Saturday 1 March 2014


John Varghese Languaging-2010 May -Volume-1
[John Varghese teaches in Dept. of Media and Communication at English and
Foreign Language University,Hyderabad. ]
The article 'Media For Listening Class' tries to evolve some
practical ways by which listening can be made learner- centred,
spontaneous and useful in building up vocabulary and
comprehension skills for first level learners of a foreign
language .The paper tries to argue that the traditional demarcation
of a listening activity/methodology into pre and post listening
phases need not always be rewarding.
Listening is no longer looked upon as a passive skill
within the domain of language learning. On the contrary, listening
is a dynamic learning process where the learner actively engages
with the language.
Today the language teacher is no longer limited by
the textbook but can call upon technology to assist her in the
class. It is an incontestable fact that media and technology have
regularly provided the language teacher with support in the
Decades ago ,but not very long ago,the teacher was not restricted
to the text alone and perhaps a few charts and map sometimes to
support the teaching process. Today in most of our classrooms we
have computers, L C D projectors,sophisticated e-blackboards,
internet and a host of software programme that are at the beck and
call of the teacher. The most important reason for the decision to
use such technologies is that they are use-friendly and that many
learners are comfortable with the ways and means of accessing
and using them. Another reason is that, we teachers ,we offer
ourselves a relief from the regular methodology that we are
probably used to. While we bring in some variety to our teaching
methodology,the benefits for our learners are much for significant.
We make them active participants.
From his observations,he make four
recommendations. His first recommendation is that teacher use an
audio text alone,without its transcription. This makes it necessary
for the learners to be dependent exclusively on what s/he is
listening to. His second recommendation is that texts used for
listening purposes are most effective when they have a very large
'surprise quotient ' in them. So when learners are expect to listen to
a conversation that is academic in nature,it may be good idea to
surprise them with a discussion recorded from the T V on a current
social issue or a song by a rock group that the learners relate to.
His third suggestion is that teachers of listening need to use their
knowledge of their learners to listening texts. It may be that drama
may work well with one set of learners may not be successful with
another group. His last suggestion is that passages that are to be
played should not be more than three minutes' duration at a
stretch(for entry level learners ) and produce best results when
their is battery of questions addressed to all learners without
To sum up, listening classes can be made
more effective by using audio texts(without a transcription
backup) freely available from a variety of media sources-the
internet radio and television. Use of transcription should not be
encouraged especially where the skills of vocabulary building and
comprehension are being taught. The teacher should actively
involve herself/himself, challenging the learners to listen,
comprehend and increase their vocabulary. And lastly, listening
text always need to be predictable, thy can be varied as learners
themselves. And always successful.

Ms. Sneha Patel

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