The iELT Blog

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23
Apr

Getting Better at Listening: Just for the Phon of it.

Oxford Tefl Dip TESOL tutor Shaun Sweeney will be doing a live lesson at iELT. In this video he talks about the background to planning the lesson.


Developing listening skills can be a struggle for learners, and a struggle for teachers too. Apart from just giving more practice, what exactly can we practically do to ensure each listening experience marks a journey of improvement?
This lesson will attempt to demonstrate some simple, easily-applicable techniques we can use to make sure we don’t just test comprehension and sell our learners short by telling them not to worry about understanding everything. I think we should worry about understanding everything. It’s our job to help the learners get to as close as possible to their desired level of understanding. In my experience, this is usually close to 100%.
I’ve outlined some of these techniques elsewhere, so you can read about these on my shared blog TDLab here.
If you’re interested in further exploring this either before or after the conference, there are plenty of places to go. On the more theoretical side, here’s an interview with John Field where we discuss listening strategies, processes and ‘subskills’.


Apart from that, I highly recommend Richard Cauldwell’s Receptive phonology work. Apart from his two books, Phonology for Listening and a Syllabus for Listening, check out his website here. Sheila Thorn is also a key figure to reference – constantly pointing out the problems with many published listening material and assessment tools. Take a look at her website here.
Finally, I always recommend this post from Scott Thornbury – it very nicely illustrates everything that’s wrong with how listening is often taught.

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