An approach to classifying listening strategies in the Arabic as a foreign language classroom

Cunha, Priscilla Mary
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This report sets out to reclassify listening strategies in a way that renders them more transparent to both Arabic language instructors and students, thereby enabling instructors to integrate direct listening strategy instruction into their lesson plans more efficiently. It begins with a review of previous listening strategy research and classifications, commenting on how the existing strategy classifications of “metacognitive,” “cognitive,” and “socio-affective” have fallen short in creating a practical tool for integrating strategy instruction. The report then focuses on the Al-Kitaab Arabic textbook series and an analysis of the strategy instruction presented therein, finding that, while there is a strong strategic base presented in the textbooks, continued strategy development is largely abandoned as the series continues. The report attempts to address the lack of transparency in traditional learning strategy classifications, as well as the relative inconsistency of strategy instruction available in Arabic language course materials, by outlining two tables of listening strategies organized based upon the type of task in which the learner is engaged. The two task types are interpersonal listening and interpretive listening, based upon the definitions of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, and the listening strategies in each table are arranged relatively by proficiency level, ranging from novice to intermediate. The intention of this report is that such a classification will encourage and enable language teachers to integrate strategy instruction that is appropriate for the nature of the type of pedagogic task at hand, thereby rendering language learners better prepared to deal with real-world interpersonal and interpretive listening situations.