Listening discussion forum

Listening discussion forum
Thursday, 14 January 2021, 5:07 PM



This is a forum for discussion on the topic listening, based on the readings. Take a look at some of the contributions by other students:

According to Cauldwell (2014) “the speech that learners encounter outside the classroom is more like jungle vegetation than garden or greenhouse plants, much wilder than the forms they encounter in the classroom. Such speech contains phenomena which are rarely seen in textbooks and words, like vegetation in the jungle, are blended into their neighbours in ways which are not predicted by the rules of connected speech. They are squeezed into bursts of the stream of speech, and it becomes difficult to recognise where one word begins and another ends, or indeed whether word-endings, syllables, or whole words have occurred at all” (p.43).
I completely agree with Cauldwell and by using technology we can have access to Spontaneous Speech Models and use them with our students, in order to prepare them for something which would be much closer to the real life listening situations they will have to deal with.


Stanley, in his introduction to the chapter, problematizes the challenge of teaching listening. First, measuring students' progress is not an easy task - and I think this issue deserves further debate. Second, the widespread belief that this ability requires only exposure to recordings and that eventually students "pick it up" has put the teacher in a comfort zone, a mere "play the audio and check the questions". Therefore, listening tasks are, in most classrooms, dull and repetitive to the teacher and tiring, sometimes too hard, to students.
Fortunately, technology is here to change the scenario. It allows students to acess content of their own interest, increasing the amount of input they are exposed to and rising their motivation towards learning English. As aforementioned by José, videos should be used in classroom settings to bring students voice, their preferences and recommendations. The role of the teacher here is also to providing students with samples of culture that students may not be so familiar with, making them look further.
Watching videos is also meaningful interaction in the language and integrates abilities, as students can read and leave comments in most websites.

I truly agree when Chapelle argues that most students complain that Listening is very difficult for them, however the question I have being asking myself is: "how could language teachers effectively teach listening? " - Certainly the most efficient way to do that ( or at least try) is proving comprehensible input to students ( being always aware of their levels ) and also showing them how they can find it by themselves as well. In order to accomplish that, the advance of internet played an essencial rule considering learners have easy access to material in the target language that can provide them the input they need to improve their listening skills.
Stanley also states that Listening is difficult to teach because the results are not easy demonstrable , and that statement makes me consider the listening tests language teachers have to do with their students; assessment would certainly be another topic of discussion, but if we understand listening is hard to students, and also to the teachers, maybe another there should be a different way to assess learners development that did not involve a test in the way it has being done.



Picture of Fernanda da Costa Alves (202001313)
Re: Listening discussion forum
by Fernanda da Costa Alves (202001313) - Saturday, 20 March 2021, 6:54 PM

In Stanley's (2013) chapter, the author raises an important discussion about listening. The author says that this skill is neglected by teachers in the classroom and is often seen as something students will learn eventually through exposure. As a teacher, I must agree that in class listening has not been a priority (at least for me). Usually, other aspects of language are prioritized in terms of "what is important to see about this topic". And not because I do not see listening as an important skill, on the contrary, I understand how important it is, however, as students in the examples have mentioned teachers are not quite sure how to do that without turning the class into a boring class (using audios from the book for instance) or making the task too difficult to the students (using authentic input).

As a teacher, I believe it is quite difficult to manage so many abilities to be learned in so little time. However, listening is indeed a crucial part of language learning and should not be neglected since it deeply affects communication. And in this sense, technology can help a lot in giving input/tools to develop these activities.

Picture of Tatiana Köerich Rondon (202000714)
Re: Listening discussion forum
by Tatiana Köerich Rondon (202000714) - Saturday, 20 March 2021, 7:09 PM

Good evening, everyone!

Stanley (2013) starts his chapter about listening by presenting a list of technological tools used to aid language learning. His list includes wax cylinders, phonograph records, magnetic tapes, CDs, podcasts, and other online audio. Then, the author defines listening as: “ active process in which listeners select and interpret information that comes from auditory and visual clues, to define what is going on and what the speakers are trying to express” (Thompson & Rubin, 1996, as cited in Stanley, 2013, p. 81). I depart from this definition to talk about the different types of listening tasks we face in real life and, consequently, in the classroom. In most real-life situations, listeners count on visual clues that aid in comprehension (ex.: listening to the news on TV, watching a movie, listening to your neighbor, etc.). However, in certain situations, listeners are only guided by auditory clues. For instance, when talking on the phone, sending audio messages, listening to podcasts, comprehension occurs without any visual hint. Stanley (2013) points out that listening is temporary and, consequently, it relies on memory. With that in mind, listening tasks should be well-prepared and divided into steps. Pre-listening activities must be incorporated into the lesson so that students are ready to listen. Another point to consider when planning a listening activity is that teachers can use linguistically-complex texts as long as the tasks are simple.

Picture of Daniele Perezin Mizuta (202004424)
Re: Listening discussion forum
by Daniele Perezin Mizuta (202004424) - Sunday, 21 March 2021, 3:48 PM

Hello! smile

As Stanley (2013) mentions in the introduction to his chapter, “the listening skill is often undervalued in the classroom” (p. 81). I agree with Fernanda when it comes to my own practice, as I am aware that I do not prioritize the listening skill as much as I would like. I am constantly suggesting videos, podcasts, TV shows and other resources to get students to practice their language comprehension skills, but most of the times I ask them to watch/listen to them at home.

Another point mentioned by Stanley is that, despite the high importance of the development of listening skills for effective communication, the “results are not easily demonstrable” (p. 81). In addition, some students clearly express a preference to activities that focus on speaking rather than listening skills. As mentioned by Chapelle and Jamieson (2008), students frequently define listening as a difficult skill, since it is fast and not explicit. I would assume that the combination of these factors added to the lack of technological equipment and limited time in some contexts would lead teachers to prioritize activities that focus on other skills.

However, I believe technology has already facilitated students’ access to listening materials (if compared to the sound booths or CDs mentioned by Stanley!) and might be the key element to integrate this skill more and more to the everyday pedagogical practice.

Picture of Janaina Fernanda de Almeida (202001525)
Re: Listening discussion forum
by Janaina Fernanda de Almeida (202001525) - Sunday, 21 March 2021, 10:47 PM

Hello! (:

Stanley (2013) starts the chapter with a critical discussion about the difficulties of teaching listening skills, as already mentioned by the girls, and he argues that technology can facilitate this task a lot. I entirely agree with the raised points in defense of the implementation of technological tools for listening skills, especially as a means of increasing learner’s opportunity to get further “input, interaction and feedback” (p. 82). Likewise, the Internet grants access to a diversity of listening pieces (e.g., videos, songs, podcasts, etc.) to be used as class material. By adopting these extra resources, the teacher can consider the learners’ interests and develop more entertaining and interactive activities instead of only using the instructional audios and comprehension activities commonly found in coursebooks.

Picture of Luana Garbin (202002715)
Re: Listening discussion forum
by Luana Garbin (202002715) - Monday, 22 March 2021, 9:16 AM

Hello, everyone

The first thing in Stanley's chapter that caught my attention (because I've never considered that) is when he says that listening activities in the classroom are tested instead of taught. This reminded me of the countless activities from my time at school when we used to listen to the teacher's CDs and sometimes (often) the situations were out of context, which naturally causes a strange feeling which also makes difficult to compreheend the audios, and we conclude that we can't understand the audio because they are speaking too fast. That is actually what I hear from students, that they speak too fast. 

Another aspect that is really discussed in the classroom regarding listening activities is student's listening practice outside classes. This includes whatching series, movies and podcasts, which is also mentioned by Stanley. One thing that I believe that still needs to be encouraged by some students is the habit of whatching series and movies with subtitle, but the claim is that "I can either pain attention to the movie or the subtitle". This is why it is important to share interesting listening activities in classroom that will encourage students to practice it at home willingly. This is the part that Stanley also mentions in the chapter, about encouragint student's autonomy. Thus, we as teachers can give the first step and the motivation from students can eventually rise. 

Picture of Thaisy da Silva Martins (202001387)
Re: Listening discussion forum
by Thaisy da Silva Martins (202001387) - Wednesday, 24 March 2021, 4:43 PM

I agree with Stanley when he mentions that listening can be neglected in the classroom, while the other skills are more deeply developed. I believe that technology helps us a lot to find authentic audio material, so that the students can practice listening with real-world input. Videos, songs, podcasts and so on are a great source to the practice, and the teachers can propose a listening comprehension activity for afterwards, checking that the students understood the content and language proposed. 

Picture of Celso José de Lima Junior (202001592)
Re: Listening discussion forum
by Celso José de Lima Junior (202001592) - Tuesday, 30 March 2021, 10:50 PM

Hey, everyone


The wealth of authentic listening materials from the internet, in both audio and video format, helps us to use a variety of up-to-date listening resources in the language classroom. As teachers, we need to know how to use them as a pedagogical tool and as a way of enhancing language learning. 


Picture of Flávia Roberta Felippi Rucki (201905682)
Re: Listening discussion forum
by Flávia Roberta Felippi Rucki (201905682) - Wednesday, 31 March 2021, 4:22 PM

   Stanley mentions that technology and language teaching have been together for a long time, as for example, the use of magnetic tapes for listening practice in the 1950’s.  In the 80’s and 90’s, first as a student, and later as a teacher, I remember going from classroom to classroom carrying around those big tape recorders for listening practice. At that time, it was not so nice, students didn’t like it much,  but it was the best available resource.  With the advent of internet, language teaching and, specifically, listening teaching had a great improvement in the resources available to help learners in the development of this skill.  Since then, teaching listening has become much more interesting and fun. Nowadays, teaching listening is closely related to real life language use and we can easily access someone speaking English in a real context.

   However, listening is still a hard skill to be developed by many students. Stanley claims that ‘listening is usually neglected’ and that ‘listening being tested rather than taught’  in the classrooms might be the cause for this deficit. In this perspective, Stanley provides lots of activities to promote language learning in a very interesting and effective way. Listening can (and must) be taught in an easy, meaningful and motivating way!!

Picture of William Gottardi (202003499)
Re: Listening discussion forum
by William Gottardi (202003499) - Wednesday, 31 March 2021, 4:31 PM

Hey, everyone!

First, I like the idea presented by Stanley (2013) when he infers that technology can be a source of more relevant, personalized, and authentic information for the learners. The author also points out the potential of podcasts for language learners. Although I am not a big fan of them myself, I know that many of my students follow programs and listen to episodes regularly. Thus, combining listening to podcasts and creating their own in English can be really helpful for language learning. Moreover, websites such as Youtube and TedEd can provide learners with a huge variety of oral input. Besides, I agree with Chapelle and Jamieson (2008) when they state that teachers should look for materials that include both bottom-up and top-down activities.

Picture of Rayla Rocha dos Santos (202001012)
Re: Listening discussion forum
by Rayla Rocha dos Santos (202001012) - Thursday, 1 April 2021, 6:43 AM

Reading Chapelle’ tips that were provided, the tips that I most liked was “select CALL materials that are appropriate for students to listen to”, and “choose CALL activities that include video” because learners’ level must be according to the listening activity, and videos help learners to understand the context, and it can provide more clues thought peoples’ expressions on videos or how scene or song is portrayed, etc. Thus, mainly for beginners, videos are very helpful. Moreover, one thing that I always enjoyed as a student was listening to different varieties of English because the learner can perceive that there are different ways of speaking.

Picture of Andreia Dalla Costa (201901088)
Re: Listening discussion forum
by Andreia Dalla Costa (201901088) - Tuesday, 6 April 2021, 5:06 PM

Stanley (2013) writes in his chapter that listening is often undervalued in class and I have to agree with him. I think that most of us take it for granted that listening activities are just a "listen - answer - check" continuum and that it is not a skill to be developed either because we believe it to be "easy" or because we are not always aware about how to conduct such activities. However, I personally believe that listening is one of the most important skills, because it is from listening that we have models for pronunciation,  language in use, vocabulary, and so. Hence, technology brings lots of possibilities to promote listening practice when it is well prepared considering listening as skill to be learned rather than a skill to be tested. 

Picture of Pierre Silva Machado (202004425)
Re: Listening discussion forum
by Pierre Silva Machado (202004425) - Wednesday, 7 April 2021, 6:33 PM

When Stanley mentions that teachers should encourage students to listen to the language they are learning outside the classroom, I think he is emphasing something we do everyday in our practice, but not in a pedagogical way. We often tell them they should be in contact with English as much as they can, but I do not believe we give them tools for a more oriented practice of listening. What I mean is that teachers need to make students understand how important it is to create a study routine where they practice the linguistic abilities at home.

When it comes to listening, I think some practices may be interesting for them beyond only the simple habit of listening to English: I really believe we have to count on a great amount of materials so that they can do it not only for fun, but for the sake of learning. Listening to music and series in English is good, but what if they have the awareness of  why they are doing certain activites?

Picture of Mauricio de Bortolli Lattmann (202004435)
Re: Listening discussion forum
by Mauricio de Bortolli Lattmann (202004435) - Friday, 9 April 2021, 11:19 AM

Hello everyone,

When it comes to the Listening Skill, Stanley (2013) provides examples of activities connected to technology that can assist learners with the challenge of understanding spoken language. The importance of the listening skill is beyond question, however most learners face many difficulties and challenges trying to develop this particular skill. Learners usually have to select and interpret information so that they can make sense of what the speaker is trying to say. Looking on the bright side, due to the internet and many other sources of information we have available these days, learners are offered a pretty wide range of possibilities to develop this skill, therefore developing listening skill might not be that challenging anymore. From podcasts, movies, Youtube videos, music and so on, the sources available for learners to choose from is quite impressive. That is why it is really important for us as teachers/professors to guide our students assisting them on how to take advantage of these sources, consequently motivating them to also engage in activities by themselves outside of the classroom.