact pronounced (“littel” for “little”). A native Vietnamese speaker may very often therefore not notice as the first that it occurs in English. while the number of words which can be confused or misunderstood by accurate perception is relatively large. What we can do is to try to give learners a reasonable familiarity with the two most useful English accents 13 . Another reason why sounds may be misheard is that the learner is not used to the stress and intonation patterns of English and the way these influence both the realization of certain phonemes and the meaning of the utterance. ones that are more or less removed from the original variety learned.5.therefore. If he learns to pronounce the sounds accurately himself. For example: / I / (as in “pit” ) and / I: / (as in “peep”) or “ship” and “sheep” or “fit” and “feet”.5.5. Cambridge University Press. it will be much easier for him to hear them correctly when said by someone else. Problems in understanding different accents Many foreign-language learners who are used to the accent of their own teacher are surprised and dismayed when they find they have difficulty understanding someone else. there are simply accent that are more or less difficult to understand. It is . Problems in hearing the sounds “ As a young teacher it took me some time to realize that my students actually did not perceive certain English sounds with any accuracy because these did not exist in their own language.” (Penny Ur . or omit one of the sounds (“crips” for “crisps”) . Thus learners have difficulty in perceiving this difference as significant to meaning in English and it takes a considerable amount of practice before they get used to distinguishing between them. essential for the learner to achieve familiarity with the common phonemes of the target language as soon as possible if he is an efficient listener. Sometimes learners find consonantclusters particularly difficult to cope with. Some of them try to get over this at first by claiming that the second speaker’s accent is somehow inferior or wrong. The number of homophones and homonyms in English is small. P.11). broadly speaking.4. 1. But strictly speaking there is rarely such a thing as a “wrong” accent. They may get the consonants in the wrong order (hearing “part” for “past”).1.that is. Even more difficulties is caused when the new sound does not exist in the native language.
Each stage has its own aims and activities. Sometimes listeners understand only a part of what a speaker means but they are generally able to continue with the interaction and to respond to it.that is to say the British and American standard varieties.6. 1.1. Pre-listening stage 1. as a result they miss chances of listening to the following part of the speech. These make listeners feel as 14 . Learners who have some experience in listening to and understand a number of different accents are more likely to be able to cope successfully with further than those who have only heard one or two and learners should try their best to get used to different accent by listening to authentic material as much as possible. Teachers. setting or the relationship between the speakers. They are : prelistening stage . Thus the listeners’expectation and purposes should be taken into account.1.1. they may still be unable to understand because they lack certain kinds of knowledge of the topic.. while-listening stage and post-listening stage.and then perhaps let them have a taste of some others simply to open their eyes to the possibilities and give them some practice in coping with them. THREE STAGES OF THE LISTENING SESSION There are often three main stages in the teaching of a listening text. therefore. 1. The listeners have to pay attention to the new words. should help the learners to know that there is not equal importance for every word and there is no need for learners to understand all the new words when listening. there are words or phrases that are not known to the listeners. Problems in vocabulary limitation When listening.6. This causes the listeners a lot in getting the message of the passage and this may interrupt the listeners’ concentration or thinking. Even if the sounds or the words which they hear are familiar. The definition and purposes of pre-listening stage It is true that learners will find it extremely difficult to do a listening lesson when they have no idea of what they are going to hear. 1. The listeners have to try to follow the speaker and sometimes they have to guess the meaning of a word or phrase depending the context.6.5.6.
giving background information. .4) Another idea about pre-listening stage is said as following: “ Pre-listening work can be done in a variety of ways and often occurs quite naturally when listening forms part of an integrated skills course.1. This kind of work is described as “pre-listening activities”.31). “ It would seem a good idea when presenting a listening passage in class to give students some information about the content.6. P.2. 1992.” ( Mary Underwood. teachers should select the most effective activities for each situation and teachers need to find the most suitable way to provide considerable pre-listening support for their students in order to help them to get the purposes that a listening lesson requires. The students reading something relevant The students looking at pictures . 1. When planning lessons. But it is very important to remember that the amount of pre-listening activities may 15 . Therefore.The teacher introducing the listening topic. situation and speakers before they actually start listening.in real-life listening situation in their native language. Types of pre-listening activities Pre-listening work can be done in various ways and consists of several types of activities. Longman 1989. Teaching Listening.reading through the questions if asked The students discussing the topic situation The students following the instruction for the while-listening activity The students considering how the while-listening activity will be done Each of the above activities will help the students focus on the main points of the listening passage. time must be allocated for pre-listening activities and these activities should not be rushed. Teachers can help their students to arouse their expectations and see the purpose before a listening lesson.”(Penny Ur. P.
When developing the skills of listening for comprehension.1. other reasons why students need to listen to the language they are studying.6.6.vary according to each class.of course. The main thing is that to learn to recognize how it sounds ( the pronunciation of words. the stress.2. They must vary at different levels and in different cases. the last item on the list. Factors affecting the choice of pre-listening activities The choice of pre-listening activities depends on a number of factors : The time available The material available The interest of the class The interest of the teacher The place where the work is being carried out The nature and the content of the listening text itself It is very necessary for the teacher to consider all the factors which are mentioned above when choosing an activity as each factor contributes an important part to the result of a listening lesson. the intonation that they can use what they hear as a model for their own speech). the rhythm. the level of difficulty of the material and the students’ language ability.listening stage involves activities that students are asked to do during the time that they are listening to the text. The purpose of while-listening activities is to help learners develop the skill of eliciting messages from spoken language. There are .2. 1. We do 16 . However.6.While-listening stage 1.1..3. the purpose of while-listening activities The While. is very important when choosing pre-listening activities 1. the nature of the listening text. while-listening activities must be chosen carefully.
For this reason. 46) 1. In time.not test whether or not the listener has understood and producing “right/ wrong” answer will soon discourage the enthusiasm of the learners. For example. so that students learn not to be put off and persevere in spite of the problems. it will be necessary to include activities which present potential “ sticking point”. and activities with potential “sticking point” .2. of course. three small crossword puzzles on different occasions are far more satisfying to do than one every large one which occupies a lot of time on just one occasion.2. teacher must have listening activities which give practice in prediction. matching and interpretation. 1. Interest While-listening activities should be interesting. even quite mundane topics should be given some local relevance when possible in order to make them more familiar and motivating. To help non-native listeners to improve their listening.6. where students are likely to get into difficulties. Part of interest can stem from the topic and the content of what is said and the listening text should be chosen with the interest of the students in mind. for most learners. so that students feel they want to listen and carry out the activities.2. It is important. Teaching Listening. “Good while-listening activities help learners find their way through the listening text and build upon the expectations raised by pre-listening activities.6. Failure here very rapidly leads to demotivation.1. that this kind of activity is not too long and laborious and does not involve doing the same kind of thing over and over again.2. however. Many learners enjoy material with a “local” flavor rather more than texts setting in some remote context. should be used very sparingly in the early stages. 17 .6.” ( Underwwood. Another kind of interest is generated by activities which are in themselves interesting and satisfying to do.2. Characteristics of while-listening activities 1. 1990. P.2. Levels of difficulty While-listening activities should be things most people can do.2. Most learners enjoy trying to complete puzzle or solve problems and this fact can be exploited in the design of the activities.
2. either in the classroom or at home. 1.3.1. or to select activities which generate little or no marking.6. Definition and purpose of post-listening activities Post-listening activities are the activities which are done after the listening is completed. the level of difficulty of a while-listening activity can be adjusted by giving support.2. 1. They include: The possibilities for varying the level of difficulty if required.6. other points need to be considered when selecting while-listening activities.6.3. The purposes of post-listening activities are : to check whether the learners have understood what they need to or not. Factors affecting the choice of while-listening activities In addition to the factors which apply equally to while-listening activities.3. This kind of work is best done in a language laboratory. The inconvenience of carrying out activities which require individuals to give their responses orally in the classroom. 18 . Some while-listening activities are successful with groups of varying levels of ability and provide a challenge for the more advanced students but not discouraging those who only gain little success. Classroom while-listening activities generally have to be limited to those which can be done without the need for each student to respond by speaking. Post-listening stage 1. This will influence the teacher’s choice of activity as he may want to give his students different work according to their levels of ability. Whether the work is to be done by the students with the teacher present or whether it is to be done as private study. to see why some students have missed parts of the message or fail to understand the message. Some post-listening activities are extensions of the work done at the pre-listening and while-listening stages and some relate only loosely to the listening text itself.According to Mary Underwood. to provide additional instructions .
Then the importance and classification of listening are stated. The chosen activity should be made motivating. COLLEGE OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES.7 . Factors affecting the choice of post-listening activities Mary Underwood says that the attention should be given to the following factors in selecting post-listening activities: the amount of language work the teacher wish to do in relation to the particular listening text. - to expand on the topic or language of the message and to transfer learned things to another context. First comes an overview on the different views of listening comprehension. The speaking. this chapter focuses on the concepts useful for the accomplishment of the study. What is more in this chapter is the potential problems in learning listening.- to give the students the opportunity to consider the attitude and manner of the speakers of the listening text. The students should work in pair or in groups.3. CHAPTER TWO : PRACTICAL SITUATION OF TEACHING AND LEARING LISTENING TO ENGLISH AT THE FOREIGN LANGUAGE SPECIALIZING SCHOOL.SUMMARY In short . - to make introduction for the planned work 1. The time which is allowed to do post-listening work. Last comes in the chapter is three stages of the listening session. HANOI NATIONAL UNIVERSITY 19 .2. 1.6. reading or writing skills should be included in the post-listening work.
Chinese. 12 written by the teachers of our school and two listening books : “Listening And Speaking” by Tran Ngoc Oanh and Vu Quynh Nhung (10th form). the majority are students of English. in which background.2.S is a school for gifted students of foreign languages.S. for a better understanding about the school. the students have to try their best to study social and natural subjects.S F.F. Hanoi National University. workbooks 10. Normally. As far as the materials are concerned “ English 10. H. French. If their results are good enough . This school is one of the members of College of Foreign Languages. when they have English lessons. There are 7 periods per week. an analysis on teachers. facility. 2. 11 and 12” . At this high school.1. the students who have finished 9th year classes with good results have to take part in a very hard examination of 3 subjects : maths. Besides reading. 11.L. C. trend of development of the school is mainly presented.L.N.S.they become 10th form students of the school.l. It was established in 1968 and it has become a reliable address for the students all over the north of the country and for those who are interested to major in foreign languages. there are 50 students in classes of social and natural subjects. AN OVERVIEW ON F. listening serves as an 20 .S.2.L. some information about the students and leaning requirements are addressed. but English is considered the main one. by Kieu Hong Van and Vu Phuong Anh (11th form).U. without it. 11th and 12th form students who are aged from 15 to 18. the researcher will find it impossible to sort out reasonable techniques to improve listening skill for the students. Among these languages are English. the class is divided into two groups with about 25 students in each one and two teachers of English are in charge. it means that the students of our school have 4 more periods per week than those at other high schools. Among them. Then. they are 10th. listening seems to be the toughest one for the students. it first starts with an overview on F. Russian. teaching methods. Japanese and German. Currently there are 27 English classes with nearly 700 students . materials and material assessments will be very important for the realization of the study. In addition.S. In order to become one of the students of this school. literature and English. INTRODUCTION To realize the objective of this study. The students are equally taught the four language skills.
The oldest teachers have nearly 30 years of teaching experience. So when they become the gifted students of English of FLSS. HNU. In a short time at this school. 2.4. It means that they have had four years of English in junior secondary schools. 2. CFL. they need English for their further study or for their future use. step by step. used to listening to the teachers’ explanation in English and listening and understanding the familiar topics which their teachers or classmates talk about. their listening ability is hardly developed during that long period of time. They are used to listening to the tape-recorder and doing the listening exercises such as : filling the missing words. FLSS has a good relationship with Presbyterian Ladies’ College (PLC) in Sydney. the students should have general knowledge of grammar and an active vocabulary which they can use mostly in written form. the majority of the students have strong and clear motivation and as a result of the awareness of the importance of learning how to listen in a foreign language in general and English in particular. They are . In spite of the importance of listening. so they are always trying to work on listening as much and effectively as they can to master this skill. All of the teachers were trained in English department. HNU and two of them got MA degree in Australia. TEACHERS AND TEACHING METHODS In FLSS. STUDENTS AND LEARNING REQUIREMENTS Most of the students have been learning English since they were 6 th form students. They hardly say a couple of sentences intelligibly in the target language and their listening skill is almost not paid any attention to. the students’ and teachers’ effort. and the youngest just have three years. listening skill remains the greatest obstacle in their way for success. the rest of the students have positive attitude towards learning listening. Eight of them finished MA course in Post Graduate Department. Moreover. they have to deal with a lot of difficulties in learning to listen to English.indispensable skill in learning English as it provides students with necessary input. so every 21 . the students can meet requirements of learning listening. They all realized that learning listening is not just to get good results but it is also a good way to develop their communication. choosing the correct answers or answering the questions etc. CFL. The objective of the junior secondary school curriculum is that after four years of English. However. there are totally 14 teachers of English aged 25 to 51.3.
For many years the teachers have had a lot of difficulties to find out the suitable listening materials for the students of FLSS. are allowed to spend four or six weeks in PLC. thus. 2. the students’ ability to listen to English is much better in comparison with this of the students in other high schools. During the time staying there the teachers and students have a good chance to talk to or listen to native speakers of English and they have time to live .5. the teachers have to spend a lot of time and have to work hard to choose and design the listening activities that the students can do properly. etc The method of teaching listening skill and the listening activities are considered to be the effective way to test and to improve the students’ ability of listening and the quality of teaching and learning listening of the school is improved day by day. As a result. it took the teachers much time to choose and design a listening lesson for the students from any source of material available as materials for listening comprehension. The teachers have tried to choose the activities that are suitable to their students. Sydney. The textbooks. do not include materials for listening comprehension. turn by turn . The fact is that not all the teachers use the same techniques and activities to teach listening skill. the teachers and students. The following activities are often used : true or false exercises. Most of the teachers of FLSS are well aware of the important role of the ability to listen to English and the teachers play a very important part in forming students’ ability of listening. “ directing students’ listening activities” etc. Some of the teachers choose to use “ getting the students to predict” as the most effective techniques or “giving feed back after each time of listening “ others may take some other techniques into consideration such as : “ using authentic and suitable listening texts”. the teachers have done much to improve the method of teaching listening and help the students to overcome the difficulties. choosing the correct answer. In the past. MATERIALS AND ASSESSMENTS Teaching language skills is not the focus of language study for high school students . from 22 . answering the questions. Therefore.year there is an exchanging visit between these two schools in order to exchange experience in teaching and studying. It is good for the students to get used to as many types of activities as possible. work and study in a native English environment. In order to find out the effective way of implementing the activities. filling in the blanks.
for example : the text of unit one in book “English 11” is “ Motion Pictures”. There are 15 units in book 10. The students feel pleasing . the factors that make the students find it difficult when learning listening and from which I can get students’ opinion about the effectiveness of my 23 . Landmark. There are often four parts in a listening lesson : Getting ready. DATA COLLECTION. In general.6. 2. including 8 classes. the listening lesson of unit one in “Listening And Speaking English 11” is “Films”. English 10 and 11”. so the students can catch and understand the ideas in details. Frankly speaking .1. but the others still did not. which is seen as a greatest motivation for the students. The questionnaire was prepared in order to get information to fulfill the aims of the study. the students have two periods of listening per week. the listening books provide different kinds of activities as well as interesting and useful contents. Listen Carefully. The teachers of FLSS coped with a lot of difficulties in teaching listening . some of the listening lessons met the demands of the students. Lifelines. A group of the teachers consisting of four made an effort to write two listening books : “Listening and Speaking. Data collection 2. Tactics For Listening.Upper-Intermediate) . True To Life. The subject The survey was carried out with the participation of 200 students of 10 th and 11th forms at FLSS. and 10 units in book 11.6. Due to the fact that the English textbooks have changed from time to time to catch up with the up-to date information.such books as : Streamline. Measurement instrument was designed for data collection: responded questionnaire. their attitudes towards listening skill. English 11”. New Headway (Intermediate . the topics are interesting and similar . the listening lessons in the two books were taken from different sources like Active Listening. Let’s listen 1. etc from Cambridge and Oxford University Presses.1. Interchange 1. Recently things have changed for both teachers and students in teaching and studying listening skill. entertaining whenever they have listening lessons and they can improve not only their listening skill but they can also widen their social knowledge . The questionnaire consists of both multiple-choice and open-questions. In fact. Let’s listen 2 and Songs. 3 etc.1. The listening lessons are well-organized. FIDINGS AND DISCUSSION 2. The topic of each listening lesson is related to the topic of the text in the books : “English 10.6. 2. There are 20 questions from which I can find out the real situation of learning listening of the students.
All the questions in the survey were designed with a hope that the researcher can get the students’ opinion about listening material they are using. and the methods of teaching listening they are adapting to. they are very good at grammar and doing exercises in writing. reading and writing . the survey will surely be reliable as the students are well-aware of their mission.6. it is essential to refer to an important source of data collection associated with the literature review. These questions are close to the techniques that can be worked out to improve the current teaching and learning listening skill at FLSS by means of literature comparison and by cross-checking with information obtained from the responded questionnaire. a large number (70%) think that listening skill is the most difficult skill. only 10% of the students learn English with an aim of communicating. 2% for entertaining and 6% for studying abroad.2. no students consider listening as difficult as speaking .1. Students’ attitude towards listening skill ( Question 1. most of the students of FLSS learn English in order to pass the exams (82%). As for the students attitude towards listening skill.2. 2. 2 & 3 ) Option Question 1 2 3 a b c d 82% 70% 25% 10% 20% 55% Table 1 2% 0% 12% 6% 10% 8% As shown in the above table.1. Instruments for data collection To have a good understanding of the issues under discussion. 2.2. Findings and discussion 2.6. but it was only when they became the students of this school that they started to be taught listening skill.6. maybe these 24 . the teachers they are contacting with. However.a small number of them (10%) find it easy to learning listening. All of the students doing the survey have been learning English for 5 or 6 years.suggested techniques for teaching and studying listening skill. and have enough knowledge of English to answer the questions given.
It is true that apart from using the two listening books of the school. Students’ attitude towards class. for communicating with teachers and classmates . 2. the most popular forms are : true/ false (20%).2. They realize that it is necessary to learn listening for not only listening to the teachers’ explanation. conversations (20%). 55% (rather).6. but also for their long term purposes : successfully communicating in English. the smaller numbers are : following interactions (8%). descriptions (12%). answering questions (22%).students used to live in the English speaking countries with their parents when they were little or perhaps they have already attended courses of learning listening Another observation from the table above is that most students see the importance and necessity of learning listening . 5 & 6) Option Question 4 5 6 a b c d e f g h 10% 20% 85% 20% 8% 15% 40% 22% 0% 12% 12% 0% 6% 16% 4% 20% 8% 2% 0% Table 2 From table two we can see that the teachers of English of FLSS have been using various types of listening texts. 25% (very important). news(6%). songs/poems(40%). chart/form completion (16%). Clearly that the teachers at FLSS are 25 . instructions(4%) and announcements(8%). gap-filling(12%).listening practice ( Question 4. identifying and correcting mistakes (20%). the teachers have also used listening lessons from other books which they feel suitable to their students. such as : stories (10%). In some extend . It can be concluded that the students of FLSS are interested in learning listening skill. they would like to get some listening improvement and they have good attitudes to listening skill. it is a good way to create the students’ motivation and it is certain that the students will feel excited to listen to different topics.2. Table two also indicates that the students have had a lot of opportunities to cope with different kinds of listening activities in the class-room and their types of listening activities are various.
well-aware of the importance of choosing different types of listening activities in order to make the listening lessons less boring and encourage the students to listen effectively. 2. The data in question 6 about the times per week which the students have listening lessons at school show that most of the teachers have obeyed the school curriculum (two periods a week or once per week). it is a big surprise that many students (36%) see the tape-script when there is something that they do not clearly understand.6. Students’ attitude towards home-listening practice (Question 7. Being asked about the question : “At home. (12%). the rest rarely listen to English at home. the majority of the students (38%) give the reason that they can not see the face and the lip movement of the speakers and 26 % of the students have difficulty in 26 . (18%). It can be calculated from table 3 about the reason for this .3. what do you often do if you do not clearly understand the text you are listening?”.2. 10% listen sentence by sentence. (16%). The figures in table two are once a week (85%). most of the students find it more difficult to listen to the records ( 75%) than authentic language (25%). once a week is nearly similar . 42% of the students listen to the text once more. 8 & 9) Option Question 7 8 9 a b c d 12% 42% 75% 22% Table 3 16% 10% 25% 38% 18% 12% 0% 26% 54% 36% 14% With the question about the time the students spend listening English at home. To compare the difficulty between record-listening and authentic listening. 2-3 times a day. In conclusion. the biggest number (54%) and the number of students who listen to English everyday. twice a week (15%). They take advantages of opportunities to practise listening in class. the teachers and students at FLSS are willing to spend their time to improve their method of teaching and learning listening skills. the students who listen again until they understand the text are 12%.
11) Option Question 10 11 a b c d 10% 6% Table 4 30% 32% 52% 52% 8% 10% In table 4 it can be realized that most of the teachers usually create interest for their listening lessons by providing some new words and structures (52% students agree that). most of them have no habit of self-listening practice . many students seem to approach listening as task primarily requiring comprehension on a word-by-word basis.2. The figures show that most of the teachers try to motivate their students every listening lesson . when the students are asked about their interest in the way their teachers motivate them before. However. 2.therefore . Students’ attitude towards their teachers creating listening interest and motivation (Question 10.Obviously.should give the students some guidance of practising listening at home . The teachers .4. they are not able to concentrate on the process of listening .concentrating on a listening session. 22% of them say that they can not ask the speaker to repeat what they do not catch and The others (14%) try to understand every word they hear.6. It can be drawn from the data above that a lot of students at FLSS are not aware of the self-study of listening at home. but 27 . Perhaps the teachers think that new words and structures usually remain the obstacles to their students. a lot of students do not have right methods to improve their listening skill . while and after listening lessons. The smaller number (30%) say their teachers often present some information by giving guiding questions to help them think about the texts before they go ahead. Not a large number (8%) think that their teacher give them some suggestions for doing the tasks and just a few students ( 10%) suppose their teachers attempt to help their students understand the purpose of the listening text. Only a few of them spend some time listening to it every-day. there are only 6% students say they are much interested and 32% rather interested in comparison with 52% say just little and 10% not at all. they realize the importance of motivation for their students.
a lot of the students think that their 28 . unfamiliar topics and the context cause them fewer difficulties in listening learning. they fail to grasp the overall meaning of the listening text. there must be certain changes in the way the teachers create listening interest for their students. Thus. as a result . Finally. native speakers or their teachers. The following is that they have problem in understanding the accent.6. Limited vocabulary and structures cause difficulty for 26% of the students. all of the students agree that the listening equipment is quite good and the grammar causes them almost no problem. They are so busy trying to work out the meaning of one part that they miss the following part. 2. This is not surprising at all as the high school students in general and the students at FLSS in particular tend to work out the meaning of every utterance they hear in the second language. It can be inferred that maybe the teachers apply the traditional way of teaching listening by providing any new words and structures.5.the figure shows that the ways the teachers motivate the students seem not to be effective.2. consequently . This is not able to activate the students to guess the words meaning or to predict the content of the listening texts. It can be drawn from the above figures that there are three main problems facing the students when they have to listen to the tapes.the students become very passive. Factors that cause difficulties in learning listening (Question 12) Option Question 12 a b c d e f g h 0% 10% 4% 38% Table 5 20% 26% 0% 2% According to the figure in table 5 the most difficult thing facing most of the students is the speaking speed of the speaker (38%). There are only a few students (10%. 4%. Further more. to do this they have to make sure that they can hear all the words within an utterance. That is why the teachers should choose the appropriate materials (tapes with slow speed – for example) and should speak clearly and slowly for the students to understand. Among these keeping up with the speaking speed of the speaker is the most difficult for them. 2%) saying that the factors of large classes.
vocabularies and structures are not good enough to comprehend what they are listening to. most of the students (82%) agree that it is necessary and effective for the teachers to present essential terms or to give the students some background information about the topic or use visual aids . Moreover the teachers should present some key words and structures and sometimes explain the meaning of the words before allowing the students to do their listening. another factor which is worth mentioning in learning to listen to English is strange voices and accents.6. watch English programmers on TV. it requires the teachers’ support as well as the students’ efforts. Therefore . these are the only some of the problems among various ones the students encounter when listening.1. In order to help the students get used to listening to different accents. Most of the students say they find it difficult to listen to radio.6. the teachers should give them opportunities to guess the meaning from the relevant clues or work out the meaning from the context or co-context. the teachers should encourage them to keep on listening and should use recorded materials in which different accents are presented. In conclusion. 2. Together with the two major problems above. so they feel panic when they fail to recognize a word or a structure. 29 . They often try to catch everything they hear. However. 14 & 15) Option Question 13 14 15 a b c d e f 6% 10% 30% 10% 8% 50% 2% 30% 20% Table 6 82% 10% 0% 42% 0% For the question number 13 about the activities the students would like their teachers to do before listening to make the listening less difficult. it is not simple to find a solution to them. Students’ pre-listening activities (Question 13.
7.1. it is clear to be seen from table 6 that most of the teachers allow the students to read the tasks (42%). the majority of the students like it: much (30%).6. the rest of the students (46%) say that they ask the teacher for the meaning and the number of the students who can guess the meaning is 38%. The result of question number 15 about the students’ interest in the way used by their teachers to create listening interest before listening task.we see that most of the teachers do something to lead to while-listening stage. the number of the teachers who present new words or structures is 30%. what do you often do when there are unfamiliar words or structures?”. Showing pictures and giving background information are not popularly used for the teachers as there is only 10% percent for this. Question number 17 is about the activities which the students often do in whilelistening stage. thus the students should be helped to focus on what they are going to hear. It is a good way to have an effective listening lesson. The number of the students who pay attention to pronunciation. the others (16%) often ignore the new words when they are listening. stress and intonation and who try to grasp the 30 . The teachers realize the importance of setting up the activities before listening. just little (20%). rather (50%). the fact is that all the activities given before listening are looked upon as those closely linked with while-listening activities. 2. 60% of the students usually take notes. Students’ while listening activities (Question 16 & 17) Option Question 16 17 a b c d 16% 6% 38% 60% Table 7 46% 18% 0% 16% When asked the question : “While you are listening.When asking the students about the activities which their teachers often do before listening. From the figures shown in table 6 .
the second popular activity is working in group or in pair (34%).8.6. the result they get is not satisfactory. 31 .1. 2. From the data above it can be seen that the students are still not good at finding out how to learn listening effectively. it is very difficult as each type can be suitable in this situation but it is not in the others. Students’ post-listening activities (Question 18. 18% say they only get the theme and 10% of them can not get any of the details. very few students (6%) try to hear and get every word. the students are often allowed to summarize the texts (40%). To some extent. for all the main ideas of the listening text there are 22% of the students. it is good for the students to get used to as many types of activities as possible. but the problem is that it is hard for the teachers as the teachers can not just take out the activities from books but also have to design them in a way that every students can do. Stress. therefore .overall meaning is the same (18% & 16%). but there are only few of them paying attention to these. Regarding the activities after the students finish listening . In fact it is unnecessary and impossible to hear and understand every word. the result is that 60% of the students understand some of the main ideas. the following is discussing the text.19 & 20) Option Question 18 19 20 a b c d 18% 26% 40% 22% 40% 60% Table 8 50% 34% 0% 10% 0% 0% When discussing the question : “How much can you retain after a listening lesson?”. whereas the students just need to grasp the overall meaning with some key information. The work of choosing suitable activities for the students in while listening stage sounds easy but in fact. rhythm and intonation are important.
Another interesting finding is that the students enjoy working in group or in pair. the students spend most of their time doing written work which focuses mainly on grammar and vocabulary as their first and important duty is to do well the written-form examinations to universities. most of them say “ yes” to the question . we can see the current situation of teaching and learning listening to English at FLSS. 2. It means that they all wish to get and widen their knowledge by learning listening. this kinds of activity not only activates their knowledge but arouse their interest as well. It is believed that co-operation is very necessary for communicative activities and it is effective in language learning as the students can benefit from working in small groups. it seems for the teachers that teaching listening comprehension is not more than testing.7. This is called co-operative learning. the students seem not to have appropriate learning method and have little experience in learning listening. However. The collected data show that most of the students at FLSS have a great desire to improve their spoken language by carrying out the activities after finishing listening. Actually the teachers need to diversify the activities to activate the students and make full 32 . thus.About the matter of the students’ attempt to improve their listening skill. The last but not least. Second. CFL. it provides them opportunities to express themselves. it can be inferred from the data that there exist a lot of difficulties in teaching and learning listening. The students express their preference for summarizing what they have just listened.HNU. There are some reasons for this : first. to share experience and to exchange ideas freely and creatively. the teachers do not spend much of their time to design successful and effective listening lessons. it is understandable that the teachers’ techniques may be partially be accessing to up-dating with modern teaching techniques . SUMMARY From the above analysis of collected data. and this school proves itself to be a potential school in which the teachers and students are focus of the development. From the survey we need to keep in mind that there are still mismatches between the teachers and the students in the way the teachers create listening interest or motivation.
Also in chapter two. 33 . To solve and overcome all the problems and difficulties is not easy. However. what they have done seem not efficient enough to improve their listening skill. In the next chapter I am going to suggest some possible techniques based on my knowledge. experience as well as what I have found in the survey with the hope that they would be of some help to improve the quality of teaching and learning listening skill for the teachers and the students of FLSS.use of communicative approach in teaching listening in order to increase interest for the students in listening section. this is a matter of time and effort of both the teachers and students in the process of teaching and learning listening. findings from the survey show that most of the students are active and well-aware of what they need to do every listening lesson.
to discuss the topic. if there is a listening text about “film”. 34 . directors etc. If the students know something about what they are going to listen. The suggestions consist of : building up listening interest and motivation for the students. This can be done by getting students to think. actors and actresses. AROUSING STUDENTS’ MOTIVATION AND INTEREST There is no doubt that motivation and interest play an important role in doing anything. the number of the students being effective listeners is modest while the rest of the students seem to be ineffective ones. they will definitely pay more attention to it. However.CHAPTER THREE: SUGGESTED TECHNIQUES TO IMPROVE LISTENING SKILL TO STUDENTS AT FLSS 3. the more effort they try to reach success and this is also true in learning listening. The latest research findings suggest that there is a circular cause and effect relationship between motivation and success in second language learning. improving three stages of listening skill and developing the listening materials. training students to become efficient listeners. the content of the lesson.1. one of the lead-in activities is asking students to discuss : kinds of film. Only when the students themselves feel eager and anxious to do listening comprehension. Obviously when we are highly motivated to do anything.2. 3. For example . Lead-in activities are those that help involving students in the topic of the listening text. Based on the findings in the preceding chapter about the students’ employment of listening skill as well as their difficulties. INTRODUCTION What have been discussed and analyzed in chapter two show that the students at FLSS more or less know something about listening skill and that they utilize it in dealing with the listening tasks. the greater motivation the students build up. They are called lead-in activities. do they actively take part in the listening lessons. this chapter will aim at giving some suggestions and some practical solutions to overcome the difficulties in order to improve the quality of teaching and learning listening. the chance of touching success is more secure.
Whereas . 3. listening is an active rather than a passive process which involves using a large number of skills and strategies at the same time. Bottom-up processing is the listener’s grammatical and lexical knowledge which is used to extract the meaning of the text. Teachers should avoid making students become bored by asking them to do the same activities every lesson.Varying lead-in activities is certainly a remedy for forming interest and motivation. Syntactic knowledge enables the students to segment the incoming discourse into chunks or constituents. central to the top-down processing is the importance of background knowledge. verb phrases and grammatical devices enable us to segment discourse into appropriate chunks and thus identifying the propositions underlying what is actually uttered. there is both a top-down and a bottom-up process in listening comprehension. the incoming message may be incomprehensible. This is sometimes described as an interact process. TRAINING STUDENTS TO BECOME EFICIENT LISTENERS 3. or systemic (linguistic and schematic (non-linguistic) knowledge.3. words .3. In short. It is a good way to create motivation and interest before listening. knowledge of the structure of noun phrases.1. and second. Listeners make use of two kinds of knowledge to identify propositions: knowledge of the syntax of the target language and real world knowledge. and the application of schemata . lead-in activities are really essential and useful. teachers need to show students how to make use of 35 . Listening also contains bottom-up and top-down processes. thus the students can be successful at the following stage : while-listening. tress. Thus. There are two points: first. Listening is active as there is a great difference between what is said or what the listeners hear. Different activities should be given every listening lesson so that the students feel happy and eager to involve in. sentences or other types which listeners use in understanding language. Language units include intonation. Making students aware of the nature of listening process It is the teachers who should help their students to realize the nature of listening. If a listener can not make use of background knowledge. Therefore . These units of meaning are the propositions which an utterance or speech expresses. Top-down process focuses on the overall meaning of a passage. grammar.
3.3.3. Effective listening instruction will define listening activities that place the students in different roles so that they learn expected types of responses. Gavin (1985) identifies four categories of listening . Promoting students to be fully aware of their purpose of listening One approach to develop listening skill is to help students to understand their purpose of listening. critical (evaluating reasoning and evidence). both types should be used for all levels. and do not become passive as listeners. Firstly. and he knows what sort of information to expect and how to react to it.3. To improve the students’ listening skill. recreational (appreciating an event) Gavin proposes that in any listening situation students need to select an appropriate role and purpose to guide them as they listen. The role helps them to understand what their desired degree of involvement with the speaker should be. 3. the teachers are required to 36 . When doing listening work in the current context of the teaching and listening English at FLSS. If the student knows in advance that he is going to have to make a certain kind of response. Activating students to work in different stages of listening We know that to have a successful listening lesson. students should willingly join in three stages of listening.schemata properly to increase their comprehension. and top-down exercises are more necessary for intermediate and advanced students. answering questions. with typical corresponding purposes: transactional (learning new information). for noting down certain details and for trying to understand the intent of the speaker.2. teachers must be sure that their students are provided with a range of listening purposes such as: expressing agreement or disagreement. Effective listening instructions will also help students to focus on their purpose for listening and provide a task that will check if they have achieved their listening purpose. making a picture or diagram according to instructions. he is immediately provided with a purpose in listening. bottom-up exercises are more useful for beginners. however. In general. CFL. The purpose helps them select appropriate strategies for seeking specific clarification. taking notes. interactions (recognizing personal component of message). the teachers should bear in mind the following things to help the students develop their confidence and skills . and it is a good way to improve listening skill.
Secondly. It is time for students to construct clear. One thing to keep in mind is that listening skill lesson is task-based.give the students clear instructions. so that the emphasis is on the successful completion of the tasks rather than on who got it “right” or “wrong”.set up and vary listening tasks at different levels and different cases .allow the students to predict what they might hear and make connections with what they already know. in the while-listening stage. During this process students verify and revise their predictions. It is clear that this stage is aimed at getting their mind around the topic of the listening passage. techniques should be varied to get the students happily involved in the first listening stage. . To activate the students in while-listening stage . accurate meaning and they interpret the speaker’s verbal message and non-verbal cues. students make interpretations and judgments based on what they know. increasing the relevance of the information. .not treat the activities as tests to be marked and scored. the teachers should: . and assess what they need to know. it means that the students are to do plenty of pre-listening work of an appropriate type so that they will succeed in what ever listening tasks they are asked to do.make sure that the students clearly understand what they are expected to do before starting to listen so that they can go on the journey confidently and reach the finishing line successfully. So to help them to be active in this stage. Therefore. .encourage the students to work independently to comprehend the speaker’s language and ideas and the topic.provide them with key concepts and vocabulary to aid their comprehension. in pairs or in groups. but not inflicting help on those who do not need it.encourage the students to help each other. the teachers should: . .warm them up with some related questions or relevant topics. 37 . .give students help whenever it is needed. the teacher should not do a lot of teaching as students will do the “while” listening tasks by themselves. . thus teacher should do less up-front teaching.
The level of language is propriate to the students’ current ability so that the students feel like listening to get pleasure or interest. Encouraging students to have extensive listening habit.encourage students’ critical reactions and personal responses to the speaker’s ideas and use of language.. Familiarizing the students with extensive listening is a way to encourage them to learn English. strengthen their understanding of language. not asked to do any language work when they do extensive listening. Extensive listening is the general listening to natural language for greneral ideas. and to clarify and extend their thinking about what they have heard by making concrete responses which may be written.students can choose what they actually enjoy listening. However. perhaps after listening for a second time. poems . spoken. 3. The last stage is post-listening.listening materials are easy to understand. -listening materials are various. Nuttal (1982) states that “ The best way to improve your knowledge of a foreign language is to go and live among its speakers. not for particular details. . it helps enrich their vocabulary.jokes). The listening passage for extensive listening can be long (stories) or short (songs.extensive listening can be assigned as homework and their doing must be checked the following period. maybe the following principles should be kept in mind: . with a wide range of topics.” To motivate the students to have extensive listening habit . .encourage students to alter their answers if they wish to. . visual .help students know when to request clarification of what they do not understand. it is important for teachers to encourage students to reflect.or dramatic. Many of the same means used to help students extend and clarify their reading experience can be used to extend and clarify their listening experience.4. 38 . with few unfamiliar items of vocabulary. in general. . Students are.3.
teacher can use this time to motivate the students by making them feel that the actual listening text is real interesting . On the other hand. exciting or amazing. both in general and for particular tasks. key factor to a successful lesson. The teacher’s saying about this is not too short or too long as the shortage may cause difficulties to the students understanding and the redundancy may lead to the students’ boredom and no longer want to listen by the time the actual listening text is played. Introducing the listening topic often comes well from the teacher.1.4. Techniques for pre-listening When students sit in classroom and the teacher says: “Listen to this!” and then switches on the cassette recorder or begins to read aloud. it does require preparation as teacher need to know in advance what must be included in this talk. However. material.In short. in any case. the students may have no idea of what to expect.4. the interest of the class. IMPROVING THREE STAGES OF LISTENING SKIL 3. they may still unable to understand because they lack certain kinds of knowledge necessary for them to comprehend . otherwise it is easy to go off at a tangent and fail to clarify or establish significant points. 3.1. the ability of the class. particularly when students are about to hear a recorded text. Extensive listening is one of the selected approaches as it create pleasure. The techniques of offering support or instruction before listening are varied and depend on a number of factors: time. there are various inputs which offer students with an aim of becoming proficient at using a language. 3. Even if the sounds and words they hear are familiar. students should be “turn-in” so that they know what to expect. Introducing the topic This is a very common form of pre-listening activity. before listening .4. Teachers generally give their students some background information. 39 . who. when planning lessons. For teachers . begin to talk about the topic and indicate what the students should expect to hear. The followings are some suggestive pre-listening techniques drawn from the knowledge of theories and the reality of teaching and learning listening at FLSS. the nature and content of the listening text itself etc.1. So . time must be allocated for pre-listening activities and these activities should not be rushed. is able to adjust the nature and level of the talk discussion to suit the students.
They can discuss or ask the teacher for the meaning of some words/ phrases or the message of some ideas/ thoughts. 3. as this makes it extremely difficult for them to use the natural listening skills of matching what they hear with what they expect to hear .5.2.1. 3.4. phrases that he thinks it causes the students’ “blockage” in listening work . or maps and predict something relating to the content of the listening text or the students can realize the situation due to some environment clues.4.4. or .4. Teachers should select or combine different 40 . Teacher can ask students to look at the picture(s). both in general and for particular tasks. the greater motivation and concentration are likely to be.4. and it is believed that the more striking and stimulating visual aids are.1. 3. Asking students to look at a list of items/thoughts This type of activity is particularly helpful for practicing newly learned vocabulary with early students (10th students).18.104.22.168. especially for high school students . students should be ‘turn in” so that they know what to expect. Techniques for while-listening From the findings of the survey. The teacher presents a list of words .2. Asking students to look at pictures The students are asked to have a look at or describe a picture (or pictures) and the teacher checks that the students can name the items which will feature in the listening text. This can be done by questions and answers or by general or group discussion. graphs. Actually. So before listening . prelistening “looking and describing or talking about” is an effective way of reminding students of lexis which may have been forgotten and of focusing attention on the topic to be listened to 3. then asks the students to look at the list for a few minutes before listening. Using visual aids really attracts students’ concentration .1. even when testing rather than teaching listening comprehension. there are series of things that should be done to aid students in the phase of while-listening. Giving listening tasks It is unfair to plunge students straight into the listening text. Using visual aids Visual materials are really useful in developing listening comprehension.
3. Prediction occurs at the whilelistening-stage (students decide what words or ideas will follow immediately). pause the tape and ask students if they can follow . matching and interpretation. the teacher should exceed his role of supervising. 41 . and matching is related to prediction in that the students make a series or predictions. play back parts of the text if there is something that is not clear. The teacher will play the tape for the first time while students listen to the passage and try to find out the answers for guiding questions or decide true or false for the given statements. First listening This is the continuance of the last step in pre-listening stage. and it is time for students to listen for main ideas. then match them again what is actually said.activities to assist their students as using one preferred technique all the time can not be advantageous for it is impossible to have “one dish that suits all taste. and only give help to the students when really necessary. The fact is that most of the teacher’s work related to a listening lesson has been done in pre-listening stage. be sure that the aim of the work is to teach rather than to test. ask students to leave out less necessary parts of the work rather than rushing. understand and get the necessary information of the passage.4. At the same time. encourage the students to take note of necessary things for later use. teachers must have listening activities which give practice in prediction. ask students to give feedback when every-thing is still fresh in students’ mind.2. ask students to check their work.” In order to help students to do well in while-listening-stage.be willing to help students whenever necessary. During the stage of while-listening. the teacher should: . The teacher’s mission is to create and maintain an encouraging atmosphere in class. The two activities seem to go on concurrently as one part is being matched while other micro predictions are being made.1. as the interpretation of one part of a message can affect the prediction of what the next part will be. During the lesson. encourage co-operation among the students by asking them to work in pairs or in groups. interpretation has to be carried out.
they have to deal with more complicated work – listening for specific details. one thing the teacher should bear in mind is that students have to be given specific task. In general. If there is no task for students to do. The students should be given the handouts. so that all of them can know what the tasks are. The teacher should allow students to listen 42 . the tasks will be finished successfully. More simulating are tasks supported by visual aids such as matching the descriptions with pictures. Before allowing students to listen for the second time.4. One thing should be noted here is that a listening lesson is not a test. the listening work will become inefficient. this step is very important and cannot be excluded from listening process. The teacher. This helps all the students to grasp the overall meaning of the listening text before continuing with the second time listening. what information they need to grasp while listening to the tape by asking them to underline the requirement. The further consequence is that students will be demotivated and discouraged from learning and practicing listening. putting pictures in order and so on. students will gain more confidence and find it easier to deal with other more challenging tasks. but a training session.After the first time listening . They can be: filling the missing word. but give them time to reconsider. students have to grasp the overall meaning of the listening text. arranging items in patterns etc. the teacher should provide them with some suggestions relating to the right answer. As a result. 3. Thereby. Teachers should not ask students to go straight into listening for detailed information as it will cause difficulties for students and lower the process of listening. in the second time. therefore. Tasks for students to do in the second time are various. the teacher can not ensure that their students will concentrate on listening. completing form/chart. If their answer is inexact. teachers should check through all the students’ answers.2. Second listening If in the first time listening. should not ask the students to find out all the answers immediately. Teachers should also make sure that students really understand what they are required to do. As a result. and the teacher should set the purpose for them to listen. labeling. the key words as well as to discuss and anticipate the answers.2.
In case the students’answer is inexact.again (listen for the third time). By setting up doubt and discontent among students with regard to their own answers. It helps generate more confidence.3. the teacher’s feedback should be positive as it is given immediately after the students have finished their tasks. it is time for the teacher to see how well his students have done the tasks. Positive feedback. It is also very useful for the students to compare their answers with each other without commenting on what or who is right or wrong before listening again. giving feedback is very important. motivation and interest. 3. If students performed the tasks successfully.listening 43 . When giving feedback. The more important thing is that much of the value of discussing why students have missed things or made errors is forgotten if the discussion is not held immediately when relevant thoughts are still fresh and uppermost in students’ mind. feedback should be given right after the students have finished their work. 3. giving them such feedback as “Good. Positive feedback will save the students from being hurt and encourage them to try so that they can do better in the next time. recognize their strong points and weak points and to find out the reason why they have not perform the tasks so that they will make an effort and get better results in the next listening lessons. therefore. It is extremely difficult to provide useful feedback at a later lesson as it is generally necessary to replay the listening text in order to refer to the points which students have not been very clear.4. but…” . It encourages them to make greater effort in dealing with other listening tasks and overcome any difficulties. it can greatly affect them . Whatever listening activities the teacher choose for students to carry out. is specially important. Second. the teacher should compliment them on their good work. this can motivate more careful and closer listening in the following listening. so that they can check the answers as well as finish the parts they have not done yet. This will help students to assess their ability.First.4. Third listening Giving feedback is the next essential step in while-listening stage. Techniques for post. there are two points that teachers should bear in mind: .2.3.
the teacher can give the students notice by giving a question or two before listening so that they will focus on this while they are listening. the students' awareness of how language is used in social settings will be improved and they will gradually appreciate how far. The attraction of this activity is that it can provide the students with a selection of language appropriate to the role and the situations . After the work is finished. if there is enough time. Even if the situation in the listening text is different from the one to be used in role-play. the students can use relevant language functions and forms when their turn comes to speak.4. English differs from Vietnamese in this respects.3.4. students can do either oral or written summary work. the teacher can tell one or two pairs or groups to perform their play in front of the class. at post-listening stage. Role-play Role-play or simulation can be carried out after the students listen to a conversation or some other types of listening text that involve more than one speaker. techniques for post – listening is very necessary and important. students have already got the main ideas and a certain amount of the information of the listening text. or to give the students the opportunity to expand the topic. the teacher asks the students to work in pairs or groups according to the numbers of roles in the situation.Apart from the techniques for pre and while listening stages. Summary After finishing while-listening stage.4. 3. and in what ways. These are the suggested techniques which I think they are suitable to the students of FLSS: 3. Discussion Although the students can identify the relationships between speakers while they are listening to them.3. To do this activity. it is sometimes useful.3. So the teacher can ask students to summarize the listening text by extending notes at the while-listening stage or simply depending on memory. 3.2.3. This activity should be done in groups so that the students who have not been very clear about the passage 44 . to consider what features of the listening text made the relationships clear.1. The purpose is to see whether the students have understood what they have just listened. By discussion of these features. In order to ask the students to do a post -listening discussion .
English 10 and 11).1. except for listening the texts in the two books (listening And Speaking. There is no doubt that it is difficult for high school students to listen attentively for a too long text. Content The content of the listening text is not less important as all students need material which will involve them and make them want to listen.5. teachers should plan to stop the tape from time to time. 3. DEVELOPING LISTENING MATERIALS As shown in table 2. and use it in more manageable sections and introduce pauses to give the students time to think. when selecting supplementary materials. Stephen Kraskhen has identified listening as a valuable source of what he calls “comprehensive input” and he maintains that students need both to acquire a language and to learn a language. texts which deal 45 .5. Language Using listening texts of the right level will not only develop listening skills but also contribute to students’ overall language learning.can have a chance to understand it .3. teachers will not motivate students if the text is too short. the teachers need to vary their activities to make full use of the strengths and avoid the weaknesses. so it is good for students to be faced with language which they should be capable of understanding although it is slightly above their current level of use.5. to have an effective listening lesson.therefore necessary for teachers to identify appropriate material which does interest their students. Length The length of the listening text should be taken into consideration. It is important to have criteria for teachers to make decisions to choose recorded texts . It is . whereas. In short. After that the teacher asks the group leader to present their summary. Ordinarily.5. 3. 3.2. teachers should care for the following criteria: 3. If there is a text which teachers want to use but find rather too long. the students of FLSS have chances to listen to the extra listening texts which are selected by their own teachers and which are taken from different sources.
It is essential for the teachers to help their students be aware of the nature of listening process. This . Listening skill is by both the teachers and the students considered the most difficulty to achieve among the four skills. The teachers have to adjust the time and efforts to manage the class and make their students involve in the listening lesson. with their active role. book 10. The following technique is to improve activities in three stages of a listening lesson. with interesting content. 11” must be made full use of. drove me to 46 . Listening interest and motivation are the first factors to help the teachers to improve their students’ listening skill. PART THREE: CONCLUSION 1. 3. Activating their students to work in different stages of listening. but they should not be the sole type of material used . supplementary listening materials should be carefully selected and provided.CFL. I can clearly see the current situation of teaching and learning English. the two books: “Listening And Speaking. and encouraging their students to have extensive listening habits are also the techniques that can train efficient listeners. funny stories and amusing pictures can be exploited to great effect in language teaching. need to train their students to become efficient listeners. in addition. SUMMARY In this chapter.6. The second is that the teachers. teachers have to note the importance of finding well-recorded material of the right length. I have presented some suggestive techniques to improve listening skill to the students at FLSS. to ensure the success of the teacher in activating his students and improving their listening skill. and with suitable level.therefore. Finally.HNU. teachers should vary the topics and style to avoid making boredom to the students In conclusion.with up-to-the-minute news and the very latest ideas are of consideration interest. promote their students to know the purpose of listening. SUMMARY OF THE STUDY Being one of the teachers at FLSS. Moreover they need to vary strategies to aid the students in three phases of a listening lesson .
the techniques and activities suggested though prove to be useful and effective. Secondly. but up till now there has been only this study on improving listening skill for the students of FLSS. but there should be a research conducted to confirm what difficulties the teachers at FLSS have met in teaching listening skill.conduct this study. 2. analyzing and summarizing materials and books relating to the thesis in combination with doing the survey questionnaire. It is . limitations are unavoidable. The study presented in this minor thesis is of no exception. the solutions to the thesis questions are found. listening is only one of the four basic skills in teaching and learning English. There should be some more techniques and activities to help high school students in general and gifted students in particular make good advance in listening skill. This study is done in the hope of contributing some suggestive techniques and activities for teaching and learning listening and it is carried out with the purpose of finding the answers to the two research questions: .Which techniques should be applied by the teachers to help the students to overcome their difficulties in listening lessons? In order to answer these two questions. speaking and writing for better English teaching and learning at FLSS should be carried out . 47 . they are likely to be subjective and incomplete.What are the factors that cause the difficulties to the students? . LIMITATION AND SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY In any research papers.therefore. the study has already dealt with the difficulties of learning listening skill of the students of 10th and 11th form. important that studies on reading. Thirdly. By reading. Firstly. the study is based on the existing of listening skills (the work of other writers ) and the status of teaching and learning English at FLSS in general and teaching and learning listening to English in particular.