Teaching academic listening using a virtual learning environment
Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №11 - 2019
Author: Zhubanova Sholpan, Kazakh Ablai khan University of International Relations and World Languages, Kazakhstan
In recent decades, the world has been rapidly moving towards a new
type of economy, where digital technologies have become the main instrument of
its formation. The terms electronic, informational and computer technology are
synonymous and have the general term as "digital technology". The
term "digital technologies" used to describe the process of digitization.
Djusubalieva D. et al. (2019) points that a feature of modern digital
technologies in foreign language education is to prepare the user for work with
various types of information: text, graphic, audio and video.
Digital literacy of students and the ability to access, manage,
analyze, integrate, evaluate and create information in a variety of ways is a
priority of education in general (Nazarbayev, 2010).
The term "digital content" used as a term to describe
three segments of the multimedia products market:
1) production of content in a digital format;
2) the multimedia products distribution in digital environment;
3) consumption by users of the content produced and transmitted in
digital format (Kashtanov, 2012).
According to CEFR, students with level B1, B2 should understand the
main points of clear standard speech on familiar regularly encountered in work,
school, leisure topics, and the main point of many radio or TV, current affairs
or topics of personal short or professional interest.
The following types of listening activities should be followed by
students with level B1, B2:
- listening to public announcements;
- listening to media (radio, TV, recordings, cinema);
- watching TV, video, or a film with subtitles;
- listening as a member of a live audience (public meetings, public
lectures, entertainments, etc.);
- listening to overheard conversations, etc.
In each case, the user should develop the skills of listening for
gist; specific information; detailed understanding; implications, etc.
Discussions and results
Video/audio is a form of multimedia that conveys information through
two simultaneous sensory channels: aural and visual. The richness of
these forms of information (images, motion, sound, and, at times, text)
benefits learners, by enabling them ' to learn through both verbal and visual
means, to view actual objects and realistic scenes, to see sequences in motion,
and to view perspectives that are difficult or impossible to observe in real
life' (Wetzel, 1994). In addition, Marshall (2002) details three theories that
explain how learning may occur via well-selected video / audio 'based on the
ability of the entertaining media to engage the learner, activate emotional
states, initiate interest in a topic, and allow for absorption and processing
Authentic audio texts allow students to hear the speech of native
speakers, which reflects the living reality and peculiarities of the national
culture. Audio contributes to a significant improvement in the perception of
English speech (Kareva, 2014). Unlike audio or printed text, which can
certainly have a high informative, educational, and developmental value, video
text has the advantage of combining different aspects of the act of speech
interaction. In addition to the content of the communication, the video contains
visual information about the place and the event, the appearance and non-verbal
behavior of the participants in the communication in a particular situation,
often due to the specifics of age, sex and psychological characteristics of the
speaking individuals. Visual material allows better understanding and
consolidation of both information and purely linguistic peculiarities of speech
in a particular context (Barmenkova, 2010). Thus, audiovisual communication
technology (including educational) allows talented people around the world to
become known due to the availability of their digitized creative product,
worthy of imitation and inspiring others to similar acts.
Video/audio use is an effective educational tool for all students,
but its positive effect on special populations of students is gaining greater
attention all the time. According to a survey by the Corporation for Public
Broadcasting, these media are 'highly valued as teaching tools' and 'seen as
especially effective for reaching visual learners and special populations'
(CBP, 1997). More than half of teachers surveyed describe video/audio as
'very effective' for teaching students. Academic listening may help to promote
learning in students with high aural/visual orientation in their learning
styles; it can also provide important learning opportunities to students
working in a second language.
There are numerous advantages for such students when instruction
supplemented by the use of video / audio:
First, [video-based contexts] provide rich sources of information
with opportunities to notice sensory images, dynamic features, relevant issues,
and inherent problems. Second, they give students the ability to perceive
dynamic moving events and easily form rich mental models. This advantage is
particularly important for lower achieving students and for students with low
knowledge in the domain of interest. Third, video allows students to develop
skills of pattern recognition, which are related to visual and auditory cues
rather than to events labeled by the teacher. In sum, video images are ideal
for creating a common experience for the teacher and learner that can be used
for 'anchoring' new knowledge (Bransford et al. cited in Barron, 1989, p. 3).
For students learning English as a second language, video / film / TV
/ audio demonstrates communicative language within a language environment and
cultural context (Wood, cited in Aiex, 1999). Video, especially film, provides
a social context for English language learners; it can be played with the sound
on, so that students hear the language being spoken, or alternatively, with the
sound off, so that learners can use their own language skills to provide the
dialog or narrative.
As with all educational technologies, the value of video/audio
relies on how it is implemented in the classroom. Reviews and meta-analysis of
the research indicates that positive learning and affective outcomes are
greatly enhanced and extended when the video is integrated into the rest of the
lesson (CPB, 2004; Mares, 1996). Effectively integrating video into classroom
instruction involves preparation and activities before, during and after
Teachers can prepare for using video/audio by previewing the
content, establishing clear purposes for viewing and deciding what selections
will best support that purpose. The value of video 'is highly correlated to its
integration within the curriculum - in other words, how closely the content
fits into the overall instructional sequence' (CPB, 2004, p. 11). For instance,
video may use at the beginning of a unit to pique interest, during a unit or
lesson to bring demonstrations into the classroom that might not otherwise be
possible, or as a means of reviewing or reinforcing content.
Supporting students to engage with listening as active learners
requires creating the right setting for such learning to occur. Setting
expectations for students and providing a context for the activity, beneficial
with any learning tasks, may be especially crucial for viewing of video with
content that is highly emotionally charged. Denning fears that without
proper instructional context and guidance, 'video, like television, may condition
viewers to be insensitive or to feel helpless in the context' of events being
watched (p. 1).
Selecting effective video/audio is an essential component of
integrating this medium into practice and realizing the promise of multimedia
in the classroom. In reviewing the historical, political and economic contexts
of each major classroom technology over the past century, Fabos (2001)
concludes that one of the most significant factors in the success or failure of
an educational technology is the quality of the content, rather than the
technology itself. Selecting video that has strong, visually rich educational
content is a critical element for maximizing the effectiveness of video.
Video is a visual medium, and optimal use capitalizes on the
strengths of its visual material. This includes providing visual demonstrations
or evidence, dramatizing events and concepts, and appealing to the emotions.
Educational video with instructional strategies and cognitive modeling traits
embedded in the video itself can aid in student comprehension. Examples range
from zooming in on details, to providing titles and other attention-drawing
graphics, to animations. Videos with closed captioning can further promote
learners' reading fluency and motivation to read (Lin, 2003).
Analyzing different points of researchers' views on
using educational video/audio in the classroom, we suggest a methodical model
of academic listening in the formation of intercultural communicative skills
(subcompetences) for non-linguistic specialties on the levels B1, B2.
1. Logical framework of academic listening for non-linguistic specialties
This logical framework suggests developing listening skills in
tandem with reading, writing and speaking activities (Fig.1). Combination of
four skills in one framework guarantees the students' better perception of
information and formation of intercultural communicative competences in the
easiest way, as if it follows the stages, that are shown in the figure 2.
Figure 2. Instructional planning of academic listening, including three
Modern multimedia technologies as well can help students to form
their intercultural communicative skills. Strokan (2017) justifies the
relevance of the use of these Internet resources/web resources in teaching
foreign languages, examines their types and characteristics, as well as proves
the productivity of their use for better assimilation of basic knowledge.
The latest multimedia technologies help to quickly and effectively
master oral forms of communication, correct pronunciation, learn the
grammatical rules, master fluent reading and deep understanding of authentic
texts, create real situations of communication, remove psychological barriers
and increase interest in the language.' In the context of foreign language
education, Internet technologies allow to create a technological learning
language environment for the formation of foreign language competence of
students (Bogomolov, 2008).
Web resources provide teachers and students a special program of
teaching foreign languages, cross-cultural material, news about economy and
politics, culture, authentic literature, the selection of which teacher can
conduct independently and adapt to specific learning goals. Students, in turn,
with the right choice of material, programs, resources have the opportunity to
participate in Internet conferences, webinars, competitions, create multimedia
presentations in the process of working on projects.
Today, video continues to have 'significant staying power' in
classrooms, although with new technology, 'video is finding its way into
schools through different paths,' according to market research by Grunwald
Associates (Branigan, 2005). One of the most exciting of those new paths
is Video-on-Demand (VOD) systems, tools that make unprecedented numbers of videos
available to classroom teachers exactly when and as they want them. The videos
are digitized, and then stored on a computer server, where teachers or students
can access them at any time.
Vialogues.com is a tool for creating a
video-based discussion. Language teachers can use this tool to create lessons
around video. Teachers can also add polls and quizzes and comment on the video
lesson. Students can post comments related with the video.
Magisto ' create a video with up to 25
clips or 30 photos, choose a theme and soundtrack, and add text, images, and
ZimmerTwins ' choose from various
characters, type in the dialogue, choose your background scene, and create a
The next innovative digital Web 2.0 tool for language learning is
podcast. Podcast is an audio or video recording made by any person and
available for listening or viewing on the World Wide Web. Podcast is a type of
Web 2.0 social service that lets you listen to, view, create, and distribute
audio and video recordings. On the Internet you can find both authentic
podcasts created for native speakers (for example, BBC news) and educational
(for educational purposes). For English language learners, the podcast
directory is available at www.podomatic.com www.bbc.co.uk. This service of
podcasts allows students to listen to and view online podcasts, record and
place on one of the podcast servers own podcasts on any topic. Most prominent
podcast server is YouTube. On YouTube, every registered user can post his/her
video podcast, view others, as well as participate in discussion / commenting
podcasts in microblogs (Sysoev, 2012).
Sysoev (2012) identifies the following didactic properties of a
1) the ability to place personal podcasts of users on the Internet;
2) the ability to create personal area of the user on the service of
podcasts (personal user area necessary for organizing a network discussion of a
3) the ability to organize online discussion of podcast in the
personal area of the user in the microblog;
4) the creation of the user's personal zone and its moderation are
carried out by the podcast author;
5) posting comments in network discussion of a podcast is made
6) accessibility of podcast to view all registered users of the
Since podcasts develop listening skills, it should be based on the
type of texts, which students will meet in real life. A number of studies show
that the use of podcasts in the development of speaking skills significantly
increases the motivation of students and brings diversity in the process of
language learning at school and university (Solomatina, 2011). In addition,
Solomatina (2011) in her research work defines range of linguistic skills
developed through podcasts (listening and speaking skills). The highlighted
language skills (speaking and listening) match the skills identified in the requirements
to the level of teaching students at all three stages of education (primary,
secondary and senior) in secondary school and university. This means that the
use of podcasts in teaching a foreign language can occur on a daily basis.
Podcast and audio recordings:
Vocalremover.ru-record audio, add music
and sound effects
Vocaroo ' easily record audio then email
to students who can record audio back. No registration is required. You can
also send a link or download the clip.
Spreaker ' record 10 hours of audio
total and add music and sound effects.
As a result of the research we present series of interactive
exercises, tests, games on academic listening on university MOODLE, designed to
develop independent learning skills of students, especially those operating in
large teaching group settings. The manual covers various spheres, topics,
subtopics, real-based situations (Kunanbayeva S., 2010) and presents digital
educational resources for academic listening that are innovative in the market
research and appropriate for use in higher education.
Digital video/TV/film/audio/podcast will be produced into a series
of interactive exercises, each deals with a particular topic on General
English, based on levels B1, B2. Associated interactive exercises will be
included on the DVDs or via hardware DVD player. Students can download the
media clips and associated exercises over the university network as MOODLE.
Interactive exercises presented as dynamic, interactive PDF forms that produced
using Adobe Acrobat and Designer. Students do interactive exercises, tests and
play games based on the content of the video / audio / podcasts / film / TV.
The listening sources taken from Youtube, Vimeo, Voscreen, Puzzle-english, VOA
and BBC digital resources etc.
It is clear that these digital resources for academic listening open
many new opportunities for learning that are just beginning to be explored. As
the documented strengths of film, television and video are made more and more
available and accessible through these resources and it opens the potential for
learning and exploration.
CEFR- Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
MOODLE - open source course management system
- digital versatile disc
- the portable document format
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Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №11 - 2019