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 11. Developing ESL/EFL Listening Comprehension


Course Description

This course will cover a number of issues involved in helping learners to develop their listening comprehension of English as a second or foreign language. 

We’ll discuss factors that affect the success or failure of listening comprehension, examine an adaptable lesson template that can be used to develop the listening comprehension of your students, and look at specific listening activities targeted at novice-level, intermediate-level, and advanced-level students. The course will also highlight effective assessment methods, including computerized testing of listening ability.

Also, students who successfully complete this course will receive a TESOL Certificate of Completion.

Instructor: Patricia Dunkel

Patricia Dunkel is Professor Emerita of Applied Linguistics and English as a Second Language at Georgia State University. She has taught English as second/foreign language for thirty years. She began as a classroom teacher, teaching ESL to Russian emigrees. She went on to obtain a Master’s degree in English, and her Ph. D. in Educational Psychology. She has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in applied linguistics, ranging from Teaching L2 Listening Fluency to Teaching Research and Statistics for Applied Linguistics. 

She is co-author of a number of teaching/learning textbooks, author of numerous research articles about teaching and assessing ESL/EFL listening comprehension. One of her areas of specialization is computer-adaptive testing of L2 listening comprehension. She is presently retired from Georgia State University and living in Tucson, Arizona.


Internet access, e-mail, the Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox Web browser, and the Adobe Flash and PDF plug-ins (two free and simple downloads you obtain at by clicking Get Adobe Flash Player and Get Adobe Reader).


A new section of each course starts monthly. If enrolling in a series of two or more courses, please be sure to space the start date for each course at least two months apart.

All courses run for six weeks, with a two-week grace period at the end. Two lessons are released each week for the six-week duration of the course. You do not have to be present when lessons are released. You will have access to all lessons until the course ends. However, the interactive discussion area that accompanies each lesson will automatically close two weeks after the lesson is released. As such, we strongly recommend that you complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.

The final exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the final exam has been released, you will have two weeks to complete all of your course work, including the final exam.     


Week 1

Wednesday – Lesson 01
The Importance of Teaching Listening Comprehension in L2 Learning

Friday – Lesson 02
The Factors Affecting Listening Comprehension

Week 2

Wednesday – Lesson 03
Approaches to Teaching Listening

Friday – Lesson 04
The Macro- and Micro-Skills of Listening

Week 3 

Wednesday – Lesson 05
A Template for Teaching Listening

Friday – Lesson 06
Examples of Teaching/Learning Activities for Novice-Level Listeners

Week 4

Wednesday – Lesson 07
Examples of Teaching/Learning Activities for Intermediate-Level Learners

Friday – Lesson 08
Examples of Teaching/Learning Activities for Advanced-Level Learners

Week 5

Wednesday – Lesson 09
Developing & Adapting Materials for Teacher/Student Needs & Goals

Friday – Lesson 10
Assessing Listening Comprehension, Part I

Week 6

Wednesday – Lesson 11
Assessing Listening Comprehension, Part II

Friday – Lesson 12

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