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 I wasn't on my best behaviour, which I later regretted. 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: