Teaching and Researching Listening, now in its third edition, is considered "the bible" of research on listening education. Each new edition has represented an update and expansion in terms of available research directions and insights, as well as pedagogic applications.
Listening ability develops naturally in our first language, without any particular problems, and to the same level of proficiency for everyone. Or at least that's what it seems!
Listening ability also develops naturally in a second language, but always with lots of problems, and almost always to a quite limited level of proficiency for everyone. Or at least that's what everyone believes.
The common assumption in both of these myths is that listening ability is a kind of "black box" – an impenetrable mystery that cannot be investigated..
The research problem is how to explore listening in an integrated way:
- What is listening? How can it be described? Is it a discrete ability? Is an integrated ability?
- What are the necessary and sufficient conditions to acquire first language listening ability? What are accelerative factors? What are impeding factors?
- What are the necessary and sufficient conditions to acquire second language listening ability? What are accelerative factors? What are impeding factors?
- How can listening ability be reliably measured? Are there different domains in which listening ability can be acquired?
- Are there interventions that accelerate or impede acquisition?
The Research Challenge
Listening is not actually a single "skill" or "ability" but rather an integration of neurological, psychological, linguistic, and social processing. All of the types of processing can be improved, leading to elevated listening capacity in both first and second languages. Researching listening therefore involves unifying multiple frameworks, and also assessing effects of educational interventions on changes in the listener.
Now in its third edition, Teaching and Researching Listening renews its commitment to provide language educators, practitioners, and researchers in the fields of ESL, TESOL, and Applied Linguistics with a state-of-the-art treatment of the linguistic, psycholinguistic and pragmatic processes underpinning oral language use, and demonstrates how they influence listening in a variety of practical contexts.
This revised edition incorporates significantly updated sections on neurological processing, pragmatic processing, automated processing, and pragmatic assessment, as well as coverage of emerging areas of interest in L1 and L2 instruction and research. Boxes throughout, including “Concepts” and “Ideas From Practitioners”, help to both reinforce readers’ understanding of the topics covered and ground them in a practical context, while the updated chapter, “Exploring listening”, contains an overhauled section on listening technologies that provide readers with a range of tools to explore other perspectives on listening.
Combining detailed overviews of the underlying processes of listening with an exhaustive set of practical resources, this third edition of Teaching and Researching Listening serves as an authoritative comprehensive survey of issues related to teaching and researching oral communication for language teachers, practitioners, and researchers.