Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Teaching L2 Listening Strategies Works!

The Problem 
Can L2 learners be taught strategies to help them become better at listening comprehension? 

The study 
This study shows that guiding students to engage in recursive listening processes helps them become better listeners. More specifically, the listening strategy instruction was found to help learners direct their attention to main ideas and content details and to enhance their ability to plan, predict, monitor, evaluate, and solve problems for listening tasks. University-level students of French as a second language were given process-based cycles of listening activities. They were instructed to predict main ideas and more detailed information before each passage and to discuss potential difficulties and possible solutions to them. As a result, their listening comprehension improved significantly. 

The Take-Home Message 
Providing instruction on L2 strategies can improve our learners’ ability to comprehend aurally and therefore accelerate their learning in the target language. But before including strategy instruction in your classes, it’s important to consider the range and frequency of strategies your students might already be using and to choose strategies appropriate to their level and to their communicative and/or academic needs. 

Article Citation 
Vandergrift, L., & Tafaghodtari, M. H. (2010). Teaching L2 learners how to listen does make a difference: an empirical study. Language Learning, 60, 470-497. 

Entry by Min Fan

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