Arabic language. improving listening skills. By Bushra Alshakhly

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Bushra Alshakhly is an Assistant Professor of Arabic in the Defense Language Institute, Offutt LTD. Presented for LEARN Conference, Spring Colorado, CO 2011.

Transcript of Arabic language. improving listening skills. By Bushra Alshakhly

  • 1. This speech/presentation is authorized by the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center and the Department of Defense. Contents of this presentation are not necessarily the official views of, or endorsed by, the U.S. Government, DoD, Department of the Army, or DLIFLC. Improving Listening Skills from the Intermediate to Advanced Level, What Does it Take? Assistant Professor Bushra Alshakhly Instructor of Arabic Language and Iraqi Dialect LLC Offutt, Nebraska Arabic LEARN 7-9 September, 2011 CO

2. Introduction Teachers as Authentic Native Speakers For a long time, realizing that I am the only native speaker, unfortunately, that my students can listen and converse with, I have thought of the authenticity of my discourse with my students. I am concerned about this because my students, mostly at the intermediate level, can understand me and carry out a successful conversation with me, yet, they stumble on translating or discussing most listening segments from Aljazeera and any other sites that we use on a daily basis. I have decided to focus my observation on the delivery of my instruction first, then focusing on the difficulties shown by my students. This presentation is based on my personal observation for my students and myself. 3. Authentic or not Authentic Introduction Well, I guess, three things I, intentionally do wrong: Three things I intentionally do wrong while teaching: Speed Control the speed rate of my speech with the students Vocab Control the quality and quantity of my vocab words and phrases Structure Choose the structure that I know my students can handle Introduction Teachers as Authentic Native Speakers 4. Introduction Teachers as Authentic Native Speakers Skills of listening and listening comprehension have been a big concern for instructors, especially of the Arabic language. We teachers of Arabic put a lot of effort into bringing students of the basic level of Arabic into the intermediate, and we think that is a problem. However, preparing students to go to a higher level of listening comprehension seems to cause a bigger problem, a challenge. But, thinking about what it took to make native speakers of foreign language, such as most of us, to be comfortable and competent in the English language, and sometimes to the level of teaching it, here, we find the role model. Although different, our life and learning experiences and cultural backgrounds become of our students. 5. Introduction About Listening Comprehension Second language listening comprehension, in spite of being a complex process, is crucial in the development of second language competence. Students at the intermediate level may feel that they have learned enough vocabulary and grammar knowledge to help them understand authentic reading passages, and even analyze it. However, their vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation learning are limited to knowledge appropriation and incompetent toward answering content questions or drawing a conclusion from an authentic audio cut. Achieving language fluency, then is a big challenge, let alone that a near-native language level has to be reached. 6. Introduction About Listening Comprehension No matter how we try to put it in another way, our students use listening more than any other skills in the classroom. According to Miller (2003), more than forty percent of our daily communication is spent on listening, thirty-five percent on speaking, about sixteen percent on reading, and only nine percent on writing. Therefore, according to Dornyei (2005), it is our responsibility, as teachers, to motivate, enhance, and improve students level of listening comprehension. 7. Challenges Affecting Listening Comprehension Speaker is not clear: The message & delivery Language level is too high: Poor Approach Environment is not helping : Distraction Not interested enough: Motivation What am I focusing on? Need instruction 8. Challenges Affecting Listening Comprehension: What can we do? 1. The Message: Provide authentic materials with the suitable level Design engaging task-oriented exercises Provide necessary input and instruction 2. The Speaker : Implement practices for variety forms of speed rate, native accents and dialects, colloquialism, and redundancy 3. The Students (Listeners): Stimulate motivation, activate background knowledge, generate complex grammatical exercises and colloquial expressions Prompt positive feedback, modify listening strategies 4. The Environment: Create pleasant classroom condition and eliminate distractions Check quality of equipment 9. Challenges Affecting Listening Comprehension Typical Listening Activity Plan Plan for the listening task Prepare students by stating the purpose or background knowledge needed Determine whether to approach the cut from the top down or from the bottom up Before Listening Monitor comprehension Verify prediction and check for accuracy Point out elements important for the task During Listening Evaluate comprehension in a particular area Assess overall progress of the task. Keep records of it Evaluate strategies used in listening to give feedback about their appropriateness , or modify them if necessary After Listening 10. Challenges Affecting Listening Comprehension of Arabic Authentic Audios Listening involves too much cultural references. Listening involves variable rates of delivery: news, street talk, TV shows, speakers It involves numerous uses, conjugations , and measures for each Arabic verb or word It involves reduced, extended, or spoken Arabic forms: different dialects and different accents 11. Examples of Challenges Affecting Higher Level Listening Comprehension of Arabic Authentic Audios Twitters, Facebook, and youtube are now news resources. Question: In your opinion, using this segment, what affects you from writing a reliable report about facts and attitudes related to this event? 12. Examples of Challenges Affecting Higher Level Listening Comprehension of Arabic Authentic Audios Arabic sentences, sometimes, seem to have reduced or extended structures. . Question: According to this news item from the BBC, how have listeners impressions of Saif Alislam been affected about his new position? 13. Examples of Challenges Affecting Higher Level Listening Comprehension of Arabic Authentic Audios Arabic news and interview use flowery expressions may affect the main point. _: Question: According to the BBC Arabic interview, what is alKarabulis point in comparing an election campaign to a contest between knights? 14. Examples of Challenges Affecting Higher Level Listening Comprehension of Arabic Authentic Audios Arabic texts and audios are interfered by their cultural references, and they are hard to be analyzed separately. Question: According to this cut from Aljazeera about who is responsible for the Kuwait Fire, reading through this ministers sentiment about the event, what is the position of the Kuwaiti government in relation to the Kuwait fire? 15. Examples of Challenges Affecting Higher Level Listening Comprehension of Arabic Authentic Audios Arabic verbs come in many different sizes, shapes, and patterns, even with background knowledge about the Arabic measures and roots. Notice the verbs underlined Question: according to the clip from CNN Arabic, how will Dubai face the world economy recession in relation to Khalifa City project? 16. Examples of Challenges Affecting Higher Level Listening Comprehension of Arabic Authentic Audios Some MSA sentences and phrases inside an audio that students usually are baffled with: 17. Examples of Challenges Affecting Higher Level Listening Comprehension of Arabic Authentic Audios Some Arabic Terms and phrases that make statements negative or comparative , students are baffled with when translating and analyzing a spoken text. 18. Challenges Affecting Higher Level Listening Comprehension of Arabic Authentic Audios Teaching Listening Practice is not enough. Listening strategies should be taught, monitored, and modified. Their learning strategies and ours are not the same. Grammatical uses and Arabic ten measures are not bad ideas for teaching and reminding students of now and then. First day assessment for the short-session classes are necessary to acknowledge students learning styles and level of competence. Encourage analyzing spoken texts rather than translating them word by word. Themes and messages of spoken Arabic are often hidden Always activate the students conscious learning to help think as their target language not their native one. Arabic language is a cultural phenomenon; Arabic and culture (beliefs, rituals, and ideologies) can not be separated. Immersion is a canon. Artificial repetition for colloquial and grammatical expression are effective for developing the students auditory memory. 19. Three Recommended Standard Listening Modes Listening effectively takes three modes depending on the level of the students and tasks: 1. Passive: We ask for main ideas 2. Active: We ask for message behind the speech 3. Combative: We ask students to negotiate and debate Passive/ Attentive Active/ Reflective Competitive /Combative 20. 10 Standard Learning Strategies We Have to Teach Looking for key words (basic). Taking notes. Looking for non-verbal cues to meaning Predicting speakers purposes by the context of the spoken discourse listening for general gist (as an initial task) Guessing at meanings (for main ideas) Relating information by activating schemata (comparing and contrasting) Seeking clarifications, support with evidences Determining which technique to use: bottom-up or top-down listening technique according to task. Achieving the required task: evaluating, describing, criticizing, modifying, supporting, producing, and etc. Altering learning strategy with ease when necessary 21. Improving Listening Skills from the Intermediate to Advanced