The English language training program in Vietnam utilizes authentic listening materials to improve students’ listening abilities.
Lana Learn’s English Language Training program in Vietnam relies heavily on its listening comprehension curriculum. Listening comprises half of the required testing criteria, so it’s crucial that students are exposed to authentic listening materials in addition to the American Language Course (ALC) curriculum material.
Benefits of authentic listening materials
Authentic listening materials are materials that are created for real-world purposes. They include songs, TV shows, movies, podcasts, news reports, radio broadcasts, etc. They provide English language learners with many benefits.
- They expose students to conversational language with varied usage. Slang, idioms, accents, and filler words are important for English language learners to identify and understand.
- A variety of topics increases student motivation and engagement. Students can choose topics that reflect their needs and goals.
- These materials help students develop listening skills and strategies. Predicting, inferring, summarizing, and synthesizing are skills used in real-life situations.
- Learning about different perspectives and values enhances students’ cultural awareness and intercultural competence.
Using authentic listening materials
Despite the benefits of using authentic materials, their usage can also pose challenges. Difficulty level, lack of structure and context, irrelevant vocabulary are all things that instructors need to take into consideration when selecting materials. Additionally, finding resources that are appropriate for students can be very time consuming. Language instructors can think about the following factors when choosing supplementary materials for their students.
- Level, interests, needs, and goals of the learners
- Relevance, appropriateness, and quality of the materials
- Availability, accessibility, and reliability of the sources
In addition, instructors must plan meaningful lessons that guide students to work effectively with authentic materials.
- Pre-listening activities are a useful tool when exposing students to these listening materials. Setting context, activating background knowledge, and pre-teaching vocabulary can prepare students for success.
- Giving students activities to complete during the listening experience helps them to stay focused. Gap fills, true or false statements, and multiple-choice questions are exercises that effectively guide students through listening activities.
- Post-listening activities guide students to reflect on the listening experience. Summarizing, discussing, exchanging information, and deconstructing passages are some methods of promoting critical thinking skills.
In conclusion, authentic listening materials are a valuable supplement for English language learners. If used thoughtfully and carefully, they enhance the learning experience by exposing students to real-world language usage.