The Importance Of Listening In Language Acquisition

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Listening is a vital skill that we use on a daily basis to successfully complete tasks. People mistakenly think that listening is a passive process, however, it is not. Most listeners actively distinguish between various sounds, intonation, word segments and vocabulary to construct a meaning (Vandergrift and Goh 2012: 269). Without listening our ability to effectively communicate would be lost. Similarly, effective listening skills are fundamental for language acquisition. According to Renukadevi (2014: 60) 45% of language competence is acquired from listening. Since listening plays such a vital role in language acquisition, it should also play a pivotal role in teaching strategies. This paper will critically discuss listening as an important component in teaching an additional language by examining the listening process and evaluating various teaching strategies. 1. Hearing versus Listening Kim and Kang (2015: 42) state that ‘hearing’ is a passive, biological activity where sounds are simply perceived in the ear. While ‘listening’ is a conscious process which requires concentration so that meaning can be derived from the sounds. For learners to become active listeners it’s important that they don’t simply ‘hear’ sounds but actively construct meaning from…show more content…
Spoken language is also very different from written text – people hesitate, trail off, and speak quickly etc. which is why it’s important to have listened correctly. Different circumstances also require a different speaking style (Richards 2008: 21). The gender, role, status and age of the participants could require a specific speaking style. For example, the question “What time is it?” could be asked differently depending on who the participants are. Two friends would probably say, “Got the time?” while to a stranger it would be polite to say, “Excuse me, could I bother you for the

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