Week : 3 Reflections

Week : 3  Reflections on the Courtney's Wiki - Reading Materials on the Aural-Oral Skills

http://www.elthillside.com/up/files/article4.doc In this link Lindsey's Miller article entitiled "Developing Listening Skills with Authentic Materials" specifies two major problems:(1) No authentic materials are prepared for practising listening skill sessions, (2) generally from video reels- audio scripts, television and radio are used for preparing listening skill modules for ELT purpose.

She has suggested a  process for helping learners to develop their aural-oral skills in English Language i.e. Pre-, While-, and Post-Listening activities. Pre-listening activates and recall their knowledge as regards the content that is to be continued to listen, While-Listening means to concentrate on listening and to disseminate the information of the audio-script into completing the Post-Listening exercises either in groups/peers or as individual in the class.

This article suggests various modules that can be used for E-learning and distance learning English Language classes. The author does not negate the use of television, radio, video presentations, audio-recorded speeches, debates, interviews etc. for ELT practice purpose but she suggests that before we just simply use another electronic for listening tutorial, it is better if we learn to access through our computer and net such websites that permit us to develop language skills without spending tuition fee. Some of the links she has given us to access is http://www.bbc.co.uk, http://www.avoa.gov or http://npr.org.

In reference to this I have come across an article by  - Kotter, Markus and et.al. "Real-time audio and email for fluency:promoting distance language learner's aural and oral skills via the Internet". ReCALL Vol. 11, No.2 (Sept. 1999). Pp. 55-60. In this article the authors write their practicalexperience that wasdonein the classto framea unique environment as regards listening skills and they write about it in these words:

"The web pages, on the other hand, were used
to give students access to technical help
outside scheduled events and to provide them
with regularly updated information about the
outline of any given activity. In the case of the
activity-related web pages, a brief summary of
the task was included, as well as hints about
where to find and to prepare specific structures
 and selected vocabulary which learners
might want to use for their current work. The
core of the project, however, was the audio
tool (see figure 1).
Students linked up with each other through
a server based on the OU campus. Using a
headset with an in-built microphone and
speakers, they could talk and listen to each
other in real-time in the same way as via a
telephone connection but without having to
hold a receiver to their ears all the time. The
software we used included features such as a
window where students could see who else
was in the ‘room’ they were currently using.
Moreover, an icon representing a microphone
appeared next to a speaker’s name, enabling
participants to verify to whom they were listening
and a 256 character text chat facility,
which was visible to all in the ‘room’, gave
everyone the opportunity to exchange brief
text messages. Further, students could break
out into small groups by creating a new room,
and they could use the client’s ‘Extend invitation’
 facility to check for new arrivals or to
invite others, e.g., their tutor, to their room".

Below I have pasted the links that are mind - refreshing in the midst of serious class on listening skills when goes on and on, then these links may provide a certain energy and interval to get back to task in the ELT class.

Uploaded by  on Jun 29, 2008

Uploaded by  on Jun 29, 2009
Animation by NightShadow02 for albinoblacksheep.com contest Music by Parry Gripp "Up Butt Coconut (Extended Dance Remix)"

In the context of above links it is apt to quote a linguist, Keith Morrow (1987), "Communicative Language Testing: Revolution or Evolution", Applications and Techniques, Sec.3, The Communicative Approach to Language Teaching., ELBS: UK: p. 149, who suggests the following interactive situational approach for the language users as  by to handle appropriacy in terms of:

Context of situations             e.g. physical environment/ role/ status of participant in the audio-video     presentation/ their attitude/ formality

Linguistic context                      e.g. textual cohesion i.e words used in the song, repetition of words/  refrain/ a line of a song and the rhythm in the line etc.

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