1. Choice of material
The book dubbed “How to teach English” by Jeremy Harmer is instrumental in the development of knowledge as regards the teaching of listening skills to adult learners. Consequently, listening skills are crucial in teaching students under the English as Second Language (ESL) category where adults learning English for the first time can grasp a taste of the various varieties of the English Language that exist. The book is chosen for its profound knowledge development around the topic as it examines various effects or attributes of the approaches that can be used in teaching the English language to adult learners. In Chapter 10 of the book, special emphasis on the administration of listening skills is explored.
First, the subskills that Chapter 10 of the text addresses are concerned with the teaching of listening skills to English students at various levels from beginners to intermediate learners (Harmer, 1998, p. 96). The premise of the listening skills development is to equip different learners at various stages with the skills necessary for them to develop knowledge in understanding English accent varieties as well as uses. The activities captured include listening to a tape recording, developing knowledge of characters and information heard, as well as watching a video to decipher what is heard or listened to while watching (Harmer, 1998, p. 98). Notably, each activity is meant to address the needs of the learner in comprehension of spoken English based on their level of knowledge of the English Language. For instance, listening to conversations on tape prove more effective for teaching adult beginners while listening to a report about an interview process is more appropriate for developing similar skills in intermediate adult learners (Harmer, 1998, p. 110).
The author also identifies proper evaluation of the tasks where it is emphasized that the teacher should not play the tape just once but play it enough times not to make it boring. In other words, it is necessary that the teacher recognizes the importance of ensuring the listening task meets the needs of students. Therefore, the tape should be relevant to the level of learning and should be understood. Equally, the students ought to guard against getting distracted since listening requires high attention span (Harmer, 1998, p. 103).
Another task that I would include would be the generation of sentences using keywords. As such, the task would engage the creativity of the adult students in developing sentences based on what they have heard on tape in the English Language. For instance, using the words ‘key and mother’ make a complete sentence in English. Consequently, the subskills that can be developed from the activity include improvement of spoken language, listening, and comprehension skills.
3. Further Language Skills
The text can prove critical in the enhancement of listening skills, reading skills, and spoken English skills aside from the fact that it can have a tremendous impact on the development of improved written language skills of the learners. In that esteem, the listening activity shall comprise of a follow-up activity such as watching a foreign language movie with English subtitles during which the teacher will expect the adult learners to understand the plot of the film. Equally, spoken language skills can be developed through role play where scripts are used for characters played by the students to engage their spoken language skills.
4. Task Design
The school play is where adult students come together to watch fellow students enact a story such as ‘Romeo and Juliet,' ‘Macbeth’ or ‘Jesus’ etcetera. The activity will incorporate scripts where adult students will assume role play. As such, after watching and listening to a similar play or movie. The students will be reading out the scripts will facilitate the development of knowledge on how effective the listening skills gained have shaped the student’s abilities in listening, speaking, and reading. Therefore, the activity would serve to provide an all rounded experience in the evaluation of the student’s expertise.
Harmer, J., 1998. Chapter 10: How to teach listening. In: How to teach English. Edinburgh Gate, Harlow Essex, England: Addison Wesley Longman Limited, pp. 96-110.
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