EAP & Listing Skills

Tony Lynch

Tony Lynch is a Professor of the University of Edinburgh and Chair of Student Learning (English for Academic Purposes), have published several articles on spoken EAP and has compiled most literature dealing with listening EAP skills in the following article:

Lynch, T. (2011). Academic listening in the 21st century: reviewing a decade of research. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 10(2), 79-88. (It requires Campus UNED identification). Then, answer to the following questions:
1. What’s the difference between “reciprocal listening events” in academic settings and “one-way listening” to lectures?
2. Try to apply some of the concepts and way to practice English to some of the lectures found in ItunesU:
Remember that in order to access to this site, you need to have ITunes installed in your computer. Comment by replying to this post your experience.




7 thoughts on “EAP & Listing Skills

  1. Reciprocal listening events refers to those contexts which do not resemble a monologue, i.e., where both the speaker and the listener(s) interact like debates, discussions, etc. One-way listening typically correspond to lectures where the lecture transmits knowledge and the listeners just listen to what they say, without having the possibility to ask them for clarification, reformulation, repetition, etc. In that sense it would be like a podcast reproducing a recorded lecture.

  2. As far as I understand it, one-way listening involves a more teacher centric environment in which ideas are transmitted without room for discussion. Knowledge is passed to the listeners who do not have the possibility to ask questions or clarify issues they may have. With reciprocal listening events, this would involve a much more co-operative structure, where all people involved have a say in what is being said and have the ability to clarify points, ask questions and debate any issues further.
    Any podcast on the iTunesU would be classed as one-way listening as they are recorded sessions and there is no room to clarify anything with the speaker.

  3. Activity 2.4: Read the article of Tony Lynch: Academic listening in the 21st century: reviewing a decade of research.
    A) What is the difference between “reciprocal listening events” in academic settings and “one-way listening” to lectures?
    According to Lynch, One way listening to lectures usually refers to a non-collaborative monologue that consists in the listening of a public lecture and eventually note-taking from the listeners’ part, but also to “university lectures that aim to inform, evaluate and critique the source materials that the lecturers are ringing to student’s attention, and finally to conference presentations which can be seen as the spoken counterpart of the written research article. Lectures, seminars and conferences can present a visual dimension (blackboard, projector slides, PowerPoint presentations, but also body language enclosing gestures and facial cues that encourage the audience’s interpretation etc.), making them more interesting and more comprehensible. They may also combine the verbal channel (what the presenter says) and the visual channel (what the presenter shows: graphs, diagrams, maps, photographs, textual material, mathematical formulae, numerical tables, etc.), and contain four types of listening: appreciative, comprehensive or informational, critical or deliberative and empathic. Studies reveal that the combination of speech, writing, image and body language in public lectures would achieve an effective understanding of the intended message, because listeners have to interpret detailed and extended monologues hastily. Note-taking helps them therefore to make lecture content ‘memorable’ by noting the lecturer’s points or adding commentaries on what the lecturer has said. Reciprocal or two way listening events in academic settings refer to interactive and collaborative lectures that are seen as social or pedagogic events where the lecturer can enhance participation and facilitate comprehension of its listeners. These enclose small group discussions and team projects, tutorials, seminars, meetings, academic events etc. that insert question pauses, promote student’s participation and finally negotiate meaning. Interactive lectures include a more frequent use of the personal pronouns ‘you, we and I’, elicitation markers as ‘what do you think…?’, ‘Does anyone have an answer to that?’, questions during class such as requests for clarification, role plays, visual support materials (Audio, Video, PowerPoint with text and images, body language etc.) and a relaxed and uninhibited atmosphere.
    B) Try to apply some of the concepts and way to practice English to some of the lectures found in iTunes U.
    After reading Lynch’s article, I installed ‘iTunes U’ in my computer and I accessed to a collection of clips named “Linguistic Lectures” within the Language section. I then chose a video named “Sentence Planning in Little Talkers” by Cecile McKee and Merrill Garrett, from the University of Arizona, because it combined the verbal and the visual channel, allowing me to access to speech, writing, image and body language, which according to Lynch are the key features that allow us to attain an effective understanding of the intended message of a lecture. The video showed the lecturers and a PowerPoint presentation that they commented. The slide presentation comprised text (definitions, examples, conclusions, etc.), module block diagrams that exposed the theories, Excel tables and graphics showing results, etc. Adding to the presentation, the lecturers used audio material and asked the students for their opinion with questions such as “What did you hear?” Although this university lecture promoted the participation of the listeners, it only occurred twice in a session of 51 minutes, so it cannot be considered as an interactive lecture, but the visual channel o the video helped a lot to understand the subject, which I compared to the verbal channel of an audio file with an identical name that was available on the same iTunes U page.

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