Essential Listening Skill Practice for ESL Class Rooms

English has always been a language which possesses people, it is said in Korea people go under a knife to speak better English! The craze on English was such that the spend nearly one and half lakh rupees to have an operation on their tongue. They believe once the operation is done they can speak in right accent! Though linguist around the world warned that it is not wise, but nobody heeds. The craze goes on!

Speaking a language comes from listening to it and studying the sounds. Most of us in India do not listen to English, even we don't listen to BBC news service. The reason is quite obvious, we are not trained enough to listen to native speakers and their accent.

A new born baby has the ability to identify and distinguish 600 hundred sounds, and the adult is able to identify  sixty sounds! The brain is trained in a way to weed out sounds which are not important and sounds in which we do not have any interest at all.

This can be understood clearly if we switch on the music player with a pop music song. Most of our friends will automatically plead to stop that and some of them even develops head aches. They are being bombarded by sounds which they tend to avoid. This is the first challenge faced by any ESL teacher. The first think the ESL teacher has to do is take away the negative mind set of the learners about the English Sounds.

The most successful listening programme I have ever followed. 

Though I craved to listen to native speakers I could not succeed. Then Prof.C. Jambunathan gave a brilliant method of listening, in four distinct stages, which can be carried out in a month.

The first stage. 

Do not listen! Don't get confused. You have read it right. Don't listen to the meaning right away. Instead of listening to comprehend the meaning we need to pick up any of the 44 speech sounds of the English Language.

The plosives may be helpful. There are six plosive sounds in the English language. Don't panic again! There  are six plosives sounds in English. They are /p/,/b/,/t/,/d/,/k/ and /g/. Just pick up a single plosive sound say /p/ and utter it a few times. Have your hand opposite to your mouth during the utterance. You will feel a sudden strong puff of air in the palm of your hand. That is why they got their name. Yes they are explosive by nature!

Now back to business. In the first day of the first week listen to BBC News, or download an audiobook and play it. During the listening session try to listen only the sound /p/. You will be glad to hear.

Why should we do this? What happens when we do this? 

We must do this if we really wanted to listen to the native speakers. Instead of listening for meaning we are just listening for just a sound. This helps us to concentrate and makes the listening experience magical and gives you unique experience similar to meditation!

Now Stage Two of the programme

As we are listening all of a sudden we will be hearing words! Even without our knowledge words are 'visible to our ears'. The second week goes on like this.

Stage Three

As we hear the words in the second week the third week result in 'visible sentences'. We do hear sentences. One more week to go! Don't quit but insist on the continuity of the listening programme. The problem is very strange as we are comprehending the first sentence the narration will be on the sixth or seventh sentence.

Stage Four

The fourth week is magical as we listen to  the narration we will be able to listen to the narrator or the News reader efficiently, our brain had successfully decoded the efficiency of listening to English!

Trust me it worked for me! 

Those who have the luxury of time and access to audio material can practice this method and enjoy English. As they are the very good listeners the will be better speakers too!

All the best!


1 comment:

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