Implementing Some Simple Strategies to Enhance Learners’ Listening Skills | John J. CARO
Abstract: This action research was carried out with an intermediate EFL class of 37 students (19 women and 18 men) at a prestigious public university of a major city in Ecuador. After I gave them the first quiz, I noticed that most of the class performed very poorly on the listening part. I decided to find out what the problem was and what I could do to help my students to improve their listening skills. When I asked the class why they thought they did badly on the listening they came up with different reasons: “The conversations were too difficult; they were confusing; people spoke too quickly; some of the vocabulary words in the conversations were new to us”. None of my students were aware of their lack of effective listening strategies. I told my learners I would give them some listening strategies that might help them improve their listening skills. I saw this problem like an opportunity to carry out an action research project to help my students to enhance their listening skills through the implementation of some simple listening strategies such as listening for gist (the main idea); listening for specific information (details); and avoiding being distracted by certain information that was mentioned in the conversations, but that did not pertain to the people or situation stated in the question. The students took 5 more quizzes after the first one and according to the results, their scores on the listening section improved significantly.
Keywords: EFL – English as a Foreign Language, Gist – Main idea, IEP – Intensive English Program.
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