Departmental Bulletin Paper A proactive ELF-aware approach to listeningcomprehensionELF awareness in a university WorldEnglishes course

Dimoski, Blagoja

2 ( 2 )  , pp.24 - 38 , 2016-04-01
Listening comprehension (LC) is an integral part of language learning. Althoughcourse textbooks contain a diverse range of listening tasks for classroom learning,they also tend to share some common, albeit potentially problematic, features worthconsidering more deeply; namely, 1) listening is presented as an isolated skill(i.e. detached from speaking), 2) visually-based supplementary material is oftenunderutilized, and 3) learners play a predominantly passive role in the process. Thecurrent paper will argue that such traditional approaches to LC are not reflective ofreal-world conditions our learners are likely to encounter, and to some extent, mayeven run counter to our teaching aims. With this in mind, the paper will presentan alternative approach to LC, developed by the author, which can be used eitheras an adjunct activity to existing listening segments in course textbooks or as asubstitute for them. In this approach, the source of auditory output is not technology,but rather, it is the learners who engage in reading transcripts of listening textsaloud to each other in pairs. This participatory process places ownership of thelanguage in the hands of the learners and opens, rather than closes, the door tolearner inquiry and the negotiation of meaning during the listening task itself,providing greater authenticity and compatibility with ELF-oriented principles thantraditional approaches.

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