Interactive Multimedia and Listening

Interactive Multimedia and Listening

Yen (Ingrid) Vo (Nhon Hai Middle School, Vietnam)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8499-7.ch009
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The topic of this chapter is concerned with the use of interactive multimedia in teaching listening skills to English language learners. The chapter starts with the difference between listening and hearing, the definition of interactive multimedia, and interactive multimedia listening environments. Explanation is then given to why listening is so important. The chapter also addresses main types of listening, active listening process, and obstacles to listening. This chapter additionally shows the benefits of and rationales for listening using interactive multimedia resources in comparison with audio-only listening materials regarding visual support, authentic content, comprehensible input, vocabulary acquisition, and student motivation. The chapter concludes by suggesting some Internet sources and materials for listening practice as a part of learning English as a foreign or second language.
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With the development of information and communication technology (ICT), teaching with multimedia resources is becoming a trend in foreign language teaching environments. Recent researchers (e.g., Warshauer, Shetzer, & Meloni, 2000; Lombardi, 2007) tends to agree that interactive multimedia learning environments offer language learners a source for authentic materials, specialized materials, a place for authentic communication, a collection of tools which allow learners to share their ideas, knowledge, and student-or teacher-created materials. Especially, listening practice with multimedia materials offers learners appropriate support, guidance, training, and scaffolding. Language learners can choose the materials so that interactive multimedia materials enables them to become more autonomous, which is one of the skills learners need to develop today, as well as the materials allow them to monitor their learning and take on responsibility for their learning. Language learners can also use the Internet for self-study purposes without the need for a teacher. Moreover, interactive multimedia materials give learners the opportunity to acquire and practice essential 21st century professional skills such as critical thinking skills, problem-solving skills, cooperatively working skills, etc.

In this chapter, I shall first give the definitions of key terms such as listening, listening comprehension, and interactive multimedia listening environments. I then review some studies on the importance of developing listening skills of language learners as a part of learning English as a foreign/second language. I additionally discuss the types of listening, the stages of listening, and the factors that influence listening comprehension. I also review some research on the benefits of the use of interactive multimedia resources in listening practice. I finally suggest some Internet sources and materials (see Table 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6) for listening as a part of learning English as a foreign/second language.

Table 1.
Websites for songs
Site Names and URLBrief Descriptions
1Alpozo's Phonetic Blog is a great blog for songs. The blog is mainly based on the field of phonetics addressed to teachers and students of English at all levels. You can listen to songs you like and do the tasks following the songs if you wish. The activities are interactive and can be used as lessons in class, a language lab, on-line or off-line.
2Elllo website supplies teachers and students with free online listening activities. Many of them have quizzes and a transcript. There are many kinds of authentic materials such as songs, interviews, and casual lectures on this website. It is suitable for intermediate and advanced students.
3ESL Videos: Category: ‘Songs’ site features folk songs, campfire songs, and group-singing songs that native English speakers sing. These podcasts are short and designed to be listened to more than once, so learners can listen and sing along as many times as they need to in order to learn the song.
4Music Tube 101 video is about a famous song, including its transcript. You can listen to the song and practice singing the song. It is recommended for all levels.
5Songs for Teaching website is a great idea for using music to promote language learning. It has audio and video songs categorized into a broad range of topics. It also includes transcripts, so you can listen to the song and read its transcript at the same time. You not only listen to your favorite songs, but also practice phonetic features. It is appropriate for elementary and intermediate young learners.
6VOALearningEnglish is the video about a VOA Special English Education Report about songs. Through this report, you may find your favorite songs.

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