Listening In English Language Learning

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It is undeniable that listening provides the foundation and cognitive development and plays a life-long role in the process of communication (Hyslop & Tone, 1988). Notwithstanding the listening effects on all aspects of language, it was not until the new wave of interest in the development of communicative competence in language teaching that the awareness of the significant role of listening has been increased (Joiner, 1984). Listening comprehension has received more systematic attention in language teaching and learning. In other words, it has taken a long and struggling journey, which evolved from a long-ignored skill to become a crucial component in language acquisition. A study by Feyten (1991) finds that 70% of the average adult’s working…show more content…
In addition, Wolvin and Coakley (1991) state that listening is perceived to be critical for communication at work in association with entry-level employment, job success, general career competence, managerial competency, and effectiveness of relationships between supervisors and subordinates. With regards to foreign language learning, Krashen (1988) stresses that listening is fundamental to language acquisition providing the input that is the raw material necessary for the process to occur and listening is the best way to learn a second or foreign language because of its contribution to the development of the overall language proficiency. Through listening exercises, learners draw their attention to new forms (vocabulary, grammar, and interaction pattern), this provides the right conditions for language acquisition and development of their language skills. Furthermore, listening skill helps the listeners develop their communicative competence. “Speaking does not of itself constitute communication unless what is being said is comprehended by another person” (Rivers, 1966, p.…show more content…
Comparing listening comprehension with other language skills, Goh (1997) states that “there are fewer insights about the process of listening and the way it is learned” (p. 161). The lack of listening comprehension skill may lead to difficulties in discussion and communication. When we talk about listening, we tend to assume it as hearing. However, listening involves a more complex process than hearing (Burley-Allen, 1982). Hearing is the process in which sound waves are received and modified by the ear while listening refers to a process of being aware of sound sequences. When listening to speech, the listener first identifies the component sounds and then recognizes sound sequences as known words through the avenues of auditory analysis, mental reorganization and association of meaning. It can be said that listening is a skill characterized as a highly complex problem - solving activity in which listeners interact with a speaker to construct meaning with the context of their experience and knowledge. In the past, listening comprehension is usually defined as a passive activity (Bacon,
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