Lesson 1: Thinking of Listening

Why is Listening Important?

Before we start discussing listening, let's take a few minutes to reflect on the importance of the listening skill. As a language teacher and as a learner of other languages, think of one or two reasons why listening is important.


Language teachers discuss the importance of the listening skill.

Duration: 03:50

Listening is also important because it:

  • occupies a big chunk of the time we spend communicating in the language. Think about the times you spend listening to others speak or listening to songs, news, lectures, YouTube, etc. Recent advances in technology have served to raise the profile of the listening skill in language teaching.
  • provides input that can be very significant for second language acquisition in general and for the development of the speaking skill in particular.
  • promotes non-linear processing of language and encourages learners to develop "holistic" strategies to texts.

As language teachers, we need to think of how we can incorporate listening into our teaching and provide opportunities both inside and outside the classroom for our students to be exposed to significant listening input. However, this represents a challenge as we shall see in the following section.