Mar 20, 2012

Before you listen, here are some words you may not know

Pre-listening activities: what to focus on?

At last year's IATEFL conference in Brighton I was at a presentation on teaching listening where I got into a bit of an argument with the speaker. I don't know if it was my nerves before my own, first presentation at IATEFL but my behaviour wasn't the best and I've regretted ever since. The whole situation was rather ridiculous. Even more ridiculous was the fact that in principle I agreed with the presenter who argued that there is little benefit in pre-teaching vocabulary before listening activities - I wouldn't agree though with his claim the word "prowl", one my favourite words in English, is useless :)

There is an interesting piece of research to substantiate the speaker's argument, which he surprisingly did not mention. Chang and Read (2006) administered a listening comprehension test to160 students who were divided into four groups and received a different kind of support: