Annotated Review > Listening + Speaking Activities 1Next.gif


Butler-Pascoe, M.E. & Wiburg, K.M (2003). Technology and Teaching English Language Learners. Pearson Education, Inc. Chapter 4: Using Technology to Teach Oral Communication Skills, pages 81 to 96: Developing Listening Skills

1. The acquisition/learning hypothesis states that language skills can be developed through two means:

(a) Acquisition. pc.gif
The process used by children to acquire their native language.
(b) Learning.
The conscious and explicit knowing about the language.

2. How does technology provide comprehensible input?

Computers allow teachers to add multisensory elements, text,
sounds, pictures, video and animation, which provide meaningful
contexts to facilitate comprehension.

3. In what whays can technology assist in creating a
nonthreatening lanuage learning environment?

The computer can be programmed to present material at defferent
difficulty levels according to individual learner needs. The nonjudgmental
nature of the computer gives students the autonomy to review any part
of the lesson as many times as the wish and receive immediate feedback
and additional assistance as needed.

4. What kinds of processing stragegies are involed in listening?
Describe each one and give examples:

a) Bottom up process: Focus is placed on individual components of
oral discourse. Comprehension is viewed as a process of decoding
messages proceeding from phoneme to words, to phrases and
clauses and other grammatical elements to sentences.

e.g Students might be asked to identify sounds or parts of a sentence
according to their function as subject, verb, object, or to distiguish
between positive and negative sentences.
b) Top-down processing. Comprehension is seen as a process of
activating the listener's background information and schemata for a
global understanding of the message. These schemata relate to our
real world experiences and how we expect people to behave and
events to occur.

e.g If you order a sandwich at a fast food restaurant and the cashier
hands you a receipt and says: Your number is 146, it does not mean
that there are 145 people to be served before you.

5. How does technology assist students in demonstrating their background and linguistic knowledge?

Computers allow students to demostrate their knowledge and
competencies in a variety of ways. Students are given a task
that is based on a topic they are already familiar with.

6. How can technology assist students in:
1. interactional communication.
There are websites that offer interactional speaking practice
through dialogs on various topics.

2. transactional communication
Listening activities that help students improve their listening skills.
These listening activities involve students as they have to finish a
specific task.

Butler-Pascoe, M.E. & Wiburg, K.M (2003). Technology and Teaching English Language Learners. Pearson Education, Inc. Chapter 5: Using Technology to Teach Oral Communication Skills, pages 96 to 102: Developing Speaking Skills

1. Give three times when students benefit from a technology-enchanced


environment for the development of their speaking skills:

a. chatting around the computer.

b. improve speaking skills through the speech that

occurs as students talk to each other while working

on collaborative tasks and projects.

c. students communicate via teleconferencing software.

2. How have the different methods of L2 teaching treated the teaching of speaking?

Physical response, the natural approach, the silent way,

and suggestopedia are more appropriate for the beginning

levels of instruction. Each teacher has to evaluate for his

or her own particular teaching situation. Teacher also should

use a variety of instructional tools, including the computer and

other forms of technology, to meet the needs pf all their students.

3. Describe the Current Views on Speaking in an L2

Today with the easy access to travel, globalisation of business

and industry, and the desire of non native English speakers to

communicate with native English speaking peers, English learners

of all ages and purposes value the ability to orally communicate

in the second language.

4. Study Table 4.1 on page 98 and give your opinion.

The table provides us with a variety of different methods of


speaking activities. According to the topic and to students needs,

teachers can choose the appropriate approach. Moreover, this variety

is even more useful as teachers can shift to different methods

in order to keep the activity interesting.

Choosing the same approaching method everytime, makes

students less interesting to the lesson.

5. Describe the different types of oral interaction

Grammar Translation

No speaking or listening is required of students


Audio Lingua Method

Focus on speech and reliance on repetition and oral drills

Direct Method and Situational Language Teaching.

Teacher does much of the speaking. Students engage in

controlled speaking activities centered on specific topics.

Silent Way.

Teacher rarely speaks. Students engage in speaking activities

centered around grammatically sequenced forms.


Students listen to reading of dialogs by the teacher and later

engage in controlled speaking activities such as role plays.

Community Language Learning.

Teacher translates what the learner wishes to say in the target


Comprehension Approach.

Emphasis on listening and reading skills.

Little attention to speaking and writing.

Natural Approach.

Early emphasis on listening comprehension

with delayed guided speaking activities.


Total Physical Response (TPR)

Students rarely speak. Use of physical actions

to demonstate listening comprehension.

Communicative Language Teaching (CLT)

Focus on speech of communication.

Variety of authentic speaking activities.

Task Based.


Speech is centered around authentic

tasks needed to accomplish real world tasks.

Butler-Pascoe, M.E. & Wiburg, K.M (2003). Technology and Teaching English Language Learners. Pearson Education, Inc. Chapter 4: Using Technology to Teach Oral Communication Skills, pages 81 to 96: Developing Listening Skills