This paper first explores that listening is the weakest link in the four links which are listening, speaking, reading and writing in the context of English listening teaching in China, and points out the importance of studying listening strategies in listening teaching. It then elaborates that the learners lack autonomy and the ability of autonomous learning while learning English especially English listening, and thus makes the learners lose interests of learning listening. It finally discusses a series of effective listening strategies through questionnaire and a comparative experiment. Through implementing these effective strategies, it can help enhance learner autonomy and foster the ability of autonomous learning while learning English listening.
Key words：listening strategies; research; autonomy
2. Study of English listening strategies review 2
2.1 Definition of learning strategies and its research methods 2
2.2 Relation between listening strategies and fostering autonomy 4
2.3 Research of listening strategies 5
3. Research on autonomous learning of English listening 10
3.1 Definition of autonomous learning 10
3.2 Theoretical basis of autonomous learning 10
3.3 Present situation and causes of autonomous learning 11
3.4 Ways to foster learner autonomy 11
4. Research and experimental study 14
4.1 Basic introduction of questionnaire 14
4.2 Targeted experiment 14
English listening is an important but relatively weak link in English teaching. Old teaching models, boring listening materials, shortage of language and culture information and poor listening skills all have some influence on English listening. With the development of the global economy, the status of English as an international language is further recognized, so the ability of input becomes more important. For English, the process of input is just the process of listening which has always been a difficult process for almost English learners, so the study of listening strategies has emerged in recent decades. Many researchers have proposed a series of useful strategies through their study such as self-management, language skill training, and listening skills and so on.
Combined with previous studies, some new strategies are put forward in this paper and at the same time, there is another purpose in writing this paper. It is to foster learner autonomy through these strategies. We hope that learners can have interest in English listening while using these strategies, turning passive learning into active learning. And gradually they will develop a habit of autonomous learning. Through this process, learners will no longer feel listening is a difficult study.
In this article, we mainly use questionnaire and experiment to further explain the strategies used in listening. At the same time, it also analyzes the present situation and the problems the learners come across when they are doing listening. Then it puts forward a series of acceptable and feasible strategies. For example, the learners who like enjoying foreign soundtrack movies or television programs can learn through switching the subtitles. First, they can enjoy the movie with subtitles, and then enjoy again without subtitles. The purpose is to let them understand the meaning through just listening and watching video. Practice makes perfect. We believe this kind of practice will improve learners’ listening. Moreover, it can also increase the interest in listening. Second, taking notes in listening is very essential. Effective notes can strengthen listeners’ memory and achieve a multiplier effect.
2. Study of English listening strategies review
Study has proved that in modern communication, listening has accounted for 45% and stayed in the first place, speaking 30%, reading 16%, writing 9% 133. Listening plays an important role in English teaching. Since 1990s, many foreign researchers have begun to be concerned about the listening strategies. In our country, the study of English listening strategies stepped into the early stages of development in 1990s and at the end of 1990s, it stepped into a rapid development. Indeed, as the increase in the number of the research, people gradually recognize the importance of listening. However, how to enhance the capacity of listening is a rather difficult problem for researchers and teachers. After 1970s, psychology and education sectors recognize the significance of learning strategies. Using effective learning strategies not only can improve study to a large degree, but also can enhance learning outcome and quality, reduce learning burden.
2.1 Definition of learning strategies and its research methods
To study English listening strategies, we must first refer to learning strategies because listening strategies are important part of learning strategies. The researches on learning strategies are much earlier than listening strategies and its research methods are much systematic than the methods of listening strategies. Thus more materials and details to study listening strategies should be given to the researchers. The study of learning strategies began in 1970s. In 1975, Rubin opened the prelude to discuss language learning strategies in a paper entitled “What the Good Learner Can Teach Us”. In the next 30 years, the study of learning strategies has made considerable progress both in breadth and depth and the exploration points cover all aspects of research. Because of different classifications, there are various kinds of definitions.
2.1.1 Definition of learning strategies
Several well-known foreign researchers put listening strategies into three categories: Meta-cognitive strategies, Cognitive strategies, Social and affective strategies 149. Meta-cognitive strategies belong to higher levels and help learners manage their learning. The strategies include the process of learning, learning programs formulation, monitoring and assessing the results generated from finishing learning tasks. Cognitive strategies are closely related to learning materials. The strategies are adopted by learners to identify, understand, maintain and extract information more effectively. The strategies include material processing, the use of non-verbal information, association, memory, concluding, logical reasoning and so on. Social and affective strategies are for learners to ensure to transmit information and control their own emotions in the process of learning. The strategies mainly include fostering interest in learning consciously, building learning confidence, overcoming anxious and impatient emotions, taking advantage of all kinds of opportunities for real communication and seeking for help effectively.
In China, Wen Qiufang classified language learning strategies into two kinds: management strategies and learning strategies. Learning strategies can be further divided into traditional and non-traditional strategies. Traditional strategies include training strategy, veracity strategy and relying on native-language strategy; non-traditional strategies include functional practice strategy, fluency strategy and avoiding native language strategy 105.