Why Your English Language Learners Listening Comprehension is Bad and What to Do About It


When English EFL foreign language learners have listening comprehension problems it can be quite frustrating. If you use videos, CDs or audio cassette tapes, or even perhaps when speaking your learners can have their lesson input interrupted by an absence of listening comprehension skills. Comprehensible input (Krashen, 1989) is an essential part of any English or foreign language class.

Contributing Factors

These seven factors can directly or indirectly contribute to your learners' listening comprehension skills and comprehension.

1. Vocabulary

ELT author, researcher and lecturer Scott Thornbury said, ". count one hundred words of a (reading) passage. If more than ten of the test is unknown, the text has less than a 90% vocabulary recognition rate. It is therefore, unreadable." (S. Thornbury, 2004) The same then is likely true regarding any listening passage. Remember, "You can never English Notes be too rich, too thin or have enough foreign language vocabulary" as the nugget of advice goes.

2. Rhyming Sounds

Have you ever taught or learned verse? If so, you'll remember that available types of rhyming patterns which can be used. Alliteration, onomatopoeia, assonance and consonance, simile, metaphor and allusion, among others, all lend their particular ambience to written or spoken language in Language.

Note: If you or have to quick refresher on these poetic elements, you should read, "How to Evoke Imagery, Emotions and Ideas in Writing Poetry That Captures Your readers Imagination" and "How to write Poems That Capture the heart and Imagination of Your Readers" with the author. (L.M. Lynch, 2007)

3. Idioms and Expressions

In every language numerous frequently-used idioms and expressions that allow its speakers to convey nuances of thought one to the other effortlessly therefore greater clarity that simply "explaining" everything verbally. It's a helpful to know as many of these as possible, but a person are don't, the meanings many conversations or spoken exchanges may just be "lost" to the listener.

4. Pronunciation

Everyone speaks differently and uses forms of connected speech in distinctive ways. Elements including elision, contraction, juncture, liaison, register, accommodation, aspect, intonation and others, affect pronunciation and speech patterns on somebody basis. When learners are unfamiliar, also ignorant of, these elements, listening comprehension can be significantly afflicted.

5. Regional or National Accents

The same sentence when spoken by people from different first language (L1) backgrounds, regional locations, or ethnic backgrounds can be decisively varied. Unfamiliarity with such on the part of EFL learners can produce a definite insufficient listening comprehension or "comprehensible input" as mentioned previously.

6. Grammar in Context

When grammar and its aspects are taught as "separate" themes, that is, outside of some relevant context, learners could be "handicapped" for just a moment by with no knowledge of just how and when particular grammar structures are suggested by native speakers during an oral discourse or verbal exchange. Faster they, the learners, hear a grammar structure they will "know", but learned "out of context", they will often "miss it", misinterpret it or simply not understand what they're hearing.

7. Language Rhythms

One from the big differences between English and say, Spanish, constantly one language is "syllable-based" while the additional is "accent-based". This accounts for non-native speakers sounding "funny" when speaking a language other than their mother tongue.

With epithets like, "oh, she luv-ed him but chew-no it wuzn't not no guud, mahn for demm boat."

These forms of epithets derive not from a lack of English a further foreign speaking skills in particular, but rather from pronunciation based on using an "incorrect" spoken language habit.