Some Academic Listening Problems Facing Second-Year English Major Students

1707 Words Mar 25th, 2013 7 Pages
Listening plays a vital role in daily life. People listen for different purposes like communication, information, academic purposes, entertainment …In addition, without listening skill, no communication can be achieved. However, according to some previous researches, such as Rixon’ one (1993), those who learn English as a foreign language, especially in a non-native setting, find it difficult to acquire good listening skill. The listening problems involved hearing the sounds, understanding intonation and stress, coping with redundancy and noise, predicting, comprehending colloquial vocabulary, fatigue, understanding different accents, using visual and aural environmental clues (Ur, !990). To investigate thoroughly this
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It appears to be in congruent with Ur’s finding (1990). She wrote in her book that a lot of foreign-language learners had problem with redundancy when listening English because they thought it was compulsory to comprehend everything, even absolutely unessential words and then they were thrown off balance if meeting any unknown words.
Furthermore, colloquial vocabulary is a language barrier to second-year English majors too. It is claimed by 86% of the students (43) to be one of the most common drawbacks in listening. 38 ones answered they sometimes encountered the problem with colloquial vocabulary and 5 participants always had trouble with that. Only 7 respondents hardly or never met the problem with colloquial vocabulary. In explanation, a lot of vocabulary used in colloquial speech may already be known by foreign listeners but this does not mean that they are familiar with them, especially those who have been confined to classroom learning environment. This conclusion agrees with Ur’s study (1990). She noted that when colloquial vocabulary occurred in fast stream of listening, even if listening learners had learned that word yet but not been familiar with it, it was still difficult to be recognized.
Moreover, the variety of accents also makes it difficult for sophomores to listen since they do not have much exposure to different accents. For instance, if learners listen to French people speaking

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