ERIC Number: ED350637
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
What a Nonnative Speaker of English Needs to Learn through Listening.
Bohlken, Robert; Macias, Lori
Teaching nonnative speakers of English to listen for the discriminating nuances of the language is an important but neglected aspect of American English language training. A discriminating listening process follows a sequence of distinguishing phonemes, supra segmental phonemes, morphemes, and syntax. Certain phonetic differences can be noted between other languages and English. Training nonnative speakers to listen discriminatively for phonemes may be accomplished by first having the student listen to the phonemes and observe the instructor producing the sounds in isolation. Next should be to have the listener reflect the sounds simultaneously with the speaker without substitution or distortion of the phonemes presented. The next step should be discriminating the appropriate sound within the word's initial, medial, and final positions. Training in discriminative listening is also necessary for comprehension and understanding. When working to improve a foreign speaker's intelligibility, no more than three sounds per session should be worked on, but in all positions of words and sentences. Once the problem sounds are produced correctly, the learner can progress to phonetically balanced passages. Accurate pronunciation and correct use of intonation are stressed in this final stage. Although English is classified as an "uninflected language," in American English inflection is used to indicate questioning, humor, sarcasm, and certainty, as well as emotion. Examples from Japanese, Chinese, and Spanish illustrate some of the methods for discriminative listening. (NKA)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Listening Strategies; Nonnative Speakers
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Listening Association (13th, Seattle, WA, March 5-7, 1992).