Welcome to Teaching Listening and Speaking. In this course participants will explore theoretical and practical issues in the teaching of second language listening and speaking. We will briefly examine current theories of language comprehension and production, spend time looking at the characteristics of an "acquisition-rich" listening/speaking classroom, and consider specific activities designed to encourage the acquisition of various facets of listening and speaking ability in a foreign language. These discussions will be framed by the notion that language learning is based on five major principles: gaining access to sufficient quantities of comprehensible input, producing both controlled and communicative output, engaging in activities that have a focus on linguistic form, having opportunities to develop fluency, and possessing motivation to engage in learning tasks.

Students will participate in numerous group discussions, lead several discussions, write a reaction journal to respond to the issues raised in the course readings, take two in-class tests, and write a short term paper.

This course can be used as elective credit for the M.S.Ed. and Ed.D. degrees.

Finally, as you will already know from your careful reading of the online course description, our text is Teaching and Research Listening by Michael Rost. We will also be using a series of articles in the latter half of the class; those will be available on both Dropbox and Google Drive.

If you would like (for some inane or perhaps insane reason), here is the course syllabus for your reading pleasure. Of course, I reserve the right to amend it, so please treat this as a guideline.

You might be wondering about the course requirements. Not wanting to scare people away, I have wisely included them way, way, way down at the bottom of the page in 2-point font. Actually, you will find them hiding down below, but just not in 2-point font. Let's cover some admin things, just for fun.

Hereafter you will find a reasonably detailed synopsis of the respective classes we will enjoy this term. We will be using a textbook for the first half of the course (Rost, 2013), but in the latter half we will instead utilize a bevy of various (and sundry) readings, which will be available on two Cloud service—details in class.

Thus, with no further ado, here are the sessions.

 Session #1 (September 7) — Introduction; Neurological Processing; Linguistic Processing 

As often happens on the first day of class, we'll be speaking in somewhat general terms about our course and some of the topics therein.

Let's begin with a schema-activation worksheet, good people.


Session #2 (September 14) — Linguistic Processing 

The first of our respective halves this evening will deal with semantic processing, which you will recall enters into such domains as memory, schema, inference, and more. The second half of our evening will dance over pragmatic processing and such related areas as social frames, listener response, and listenere collaboration.

Session #3 (September 21) — Semantic Processing  

Brevity — a fine word, and I'm not quite sure why I'm mentioning it here.


Text coming soon ...

More text coming soon ...

Session #4 (September 28) — Pragmatic Processing; Approaches to Teaching Listening 

Brevity — a fine word, and I'm not quite sure why I'm mentioning it here. Seriously, it's from some long-forgotten syllabus, and it's also apropos since I'd like to pick up our pace just a trifle. Thus, we'll waltz through the final processing unit in the first half of tonight's class and then begin the instruction units in the second half.


Here for your reading pleasure is the explanation sheet about the final project.

More text coming soon ...

Session #5 (October 5) — Input and Interaction; Instructional Design 

OK, Gentle Students, who can tell me the name of the matronly sort in the green dress? For a bonus, who can tell me the origin of her name?

Additional text coming soon ...


Session #6 (October 12) — Listening Assessment 

This session will be devoted to the proof in the pudding—assessment.

As promised, here is the explanation sheet for the journal review homework. Note that this assignment is due by Tuesday, December 15, so you have lots of time to complete it.


Session #7 (October 19) —  Exam 

Your first chance to impress me, folks—Exam #1 on this day.

In the second half of our class this evening, we will begin our adventures into the world of teaching speaking. As we've already noted, you will be enjoying a series of published articles and chapters. In most of the upcoming sessions there are at least three such readings, but you are responsible for choosing and reading two articles, not three (or four). Why? First, doing so will lighten your reading load (you're welcome). Second, all of the articles will be presented, so your classmates will kindly inform you about the articles you choose not to read. Collaborating, you think? Always good, I'd say.

You'll notice that several of the folders of readings include extra articles. You are in no way responsible for those, but I have added them if you choose to dig a bit deeper.

 Complexity, Accuracy, and Fluency 

As you'll know after slogging through some lengthy (yet worthwhile) articles, the so-called CAF trio often seems to work at odds for AL learners.


  • ✔ Skehan, P. (2009). Modelling L2 performance: ...
  • ✔ Ellis, R. (2009). The differential effects of three types ...
  • ✔ Hunter, J. (2011). 'Small talk': Developing fluency ...
  • CAF study sheet (apologies this is late!)

Session #8 (October 26) —  More CAF; Practice 

Avast, mateys! We must be near International Talk-Like-A-Pirate Day! (Actually, it's September 19th, but better late than never. The Talk Like a Pirate website is worth at least a couple minutes ... perhaps. Or maybe not!)

OK, to more serious matters: Recall that you have the option of doing either an author review or a textbook review. For the latter, here you'll find a guidelines for your textbook review, which is also in the reference menu above. (A hint, too: you might find the Dörnyei and Thurrell (1994) article particularly useful for a textbook review.)

I'd like to thank our three presenters yesterday—well done, all, and I'm sure your classmates appreciated the effort involved. Incidentally, I teach my undergrads to use a particular style of title slide, which I think will stand you in good stead in the future. Incidentally, I'm finding that affiliation logos are increasingly common, so you might consider including the logo of your particular school or perhsps the mighty Temple T. (as you'll see on my Students page).


  • ✔ Muranoi, H. (2007). Output practice in the L2 classroom.
  • ✔ Mackey, A. (2007). Interaction as practice.
  • ✔ Dornyei, Z., & Thurrell, S. (1994). Teaching ...
  • Practice study sheet

Session #9 (November 2) —  Task-Based Teaching 

This week we'll be looking at lots of fun tasks that you, Gentle Students, might choose to incorporate into your classroom(s). As you're certainly aware, two of our readings include a certain Willis, and she can also be found at this Teaching English website. This is the first in a series of four articles, so feel free to hop right in and take what you can.

Readings & Homework:

  • ✔ Willis, J. (1996). A framework for TBT.
  • ✔ Willis, D., & Willis, J. (2007). Doing TBT.
  • ✔ Lee, J. F. (1995). Using task-based activities to ...
  • Task-Based Teaching study sheet

I note in passing that there is a Task-Based Language Teaching group that holds a biennial conference that is quite interesting (I attended the 2007 conference in Hawaii—yes, I also spent some time on the beach!). Don't be put off by the webpage, which is a bit on the minimalistic end of the spectrum.

If you'd like to pursue this, you might find material in our trusty JALT archives. I've added a couple articles to our Drive folder: Wicking (2010) and Shimomura (2015). (I have no particular comment about these two; I'll allow you to be the judge of the respective worth of each if you choose to read them.)

Session #10 (November 9) —  Tasks and Teaching Principles 

Text of a dubious nature here ...


  • ✔ Beglar, D., & Hunt, A. (2002). Implementing ...
  • ✔ Sadow, S. A. (1994). "Concoctions": Intrinsic ...
  • ✔ Brown, R. S., & Nation, P. (1997). Teaching speaking: ...
  • Tasks and Teaching Principles study sheet

Session #11 (November 16) — The More, The Merrier (Other Important Aspects of Teaching Speaking) 

Invigorating text here ...

Scintillating text here ...


  • ✔ Bygate, M. (1996). Effects of task repitition ...
  • ✔ Tam, M.-K.(1997). Building fluency: A course for ...
  • ✔ Jones, R. E. (2001). A consciousness-raising ...
  • ✔ Ding. Y. (2007). Text memorization and imitation ...
  • Other Important Aspects study sheet

Session #12 (Saturday, November 23) —  Assessing Speaking 

More exciting text here ...


Session #13 (November 30) —  Student Presentations & Class Discussion 

As I mentioned last week, Exam #2 to flutter your way as a take-home exercise. You'll be able to download it right here after our class this evening.

In the first half of our evening we will begin student presentations. Feel free to volunteer if you have a particular preference for presenting this day or on December 7.

Session #14 (December 7) —  Student presentations 

Be aware that your journal review is also due by Tuesday, December 15 (grades are due on December 22, and I need some time to look over your fine work).

  1. Two exams that will be on the material covered in class regarding listening (October 12) and speaking (November 30). Each exam will require approximately 90 minutes. (15% x 2)

  2. One reaction journal, which may be in the form of a blog or a Word document. In this you will write your 'Notes on Various Things', which will include at least the following:
    • Reflections each class;
    • Reports on three additional articles related to class topics (of your choosing, so these may be from the additional readings or related articles that you locate (10%);
    • One journal review (10%); and
    • One author review in which the student examines 3-4 salient works by an academic in a related field OR a textbook review (10%)
    • Note: Treat your reaction journal as a chance to explore and question and extend your understanding of ideas in the field. What I expect is your reactions to the topics, readings, and other class material, not a summary of the readings themselves.

  3. A presentation of one of the assigned reading from class. This presentation will include the main points and results of the article as well as a critique thereof, while (5%)

  4. Your final presentation on November 30 or December 7 (10%)

  5. Your final paper, which is due by Tuesday, December 15 (10%)

  6. Active participation in class (5%)

For other things (my procedure regarding late assignments, for example), please speak with me directly.

Please be aware that I have to submit grades by December 22, so please plan accordingly and submit everything in a timely fashion. I will not be pleased if I receive a mountain of homework on that day (hint, hint).

Below you'll find a smattering of conferences dealing with listening and speaking. It's certainly not an exhaustive list, of course, but it should give you an idea of what is lurking out there.

Casual Reading

In case you ever are in need of something to borrow some of your time, there are, of course, many books dealing with technology. A quick list of fiction works off the top of my head would include the following:

  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling
  • The Circle by Dave Eggers
URL: www.jimelwood.net/students/temple/listenspeak/listenspeak.html

The logos were created on Cool Text.

Date last updated: September 28, 2015 * Copyright 2015 by Midas, Cyrus, and all the other lunatics.