Elevating the development of listening skills to foster SLA in an Asian context

Graham-Marr, Alastair (2015) Elevating the development of listening skills to foster SLA in an Asian context. Journal of Foreign Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics, 2 (2). ISSN 2303-5528

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Abstract

In EFL curricula where language is taught as a knowledge set, links between pedagogical theory and practice can be quite strong. However, links between pedagogical theory and practice seems more tenuous when applied to the teaching of skills, in particular, L2 listening skills which are often left to develop as by-products of a student’s grammatical and lexical understanding. And, in many contexts, this oversight can have serious consequences. Given that English is a stress-timed language, learners coming from syllable-timed or mora-timed languages, such as Japanese or Korean, can be robbed of learning opportunities when listening skills are deficient. The crucial role of comprehensible input in second language acquisition is well established, so when learners have developed listening skills, all language that is basically understood is available as a learning opportunity as comprehensible input. However, when learners have incipient listening skills, learners are often unable to comprehend auditory input containing words that are largely understood, thus losing opportunities for L2 language development. Learners coming from syllable-timed or mora-timed languages often lack a natural understanding of suprasegmental phonology, impeding comprehension. It is well established in the research literature that listening skills are best taught as a set of sub-skills to help students develop a basic phonetic awareness, however such research findings have not always made it into practice. This qualitative study reports on a set of first year university students at a Japanese university where listening was taught as a set of sub-skills. An overwhelming majority felt this type of instruction helped to improve their listening skills, suggesting that this fundamental pedagogy needs greater emphasis in countries with syllable-timed or mora-timed native languages. The results of this study are described and interpreted in the context of the English education system in Japan. Keywords: listening skills, EFL curricula, comprehensible input

Item Type: Article
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LT Textbooks
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PL Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: J-FLTAL
Depositing User: Alma Milisic
Date Deposited: 25 Dec 2014 10:46
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2016 11:28
URI: http://eprints.ibu.edu.ba/id/eprint/2802

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