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How to practice English listening comprehension and speaking

 
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Kennen



Joined: 26 Nov 2010
Posts: 45
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 1:27 am    Post subject: How to practice English listening comprehension and speaking Reply with quote

In order to have good skills in listening comprehension in English and to speak it fluently, a learner should practise listening to audio and video aids in English (dialogues, thematic texts and narrative stories). It is preferable to have English transcripts of audio and video material. I suggest that learners practise listening comprehension with subsequent speaking in the following sequence:

1. Learners should listen to each sentence several times. At the same time they should see each sentence in the transcript.

2. Learners need to make sure they understand everything clearly in each sentence in terms of pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar.

3. Without looking into the transcript, learners should try to repeat each sentence (say it aloud) exactly as they heard it. Without being able to repeat a sentence, a learner cannot understand it.

4. Then it is essential that learners listen to that particular conversation or text (story) in short paragraphs or chunks, say each paragraph aloud, and compare to the transcript.

5. Finally it is necessary that learners listen to the whole conversation or story without interruption several times, and try to tell the content of the whole conversation or text (story) they heard. They can write key words and phrases, or main ideas as a plan, or questions on that particular dialogue or text to make easier for them to convey their content in English. It is important for learners to compare what they said to the transcript.

I am a former ESL teacher. I'd like to know your opinion about these suggestions. Maybe you could publish this comment if you find it important.
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Sally Olsen



Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 1306
Location: Canada,France, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Greenland, Canada, Mongolia, Ethiopia next

PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This list of rules seems a bit overbearing to me. People learn in different ways and these are good suggestions for some. Instead of "this is essential" you might write "this seems to be an important part of the process" or something to that effect and carry on in more of that tone throughout.

When the students are listening to the TOEFL test they probably never know all the words and so learning to fill in with something that makes the meaning clear is a pretty important skill. Perhaps your rules are not meant to help them in tests though.

I learn in something of a similar way and it has worked for me. I can't see it working for my friend though who only seems to learn from actual conversations. He would never pick up a tape as he finds it repetitive, condescending and boring.
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Kennen



Joined: 26 Nov 2010
Posts: 45
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My suggestions below are given of course in addition to indispensable communication practice for learners with native English speakers.
There are quite a lot of ready-made conversational English dialogues on a multitude of topics with authentic natural wording with useful content (and vocabulary) at all levels of difficulty from basic to advanced levels. It's hard and time-consuming for learners to create such dialogues on their own as this would require a lot of imagination about potential content of conversations in various situations and issues of discussions.

Therefore it is a good idea for learners to select ready-made dialogues with the most practical helpful content at all levels of difficulty and with the best wording in terms of vocabulary. So learners can select a number of ready-made dialogues at their own discretion on each real life topic. On the basis of those ready-made dialogues learners can create their own dialogues taking into account their potential needs, preferences, circumstances and personal situation.

After listening to and reading dialogues learners can write key words and phrases, or main ideas as a plan, or questions on each dialogue that require long answers to make easier for them to imitate (reproduce, act out/role play) each dialogue to practise speaking in English.
When practising speaking using ready-made dialogues on one’s own it is a good idea to record one’s speech on audio and to compare it with the original text or audio recording.

Learners can find English dialogues at all levels of difficulty in English conversation books and on websites with thematic English conversations and on audio/video recordings. It would be a good idea for learners to exchange information on those materials. It is useful for practising English to make one's own list of daily life topics in order of priority and importance for one's needs and to select dialogues on each topic for each level of difficulty.
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