Thoughts on L2 listening pedagogy

Joseph Siegel*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalLetter, comment/opinion or interviewpeer-review


    In this paper, I discuss some of the ideas raised by Renandya and Farrell (ELT Journal 65/1) related to extensive listening (EL) and the teaching of listening strategies.
    Function of extensive listening :The concept of EL emanated from extensive reading, an approach that aims to improve a variety of reading skills through exposure to materials that approximately match proficiency level. According to Renandya and Farrell (2011: 56), ‘like reading, listening is best learnt through listening’. These authors support EL as the answer to the issue of how to teach listening in L2 classrooms.
    Complementary role : EL can play a supportive role in L2 listening pedagogy. Through exposure to extensive and various listening texts, learners gain opportunities to practise and refine their listening processes, recognize linguistic and lexical features, and increase cultural knowledge related to the target language. The value of EL in this practice-oriented capacity cannot be overstated.
    It is difficult, however, to accept EL as the main component of L2 listening pedagogy, as Renandya and Farrell suggest. With listening materials readily available online (see Renandya and Farrell’s useful list of websites, p. 58) and on CDs, there is no shortage of practice material. EL provides the practice, but a question we should ask is: ‘What exactly are learners practising?’
    Extensive listening dilemmas: For EL to be the predominant element in L2 listening pedagogy, several matters may need to be resolved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)318-321
    Number of pages4
    JournalELT Journal
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2011


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