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Listening skills

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by lyoung888, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. I'm currently teaching a motivated and generally bunch of S5 pupils (in their 5th year of studying French in secondary school) who are to sit their (Scottish) Higher exam in May. They are finding the listening part of the exam particularly challenging. For the Higher, they have to listen to a conversation lasting about 4 minutes and then answer questions in English worth 20 points. They get to study the questions before the recording begins and can use a dictionary. We've had the predicatable sorts of discussions about predicting answers, appropriate note taking technique, short term memory, concentration etc, but for a couple of them there are no signs of improvement - none of my advice seems to be working! I would be grateful if anyone could share strategies and ideas with me for developing the skill of listening and perhaps direct me towards any articles or books which I could read. Merci d'avance.
     
  2. Hmmmm. It is sometimes a difficult skill for people to acquire. Even in English (my mother tongue) I mis-hear things on the radio quite often and I often sing along to songs with my own (mis-heard) lyrics. [​IMG]
    Listening is something I didn't seem to master until I finished my degree. Something in my brain must have "clicked" for listening to foreign words. I've now started learning Spanish from scratch and I have none of the problems I used to have when I learned French in school.
    One thing that could be difficult to overcome is the increasing mental block your students will face as they tell themselves that they "can't" do listening. Remember the use of praise can help motivation when they do make small steps in the right direction.
    You seem to be doing all the right things to help them, don't give up! Have you tried working with the transcript with those few pupils who are struggling? Is it breaking down the sounds into words that is causing them difficultly or is their vocabulary lacking the necessary words to complete to task? Do they have an understanding of French sounds slurring together?
    Practice is probably the most useful thing for them to do..... but that relies heavily on their motivation to succeed.....




     
  3. sam enerve

    sam enerve New commenter

    Have you tried dictation exercises? Start with simple phrases and build up to full sentences. Just been doing it with yr8 French and passé composé. They really enjoyed it. Really helps with listening skills, grammar and writing skills.
     
  4. Hi
    I have to say I disagree about the what that article says. I have always found it helpful to give studetns transcripts, especially in French, as I believe they need to see the 'shape' of the words.
    I then do gap-fill exercises once their confidence is built up. Worked very well with my French GCSE group last year.
     
  5. see AND hear the shape of the words
     

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