Teacher beliefs about listening in a foreign language

Suzanne Graham, Denise Santos, Ellie Francis-Brophy
  • Teaching and Teacher Education, May 2014, Elsevier
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.tate.2014.01.007

Teaching listening in language classrooms

What is it about?

Listening is an important skill for the foreign language classroom and research tells us quite a lot about which classroom practices can help to improve learners' listening. We explored what language teachers understand about how to develop listening and the extent to which their stated classroom practice aligns with what research suggests is good practice.

Why is it important?

Listening is fundamental to learning a foreign language, yet students and teachers find it one of the most difficult skills to develop. Over the years, many authors have commented that teachers' understanding of and practice in the teaching of listening does not accord with what research suggests leads to better listening in a foreign language. Yet very few have provided any concrete evidence of this gap. This study is the first to provide a full picture of teachers' understanding of and practice in the teaching of listening, with the context of England. Its key findings are: • Language teachers believe in the importance of teaching learners how to listen • Their stated practice by contrast shows little evidence of teaching how to listen • Contextual factors may lead to this focus on product over process. This has important implications for how we design the foreign language curriculum, how we educate language teachers, and how we develop classroom materials

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The following have contributed to this page: Professor Suzanne J Graham