Learning to Listen and Listening to Learn

General discussion about learning languages
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Re: Learning to Listen and Listening to Learn

Postby DaveBee » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:35 am

reineke wrote:Dictation is similar to transcription. You'll find these exercises and plenty of vocabulary tips in Paul Nation's book about language learning (link below). In order to complete dictation or transcription exercises the learner needs to be able to capture large language chunks in his working memory and render them word by word in writing. Needless to say, in order to do that the learner needs to be able to extricate words from a stream of speech. If we were to try boosting this process, we could take a look at specific approaches, tools, or adapted materials.

HPVT - High Variability Phonetic Training


Slowed down speech - an umbrella term...

https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... own+speech


Paul Nation's page. Includes a free book:
What you need to know to learn a foreign language.The book includes some common sense advice and suggestions.
I've just skimmed through Mr Nation's book, thanks for the link.

He seems to be quite keen on 1. flash cards, 2. repetition.

The repetition angle is a one I'm going to pursue. I've just finished reading Pride and Prejudice, after watching the (dubbed) mini-series, so the audio-book is now at the top of my to-do list! :-)
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Re: Learning to Listen and Listening to Learn

Postby aaleks » Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:05 am

Arnaud wrote:
Ani wrote:
DaveBee wrote:Dictation seems to be a significant part of french children's french language education. Wouldn't that be a practical method for self-study of listening skills?

In my time, the dictations were not prepared in advance: it was "today, dictation: open your notebook and write...", and you wrote during 1/4 hour.

In Russia, when I was a kid, we usually were writing a dictation during a whole lesson (about 40-45 min).
And, yes, the purpose of it was to check orthography and punctuation.

Beside dictations, there was also such thing as "Изложение". I don’t know how it should be called in English, maybe a narration. It looked like this: some story had been read three times by a teacher and after that we were supposed to write down the story (what we had memorized) as precisely as possible. I don’t sure if it might somehow help with listening, but who knows.
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Re: Learning to Listen and Listening to Learn

Postby reineke » Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:13 pm

Eight listening-research findings every teacher should be aware of and their implications for teaching and learning

1. Anxiety seriously affects listening comprehension (Elkhafaifi, 2005; Lund, 1991; Vogely, 1998; Graham, 2011; Vaefee, 2016)

2 Vocabulary Depth is a more decisive factor than Vocabulary Breadth with more advanced L2 learners in effective listening comprehension (Vafaee, 2016

It is a well-established research fact that vocabulary knowledge (VK) has a hugely important role in listening comprehension.

When it comes to listening comprehension and instruction it is important to note, however, that knowing what a word means in isolation and in its written form is different from being able to understand its meaning when it is heard in connected speech (i.e. as part of the speech stream we process aurally).

Whilst Breadth of VK is fundamental for effective aural comprehension at all levels of proficiency, it seems less important than Depth at Upper Intermediate to Avdanced Level (Vafaee, 2016).

3. Syntactic knowledge facilitates learning at intermediate levels of proficiency (Field, 2013; Vafaee, 2016)

Vafaee (2016) finally proved that syntactic knowledge (SK) plays a significant role in listening comprehension. SK ( knowledge of how sentences are correctly constructed ) is deployed by the brain (Working Memory) during the so-called Parsing stage of speech comprehension, i.e. the establishment of relationships between the meaning of individual words and whole utterances. Since Parsing involves pattern recognition, it is crucial in understanding the meaning of an utterance once the vocabulary items have been recognised.

SK, in order to play an effective role in listening comprehension, must be applied fast and accurately. Hence, it must be as routinized (proceduralised, automised) as possible. This means that simply knowing how a grammar rule works, e.g. scoring 100% in a gap-fill test will not help in listening comprehension.

4. The ability to segment the speech stream plays a huge role in listening comprehension (Andringa et al 2012; Zoghlami (2016); Simpson (unpublished master’s degree)

Until recently, the importance of the first phase of listening comprehension, what Field (2013) calls ‘Decoding’ was not fully acknowledged by researchers. Yet, when it comes to less ‘transparent’ languages such as English and French, this phase, as I have often maintained is pivotal. One specific process is particularly crucial as it primes vocabulary recognition: speech-stream segmentation, i.e. the identification of an utterance’s word boundaries

Since without successful segmentation one cannot successfully proceed to the Lexical retrieval and Parsing stages, it is clear how this process is the most important one in aural comprehension. In fact, Zoghlami (2016) found that Segmenting was indeed the single stronger predictor of successful aural comprehension.

5. Pre-listening-task single-word prediction can hamper aural comprehension (Graham, 2017)

Graham (2017) reports how she found that many secondary school modern language teachers tell their students to predict the sort of vocabulary that might come up in a listening task.. .

6. Metacognitive knowledge significantly facilitates listening comprehension (Macaro, 2003; Cross, 2010; Vandergrift et al, 2010; Graham 2017)

We know from much research that Metacognitive Knowledge (e.g. self-knowledge, task knowledge, planning, self-monitoring and evaluation) plays an important role in the listening process, especially at less advanced level.

7. Many foreign language teachers are not fully aware of the differences between Reading and Listening processes (Conti, 2014 – forthcoming).

Let us Lund (1991) remind us of the main issues in which reading and listening comprehension diverge:

In listening, the complete text is not available for perusal. It is heard as it is uttered. In other words, whilst in reading text exists in space, in listening it exists in time, lasting in the brain only two seconds whilst the listener is only 0.25 seconds behind the speaker. The difficulty is exacerbated by the fact that in listening tasks the students only hear the text twice;
The listener cannot control the pace of the text (unless s/he is in control of the output source);
Listeners are compelled to resort to parallel distributed processing. In other words, they need to juggle several processes at the same time at each stage of comprehension, having to tap into many micro-skills simultaneously with the obvious interferences this causes, especially at lower levels of proficiency;
The sound system of the L2 poses a significant problem;
Gaps in speech are not the same as the gaps one finds in written texts;
Cognates identical in print usually sound differently in continuous speech;
Spoken texts, moreover, have intonation, stress, regional accents, background noise and other variations of acoustic features;
Whereas intermediate readers benefit (as Lund’s experiment showed) from repetition of text, intermediate listeners don’t (they make a first-pass hypothesis and stick to it);
An L2 reader remembers more ideas and details about a text they read than an L2 listener about a text they heard.
Macaro (2003) adds another important difference: in listening we use more top-down strategies and prior knowledge to compensate for the issue Lund lists above (such as: guessing from context, prediction, knowledge of the task, etc.)

8. Reading aloud as a catalyst of listening proficiency (Kato and Tanaka, 2010)

Although reading-aloud (RA) techniques have not always been favourably considered in L2 classrooms, the usefulness of this approach for the development of lower-level processing efficiency has been widely confirmed in L2 reading research (e.g., Birch, 2007; Janzen, 2007; Gibson, 2008). Much research has clearly shown that reading aloud helps:

(1) develop L2 learners’ accurate phonological representations (e.g., Gibson, 2008);

(2) raise their awareness of rhythm, stress and intonation, by using connected texts rather than decontextualized vocabulary items (e.g., Kato, 2012);

(3) significantly improve silent reading rate (Suzuki, 1998),

(4) enhance reading performance (Miyasako, 2008), and

(5) reproduction of key words and phrases

https://gianfrancoconti.wordpress.com/2 ... -learning/
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Re: Learning to Listen and Listening to Learn

Postby DaveBee » Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:11 pm

aaleks wrote:Beside dictations, there was also such thing as "Изложение". I don’t know how it should be called in English, maybe a narration. It looked like this: some story had been read three times by a teacher and after that we were supposed to write down the story (what we had memorized) as precisely as possible. I don’t sure if it might somehow help with listening, but who knows.
I've just come across an article on dictation [PDF]. The task you describe seems to fall under the 'dicto-comp' (Dictation and Composition) heading, intended to improve writing skill.
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Re: Learning to Listen and Listening to Learn

Postby Serpent » Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:53 am

We called it reproduction :)
A regular one is where you just reproduce the text. Usually the first time we would listen without being allowed to write (making notes was ok), the second time we tried to write down the whole thing and the third was for double-checking I think? In high school we also did "reproduction with an element of composition" meaning that we had to add 1-2 paragraphs, generally expressing our own opinion. Basically for a reproduction it's totally fine if your text is identical to the original one, but obviously adding that element of composition makes it more challenging.

BTW, in his final year my cousin had to write a composition in English about their then-upcoming composition/reproducton-based Russian exam. So meta :mrgreen: Although of course it's useful to be able to talk about your study process.
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Re: Learning to Listen and Listening to Learn

Postby PeterMollenburg » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:35 am

thanks for sharing reineke. The information you've provided leaves me feeling confident about the processes i've followed with learning French, in that the decoding phase was important for me, and massive while getting all the details. It was a lengthy, detailed, analytical, fastidiously perfectionist stage that i've carried through to intermediate/advanced levels (but toned back what i'm already confident with). Also that reading aloud, as I suspected is (according to the info. you've provided) a positive thing for a number of reasons. ;)
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