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Listening

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Useful Sites


 

Needs Analysis


There are four stages in needs analysis:

  1. what you need to know about a language,
  2. your present problems,
  3. your future needs, and
  4. your needs for your course.

Click here for a Needs Analysis / Planning / Studying / Assessment Form that you can print out and fill in.

 

Problems

Make a list of the problems that you have when you are listening, and the situations where you have these problems. For example:

Example Problem 1: Foreigners talk too fast.

Example Problem 2: I can't understand every word.

 

Future Needs

Think about what English you will need in future, for example for your job. Here are some examples:

Example Future Need 1: I will need to listen and understand in meetings.

Example Future Need 2: I will need to listen and understand in presentations.

Example Future Need 3: I will need to listen to my boss's instructions.

Example Future Need 4: I want to work for an international company, so my English, including listening, must be very good.

 

Needs for Your Course

If you are a student you probably need to study English to help you with your course work; e.g. for listening to lectures. Some example needs are:

Example Course Need 1: I need to listen to lectures.

Example Course Need 2: I need to listen and speak in seminars.

(Click here to see the English courses that most full-time HKPU students do.)

 

Planning what to learn


You need to decide:

Materials and Resources

Materials can be videos and audio tapes, or the Internet sites above.

Resources can be teachers, classmates, computers, learner pathways, etc.

Working Alone or With Other People
Reasons for listening with and to other people are:
- Listening is better if someone talks to you, rather than a video or tape
- You get more ideas from the other people
- They can suggest improvements
- They can tell you if you make a mistake
- They can encourage you to do better
- Sharing the work helps you do it quicker
- You can share your thoughts and feelings
- Teamwork skills and experience are important for your career.

Reasons for listening alone are:
- If you share a task then you might learn only your part of the task,
not how to do all of it. Your aim is to learn, not to finish quickly.
- Maybe you don't want to be influenced by other people

How to Practise Listening

It is easier to listen to a film or a TV programme than to an audio tape because in a film you can usually see the speaker so you see their expression and their body language. You can also often see the thing they are talking about. You can also get pop videos of famous singers singing their hit songs. You can find Internet pages about them with the words to their songs (lyrics). Click here for a search page to find your favourite pop star.

Listen to a video or tape, and check words that you don't understand in a dictionary. Find another video or tape on the same topic, and listen again. See if your listening to vocabulary has improved. You can watch videos and compare what you hear to a script. You can find some film and TV scripts on the Internet by searching for the title of the film or TV program, or by clicking here.

 

Listening Strategies


- Physical Response: You can listen to instructions about how to do something, and follow the instructions. Relating sounds to movements helps you remember the sounds. So does listening to the sounds many times and repeating the movements. For example you can buy an English fitness video and listen and follow the instructions, and get fit at the same time.

- Prediction: You can predict what someone is going to say by the topic of the conversation and your knowledge of that person's opinions. Listening to confirm what you predict is easier than listening and trying to understand everything. For example, if you are watching a film or TV programme about lawyers, you can predict that the defense lawyer will say that his client is "Not guilty.", and give reasons. Here are some phrases and predictions about the words that will follow:

  • "I think" + an opinion.
  • "I'm afraid that " + bad news.
  • "Next," + another topic or point.
  • "Finally," + a last topic or point.
  • "But" + disagreement.

- Preparation: you can listen to the news in your own language, then listen to it in English. Listening in your own language will help to predict what topics and vocabulary will be in the English news. Click here for the BBC news in English.

- Motivate yourself: for example if you like movies or music, you can practise listening to them. CILL has a large collection of movies, and some songs on CD.

If you are a member of CILL, you can use our tapes, CDs and listening exercise books.

Listen to your classmates, for example when they are practising their presentations. Ask them questions to check that you have understood correctly; e.g. "You said that this is a new development in the field. When did it happen?"

You can chat to CILL tutors when you visit CILL, and practise your oral.

 

Testing


You can test your listening skills by listening to video or tape, and writing down the main points. You can watch videos and compare what you hear to a script. You can find some film and TV scripts on the Internet by searching for the title of the film or TV program, or by clicking here.

If you are a member of CILL, you can use our tapes, CDs and listening exercise books.

 

Further Planning


When you have finished your plan you need to test or assess yourself to see if you have fulfilled your need. Can you do what your Needs Analysis and your plan aimed for?
- If you can, then you can plan to learn another point from your Needs Analysis, or you can change it because of some new thing that you want to learn. Don't forget to come back and revise later.
- If you can't, you need to study more, so change your plan. You could, for example, do some of the Alternative Materials or Extra Materials if you are following a learner pathway. If you are bored you can do something else and come back later.

For more details on how you can test yourself, click here. The learner pathways also have details on how you can test yourself. Click here for an example.

If you have achieved your aim from your needs analysis, then you can plan to learn another point from your Needs Analysis, or you can change it because of some new thing that you want to learn. Don't forget to come back and revise later.

If you need to study more, change your plan. You could, for example, do some of the Alternative Materials or Extra Materials if you are following a learner pathway. If you are bored you can do something else and come back later.

 

Last updated on: Thursday, May 30, 2013