Academic journal article Studies in Literature and Language

A Study on Thematic Progression Patterns in Listening Comprehension Texts and Its Teaching Implication

Academic journal article Studies in Literature and Language

A Study on Thematic Progression Patterns in Listening Comprehension Texts and Its Teaching Implication

Article excerpt

Abstract

According to Halliday's Systemic-Functional Grammar, this article analyzes the features of thematic progression patterns in CET-4 listening comprehension texts. With the basic unit "sentence", this article discusses the internal logic relations in listening comprehension texts and the information decoding features in the process. Besides, it also provides inspiration for listening teaching in college.

Key words: Theme; Rheme; Thematic progression patterns; Listening comprehension text

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)

INTRODUCTION

Whether in daily life or classroom, students always do more listening than speaking. In learning English, four basic skills are often mentioned: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Previous study showed different time proportion in life: listening (40%-50%), speaking (25%- 30%), reading (11%-16%), and writing (9%). Listening comprehension (LC), as one of the four language skills, plays a major role in communication. However, it represents one of the most difficult tasks for language learners and probably the most neglected skill in language teaching.

Whether in daily life or classroom, students always do more listening than speaking. In learning English, four basic skills are often mentioned: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Previous study showed different time proportion in life: listening (40%-50%), speaking (25%- 30%), reading (11%-16%), and writing (9%). Listening comprehension (LC), as one of the four language skills, plays an important role in communication. However, it is also one of the most difficult tasks for language learners and probably the most neglected skill in language teaching.

The Chinese College English syllabus has some requirements for students' listening comprehension. According to 2006 Revised Edition, the score value in listening part has greatly enhanced from 20% to 35%, in which dialogue accounts for 15% and texts being 20%. Moreover, instead of 120 words per minute, listening scripts are interpreted in standard British English or American English at a speed of 130 words per minute. In fact, some students cannot understand the teachers mean in class, let alone grasp the general idea or details, infer the opinion and attitude of the speaker.

If we carefully examine the present situation of listening comprehension teaching in most colleges, we can easily detect some common characteristics of the traditional way of teaching. In a typical traditional Chinese college listening class, teachers often do the following steps: a) explaining some new words and phrases; b) introducing background information related to the upcoming text; c) playing the tape for the first time and asking students to listen carefully and gap the general idea; d) replaying the tape and let students finish the comprehension exercises; e) checking answers to the questions and f) playing the tape again and again without any or little further explanation about listening skills or strategies. During this process, teachers' task is simply playing the tape and checking the answers, and students are not receiving any help in finding out how process this unfamiliar language. They are called upon to answer comprehension questions whether or not they have understood. The teaching of listening is a long way from developing students' LC competence, and it seems so much like testing rather than teaching.

It is a typical traditional listening teaching approach, outcomes of listening are more critical than the process, and the emphasis is on individual sentence rather than the whole text. Obviously, this traditional sentence-oriented teaching approach cannot meet the need for conveying the information. To solve this problem, a discourse-oriented approach of listening to teaching is recommended.

Although discourse analysis is a comparatively new field, the research into discourse analysis has seen a considerable growth in language teaching circles. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.