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Blended Instruction and Integrating Language Skills in Listening. Aoyama Gakuin University, English Department Joseph Dias, Gregory Strong Rachael Barat, Kazuko Namba Tokai University, Foreign Language Center Keita Kikuchi. Overview of the IEP Reports on the IE Listening Course

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blended instruction and integrating language skills in listening

Blended Instruction and Integrating Language Skills in Listening

Aoyama Gakuin University, English Department

Joseph Dias, Gregory Strong

Rachael Barat, Kazuko Namba

Tokai University, Foreign Language Center

Keita Kikuchi


Overview of the IEP

  • Reports on the IE Listening Course
  • Focus Groups
  • Active Listening: Blueprint for Change
  • Curricular Components
  • Sample Tasks and Evaluation
  • Self-Reports
  • Self Access
  • Changes in Pedagogy
  • Managing the New
  • Questions and Answers

IE I Themes:

Childhood, Urban Life

Food and Health




context clues,

mood, etc.



music, news


Small group


book report,


reading genres

and skills


Topic sentences



use of examples,



IE PROGRAM EVALUATION Cummings (1999) conducted a program evaluation through discussion with teachers, and course writers, and class observations.

Weaknesses in the IE Listening course:

• the pre-test and post-test activities were under-

utilized by teachers

• the multiple choice format made each lesson

more like a test





Kikuchi (2001) conducted a needs analysis of the IE Listening course by interviewing 15 students, 9 teachers, and the 2 IEP coordinators and administering two versions of a questionnaire (open-ended and close-response) administered to 585 students and 9 teachers.


The questionnaires asked about the learners’ (1) target tasks, (2) problems, (3) priorities, (4) abilities, (5) problems, (6) attitudes, (7) solutions.

  • More use of practical English conversational skills
  • Introducing more varied videos from film and TV
  • Reviewing the scripts in class
  • Providing student copies of the tapes for extra listening
  • Using English for all classroom instruction
  • Providing listening Homework
  • (Kikuchi, 2001: p.45)


Same kinds of questionnaires were administered in 2006

(325 students for open-ended and 260 for close-response).

Let’s look at some of the data obtained next!



Documentaries, films, TV dramas, pop songs:

Pre-Listening: vocabulary lists, questions

While Listening: multiple choice, matching, T/F, guessing idioms, ordering sequences of events, evaluating scenes

Post-Listening: questions, writing



Focus Groups and Classroom Observations:

Dias and Kikuchi (2006 & 2008)

• students were very passive in class; sometimes bored

• little improvement over the semester

• listening material seemed outdated

• teachers often omitted pre and post listening tasks

• very limited opportunities for self-access

• students sought more opportunities for conversation

• many students could not remember anything about the

course one year after completing it


changes that were made over the last few years
Changes that were made over the last few years…
  • All the video materials were converted to DVD (most “chapters” no more than 5 minutes); new units on music and news added
  • Better articulated pre- and post-listening tasks were included to stimulate discussion through information gaps and Internet searches on topics related to student interest
  • At teachers’ orientations, instructors were strongly encouraged to include pair and group work as class activities
  • Students became required to access listening content through the Internet as homework and submitted regular reports
  • Transcripts were provided for all of the in-class listening materials at the request of teachers and students

Why stop there?

what more is needed
What more is needed?

A system which allows teachers to easily produce new materials based on original and existing public domain content.

Materials going out-of-date due to the arduousness of listening material production.

solves the problem of…

Purposeful classroom activities and real world tasks based on short bits of listening material.

Boredom and the perception that time is wasted or not well utilized.

what else is needed
What else is needed?

An evaluation system that rewards hard work and autonomy by better monitoring the use of self-access materials.

The perception that the evaluation system favors students who had good listening comprehension skills at the outset.

solves the problem of…

Greater differentiation of the 3 skill levels in terms of the difficulty of the content, task and cognitive complexity, as well as the outputs required.

The various levels of IE Listening becoming a blur in the minds of students and insufficient challenges for the higher level students.


Is that all?

NO! There’s more.

If class time is to be used in a constructive way, the role of teachers needs to be better defined.

Students wondering why the teacher exists.

solves the problem of…

Listening content needs to be closer to the interests of students and in line with their learning goals.

The perception that the materials are not varied enough and do not “connect” with them.


Another major change…

18 of 28 IE Listening classes have enrollments of 40+ students. We wanted to divide large classes in half; students alternating between a week of self-access activities, and a week of teacher-orchestrated, task-based instruction.

solves the problem of…

Classes being too large for meaningful, teacher-monitored pair and group work to be carried out.

what did we hope to keep
Some of our better, more popular listening materials that do not appear too dated.

Holding the classes in computer labs.

The themes, which help us to organize content and allow us to recycle vocabulary items and concepts in the 3 IE courses.

What did we hope to keep?
cha cha cha changes

IE Listening

IE Active Listening

What's in a name? That which we call a rose

By any other name would smell as sweet

changes in the system of student assessment
Changes in the system of student assessment
  • As the new self-access materials will allow teachers to monitor students’ conscientious application to work outside of the classroom, it will be reflected in the students’ grades.
  • Successful completion of in-class tasks, and effective collaboration with classmates toward common goals, will also be rewarded.
  • If testing will be continued, it would be preferable to move toward performance-based tests that may better reflect what students are doing in the classroom.
  • At the higher levels, student creation of listening materials may also enter into the evaluation process. Techniques for selecting appropriate listening content can be taught and tested at the lowest level.

Summit TV:

in-class listening instruction based on news documentaries


INTERACTION on Relationships:

Choose one of the topics at <>.

ie. How to be the Perfect Girlfriend/Boyfriend

How to Chat Someone up on the Train, Bus, or Tube

How to Make People Listen to You

How to Feel Better About Your Body

How to Write a Love Letter

(You may pick alternates on the theme of relationships, provided they are appropriate for class and your teacher approves them.)

Prepare 5 Pre-listening Questions

• Based on the video, make 5 True/False questions for your partners

• Teach 5 vocabulary words, idioms or expressions used in the video.

• Offer your partners several statements from the video and ask

them to explain why they would agree or disagree with them

• Prepare 5 Post-listening Questions



Interactions in a large class



Presenters are Moving


Batman Begins. Url: Pre-Listening QuestionsThis is the 5th Batman movie. What were the names of the others? Many actors have played the role of Batman. Which of the following actors has never played Batman? (a) Tom Cruise (b) Matt Damon (c) Tom Hanks (d) Michael KeatonWhen was the first Batman movie?How much was the budget to make Batman Begins?


II. Five Vocabulary Words or phrases. criminal – a thief, or bad personwill – the determination to do something“journey inwards” – the journey of the mind“no turning back” – no chance to change or stop the process“more than a man” – Batman will become a super hero

III. Order the following sentences correctly as on the movie trailer.

Criminal: Where are you?

Henri: Your parents' death was not your fault.

Henri: The is nothing! But will is everything!

Batman: Here.

Henri: If you make yourself more than just a man. You become something else entirely. Are you ready to ?


IV. Fill in the missing words.

  • Henri: If you make yourself more than just a man. If you yourself to an _______. You become something else entirely. Are you ready to _______?
  • Henri: You have traveled the world. Now you must journey inwards - what you really _________is inside you. There is no turning back.
  • .

PRESENTATION on the Environment:

With your group, choose an environmental problem from one of the following websites:

1) Ecologist, a British ecological magazine

Green Channel which is part of Discovery Network, has videos on ecological themes and recently posted an item about the world’s greenest homes.

2) Greenpeace International website

3) National Geographic has videos as well

4) 101 East is a program about Asia, including environmental problems.

Summarize the problem and present it to the class using powerpoint slides. Each member of your group should prepare and present at least 3 minutes of the total time. You should present it like an “environmental brief” so the problem is stated clearly and the action needed to solve the problem.  There should also be a class vote.


coordinating presentations interactions
Coordinating Presentations & Interactions
  • Sign-Up Sheet







AL 3: (Environment Theme) Presentation (Student Group)

  • Student preparing an
  • Environmental Brief:
  • Reviews video sequences on
  • websites to choose an environmental
  • issue that demands action, noting the
  • url(s). Identifies key vocabulary.
  • Describes the solution to the problem,
  • perhaps surveying the class as to their
  • ideas, or whether or not they would
  • support the solution.
  • (Environment Theme)
  • Teacher:
  • Outlines the task to students,
  • plays a sample problem from the
  • environment news and outlines a
  • solution.
  • 2. The teacher provides sample
  • written reports from other student
  • groups.
  • 3. Later, the teacher observes and
  • assesses each student group.
  • The teacher also collects their
  • written summary of the problem and
  • their solution.
self directed listening task