Education Evolutions // Impact Insights

English language acquisition improves through listening skills practice

Lana’s instructors in Vietnam focus on English language acquisition to prepare military officer students for follow-on training missions.

Learning is the conscious act of gaining knowledge through study. On the other hand, acquisition is developing a skill or habit using the subconscious. When it comes to languages, they are both learned and acquired. Think of it this way – children acquire their native tongue naturally without ever studying a grammar rule. However, an adult learning a new language will sit in a classroom, study vocabulary, and apply it through practice. At Lana’s English Language Training (ELT) program in Vietnam, we combine English language acquisition and learning to prepare our military officer students to excel in their careers.

Comprehensive Listening Practice

One of the ways our team of instructors does this is through comprehensive listening practice. Listening, along with reading, speaking, and writing, is one of the four basic language skills. The listening component is vital for spoken communication, so our program places a high level of importance on it. Additionally, listening comprises 50 percent of all program testing materials, so it’s crucial that students are comfortable with the assessment format.

Our students, in addition to the listening exercises conducted in their regular classrooms, spend five hours a week in the language lab. We provide them with a combination of teacher-led group instruction and self-paced independent work. This allows students the opportunity to hold autonomy over their own learning while also receiving valuable feedback and correction from an instructor. Our program curriculum follows the American Language Course (ALC) textbooks provided by the Defense Language Institute English Language Center (DLIELC). These materials give students repetitive listening and speaking drills as well as comprehension activities.

Lana’s ELT instructors provide the acquisition portion of English language learning in the program. They implement a myriad of different strategies that give students a well-rounded language experience. These include listening comprehension activities, utilizing a diverse range of authentic listening materials, and interactive listening practice. These activities all cater to different learning styles and proficiency levels.

Student Results

As our students approach the final month of the course, we can say with confidence that they have notably improved their listening skills throughout the semester. All three classes average above 80 percent on the listening portion of their bi-weekly assessments. Class Alpha holds the highest listening score with a 90 percent average after nine quizzes. We look forward to seeing our end-of-year results, and where our students’ listening skills will take them after graduation.

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