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Danuta Sewera
Język angielski, Scenariusze

A pre-service teacher training session: How to teach listening

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A pre-service teacher training session: how to teach listening

INTRODUCTION

The following outline of a teacher training session is an example of how Wallace's (1991) "Reflective" model of teacher education may be applied in practical methodology courses at Teacher Training Colleges. The primary emphasis in this model is on the trainees, and more specifically, on their ability to relate their own experience, opinions and knowledge to "received knowledge" (Wallace 1991). The trainer's role, then, is to provide opportunities for the trainees to reflect on both: the input they receive and the classroom procedures they participate in. This can be best done through task-based training sessions in which the focus is on the trainees experiencing simulated classroom situations and having to apply theoretical principles to solve practical problems.

AIMS

By the end of the session, the trainees will:

- be familiar with basic principles concerning teaching receptive skills
- have reflected on: the differences between listening in and outside the classroom and the implications of these differences for the foreign language classroom
- be familiar with a general pattern for teaching listening
- be able to plan a listening stage of the lesson
- have a chance to critically evaluate listening materials in English coursebooks used in Polish schools

DURATION: 90 minutes

TECHNIQUES: brainstorming, discussion, micro-teaching, mind-mapping

MATERIALS: a tapescript from any English coursebook, a selection of English coursebooks, worksheets

PROCEDURE:

1. Differences between real-life and classroom listening: group work (based on: Tanner 1998)

The trainees are divided into two groups: A and B. Group A members are to draw a MIND-MAP centered around the topic: LISTENING IN REAL LIFE. The trainees should consider the following aspects: content of listening materials and reasons for listening.
Group B members are to draw a MIND-MAP centered around the topic: LISTENING IN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE CLASSROOM. The trainees should consider the following aspects: content of listening materials and reasons for listening.

2. Feedback: whole-class discussion

The mind-maps are displayed and the trainees are encouraged to comment on the most important differences between the two listening contexts.

3. Features of real-life listening situations: pair-work

The trainees are to examine the features of real-life listening situations in detail. They receive a handout with the following aspects of listening (Ur 1991) and their task is to make notes on these.
Real-life listening: features
language:e.g. often informal and spontaneous
grammar:
pronunciation:
vocabulary
background noise
fillers
listener expectation and purpose
feedback

4. Feedback: whole-class

The trainees compare their answers and then consider the implications of the above for the classroom. The conclusion that the trainer tries to elicit from the group is that listening in the classroom should resemble real-life listening situations, and therefore emphasis should be on the purpose, listener expectations and motivation to listen, as well as authentic language and texts.

5. How do we listen? Sub-skills needed while listening: brainstorming, pair work

The trainer explains that depending on the purpose of listening, listeners employ different sub-skills while listening, e.g predicting. The trainees work in pairs trying to come up with examples of other sub-skills.

6. Feedback: whole-class

The trainees' examples are discussed. If the trainees have not come up with all important sub-skills, the trainer elicits them by giving examples: The list of sub-skills should include the following (based on Harmer 2001): identifying the topic, guessing, listening for general, specific and detailed information and interpreting speaker's intentions and moods.

7. General pattern for teaching listening: group work

The trainees working in groups of three receive worksheets with an outline of a three-stage pattern of a listening lesson: PRE-LISTENING, WHILE-LISTENING and POST-LISTENING. Their task is to answer the questions:
- What is the purpose of each stage?
- What is the teacher's role at each stage?
- What is the learner's role at each stage?
- What activities could be used at each stage?

8. Feedback: group work or whole-class

The trainees may compare their answers with the answer key provided, or the whole-class feedback session may be organized.

9. Preparing to teach listening: group work

The trainees working in groups of three receive copies of a tapescript from any English coursebook used in Polish schools. Their task is to organize a listening lesson based on the tapescript bearing in mind conclusions reached in task 8. All trainees work on the same material. It is important for the trainer to specify details regarding the age and level of the learners the lesson is for.

10. Presentation: micro-teaching

Volunteers or appointed trainees micro-teach the lesson. Other trainees are "learners" at this stage of the training session.

11. Feedback: pair/group work, whole-class.

Pair work: Both: the trainee "learners" and "teachers" consider the following questions related to the micro-teaching experience:
- Was the staging of the lesson appropriate?
- Were the activities appropriate?
- Would you suggest any changes in the procedure?

Whole-class: The trainee "teachers" provide self-evaluation and the trainee "learners" supply additional comments if necessary.

12. Evaluating coursebook listening materials; pair work

Copies of different English coursebooks are distributed among the trainees who are asked to focus on the listening materials included in the coursebooks and evaluate them on the basis of the principles established earlier in the session.

13. Conclusion: whole-class

The trainees share their views on the coursebook materials: their advantages and disadvantages. The trainer draws the session to a close by asking the participants to brainstorm the most important principles of teaching listening.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Harmer, J. 2001. The Practice of English Language Teaching. Harlow: Pearson Education Ltd.
Parrot, M. 1993. Tasks for Language Teachers. Cambridge: CUP
Tanner, R. 1998. Tasks for Teacher Education: a reflective approach. Harlow: Longman
Ur, P. 1996. A Course in Language Teaching. Cambridge: CUP
Wallace, M. 1991. Training Foreign Language Teachers: A Reflective Approach. Cambridge: CUP

 

Opracowanie: Danuta Sewera

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