Interactive Multimedia and Listening

Interactive Multimedia and Listening

Yen (Ingrid) Vo (Nhon Hai Middle School, Vietnam)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3822-6.ch038
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Abstract

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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What Listening Is

Listening is the vital skill that provides the basis for the successful communication and successful professional career. According to Purdy and Borisoff (1997), listening is a primary skill among the basic skills that bring success in our everyday life. “There is no meaningful communication without listening,” (p. 4). It is said that people learn to listen first, then speak, read, or write, (p. 4). Research has indicated that among the four communication skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing; people spend more time listening than the other three skills, (Cotton, 1986). Regarding foreign language learning, Nunan (1989) states that that foreign language learners spend over 50 percent of their time on listening. Brown (1987) also notes that “of foremost importance is the role of listening in language acquisition,” (p. 5). There have been several definitions of listening, and it appears some confusion between listening and hearing. So, what are the differences between listening and hearing? And what is listening comprehension?

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