What is the value of listening activities in teaching and learning and what is the best approach to using them? In everyday life, listening accounts for approximately 45% of the time people are involved in communication (Hedge 2000, 228) leaving 55% for speaking, reading, and writing combined. It may not be surprising then that the use of listening activities can lead to comprehensive language development (Rost 1994) including spelling and pronunciation, and grammar. The effectiveness of teaching listening strategies in addition to, or together with, bottom-up approaches has been examined in recent literature (Nu Nu Wa 2019; Yeldham 2016), and learner anxiety has been somewhat considered (Brunfaut and Revesz 2015). Little research, however, has focused on how to best use listening activities in teaching and learning. Is today's readily accessible Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) or the 'old-fashioned' but re-evaluated dictation the preferable tool for language acquisition? Can the while-listening classroom activities suffice? What parts do anxiety and the perceived control of the listening activity play in motivating successful listening? This study aims to answer these questions by observing learner satisfaction and achievement in the use of these different approaches. To carry out the study, two groups of adult learners with similar syllabi, engaged in integrative language development through reading, writing, speaking and listening, are monitored through the collection of quantitative and qualitative data (questionnaires, progress tests, reflection questions, interviews). Both groups receive lessons on professional email writing and the basics of academic writing (the paragraph). In addition, however, one group is required to complete a given number of hours with CALL, namely with the Rosetta Stone Advantage platform, the other to participate in dictations, as both receivers and preparers (in turn) through a task-based method. (A third group is offered while-listening activities in the classroom, especially open and cloze questions, but given the restrictive measures imposed by the Covid-19 emergency, this group can be included only qualitatively and as regards learner satisfaction.) The expected outcome is that both CALL and dictation groups will benefit in language development, but that the dictation group may find the tasks more involving and, therefore, more motivating. Anxiety levels are expected to be individually relevant in all the approaches.
La "comunicazione quotidiana" può essere suddivisa in 45% ascolto, 55% parlato, lettura e scrittura. Di conseguenza, non deve sorprendere se "ascoltare" può portare allo sviluppo quasi totale della lingua che include spelling, pronuncia e grammatica.
Recenti ricerche si sono focalizzate sull'insegnamento di strategie per un ascolto efficace e sul ruolo dell'ansia nello studente; poca ricerca invece sui modi di utilizzo dell'ascolto, cioè qual è il metodo più appropriato per raggiungere massimo profitto e massima motivazione.
Questo studio intende osservare - con dati quantitativi e qualitativi - due gruppi di studenti con programmi di studio simili, ma che utilizzano metodi diversi di ascolto: uno con CALL (Computer Assisted Language Learning) con la piattaforma Rosetta Stone Advantage, l'altro con il dettato, soprattutto esercizi tipo cloze, attraverso un approccio task-based.
L'aspettativa è che entrambi i gruppi migliorano il profitto, ma che il "gruppo dettato" sia più motivato perchè più coinvolto.
- Brunfaut, Tineke and Revesz, Andrea. March 2015. "The Role of Task and Listener Characteristics in Second Language Listening." TESOL QUARTERLY Vol. 49, No. 1 141-168.
- Hedge, Tricia. 2000. Teaching and Learning in the Language Classroom. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Rost, M. 1994. Introducing Listening. London: Penguin Books Ltd.
- Wah, Nu Nu. October 2019. "Teaching Listening Skills to English as a Foreign Language Students through Effective Strategies." International Journal of Trend in Scientific Research and Development (ijtsrd), ISSN: 2456-6470, Volume-3 | Issue-6 available at https://www.ijtsrd.com/papers/ijtsrd29246.pdf.
- Yeldham, Michael. June 2016. "Second Language Listening Instruction: Comparing a Strategies-Based Approach With an Interactive, Strategies/ Bottom-Up Skills Approach." TESOL QUARTERLY Vol. 50, No. 2 394-420.
Anna M. Csaki has been an English language teacher (Collaboratore Esperto Linguistico) and a contract professor at the University of Trieste, Italy, since1999. She has a degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Trieste and is currently completing a Master's in Applied Linguistics at the University of Birmingham, UK. Originally from the United States, she has worked and lived in Italy for most of her adult life. She loves teaching, working with people, and exploring how language is best learnt.