Basic TESOL Certificate courses generally focus on teaching each of the four language skills (listening, reading, speaking and writing) separately. This is because trainee teachers need to master the basics of teaching each of these skills before they can begin to combine them. It is not uncommon for institutions to offer single skill classes that focus on developing a specific language skill. However, it is also very common, particularly in general English, ESP and adult education classes to integrate these skills. It is important for students to develop all four skills, as they are all essential parts of language.
One way to integrate skills that Autumn posted this week on Facebook is to have a detailed listening task to guide your students to identify the key language points they will be learning. In this way, the same task is listening practice and an opportunity for students to encounter the grammar, vocabulary or pronunciation you want to teach in context. This detailed listening task should follow a general listening task that focuses on overall comprehension, since it is important for students understand the text (the context for the new target language).
In addition to using listening texts for presentation of new language, they can also be used for practice of the language. Again, students are working on developing their listening comprehension, whilst practicing using the language and having it reinforced. And, of course, listening texts that contain the target language can also be used as models for a production/ fluent use activity that the students can do afterwards to use the new language in a meaningful context. For example, if the listening is a dialogue, after students have completed listening tasks, they can then roleplay a similar situation. The listening text will have served as a useful way to set up the communicative speaking activity.
There are, of course, many other ways that listening can be integrated into multi-skilled lessons. We would love for you to share some of your ideas with us …