Answers we need.........
- How much vocabulary do we learn
from listening to an easy monologue text?
- Does the vocabulary learning rate
differ if the listener is part of a conversation? (Interactive constructor of
the text vs. passive recipient).
- At what vocabulary coverage rate
can learners pick up new words from listening? How does this vary for part of
- What kind of words do learners pick
up from their listening?
- How many repetitions of a word are
needed to learn it receptively and to make it available for production?
- Can learners notice that a word
belongs to a word family from their listening?
- How long is the delay between
knowing a word receptively till it becomes available productively?
- Does pausing help learners? How?
Does it have long term benefits?
- Will learners learn more language
from a tape and tapescript, or from a video of the text?
- How much do visual elements affect
learning rates? Are they different for still images vs. moving images, for
- How many words are needed for
fluent listening? Etc...
We have tons of data from ER but almost nothing for EL. This seems totally weird
and unbalanced to me as almost every teacher encourages 'conversation' (and
thereby listening) as a way to improve one's English. Everything we know about
ER's benefits (for vocab learning, for overall motivation, for language
consolidation, to build fluency etc etc etc) need to be confirmed (or rejected)
for EL. All the canonical work done in ER needs to be mirrored with EL. E.g.
What's the uptake of vocabulary from EL?
What known/unknown word ratio facilitates this?
How much listening is needed?
How does one's EL ability develop?
What prevents/ encourages comprehension in fluent listening?
How do students segment the sound stream in EL?