Using the media in teaching listening in upper secondary school
Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №6 - 2014
Author: Samoilova-Tsyplakova Inna, Kazakh-American Free University, Kazakhstan
Language is an essential means of
communication, which is essential to the existence and development of human society.
Expanding and measuring the quality of the nature of international relations of
our state, the internationalization of all spheres of social life make foreign
languages, particularly English, really popular in practical and intellectual
In connection with the practical foreign
language orientation of the school learning process the listening problem is
increasingly attracting the attention of training specialists. Therefore, a
serious theoretical search in the study of this complex process is conducted.
As you know, speaking and listening are
interdependent concepts. In order to achieve even development of these skills
the application of a specially designed system of exercises for the development
of the understanding of speech in natural communication is necessary.
Currently teaching listening, as the
ability to perceive and understand speech in a foreign language, namely
English, becomes more and more important, because along with speaking it
provides an opportunity to communicate. Communication is a two-way process: it
is impossible without the ability to understand a speech of others, as by
direct contact or by telephone, television, radio and other media.
Underestimation of the significance of teaching listening can very negatively affect
the language training of students. In addition, listening is the most difficult
skill to teach, due to the fact that we should be able to understand the full
speech at different paces, different intonation and different levels of
correctness [1, p. 18].
The current stage of development of foreign
language teaching is characterized by the formation of a number of trends,
among which there is an important place trend of using audio-visual aids in
foreign language teaching. At the same time audiovisual means are considered
not in isolation, but as one of the necessary components of the didactic
One of the most effective ways of teaching
a foreign language is the use of mass media (television and radio), which
allows us to give students a visual representation of life, traditions,
linguistic realities of English-speaking countries and diversify the process of
a foreign language learning.
The above-stated led to the choice of the
research work theme - "Using the media in teaching listening in upper secondary
The object of the research is teaching
listening through the media at the lessons of a foreign language.
The subject of the study is peculiarities
of the use of media in a foreign language.
The aim of the research work is to develop
a set of exercises using media in teaching listening in English by the example
of the use of television commercials in the upper secondary school.
The hypothesis of the study is the
assumption that learning a foreign language will be more efficient and
effective if the use of media is integrated in conjunction with the developed
teaching materials drawn up and used in accordance with the proposed
Based on the goal, the object of the
research subject and the hypothesis, the following research objectives are set:
1) to consider listening as a type of
2) to study the characteristics of training
listening in a foreign language at the senior stage in secondary school;
3) to identify the features of training
listening by the use of the media;
4) to create a set of exercises for
teaching listening, using television materials (commercials) for upper
secondary school students.
The relevance of the study is due to the
fact that the peculiarities of using media in the process of training listening
in secondary school are not completely studied and require more attention and
The novelty of the research is predetermined
by the study of theoretical and methodological features of the use of media in
teaching listening in a foreign language and the development of this technique.
The theoretical significance of this paper
gives systematization of theoretical material on teaching listening with the
use of media.
The practical significance of the work lies
in the possibility of using work materials at the lessons of the practical
course of English.
The main methods of the research are: analysis
and systematization of the regulations of the current scientific literature on
the research topic; observation in the classroom; the study and compilation of
the best teachers’ practices; designing (modeling) a fragment of the lesson.
With the development of intercultural
cooperation and the media, the importance of practical language skills increased;
consequently, the international requirements for proficiency in a foreign
language have appeared. The demands on the quality of education, training and retraining,
educational programs, material and technical resources, educational environment
have been increasing.
Ever since mankind has realized the need
and necessity of learning foreign languages, there is a question about the effectiveness
of teaching foreign languages. "It is known that the methodical nature of
a modern lesson should be communicative. Teaching a foreign language, we teach
to communicate in this language. It is possible only in terms of communication,
i. e, the training process should be organized so that it is similar to the
process of natural communication, and only in this case it will be possible to
transfer the generated skills in the real world" [3, p. 16].
The media are a rich source of additive and
audiovisual materials, the use of which contributes to the further rationalization
of the educational process and intensification of activities. As a result, it
brings the process of teaching to listening and speaking to the real language
communication, enhances the interest and motivation of students’ speech
activity in a foreign language.
Television has a great potential in
teaching a foreign language due to the fact that it is generally a special
emotional and sensitive form of human development in general, and plays the
social functions of the spectacular art forms. According to UNESCO, when a
person listens, he/she remembers 15% of speech information, when he/she looks -
25% of the visible information, and when he sees and hears - 65%.
"Television programs attract by the following features such as entertainment,
a high degree of aesthetic expression, sharpness, and bright presentation. The
given peculiarities provide high popularity of television among people of all
social and age groups, and different professional directions" [4, p. 40].
Information facilities of television allow
us to study a foreign language using the authentic ways to communicate with
native speakers. They promote to simulate the natural language environment,
reflect changes in the structure and semantics of linguistic phenomena, and others.
Television reflects the social life of the society, especially the national
mentality, national stereotypes, so, TV-messages can serve as a source of
information in the study of contemporary cultural background of the
English-speaking countries in the classroom communication. When organizing
training on the contrastive basis (socio-cultural comparison of portraits,
political context, etc.) the forming ability to adequately understand the
TV-messages becomes an effective means of motivating students in their learning
Thus, the use of television as a medium of
instruction in foreign languages allows to realize the following learning
objectives: practical (language acquisition as a means of communication), educational,
developmental and educational.
It should be mentioned that one of the most
popular television resources is advertisement. Any typology of advertising
depends primarily on the aspect, which deals with the advertised item. In its
objectives advertisement is divided into:
- informative goal - the creation of the
primary demand, the formation of the company image;
- persuasive goal - the creation of the
selective demand, the formation of preferences in the trade mark);
- reminding goal - maintaining awareness of
the product at the stage of maturity of the advertising campaign).
The use of television commercials for
foreign language lessons has several advantages for teachers.
Firstly, commercials are shorter in
duration from 30 to 50 seconds on average. Such volume is ideal for beginning
students [4, p. 13]. The brevity of their content makes the selection process
easier. Finding a good passage of a movie or television program usually
requires a more thorough and long preparation. Due to the volume of the
advertising video content, the pros of its use are obvious: it is much easier
to find the right material to prepare and apply it. In addition, advertisement
always attracts attention, as it is created in order to entertain the audience
[4, p. 8].
There is a quite common phenomenon among
viewers to observe themselves and others hearing motives and phrases from the
Second, the advertisement content is always
authentic [4, p. 9] because it is written for native speakers, for residents of
the country of a certain language, and always recited in an authentic foreign
language. Speaking about English, the commercials are created in different
English-speaking countries, making it possible for pupils and students to be
immersed in a variety of the English language. Thus, using commercials of
various English-speaking countries such as the United Kingdom (Great Britain and Northern Ireland), the US, Australia, etc., teachers can introduce to students the
variation of accents, dialects, i.e. different types of English. This approach
allows students to expand the hearing ability. An additional advantage here is
the diversity of voices that can be played with in an advertisement, and it
provides a much greater impact than the typical material for listening from
The third advantage of using television
commercials is the presence of visual elements that contribute to a fuller understanding
of the meaning. According to some studies, there was an improvement in hearing
abilities and increasing motivation to learn of the students
"exposed" to the advertisement [5, p. 14]. Visual messages of the
commercial help students understand its language content. Also, the teacher has
an opportunity to use the genuine intention of advertising and its cultural
elements to achieve educational goals simultaneously. In any educational
content the key point is that whatever a teacher uses is based on the
achievement of well-defined goals that directs them to search for the
corresponding material, methods and forms of assessment.
A further advantage of the use of
commercials in teaching is the strength of their influence. Commercials are
funny, interesting and bright, with the laconic rhyming or otherwise balanced
text. Thanks to the support of visual and musical basis it is easy to remember
texts of advertisements for a long time, that is why, they were created.
Children sing advertising jingles even without understanding their meaning, and
adults use slogans that have become familiar clichés.
The last important fact, which is noted by
scholars and practitioners: the commercials are extremely rich authentic
elements of the modern speech. Processing of advertisement samples helps
students learn about different levels of the language, reduced forms (wanna,
gonna, gotta), idiomatic expressions, and intonation patterns. Owing to
advertisements students learn vocabulary that is not found in textbooks,
abbreviations and acronyms (AT & T, MCI, "Let's have subs and
suds") [6, p. 14].
The search of the commercial is determined
by the objectives of the lesson. Teachers should distinguish between cultural,
linguistic and logical aspects that need to be emphasized while searching the
corresponding advertisement. If a teacher defined specific goals first and then
began to search for material, he / she face difficulties. In this case, many
teachers tend to rely on common objectives in selecting advertisements, which
allow them to expand the options in the preparation of the lesson. In any case,
which way a teacher chooses, it is necessary to learn to choose the material
and determine the objectives of the class.
To date, there are some websites that can
help in the search and selection of good commercials, commercial parodies and
short amateur videos. The reference presents the most popular sites are now
used to search for commercials .
Having selected the objectives of the
lesson and found the clip, the next step is to develop activities. The
participants of «The Internet TESL Journal» presented a standard approach in
the development of complex tasks using the TV ad:
1) Pre-viewing activities$
2) Viewing the TV
4) Exploring the linguistic components;
cultural and values laden components;
critical thinking skills by examining the TV commercial critically.
It should be noted that work on the
development of listening skills using movies allows reducing the fear of
foreign students before listening to speech. It happens due to the relevant
interesting information and visualization. In addition, visualization can help
students understand the basic content of the story, which also leads to the
reduction of the stress level. It is possible to work on the development of
speaking skills on the ground of the movie using its contents as a basis.
Thus, the use of television and the
Internet resources for the development of listening skills, the following
positive results can be marked out:
- reduction of the fear of listening to a
foreign speech through the use of videos, which can serve as a support for the
understanding of the basic content of the statement;
- increase of interest in the subject, as
the information is relevant and constantly updated;
- opportunity for teachers to create
self-exercises for students with different levels of language proficiency;
- opportunity for students to choose for
themselves, perform and create a set of exercises independently or on the
instructions of the teacher;
- opportunity for students to manage independently
the time devoted to the fulfillment of the exercise and the number of listening
/ viewing the material;
- opportunity for students to learn not to
pay attention to the acoustic background and, conversely, to take into account
body language, facial expressions and tone of the speaker;
- development of the phonemic hearing and
ability to understand non-adapted utterances of different character and style,
as well as the ability to imagine and understand the overall meaning of the
On the basis of the foregoing, it is surely
considered that the hallmark of a modern foreign language teaching is the
desire to approximate the conditions of the educational process to the
conditions of natural communication. The communicative method of teaching a
foreign language involves reliance on the principles of activity-based
training, complexity, functionality, authenticity. Students master the language
means, cognitive and speech activities in the process of solving communication
problems. The interrelated development of skills in all kinds of speech activity
is considered methodologically appropriate.
The situations underlying the creation
of commercials describe the real life that also helps to cause the motivation
of students to the study of a foreign language. Different topics are relevant
to students at this age, especially the media, namely television and the
Internet are an integral part of the lives of adolescents. Advertisement takes
a huge range in the Internet as well as in the air space.
The selected video for the listening
activity consists of three television commercials. The duration of each one is
30-35 minutes (video 1 and 2) and 2:54 minutes (video 3). By virtue of the plot
and the type of each video, the first two ones have an average duration of a
movie similar to the easily perceived short video. The last clip is on a level
above in terms of both the semantic content and the duration of the video.
The elaboration of each episode for a
lesson is planned. An additional lesson or time is allocated for preparation at
home when parallel issues can be discussed which have arisen during the viewing.
The methodical development of the class was carried out for grade 9, but it can
also be used in 10, 11th grades of the upper secondary school.
By taking into account the theoretical and
methodological provisions of psychological training of listening guidelines for
working with the above television commercials were developed in this work.
A set of exercises presented below is aimed
at school senior students. The purpose of the present methodological development
is to demonstrate the types of activities on the basis of which the teacher
will be able to plan and organize a lesson for teaching listening and critical
thinking skills to students. The presented TV commercials are used in the
context of the lesson "Advertising". This complex of tasks based on
certain advertising videos can be viewed as a model that can be used while
working with any other advertising videos.
The general format of the methodological
development plan is due to the organization of three-phase tasks.
1. Performing preliminary activities
2. Performing activities while listening to
the text and viewing the video (viewing).
3. Performing activities after listening to
the text and watching the video (post viewing).
During the lesson all three phases of the
work are organized. However, in this complex of tasks different videos for each
step are presented in order to provide the ability to use critical thinking
Stage 1. Previewing: performing preliminary
activities aimed at identifying students’ understanding of the contents of this
advertisement. This kind of job helps to activate students to use background
knowledge and to encourage interest in watching the video.
Stage 2. Viewing: working on tasks while
listening and viewing the video is aimed at trying to focus students' attention
on some aspect of the advertising scene, which in turn coincides with the
content of classes, thematic vocabulary lesson or educational purpose.
Stage 3. (Post viewing): the final step is
aimed at achieving students' interest in the use of the information obtained
from the movie in order to verify the understanding of its semantic content,
integration of information and judgment of the product as the consumers.
By the time of this stage, students are
supposed to have viewed and listened to the video several times, taken the opportunity
to ask questions related to the vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar and cultural
characteristics of the commercial.
The main challenge the teacher faces at this
stage is checking students' understanding of the fragment content and effectiveness
of the proposed guidelines on the stage in the process of watching a video.
Also it is necessary to monitor the understanding of the content, language and
speech means used in the film. It is also advisable to use the question-answer
work, dramatization, role-playing of the text (particularly dialogues), the
subsequent film dubbing, reproduction and implementation of the communication
situations shown in the video, their expansion, addition, comparing with
everyday life situations of the students. After watching the fragment and
performing series of exercises it can be used further to develop skills in
speaking and writing.
Thus, a number of actions have been
performed that teachers can use in the classroom. Using promotional videos in
teaching foreign languages can significantly increase the effectiveness of the
teacher’s training activities as videos are samples of the authentic language
communication. So, they create the atmosphere of a real language communication,
make the process of mastering a foreign language material more lively,
interesting, challenging, compelling and emotional.
It is necessary to emphasize the importance
of the use of video ads in the learning process in teaching listening of the
sounding speech. First, the screen means for today's teenagers are common and
loved ones, and meeting with them at English lessons is a kind of
entertainment. Secondly, the use of on-screen tools helps the teacher to expand
the range of situations within the course topics presenting new material during
each particular class that excites students’ interest and encourages them to
speak out and, therefore, allows to implement the communicative orientation of
the learning process in full.
The process of teaching listening on the
basis of TV - commercials consists of three stages (previewing, viewing and
post viewing) when various and specific for each stage types of assignments and
exercises are used, allowing as to simplify the process of perception and
understanding as to control understanding.
Thus, the listed advantages of using
commercials characterize the new trends in the development of the communicative
method of teaching foreign languages.
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Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №6 - 2014