TEACHING LISTENING

Listening skill is different from hearing in a sense that it's involves merely perceiving sound in a passive way while the listening skill occupies an active and immediate analysis of the streams of sounds. This is like seeing and reading. Seeing is a very ordinary and passive state in which people and animals can see but can’t read the reading is a focused process requiring reader's to learn to read and identification of words which is a difficult process. Listening has a "volitional component". Tomatis' (2007) view is, while listening; the desire to listen, as well as the capability to listen (comprehension) must be present with the listener for the successful recognition and analysis of the sound. 'Listening' really means is 'listening and understanding what we hear at the same time'. So, two concurrent actions are demanded to take place in this process.
Linguists believe that a listener is involved in guessing, anticipating, checking, interpreting, interacting & organizing by associating and accommodating their prior knowledge of meaning and form.
"Listening is vital in the language classroom because it provides input for the learner. Without understanding input at the right level, any learning simply cannot begin. Listening is fundamental to speaking” (Post).
According to Mecheal Rost (1991), listening comprises of skills which are;
·         Discriminating between sounds
·         Recognizing words
·         Identifying grammatical groupings of words
·         Identifying expressions and sets of utterances that act to create meaning
·         Connecting linguistic cues to non-linguistic and paralinguistic cues
·         Using background knowledge to predict and later to confirm meaning and recalling important words and ides

Listening Skills:
Listening is not a ‘passive” skill but a “receptive” skill
Time devoted 45 per cent to improve listening skills
Listening is the first step in the process of Language learning.
Strategies for Listening:

Two types of strategies for listening processes:
      Bottom-up process
      Top-down process
Bottom-up: We use our knowledge of language and our ability to process acoustic signals to make sense of the sounds that speech presents to us
It is totally "text based" process where learners rely on the sounds, words and grammar in the message in order to create meaning.
From small to large Unit
Top-down we understand meaning from relative clues and from making links between the spoken message and various types of prior knowledge which we hold
Bottom-up processes Retain input while it is being processed recognize word divisions, recognize key words in utterances
Recognize grammatical relations between key elements in sentences; recognize the function of word stress in sentences
Top-down process
Use key words to construct the outline of speech
Top- down requires learners to go to the listening with their prior knowledge of topic, context, and type of text, knowledge of language to reconstruct the meaning using the sounds as clues.
·                     Vocabulary: identify synonyms of words on list and write down as heard. 
·                     Paraphrase: show printed paraphrase of a broadcast segment, write in the equivalent that was heard.
·                     Give News a Title: provide an open-ended headline for the broadcast, based on what was heard.
·                     Content Check: answer open-ended and true/false questions. E. fill in the____
·                     Translation: complete a partially done translation.
·                     Discussion Topics for the Classroom: follow-up activities
·                     Matching: join matching halves of sentences taken from the text of the broadcast
1. Listen and Type. The students listen for the significant portion of the
Narration, and respond by typing it
Designing listening activities for the classroom
Pre-Listening stage:
The purpose of the pre-listening stage is to prepare the learners for what they are going to hear by
* activating existing prior knowledge.
Clarifying any necessary contextual information and vocabulary to understand the text
Talk about related pic
While-Listening Stage
Activities ticking multiple-choice items, filling in a chart, complete a table, map or picture, matching pictures with the text
Four major differences Attentive listening, Extensive listening, and Intensive listening, Selective listening and Interactive listening.
Attentive listening:
Attentiveness is a prior condition for understanding and listener often lapse attention for various reasons. Losing interest, asking oral Q/R
Extensive listening:

This type of listening has also a greater ease than other types as it is concerned to promote overall comprehension of a text and never requires learners
To follow every word and understand them. Learners need to comprehend the text as a whole which is called global understanding
Intensive listening requires attention to specific items of language, sound or factual detail such as words, phrase, grammatical units, pragmatic units,
Sound changes (vowel reduction and consonant assimilation), stress, intonation and pauses
Selective listening:

It involves listening to selected part of a text. Listener constructs their understanding of the meaning of whole of the text through inferring.
Listeners have the chance of second listening to check understanding.
Listening to sound sequences, documentary, story maps
Interactive listening:

This is a very advanced stage of listening practice as it implies social interaction in small groups which is a 'true test' of listening. In interactive listening,
Learners, either in pairs or in groups, receive new information, identify them continuously
Post listening stage activities can be used to check comprehension, valuate listening skill, use of listening strategies and use the knowledge gained to other contexts
Factors affecting and effecting successful listening:
·         Distractions and noise, sound-proof language lab is required to improve
·         A bad quality cassette player or CD player may harm listening developing skills, good quality equipment’s are need motivation and improvement
·         Uninteresting and inappropriate content for the class level
·         topic, speed and vocabulary of the listening material
·         internet is a good source for learners using quality headphones or speakers
·         English programs  or news are good for learners developing listening skills