Types of Listening Activities
We always have a purpose for listening. We may listen to radio in the morning to know the up to date reports. We may listen to a song for pleasure. We listen in different ways based on our purpose. Having a purpose helps us listen more effectively. There are some types of activities that can be applied in learning listening. Ur (1996: 113) in Ammashumam (2010) provides four of listening activities as follow: (a) No overt response, the students do not have to do anything in response to the listening; however facial expression and body language often show if they are following or not. It includes stories, songs, and entertainment. (b) Short responses, includes obeying instructions, ticking of items, true/false, detecting mistakes, cloze, guessing definitions, and skimming and scanning. (c) Longer responses, includes answering questions, note-taking, paraphrasing and translating, summarizing, and long gap-filling. (d) Extended responses, here, the listening as only a ‘jump-off point’ for extended reading, writing or speaking: in other words, there are ‘combined skills activities.
It includes problem-solving and interpretation. Beside of that, there are the other activities to improve listening skill that provided by PolyU ELC: (a) Listen to English pop songs, includes write a summary, sing along with the melody, do a cloze exercise, and dictate lyrics. (b) Listen to TV news reports, includes predication keep a diary, and record the news. (c) Listen to film, includes read film reviews, make a gap-filling exercise, cover the subtitles, and read the novel of the film. (d) Listen to TV programs or videos, includes follow instructions without looking at the screen, cover the subtitles, and watch the first language version in advance. (e) Listen to radio, includes listen to fast speech, approach other resources in advance, listen to colloquial expressions, and write a summary.
From the types of listening above, it is regarded that songs activity can be used in learning listening process, and it will be hoped can motivate students in improving their listening skill.
Principles of Teaching Listening
When teaching listening skill, the teachers have to know the principles. There are some principles of teaching listening skill, they are: (a) Listening should receive primary attention in the early stage of ESL instruction. (b) Maximize the use of material that is relevant to students’ real life. (c) Maximize the use of authentic language. (d) Vary the materials in terms of speakers’ gender, age, dialect, accent, topic, speed, noise, level, and genre. (e) Always ask students to listen with a purpose and allow them to show their comprehension in a task. (f) Language material intended to be used for training listening comprehension should never be presented visually first.
Furthermore, the teachers have to take attention the principles in teaching listening skill. As mentioned above, one of the principles in teaching listening is the teachers always ask students to listen with the purpose of listening. So, we can help students listen more effectively if we spend some time teaching them about purposes for listening. One way to do that is to use a simple dialogue in order to show how they might listen differently depending on their goals.
Material is very important for the students to improve their listening skill. A suitable material can make the students want to learn. The material which suitable with the students have to interesting, in the right level of students’ difficulty, and presented in various activities (Puspita in Hasyuni 2006: 4). The interesting materials that are familiar meaningful and various should be provided for the students. It can help them to understand more easily.
Beside of that, the material should be as natural as possible in order that students can practice and imitate the original voice from the speakers. As mentioned by Paulston in Hasyuni (2006: 4), listening materials should consist of sample of natural language from as many different sources as possible, so the students will have experience with many varieties of topics and situations.
In concluding, the teachers are better to know the students’ interest in learning listening with kind activities. If not, students will get bored and do not want to learn anymore. The use of songs also can motivate the students to attend lesson and pay attention in class, because songs can be used for a wide variety of learning and teaching activities.