Teaching EFL Listening
in the Classroom
** Study the sections on pronunciation and reading before studying this section. **
Listening skills are tied to speaking and pronunciation skills. Most likely if a student can correctly pronounce something and speak it in a natural and common way, she will understand it when she hears it spoken.
When/if you have the opportunity to teach pronunciation and listening together, you will see many similarities in the content that you are covering. Ideally, the two areas should be taught together.
Once again, you will be teaching students about reductions, linking, stress and rhythm in natural speech. But you will also, as in teaching reading, be teaching students to listen for main ideas and details. Like pre-reading, you also set the stage with pre-listening activities to set the context for listening.
Teaching EFL listening skills is rewarding as students can often make good gains rather quickly if taught with proper instruction.
Be sure when you are teaching EFL classes that you do not speak too slowly or overly enunciate for your students. Doing so only makes it much more difficult for them to understand normal speech when it is spoken at normal speed. There are times when you will need to slow down a bit and to pronounce works or phrases carefully, but don’t make it a habit to speak unnaturally when teaching.
Excellent pronunciation and listening videos for EFL students provided by Stacy Hagen can be found HERE at YouTube. These videos are primarily for EFL students, not so much for teachers, but they can give you an excellent idea of how to teach the very things we have addressed on this page. These are really worth watching. Stacy is one of the most skilled, practical and straight-forward EFL teachers you will ever find.
You will find that you can make either a pronunciation lesson OR a listening lesson from any one of her videos. Excellent!
Here is a good summary example of Stacy Hagen’s work – a fast overview: