Using Authentic Materials for Teaching Listening Skills

 

Introduction:

Authentic materials are those materials which are not prepared purposely for classroom teaching purpose but can be used. Using authentic materials for teaching listening skills include photographs, recorded audio, news, speeches, presentations, video, realia, newspaper, broacher or leaflets and other teaching resources that were not specially prepared for pedagogical purposes. The use of authentic materials not only provides learners insights with real world use of language for different purpose but also gives enough exposure for learning any language. It is also useful to motivate learner to use langue for various purposes.

Authentic materials for teaching listening refer to the materials which are not developed for teaching and learning purpose. They are prepared for other purpose than teaching listening itself. Although not prepared intentionally for pedagogical purposes, they are of vital importance in teaching language. Authentic materials for teaching listening includes radio programs such as news, interviews, debates and discussion, speeches, songs, audio books, stories, public announcement, and other resources for developed listening purpose. Those materials are found in recorded form or anybody can record them easily for later use. A teacher should bring such materials in the classroom and also encourage learners to listen them extensively outside the classroom.

Listening is very important skills for developing other skills and aspects of language. Being good at listening is directly associated with successful use of language for various purposes. In EFL context, teaching listening is found to be neglected skill. It is daunting task for teacher. And it carries very less weightage in the examination. The Basic level curriculum of English has prescribed listening activity as the most important skills of language. Listening audio materials are also put available on www.moecdc.gov.np .  Besides, the use of authentic listening materials for developing learner’s listening skills is often ignored by the teacher and the students. Authentic listening materials promote real world use of language for communication. It provides learner with vast exposures of language.

Implications of using authentic listening materials for teaching listening skills:

The using of authentic listening materials for teaching listening skills in language classroom is very beneficial though some problems regarding pronunciation and prosodic features such as speed, level of language, etc. may arise in the beginning phase. Some of the implications of bringing authentic materials into the classroom are presented here.

  • It fosters students’ active listening skills.
  • It prepares students for real challenges to be faced while using language for various purposes in the world of English.
  • It enables learners use the language for particular purpose.
  • Rich language is found in authentic materials, which provides sufficient input of language learning.
  • It supports pronunciation, stress and intonation teaching.

Hence, the use of authentic materials while teaching listening is necessary. It supports language learning to be occurred faster and proper. The learners should be encouraged to listen conversation, news, interviews, speech in TL widely and extensively outside of the classroom.

Delivering procedure(Using authentic materials for teaching listening skills):

It is very difficult to expose students with authentic live conversation like talking to native speaker physically. But they can be given opportunity to listen and respond to the recorded piece of audio materials produced either by native speaker or other for other purposed than pedagogical intentions.

To complete the task, I recorded a two minute audio from BBC news on my cellphone. I devised some activities to be done by teacher and students in and out of the classroom. After preparing in-depth lesson plan, I took it to my class room.

Objectives:

  1. Listen to the audio and retell the news in their own words.
  2. Listen to the audio news and fill correct word/phrase in the blanks.

Activities:

Pre-listening activities:

  • Teacher gets the students ready for listening by motivating them and managing classroom environment.
  • T tells them what they are going to listen today.
  • After getting attention form students, T plays the recorded news using Bluetooth speaker.

While-listening activities:

  • While listening to the news, children are asked to fill correct word/phrases in the blank listening carefully to the audio.
  • T plays audio for many times and ensures everyone is doing the given activity.
  • T writes the answer on the board and tells each pair to cross check their answers.

Post-listening activities:

  • Now students are divided into several group containing not more than four students in each group.
  • They are asked to discuss and write a paraphrase of the news they recently heard.
  • Teacher goes to every group to observe, encourage and assist them.
  • Finally each group presents their report. Teacher gives feedback.
  • T assigns a follow up activity of listening to a speech of famous personality at home.

Read this for more lesson plans.

 

-Shiva Ram Paudel

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