This two-part blog focuses on tips for improving your students’ listening skills with both intensive and extensive listening methods. If you haven’t yet, go read Part I: Intensive Listening, then come back to read Part II. In this second part I will focus on extensivelisteningby offering tips for extensive listening practice, some resources for teachers to utilize, andsome overall listening goals for teachers to bear in mind.
Just like extensive reading, this activity involves listening to ‘self-selected’ listening material slightly below the student’sproficiency level and in large quantities. The focus is onoverall understandingbecause the task is more relaxed and self-directed, with learners listening to longer audio or video selections without necessarily trying to understand every word. The goal of extensive listening is to develop overall listening comprehension skills, get used to the sounds and rhythm of speech, and become more familiar with the language in anatural way. Continue reading →
This two-part blog post focuses on tips for improving your students’ listening skills with both intensive and extensive listening methods. In Part 1, I answer the question “What is intensive listening?”, offer tips for intensive listening practice, and suggest overalllisteninggoals for teachers to bear in mind.After reading Part I, head over to read Listening in Language Learning Part II: Extensive Listening (coming on Monday, July 24th).
Intensive and Extensive Listening
Much research shows that intensive and extensive listening alike are essential contributors tolanguage learning in the areas of vocabulary development, grammatical skills, and discourse awareness. ESL learners need to practice both skills to reap maximum benefits.Though each form of listeningtends to focuson different skills, they are complementary,and both are crucial. However, like extensive reading, extensive listening occurs outside of the classroom.Unlike with intensive listening, teachers need to pay special attention to motivate their students to engage in such extensive skills on theirown. Continue reading →
Instructors want to help their international students become aware of their rights and of the services that their school offers them. After all, their presence significantly enhances our colleges and universities, benefiting domestic students as well, and contributing to the economy. Unfortunately, many international students do not realize what benefits their schools offer them. To some extent, this may be because of language barriers.
This is Part II of a 2-part post on enhancing student note-taking. Be sure to also read Enhancing Students’ Note-taking Skills I: Note-taking Methods. Students’ commitment to conscientious note taking will be strongest when they understand and actually experience the resulting benefits. Those advantages can be perceived on three levels: a) overall life skills, b) course-by-course survival skills, and c) winning tactics.
Notes can be taken in any way that helps the student learn/study the topic, so our goal should be to advise students on their options so they can choose effectively. As an academic drop-in facilitator, I receive many questions about note-taking strategies. This strongly suggests that students really want teachers to scaffold/model effective note-taking for them. This may not always be part of the curriculum, but should always be taught anyways.
Teachers all want their students to succeed and time management is an obvious factor. Still, as an academic drop-in facilitator for international and domestic students, I hear students regularly requesting advice on that very issue. They have no problem understanding entrepreneur Jim Rohn’s shrewd comment: “Either you run the day, or the day runs you.” But they are far from always good at doing it! How can we help?
It is a cognitive awareness that occurs when students are aware of and can articulate what they know and what they need to learn. Thus, it examines the ways an individual learns.
Self-reflection is a huge and often overlooked part of education. While students are often asked to reflect on their own learning, their teachers typically do not coach them in how to do it most effectively. We already know that teacher reflection is a very important part of our professional development. TESL training usually offers great opportunities to learn how to do that. But students have similar needs. Neither teachers nor students can maximally improve their performance without self-reflection.
Motivation is one of the key challenges for successful language learning, but sometimes instructors don’t sufficiently utilize motivation. Some teachers even think they cannot play a major role in student motivation, but I believe we can motivate our students in many ways. For example, motivational quotes are a great device to inspire our students. While teaching last summer at Niagara College, I shared biweekly motivational quotes to boost my students’ ambition. They truly enjoyed them! Below are the seven motivational quotes that my students voted as their favourites.
The key feature of structured experience techniques is their combination of hands-on learner involvement, with a reassuring framework to reduce anxiety and promote active engagement. The trick is to provide supportive, structural guidance without lapsing into full-on, direct instruction. For comparison purposes, it might be helpful to begin by reviewing my earlier suggestions in ‘Enhancing Reading Comprehension I: Explicit Teaching Techniques.’ Structured experience strategies require teachers to gauge their own participation very carefully. The goal is not only to enhance learner skills but also to bolster their self-esteem through encountering success with experiential activity.
Reading can be a very challenging skill for ESL learners. Teachers also know that individual students may respond differently to different styles of instruction. Fortunately, we have access to both explicit teaching techniques and structured experience techniques. Even though ESL teachers themselves may be more comfortable with one or the other of these options, it is well worth taking both of them seriously because each can make a contribution. Part I of this series covers explicit teaching techniques and Part II covers structured experience techniques. I will offer practical advice regarding both approaches, and explain three proposed techniques for each.