Listening: Sources, Skills, and Strategies

Tony Lynch

in The Oxford Handbook of Applied Linguistics

Second edition

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780195384253
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Listening: Sources, Skills, and Strategies

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  • Linguistics
  • Language Acquisition



“Listening is hard work, and deserves more analysis and support”. This article focuses on the skill of listening, its sources, skills and strategies. Even in one's first language one may encounter difficulties in understanding speech, including internal factors such as emotional distraction or toothache, or lack of interest in the topic, or negative reaction to the speaker, or having to prepare a response to what is being said. When listening to a second language, one faces additional problems due to external factors related to speaker or to text: novel expressions, speed of speaking, accent, unfamiliar content and cultural references, and so on. This article focuses first on the sources of listening experience, sources of comprehension difficulty, and the sources of help the listener can draw on in the form of background knowledge, visual context, and linguistic knowledge. Sources of listening skills are explained in details followed by future investigations of listening strategies.

Keywords: skills; language skills; listening; analysis; listening experience; visual context; linguistic knowledge

Article.  5961 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Language Acquisition

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