Challenges in Listening for EFL Learners
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Listening to a foreign language is complicated and difficult. Here we look at a few of the difficulties our learners have when listening to English.
People naturally speak quickly, but there are some variations in English that are spoken especially quickly. In listening, we need to learn to differentiate between words to be able to make sense of what is being said. This is difficult for a learner even when the sentences are spoken slowly and deliberately, so when it is spoken quickly it can be even more challenging.
When you think of someone who comes from Texas, USA and someone who comes from Sydney, Australia, you will understand that even though they speak the same language they sound completely different. This is especially problematic for learners who are not aware of the different pronunciations of words and are only familiar with one version. When they hear a word pronounced differently, they might interpret it as a completely new word.
Just as there are loads of different English accents, so there are different varieties of English. While an Australian is enjoying his barbie, a South Africa is having a braai; people in the United Kingdom play football while North Americans play soccer – the list of vocabulary differences and variations is endless. When listening to someone speaking English, a non-native speaker needs to not only listen to what they are saying but interpret that in relation to where they come from.
Generally speaking, the longer the spoken text, the harder it is to understand. So a learner will find it more difficult to listen to and understand a university lecture more than a train announcement.
It seems sensible that if you are familiar with a topic, you will know more vocabulary related to it and so listening to a text on that topic will be easier. If, for example, you are listening to a football match and you don’t know anything about football, you will find it difficult to understand exactly what is being said, whereas if you are familiar with football terminology you will be able to predict certain words that could be used and so will recognise them when you hear them.
In a nutshell, listening is difficult for EFL learners, but here are a few tips to help you make it easier for them:
Top tips for teaching listening in the EFL classroom
- Prepare your learners for the text by providing a context. Give them time to discuss and predict what they are going to hear.
- Repeat the listening as often as necessary. Listening to a text just once is not enough for learners to fully comprehend it.
- Pause the listening when necessary. This allows the learners to focus their attention on specific information.
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Name of course Description Online Level 5 TEFL Course 168-hour Online Level 5 TEFL & grammar course (Plus three free 30-hour Top-Up Online Courses) Online Level 3 TEFL Course 120-hour Online Level 3 TEFL & grammar course (Plus three free 30-hour Top-Up Online Courses) Top-Up Courses 30-hour Online Teaching Young Learners, Teaching Business English and Teaching Online & 1:1 Courses 10hr Online Teaching Practice Course 10 hours of webinar teaching practice course (Learn about classroom management and Q&A with a TEFL expert) Observed Teaching Practice Course 40-hour observed teaching practice course
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Name of course Duration Combined Level 5 TEFL Course 6 months Online Level 5 TEFL Course 6 months Online Level 3 TEFL Course 6 months 10hr Online Teaching Practice Course 10 hours Top-up courses 6 weeks Observed Teaching Practice Course 2 years
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Students may test their English level here: https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/content.
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LAST UPDATED: 19th July 2022
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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.