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Ways of teaching listening comprehension

Ақтөбе облысы, Шалқар қаласы
Асыл Бертагова,
2 мектеп-гимназияның
ағылшын тілі пәнінің мұғалімі

Ability to listen and understand English speech is rather important because without understanding what have been said impossible to respond. Among obstacles to proper understanding the following must be mentioned:

  1. Confusing length of vowels and as a consequence confusing the meaning of the words;

  2. Confusing different part of speech which causes misunderstanding of the whole sentence, for instance;

  3. Inability (lack of skills) to pick out (emerge) the main idea of what have been said;

  4. Inability to fix some important facts or listeners focus on facts (dates, for instance);

For primary school pupils it is advisable to start with distinguishing sounds.



Sound level.

  1. Length vowels.

Raise your hands when you hear long (short) vowels. The words presented are not acquainted to the pupils. For instance: sheep, kid, farm, lead, cut, etc.

  1. Consonants.

v-f: knife, eave, thief, bed, drive, fifth, etc. raise your hands you hear hard (soft) consonant.


Word level.

  1. Listen to the sentences and raise your hands when you hear denoting some of the pictures on the blackboard;

  2. Listen to the sentence and raise your hands when you hear colors describing the object (picture) on the blackboard;

  3. Before introducing a new rhyme the task is set: raise your hands when your hear the words you learnt at the previous lesson, then name and translate the words.


Sentence level.

  1. Listen to the sentences and raise your hands when you hear a sentence describing the picture;

  2. Listen to the sentences and raise your hands when you hear a sentence (sentences);

  1. In which necessity of the action is expressed (have to);

  2. In which the Participle 1 is an attribute (adverbial modifier of time, cause);

  3. Listen to the sentences and group them (put their numbers) accordingly to the description (2 or 3 not more pictures);

  1. Listen to the story for the first time ;

Listen to the story and name new sentences added to the story;

Listen to the story and say what sentences are missed;

Listen and say what changes are made.

We come to advanced level of listening comprehension.



In the classrooms in which the tape recorder is used most frequently there are some common problems. For instance, teachers may just manipulate the tape recorder, supplemented by a few questions after the pupils listen to the aural material.

It is true that extracting general or specific information from one listening is an important skill, so that the kind of task we give pupils for the first time they hear a tape can be different for the pupils with different comprehensive abilities.

Pupils can improve their listening skills-and gain valuable language input-through a combination of extensive and intensive listening material and procedures.


Intensive listening.

Live” listening.

A popular way of ensuring genuine communication is live listening where the teacher and / or visitors to the class talk to the pupils. This has obvious advantages and ask for clarification.

In the following examples the listening activity is specified. The skills which are involved are detailed, and the way that the listening text can be used within a lesson is explained.


Interviewing a stranger.

Where possible teachers can bring strangers into the class to talk to the pupils or be interviewed by them. The teacher briefs the visitor about the pupils’ language level, pointing out that they should be sensitive about the level of language they use, but unnatural way.

Pre-recorded interview in books and other material are also useful for giving pupils the chance to hear voices talking about variety of subjects. It is also useful to give pupils the interviewer’s questions first so that they can predict what the interviewer will say.


Listening lesson sequences

Listening can occur at a number of points in a teaching sequence. Most listening sequences involve a mixture of language skills-though one is often the main focus of the sequence…..

In general we should aim to use listening material for as many purposes as possible-both for practicing a variety of skills and as source material for other activities.

Students are not then told that they are going to listen to a tape and that the should put the pictures in the correct chronological order (which is not the same as the order of what they hear)

This is what is on the tape:

Ann. Good morning Stuart .What time do call this?

Oh dear. Yes, sorry I’m late.

A. Well? What happened to you?

S. I woke up late, I’m afraid. I didn’t hear the alarm.

A. Were you out late last night?

S. Yes, I’m afraid I was.

A. Oh really.

S. But the door to my house was shut.

A. What did you do?

S. I run round to the garden at the back and climbed in through the window.

A. And


S. Well someone saw me and called the police.

A. What happened then?

S. Well, I told the it was my house and at first they wouldn’t believe me. It took along time!

A. I can imagine.



The students check their answers with each other and then, if necessary, listen again to ensure that they have the sequences correct. The teacher can now get students to listen/look at the tape script again, noting phrases of interest.

Students are told that they are going to hear three phone conversations in which the callers leave messages.

This sequence lends itself to a progression where students “ring” each other ti leave messages.


For listening songs and films can be used. A piece of music or an episode from a film can change the atmosphere in a classroom or prepare pupils for a new activity.

Teaching listening comprehension is rather important device in whole system of technique and needs close studying.

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