The typical coursebook-based listening activity[edit | edit source]
In foreign language learning, the prototypical listening activity is coursebook-based. These are typically focused on answering a series of comprehension questions about the contents of an audio, typically read by voice actors, in order to practise listening comprehension. Low-level listening activities tend to use graded language, with the actors speaking unnaturally slowly and using prestigious accents, particularly received pronunciation and general American. These activities tend to focus on a particular language of the coursebook unit. Consequently, they tend to be inauthentic.
Prestigious accents provide a good model for the students' own pronunciation, particularly where other models may be less than optimal. Use of prestigious accents however may cause students to lack accent familiarity with non-native accents they may encounter in real life.
Students should generally look at the questions and try to predict the language to be used in the listening before they listen to the audio.
If used as a test, this is a listening comprehension test.
Moving beyond the coursebook[edit | edit source]
It is possible to use listening activities that are focused on real life; use authentic texts, etc.