Strategies to Link Listening & Speaking

Strategies for Linking Authentic Listening and Speaking by Jill Robbins
Language Learning with Impact Listening Seminar
Tuesday, December 28, 2004 New York University, NY, NY
Overview of session
Brainstorm: What are the components of airplane announcements? These are the short
informative announcements we hear in flight. Take a few minutes to work with your
neighbors to list what kind of information you normally hear in these announcements. Is
there a structure to the announcements?
Rationale for our approach to teaching listening strategies
Making authentic material comprehensible: working with authentic materials in popular
media and textbooks
Textbook examples from Impact Listening 2
Expansion examples
Discussion or Questions and Answers
Rationale: We use a method of teaching language learning strategies based on CALLA:
Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach - Theory and Practice
A. CALLA "is an instructional model that integrates current educational trends in
standards, content based language instruction, learning strategies, and portfolio
assessment" (Chamot, Barnhardt, El-Dinary & Robbins, 1999, p. 7).
B. CALLA provides teachers with a task-based five phase instructional design that helps
them combine language, content, and learning strategies in a carefully planned lesson.
1. Preparation - activate background knowledge of strategies
2. Presentation - teacher models the use of the new strategy for
a particular task and explains how and when to use it
3. Practice - students practice the strategy in class activities
4. Evaluation - students evaluate their use of the strategy and its
effectiveness for the task
5. Expansion - students extend the use of the strategy into new
situations or tasks
Activating Background Knowledge, or Schema Activation – Pre-listening Activities:
Activities to be used before listening should help students to activate their background knowledge
of the topic (here, the topic is the problems of foreign travel) One example is a video segment
from a popular movie. Students can learn about the announcements made on airlines as an
additional listening practice.
Presentation of Listening and Speaking Strategies - a simplified set of listening and speaking
strategies developed by Michael Rost was used in a listening textbook written by Robbins &
MacNeill, Impact Listening 2.
Practice using authentic listening extracts - Most of our 'real world listening' extracts are based
on recorded conversations between college students. They were used to develop the material in
This presentation is online at:
Strategies for Linking Authentic Listening and Speaking Robbins p.2
this textbook. It was scripted and re-recorded to become part of the listening textbook. However,
for this particular extract, we used our actual experiences or those of our family.
Practice Activity for Low Intermediate students:
Impact Listening 2 page 28:
Vocabulary Task: This is part of the schema activation done in preparation for listening.
Listening Task
Listening Strategy: Predict
Students look at the pictures to guess the problem of each traveler.
Listening Strategy: Focus
Students listen to identify each person's problem
Listening Strategy: Guess
Students guess what will happen next
Listening Strategy: Respond
Students elaborate by imagining other problems.
Impact Listening 2 page 29:
Real World Listening
Listening Strategy: Predict
Students are asked to predict what happened when Trevor went to Costa Rica.
They fill in the blanks on the postcard
Listening Strategy: Focus
When they listen the first time, they Focus to check on their predictions.
Get the Main Ideas
Listening Strategy: Focus
Students are asked to choose from possible problems and listen a second time.
Listening Strategy: Respond
Students respond by discussing Trevor's apparent feelings about the trip and
relate their own experiences.
Language Awareness “Focus on Form’
Interaction Link: The Terrible Trip Game
Listening Strategy: Review
Students review the vocabulary they've learned by playing this game.
This presentation is online at:
Strategies for Linking Authentic Listening and Speaking Robbins p.3
Evaluation activity:
After using particular strategies students are asked which were helpful in their listening
or speaking activities. They complete a checklist meant to encourage reflection on the
way they use strategies.
Extensions on the theme
Survey Project: Students were asked to do a survey project. Students in groups chose the
theme and questions. They surveyed students on campus or neighbors. This gave them
the chance to talk more in depth about a topic of their choice and to practice listening and
other academic skills while gathering data, analyzing, organizing and presenting it. When
they do the presentations, I ask them to evaluate each other as this encourages them to
listen more attentively.
Travel Research: Student research a travel destination and give an oral report on a
particular country; telling about the environment and culture, the cost of a trip, and what
one can do there.
Discussion: How about you? How do you help students build confidence in listening and
Chamot, A. U., & O’Malley, J.M. (1994) The CALLA Handbook. White Plains, NY: Longman.
Chamot, A. U., S. Barnhardt, P.B. El-Dinary, J. Robbins. (1999). The Learning Strategies
Handbook. White Plains, NY: Longman.
Cohen, A. (1998). Strategies in Learning and Using a Second Language. New York: Addison
Wesley Longman.
El-Dinary, P. B. 1993. Teachers Learning, Adapting and Implementing Strategies-Based
Instruction in Reading. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland.
Robbins, J. and A. J. MacNeill. (2000) IMPACT Listening 2 . Singapore: Pearson. Companion
Website link link
Robbins, J. 1999. "East meets West - Approaches to Learner Autonomy" In Proceedings of JALT
98, Japan Association for Language Teaching International Conference, Omiya, Japan, November
21-23, 1998.
Robbins, J. 1996. Between 'Hello' and 'See you Later:' Development of Strategies for
Interpersonal Communication in English by Japanese EFL Students. Published Ph.D. dissertation,
University Microfilms, International. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan.
Robbins, J. 1996. Language Learning Strategies Instruction in Asia: Cooperative Autonomy? In
Proceedings of Autonomy 2000 - The Development of Learning Independence in Language
Learning. King Mongkut's Institute of Technology, Thonburi, in association with the British
Council, Bangkok, Thailand. November 21, 1996. Available as an ERIC document: ED409728
p/d 1996
Robbins, J. and E. S. Dadour. 1996. University-level strategy instruction to improve speaking
ability in Egypt and Japan. In R. Oxford (Ed.) Language Learning Strategies Around the World:
This presentation is online at:
Strategies for Linking Authentic Listening and Speaking Robbins p.4
Cross-cultural perspectives. Manoa: University of Hawaii Second Language Teaching and
Learning Center, Technical Report #13.
Rost, M. 2001. Teaching and Researching Listening (Applied Linguistics in Action) White
Plains, NY: Pearson.
Web resources:
National Capital Language Resource Center:
The Language Resource Newsletter: April 2004 issue:
University of Minnesota’s Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition
Jill’s website, with links to strategies sites, articles, etc.
CALLA Instructional Framework:
This presentation is online at: