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Challenges learners have with listening

Learners/teachers talking about what’s difficult about listening.
Perhaps the biggest issue is that students don’t approach it as they would in their native language. So they would approach it as as a collection of words that they have to know, rather than as a text, or a piece of discourse that they can understand overall, look for different messages, different connections within the text. So they’d have to be able to take their mind off this mentality, this approach, that it’s all about knowing the words and as soon as they get stuck on a word, they can’t proceed. Which is obviously not true, and we know it from our own experience with the first native language, or even proficient English speakers.
There are plenty of words that we don’t know in specialized articles. We can still read them. I find difficult during academic speech listen and understand very well the accent and the pronunciation on some words. You speak fluently and fast and different accents, and that’s why sometimes listening is very hard when it is too fast and too long. Sometimes I think to write, but I heard with mistakes so sometimes I think it’s with the different accent, so sometimes it’s a little bit hard for me. For the listening, I think the most difficult for me is something like the rhythm, the contraction, the intonation.
And the speed.
The faster the speaker speaks, then the more difficult for me to understand and another difficult part for me is accent.
American accent is a little more easy to understand than British, than other countries. Yes, when it’s too long and too fast, it’s not motivate me. Just maybe I say, OK, I don’t want to work on it because it’s too much. Yes, the teacher needs to find the right level of the listening work - the listening subject. This is very important. If it’s too down level, yes. If it’s too up, too much, it’s also very boring.

Now we’re going to hear what learners and teachers think about listening. What sort of challenges do you think learners face? Watch the video and make a list of the things learners and teachers say are challenging about listening.


How do you think teachers can help learners overcome these challenges? Write your ideas in the comments. We’ll talk about this in the next step.

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Exploring the World of English Language Teaching

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