Crossing Modalities:
Turning Listening into Writing
Diane Schmitt
Nottingham Trent University
Listening Lessons: A missed opportunity?

Common focus of listening textbooks:

Contemporary Topics






Schema building
Key vocabulary
Notetaking tips
Comprehension of main ideas and details
Lecture reconstruction
Expansion Activity
Comprehension Approach to Listening

Auditory Scanning
(Field, 2008:59)
Lessons from Reading - Purpose
Reading to search for information
 Reading for quick understanding
 Reading to learn
 Reading to integrate information
 Reading to evaluate, critique, and use
information
 Reading for general comprehension (for
interest or entertainment)
(Grabe, 2009: 7-10)

Lessons from Reading - Purpose
Reading to learn
 Reading to integrate information
 Reading to evaluate, critique, and use
information

Lessons for Listening - Purpose
Listening to learn
 Listening to integrate information
 Listening to evaluate, critique, and use
information

Using listening to inform writing
Teaching Materials
Task - Write an essay on the topic:
“Globalization itself is not so much of a problem as an opportunity.”
Discuss
What gets taught?


In reading to learn, the reader is expected to
remember the main ideas and many
supporting ideas and be able to recall this
information as needed
Attention to text structure assists in recall.
(Carrell, 1992; Jiang and Grabe, 2007)
Attention to text structure assists in recall.

Language


Clear paragraph structure is an important element of
writing, especially in an academic context. Study the
opening paragraph (p. 52) and examine how it is
developed. What is the purpose of each sentence?
It is just as important to see the relationships between
paragraphs in an essay or a chapter of a book. The
language activity for Chapter 1 studied linking
devices. Which ones can you identify in the
final section of this chapter? How is the
argument developed?
What gets taught?


Reading to integrate information requires that
the reader synthesize (and learn) information
from multiple texts or bring together
information from a long text, such as a long
and complex chapter in a textbook
Sometimes when students perform poorly,
“the problem may not be an inability to
comprehend but a lack of awareness of
the real goal for that reading task.”
(Grabe, 2009: 19)
A lack of awareness of the real goal for that
reading task
No explicit links are made in the booklet of
materials between the content of the
reading and the content of the listening.
 This is despite the fact that students and
teachers are hyper-aware of the fact that
they will have to write an essay using
sources on the topic of globalisation.

What gets taught?


Reading to evaluate, critique, and use information
requires making decisions about which aspects of a text
are most important, most persuasive, least persuasive,
or most controversial. [Readers also] need to decide
how to relate the text information to other information
intertextually and to their prior knowledge and beliefs.
Readers engage in different types of processing
as they carry out reading for different purposes.”
(Carver, 1990, 1992a in Grabe, 2009: 12)
“Readers engage in different types of processing
as they carry out reading for different purposes.”

Students are not asked to read or listen
for purposes beyond basic comprehension.
Both reading and listening texts are under
exploited
Texts convey a considerable amount of
discourse information at multiple levels
through their structure
 Patterns of text organisation reflect the
goals of their creators, the purposes of the
texts and the expectations of
readers/listeners
 There are relatively few patterns of
discourse organisation and they recur
regularly in a variety of combinations.

The documentaries
New Rulers of the World

John Pilger’s definition


Pilger’s claim


Globalisation is a new economic order
Globalisation makes the rich richer and the
poor poorer
Pilger’s method of organisation

Case study of Indonesia



Interviews with experts
Visits to sweatshops
Interviews with Indonesians
Globalisation is Good
Norberg’s claims:
“Capitalism could make the whole world as
wealthy and free as Europe is today, if
only we let it.”
“Poverty is on the way out for those
countries that have integrated into the
global economy.”
“Far from being a threat to mankind, I am
going to show that global capitalism is its
saviour.”
Globalisation is Good
Norberg’s definition of globalisation:
“A free market economy based on
the right to start a business and
trade without restriction.”
Globalisation is Good
Norberg’s organisational structure:
Globalisation is Good – Organisational
Structure
Argument
Globalisation is Good – Organisational
Structure
Argument
w/compare
+ contrast
Taiwan
Vietnam
Kenya
Globalisation is Good
Taiwan
Process
Exemplification
Cause & Effect
Globalisation is Good
Vietnam
Case Study
Nike
Exemplification
Cause & Effect
Globalisation is Good
Kenya
Description
Cause & Effect
Exemplification
The writing task

Write an essay on the topic:
“Globalization itself is not so much of a
problem as an opportunity.” Discuss
• A chapter dedicated to each
pattern of essay organization
• A chapter on argumentation
and using material from
outside sources
Purpose: Turn listening into writing

Listening to learn


Listening to integrate information



Students need to recall the information in order to be
able to use it in their essays.
bring together information from a long text
synthesize information from multiple texts
Listening to evaluate, critique, and use
information


make decisions about which aspects of a text are most
important, most persuasive, or least persuasive
decide how to relate the text information to other
information intertextually
Pilger vs. Norberg
Pilger is certain that globalisation is bad
 Norberg is equally certain that globalisation is
good

Can they both be right?

A more comprehensive approach to listening
which takes account of text structure will help
students to be able to ask the right questions of
both commentators.
Success in writing can be facilitated by
awareness of how texts are structured.
 demonstrations of how others structure
their texts
 recognition that text structure is a key
factor in communicating one’s message
effectively

Creativity can be thinking differently about
how we exploit our materials
Text structure is not just found in
academic reading, but in all aspects of our
lives
Download

Crossing Modalities: Turning Listening into Writing