English Teaching in China
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English listening teaching in China
Listening plays a key role in daily communication. And communication can not take place without successful listening comprehension. Because as we all know, communication will make no sense if the speakers fail to understand what they have heard.Listening is getting more and more important in English language learning. How to enhance the ability of listening comprehension is what every English learner concerned about. Although the English listening competence has played a crucial role and gainedmuch emphasis in English learning and teaching, listening is still a very difficult skill to obtain. Many college EFL learners dream of promoting their listening proficiency in the true sense; however, they just feel confused about how to improve it and complain a lot about it. They dont think they had benefited a lot from listening courses. Although they had attended all the listening classes and insisted on practicing listening skills both in class and after class, their listening ability was still not as satisfying as their other English skills. The reasons might be the old-fashioned learning and teaching methodology. English teaching,
However, there are some problems existing in practical listening teaching in China: test-centered teaching and no theories and principles provided by textbooks. On the one hand,since the listening part accounts for a considerable proportion of the College English Test, English teachers try every effort to reach this standard by drowning students in endless simulated exercises and examinations, instead of paying attention to more communicative ability. On the Other hand,Having very limited training in teaching listening, with various resources on theories being very difficult to get access to, English teachers in China usually do not have a good complete profile of this specific field. In these circumstances they may well turn to textbooks and teachers books for help.As a result,most students can not understand English in their daily life and work.In other words,they can not communicate with others well in English.”Deaf and Mute”English is the characteristic of Chinese english teaching and learning.
1.1 Listening process
Studies on listening comprehension started in China in the 1960s, and systematic studies began in the 1980s (Li, 2002: 30-34). Studies on listening comprehension process are unavoidably connected with language comprehension process; therefore, studies of Chinese researchers have been greatly influenced by studies of western researchers. Before 1990s, there were few experimental studies on second language listening in China. Wang (1991: 27-35) in his studies made an overall analysis of the subjective and objective factors in listening comprehension, thinking that some factors had positive effects on second language listening comprehension, while others had negative effects. Du (1992: 47-51) accepted Douglas Mckeatings sound perception theory, believing that listening is an integrated ability and assessment on students ability to perceive sounds and it should not be influenced by other factors such as their ability of writing and speaking. Huang (1998: 321) in his study，adopted schemata and relevance theories to analyze and discuss how factors like topic familiarity, language proficiency and question-types affect listeners listening comprehension performance. He concluded that both topic familiarity and language proficiency had effects on listeners performance, while question-types had no significant effects.
Listening is a process involving an active processes, which are under the control of the listener, and passive processes, which are not (Rost, 2005). From this we know that listening is not a passive skill but it demands listeners get involved in it actively. Listeners not only hear what the speakers say, but also experience an entire process of identifying the words, organizing words into phrases and sentences, constructing meanings, and transforming what they hear from the speaker by the use of their own background knowledge. Psychology, linguistics, psycholinguistics, pragmatics and education are all relevant to understanding this complex process.
2.1Definition and nature of listening
As a matter of fact, many different scholars gave the different definitions and natures of.istening from the different studies and researches, elucidated in different points of view. When mentioning the listening, we often confused the concept with hearing. In Teaching and Researching Listening, Micheal Rost analyzes their difference from neurological processes, .Linguistic processing, pragmatic processing, psycholinguistic processing, natural language arocessing and listening development and language acquisition. If according to Vandergrift, listening is anything but a complicated passive activity. If a listener want to achieve great in listening activity then he or shee must obtain the ability to discriminate the differences between sounds, understand vocabulary and grammatical structures, interpret stress and intonation as well as have a clear understanding of the larger social-cultural context of the listening text. Coordinating all of these involves a great deal of mental activity on the part of the listener. Littlewood states the nature of listening comprehension means that the learner should be encouraged to engage in an active process of listening for meanings, using not only the linguistic cues of phonetics such as tone, intonation, stress, pitch, assimilation, elision, rhythm pause, strong form and weak form etc, but also his nonlinguistic knowledge, it includes the use of pedagogy in listening teaching and learning; the teachers quality, the techniques and strategies in listening teaching and learning; the culture background, and the psychological factors etc.
2.2. The nature of listening comprehension
It is very necessary for us to have a correct understanding of the nature of listening comprehension before we review some important theories on it. For rather a long period of time, listening was always regarded only as a receptive language skill under the influence of behaviorism. Carl Weaver considered it as a process that took place when a human organism received data orally. Some other researchers believed that it was” an inevitable byproduct of speech”, and they held the view that listening was a passive and static receptive