Listening on the Net!

By: LEE CHEN PING (A126076)

In an ESL learning context, listening means to understand, recall and respond to speakers’ implicit and explicit meanings. Strategies to enhance listening skills are techniques or activities that contribute directly to the comprehension and recall of listening input. In other words, listening strategies can be classified by how the listener processes the input. Therefore, first of all, a teacher should conduct the listening activity in the classroom around a contextualised task. Contextualised listening activities are connected to real-life task and will give the listener an idea on what information to expect and what to do with the information after the listening process. For example, asking students to listen to a short radio broadcast to obtain information would be authentic and applicable in real-life situation.

Next, listening skills can be enhanced when the teacher defines the activity’s instructional goal and types of responses. Recognising the goals of listening comprehension will help students to formulate appropriate listening strategies. The students will be able to identify specific details of the message, determine the major facts about a massage, differentiate between main ideas and supporting details; and finally reproduce the message orally or in writing.

The third strategy to enhance listening skills among students is that teacher needs to check the level of difficulty of the listening text. It is very important to ensure that the information presented is well-organised. Listening will become effective when the text is presented in natural chronological orders, which have an informative title with obvious organisation – main ideas first, followed by details and examples. This will enable the students to conceptualise what they have heard and organise the information in their working memory easier.

So, I have discovered a great free website to enhance listening skills. AGENDA Web. They provided various types of free topics for students to choose.

Not only that, there are also recorded audio for students to practise listening. The files of the audio are very small and this makes the audio loading quite fast and convenient. The picture below shows the media button to control the audio from this website.

There are also tapescripts from the audio presented. The picture below shows an example of tape script of “Cloning Pets”.

There are also some exercises given based on the audio text. Exercises such as vocabulary, cloze, crossword puzzles, true/false and MCQ are included to give students variety in choosing the exercise that they prefer.

All in all, this website is a joy to visit for those who want to practise their listening skills 🙂

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