Listening Skills

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English Language Teaching

June, 2008

An Action Research Plan for Developing and Implementing The Students’ Listening Comprehension Skills Chunpin Luo The School of Foreign Languages, Yunnan Nationalities University No.134, Yieryi Dajie, Kunming 650031, China Tel: 86-871-643-5063 Abstract This is a proposal for an action research plan designed to find out how to improve students’ listening comprehension skills, enhance their performance and help to promote better learning. This plan is focused on the minority students who major in English in our University. Listening comprehension is one of the most difficult courses for them. As their teacher, the author would like to conduct an action research in her classroom teaching in order to make some changes in her teaching, to assist the students to become active listeners, and to improve their overall listening comprehension skills. Keywords: Action research, Listening comprehension, Minority students 1. Introduction Listening is the basic language skill in language learning. However, students always think it is difficult to listen well. To foster the students’ listening comprehension skills and prepare them as active listeners in language learning is a big challenge. Scholars and researchers have done a lot of research to help students to acquire the skills. However, we cannot rely on some methodologies completely. We might see that apart from the methodologies, we also need to know that we face individual student differences: their learning styles, their backgrounds, and their cultures in teaching. In different classrooms, teachers have to adopt different teaching methods to be with their own students. Action research offers an opportunity for classroom teachers to do the research by themselves, improve their teaching, and make adjustments when necessary. This paper intends to propose an action research plan and attempts to inquire into the educational situation, understand the students’ skills and their situation better and act to improve both. (Kanu, Stansky & Carson, 1993). 2. Problem statement I am an EFL teacher in a Nationalities University in China. My students are in the first and second year of University. They major in English. I teach the course called “Listening Comprehension”. The aim of the course is to train the aural skills of the students so that they understand English. According to the curriculum, I use a set of text-books “Step by Step” with tapes attached, published by Shanghai Huadong Normal University in China. I also use other authentic teaching aids, such as movies on tape and BBC and VOA (Special English for Learners) on radio, etc. in my listening comprehension course. During more than twenty years of teaching, I have found that it is very difficult for my students to understand English through listening. In language learning, when we talk about five basic skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing and translating, we always put “listening” at the beginning of them. That is because listening is the most important skill of the five and also the basic way of receiving language input. As we know we can speak sensibly only if we understand what is said. In fact, people cannot talk if they cannot hear other people’s talk. That simply means there is not enough language input and there is no output. No deaf person can speak clearly because he cannot hear clearly. So listening skills are one of the basics of learning languages and acquiring them is very important in language learning. Moreover, with the development of high technology, we more and more rely on our ears to get information. There is no doubt that the speed of getting information is faster through listening than reading. Thus, it is crucial to improve the level of listening comprehension of my students. Usually, in the lab, the students feel at a loss when listening to some new text. Over 50% of the students could not understand the meaning of the material after I play the tape for the...
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