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Skills: Listening

Review ~ Listening Myths
Reviewed Nov 2011 by Hall Houston
Listening Myths

Listening Myths

In the late 90’s, David Nunan referred to listening as the “Cinderella” skill, meaning a skill often ignored in language learning research due to a greater emphasis on speaking. With a flood of books on the subject of second language listening appearing over the past few years, from the practical (How to Teach Listening by J J Wilson) to the slightly more theoretical (Listening in the Language Classroom by John Field), listening’s Cinderella status might need an update.

Listening Myths is one of the most recent titles on second language listening and it proves to be an excellent overview for both the research-minded and the practicing teacher. Similar to two other books in a series from University of Michigan Press (Writing Myths and Vocabulary Myths), it is written around an interesting premise, which is to refute some common myths about teaching listening. The book explores eight myths in all. Each chapter contains three sections: In The Real World (an introduction to the chapter containing an engaging anecdote), What The Research Says (a concise overview of research relating to the myth), and What We Can Do (two or three suggestions for putting research findings into action).
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