EL Research

This page has some links to academic work in Extensive Listening

 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 speech?
  • 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 example?
  • How many words are needed for fluent listening?

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?