According to Block & Trager,
“A language is a system of arbitrary vocal symbols by means of which a social group operates.”
Listening is the first skill people learn when learning a language. Learners first listen to the spoken language when they are learning a language. The main functions of listening skills are:
● Receiving message
● Constructing meaning from it
● Responding to (spoken/non-verbal) messages.
Listening Materials and Resources Available for Teaching
The various kinds of listening materials and resources available for teaching listening to school students are as follows:
This enables learners to get exposed to the various sounds, voices, and accents in English. Learners can also pause and repeat what they have just heard and it is authentic material.
Through videos, learners can get visual support along with listening support so that they can become aware of the gestures one needs to follow for interaction and deciphering messages.
Live Listening Materials
Live listening helps learners to listen actively with minimum background noise and react to the speaker as well.
5 Main Components of Listening
The 5 main components of listening are as follows:
Receiving includes hearing which refers to sound waves simulating the sensory receptors of the ears. It is a physical response and is the perception of sound waves. To listen, you must hear but you need not listen to hear. The brain produces stimuli and allows only a select few to come into focus and these selective perceptions are known as attention. Attention is important for effective listening.
Understanding refers to extracting the meaning from previous associations and successful interpretation of the message being received. The listener must understand the intended meaning and context assumed by the sender for successful interpersonal communication.
Remembering or memorizing is an important subskill of listening. It means the individual who is receiving the message has received the message, interpreted it correctly, and added it to the memory.
In this stage, there are only active listeners where they,
Sort out facts from opinion
Determines the presence and absence of bias in the message
The individual receiving the message sends a verbal or non-verbal response to the speaker or sender. This allows the speaker to determine if a message has been received or not. The sender can determine the degree of success in transmitting the message through feedback.
According to Graddol (2010),
“Throughout India, there is an extraordinary belief, among almost all castes and classes, in both rural and urban areas, in the transformative power of English. English is seen not just as a useful skill, but as a symbol of a better life, a pathway out of poverty and oppression.”
He further added,
“The challenges of providing universal access to English are signiﬁcant, and many are bound to feel frustrated at the speed of progress. But we cannot ignore the way that the English language has emerged as a powerful agent for change in India.”