The Critical Role of Perception in Second Language Listening


John Field


Wednesday, 16 November 2016
10:30 am–12:00 pm ET
(Find the start time in your area.)


Cost: Free for members; US$​50 for nonmembers
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Registration Deadline: 13 November 2016
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Who Should Attend?

  • Experienced instructors at secondary or college level 
  • Writers of listening materials
  • Item writers of listening tests

More About This Seminar

The methods widely adopted in L2 instruction focus attention on the outcomes of listening rather than tackling the causes of comprehension failure. This presentation aims to enhance understanding of a) the various cognitive processes that contribute to competent listening; and b) the characteristics of natural  English speech that create perceptual  difficulties for L2 listeners. There will be suggestions as to how this information can feed into intensive listening practice that actively assists progress.

What Will I Learn?

Participants will 

  • recognise the listening skill as a complex set of interacting processes
  • learn how this framework can assist instructors in diagnosing learner problems
  • extend their understanding of aspects of natural English speech that cause serious difficulties of L2 understanding 
  • recognize a role for transcription tasks in attuning learners’ ears to natural speech.
  • consider what types of listening task one can expect learners to be able to handle at different levels of  proficiency

About the Presenter

John Field is Senior Lecturer in the CRELLA research Institute, University of Bedfordshire, UK. He is especially known for his work on second language listening; his Listening in the Language Classroom (CUP, 2008) has become a standard work in the field. Recent projects include advising on listening standards in Rwanda and investigating the effects of double-play on listening test candidates. His background in psycholinguistics (on which he has also written widely) informs much of his thinking; and he has written quite widely on the extent to which L2 skills tests elicit processes which resemble those of real-world behavior.  He was formerly a materials writer and teacher trainer: writing coursebook series for Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong, radio programmes for the BBC World Service and TV programmes for the Open University of China.