Time to listen

(Language Magazine.com) The following is excerpted from an article written by Monica Brady-Myerov for Language Magazine. Ms. Brady-Myerov is the founder and CEO of Listen Current, an education technology company that brings the power of public radio into the classroom. While the article focuses on specific benefits to ELL students, the arguments broadly support adding a listening component to reading instruction for all primary school-aged students.

The importance of listening comprehension cannot be underestimated. In her study “On the Importance of Listening Comprehension,” Dr. Tiffany Hogan of the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions explains that “listening comprehension, becomes the dominating influence on reading comprehension, starting even in the elementary grades.” This influence continues through the eighth grade, if not further. Thus, hearing unfamiliar words and concepts strengthens reading abilities.

Students’ receptive vocabularies can be at least two grade levels higher than their expressive vocabularies. So when students listen, we can use more difficult vocabulary to stretch their receptive abilities. The exposure to words in this way helps students, since they need to recognize a word in reading or listening as a prerequisite for using it correctly in speech and writing. This also helps them develop a personal context for the vocabulary and retain the meanings. Read Article

Hogan , T. P. , Adolf, S., & Alonzo, C. (2014). “On the importance of listening comprehension.” International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 16(3): 199-207.

Publication:      Language Magazine.com
Author:             Monica Brady-Myerov
Publish Date:   11.4.2015