Teaching ESL/EFL Listening and Speaking: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Teaching ESL/EFL Listening and Speaking

1st Edition

By Paul Nation, Jonathan Newton, I.S.P. Nation, Jonathan Newton


210 pages

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pub: 2008-08-18
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Using a framework based on principles of teaching and learning, this guide for teachers and teacher trainees provides a wealth of suggestions for helping learners at all levels of proficiency develop their listening and speaking skills and fluency. By following these suggestions, which are organized around four strands – meaning-focused input, meaning-focused output, language-focused learning, and fluency development – teachers will be able to design and present a balanced program for their students.

Teaching ESL/EFL Listening and Speaking, and its companion text, Teaching ESL/EFL Reading and Writing, are similar in format and the kinds of topics covered, but do not need to be used together. Drawing on research and theory in applied linguistics, their focus is strongly hands-on, featuring

  • easily applied principles,
  • a large number of useful teaching techniques, and
  • guidelines for testing and monitoring.

All Certificate, Diploma, Masters and Doctoral courses for teachers of English as a second or foreign language include a teaching methods component. The texts are designed for and have been field tested in such programs.

Table of Contents

Selected Contents:

Chapter 1 Parts and goals of a listening and speaking course

The four strands

A commonsense justification of the four strands

Learning through listening and reading

Learning through speaking and writing

Language-focused learning

Becoming fluent in listening, speaking, reading and writing

Balancing the four strands

Integrating the four strands

Principles and the four strands

Learning goals

Chapter 2 Beginning to listen and speak in another language

What should they learn?

How should the teaching and learning be done?

Practising sentence patterns

Guiding listening and speaking

Techniques for early meaning-focused speaking

Planning a listening and speaking programme for beginners

Chapter 3 Listening

Listening and language learning

Advanced listening: Notetaking

How to take notes

Learning how to take notes

Monitoring notetaking

Monitoring meaning focused listening

Chapter 4 Learning through interaction and negotiation

Encouraging negotiation

Using written input to encourage negotiation

Using information distribution to encourage negotiation

Factors affecting the amount and type of negotiation

Using learner training to encourage negotiation

Monitoring negotiation

Learning through non-negotiated interaction

Understanding language teaching tasks: Ranking

What is a ranking task?

Method steps

What can you use ranking tasks for?

How can you make and prepare for ranking tasks?

What material can you base ranking tasks on?

Monitoring a ranking task

Monitoring learners beginning to speak

Chapter 5 Learning through pushed output

Pushed output

Pushing output

Formal speaking

The nature of formal speaking

Teaching formal speaking

A process approach to formal speaking

Guidelines for presenting a formal talk

Chapter 6 Pronunciation

The place of form focused pronunciation instruction

Factors affecting the learning of another sound system

Procedures and techniques

Fitting pronunciation into a course

Monitoring pronunciation

Chapter 7 Deliberate teaching

The value and limits of language-focused learning

Deliberate vocabulary learning

The requirements of language-focused vocabulary instruction

Techniques and procedures

Deliberate grammar learning

The causes of error

The effect of correction

Correction procedures

Fitting language-focused learning into a course

Chapter 8 Dictation and related activities


Pre-dictation exercises

Variations of dictation

Related techniques

Monitoring dictation


Related techniques

Chapter 9 Developing fluency

The nature of fluency

Fluency and accuracy

Developing fluency

Designing fluency activities

Fitting fluency into a course

Developing fluency in listening and speaking

Techniques for developing fluency in listening

Techniques for developing fluency in speaking

Monitoring fluency tasks

Chapter 10 Testing

Monitoring progress

Testing listening and speaking

Listening tests

Speaking tests

Appendix 1 The survival syllabus

Appendix 2 The most useful words for beginning graded reading

Appendix 3 Topic types

Appendix 4 Topics for listening and speaking

About the Authors

I.S.P. Nation is Professor of Applied Linguistics in the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand.

Jonathan Newton is a senior lecturer in the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand.

About the Series

ESL & Applied Linguistics Professional Series

This series provides essential texts on teaching English as a second language and applied linguistics. It includes authored and edited volumes to be used as primary or supplementary texts in graduate-level and teacher training courses to enhance students’ and practicing teachers’ professional qualifications and knowledge. Each text is designed to promote the current and growing body of knowledge in applied linguistics and second language teaching, including advances in teacher education and the study of language.

Specifically, the series includes, but is not limited to, current uses of applied linguistics research in teaching a variety of second language skills, such as reading, writing, speaking and listening; materials and curriculum design; literacy; English for academic purposes; and research methods.

The texts also deal with broad domains of professional preparation related to socio-cultural perspectives and current issues/topics in teaching and learning a second language.

Books in the series benefit not only students, but experienced teachers, curriculum developers, teacher trainers, program administrators, and other second and foreign language professionals seeking to advance and update their knowledge and expertise.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Bilingual Education
FOREIGN LANGUAGE STUDY / English as a Second Language
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General