Five practices to develop listening skills… “Language is the sounds with which every people expresses their purposes.” This was Ibn Jinni’s definition of language. Linguists consider the most important pillar of any language to sound. Any language consists of four skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing, and most of our teachers’ attention revolves around reading and writing.
Five practices to develop listening skills
Most of us neglect my speaking and listening skills, while the theories of the genesis of language in their entirety revolved around the idea that the origin of language is simulating the sounds of nature, such as the thundering of the sea, thunder rumbling, water murmuring, donkey squawking, crow squawking, mare neighing, deer murmuring, and so on. About that later, and this is according to most linguists, the righteous face, and the accepted school of thought.
Accordingly, the first language acquisition skill is listening. What the language learner hears is the first reception he receives during the class in particular and during language acquisition in his life in general. For example, if we take a young Arab child and raise him in the home of an English family, the child will speak English fluently before he even enters school, and this is the effect of listening skills on language acquisition.
- Now that I’ve explained the importance of listening, I’m going to show you some of the practices I do in my class to develop listening skills.
1- Always start your lesson with a video or audio clip on the topic of the lesson
- Preferably a dialogue; Dialogue develops the recipient’s ability to respond and prepares his mind to use the learned words in the conversational context. If the lesson for non-Arabic speakers is about fruits, for example, use the dialogue between the fruiter and the buyer, or between a person and his friend talking about their favorite fruit…etc.
- And if the lesson was for Arabic speakers, the dialogue was deeper and more detailed; For example, if the lesson is about Abbas Mahmoud Al-Akkad, record a passage in your voice by this character talking about its text and its occasion, and so on, and let it be the stimulating preparation at the beginning of your lesson.
2- Always present audio or visual content in a different and unconventional way
This is the main factor in attracting the attention of the student; We are educating a generation that uses technology in everything in its life, so it uses technology to attract their attention and motivate them, and we all know the lack of interesting Arabic audio and video materials that are appropriate for the curricula we teach. Therefore, you can create visual or audio content yourself, and here are some of the names of applications and websites that you can use to create interesting and attractive content for students:
- Voki for Education
- Speak pic
- Photo talks
3- Use the flipped classroom strategy
Send the listening text to the students to hear the day before the lesson. Then start your session by discussing what you have learned from the audio text. Determine what is required of the students and give them responsibility for their listening; Students always perform better when they are in a position of responsibility, and only your guide and direct the conversation. There are several features that must be present in the listening text:
The text of the listening should be in clear language, sound exits, and avoid complex and rarely used words.
The time should be appropriate, not too long for the listener to get bored, or too short to disturb the material being listened to.
It should contain what prompts students to think, research, investigate, and use language during their research process.
It is always followed by questions that measure students’ understanding of the text and their observance of the etiquette of listening in it.
One of the most important advantages of this strategy is that it enables you to develop students’ induction and deduction skills; After the listening text, questions revolve around the consequences of what happened in the text.
4- Simulating the reality around them
Choose topics that are close to the realities of the students; The first and main goal of the listening skill is to understand the audible, so search for their interests and be close to their world, as the first goal of the language is communication. So you can film clips about sports and contemporary sporting events, and you can also use clips about their favorite players, so you can imagine the extent of the integration of students that you see in the Arabic class when students hear or watch an article about their favorite player or their favorite characters.
5- Hear your students if you want them to hear you
Ask for their suggestions, participate in setting the lesson objectives, and participate in evaluating themselves and their colleagues using peer evaluation strategies and personal evaluation. When the student feels his role in his learning process, he develops leadership skills, which are one of the most important skills of the twenty-first century.