Barriers to Successful Listening
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Teaching listening in the English as a Foreign Language classroom is one of the trickier aspects of our jobs. Due to the nature of the skill, it can be difficult to really know how much our students understand and it can be hard to identify the particular problems our learners may be having. If we look at some of the more common barriers to successful learners we can hopefully gain a better understanding of how we can deal with listening in the EFL classroom to help our learners become better listeners.
Common barriers to successful listening
The most obvious barrier to listening is the environment in which the listening is taking place. If the environment is noisy or if there is a lot of background noise, it’s going to be more challenging for the listener to hear what is being said. If they cannot hear, it will be impossible for them to interpret it into identifiable words.
If a student is distracted or not paying attention, this has the same effect as a noisy environment. Similarly, if they are tired, upset, anxious or unmotivated. Also, if they are not interested in the task or feel it is too easy or too difficult they won’t listen effectively.
If students develop bad habits when it comes to listening, it will be challenging to break them. For example, students may listen intently to try to hear and understand every word. Usually it is more beneficial to listen for the general idea and try to comprehend big chunks of language rather than individual words.
Spoken Word Recognition
When a person speaks English, whole sentences can sound like one long word. This makes it almost impossible to process and understand. This can be because of a mismatch between a spoken word and its written form or the speaker speaking very quickly. As a result, listeners will mishear what is being said.
Students may rely on translation to try to understand a listening text. In other words, as they listen they are translating what they hear. As you can imagine, this is a very time-consuming and ineffective strategy for comprehension.
Listeners may not understand what they are hearing simply because of their level of English. They may not be familiar with the words being spoken and so be unable to identify them as words.
If a listener is not familiar with a speaker’s accent it will be very difficult for them to understand what they are hearing, even if they utilise effective listening strategies.
The longer a listening text, the more information and language there is to process and the more difficult it is to understand. This is especially true if there are no breaks within the text.
If the topic of a listening text is complex or unfamiliar to the listener it will be difficult to understand.
Phew that’s a lot of barriers! As you can see, listening is quite a complex task and there are many reasons our learners may not be successful. However, if you consider these barriers closely you can think of appropriate tasks in the classroom which can help your learners improve their listening skills.
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- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.