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In Multi-level the conclusion comes from last term's result and student's performance in class. Some students can do well after first time of listening, some can not do or can work out a few question after the third time of listening.
Outcome: Students feel bored and unmotivated. They do not want to involve in the listening activities.
(the theory behind multi-level tasks. What makes a task difficult or easy?
I. Factors affecting difficulty of listening:
To design an easier or more difficult task than the original ones, the teacher should be clear about what factors makes the tasks difficult or easy.
According to Anderson and Lynch (1988) numbers of factors making listening difficult or easy are divided into three categories(1) the type of language we are listening to (2) our task or purpose in listening and (3) the context in which listening occurs
Relevant features of input
Information organization: Anderson and Lynch state that organizing information structure has an effect on listeners' performance. In their research, they found that deductive information structure and informative titles help listeners understand expository text better.
Familiarly of topic: In his book, Anderson and Lynch presented some researches related to effects of familiarity of topic to listening. The research's findings show that prior knowledge plays a powerful role in listening performance. However, sometimes the listeners are unaware of the extent of conclusion they draw based on such knowledge.
Explicitness of information: Explicitness refers to the amount of information available to the listeners. Short, simple messages with the minimum amount of necessary information could be easier for the lower-listeners to comprehend. Learners at higher level may take more advantage from paraphrased or expanded text. In addition, reducing the amount of inferential and referential work in listening text is a way to make it easier.
Type of input: Anderson and Lynch suggest using Brown and Yule's framework for grading listening input (1983). It is a grid consisting two scales: type of input and number of elements within each type. The first one includes static, dynamic and abstract with the difficulty level increases. The second scale implies that the more "elements which may be difficult to distinguish" input has (Brown and Yule, p.107, 1983), the more difficult it becomes.
(2)(3) Relevant factors in listening tasks and contexts
- Processing load: it is characterized by "the amount of information that has to be processes and time available" (Anderson and Lynch, p.56, 1983). For instance, if the listeners are told in advance what they need to catch from the listening to finish the task, it is easier than listening without direction. Moreover, answering questions after each segment of input does not keep pressure on memory, thus, it leads to more successful performance. Furthermore, limited time always put a pressure on listener, thus, extending the time of doing the task is a way to make listening easier.
- Visual support: drawing, picture, video material in which video are considered as the richest source of data give " an enormously important extra dimension of information" (Brown and Yule, 1983, p. 85). However, the wealth of information in video may distract listeners. Therefore, using video needs following principles of grading complexity.
- Group format: This concept refers to individual work and group work. Anderson and Lynch show their favour with the later by providing researches proving numerous benefits of teamwork in listening.
- Type of task: "Different tasks present the listeners with varying degrees of complexity" (Anderson and Lynch, 1983, p. 59). This statement was illustrated by giving many researches showing that to the same input, some kinds of task such as summary and distinguishing factual argument from unsupported opinion are more problematic than recalling the complete content or responding immediately (drawing or ordering)
Approaches to grading L2 listening
Base on the factors affecting difficulty of listening, Anderson and Lynch introduced approaches to grading L2 listening.
-Grading through text characteristics:
+ Vocabulary: the level of difficulty of vocabulary is not much relevant to its frequently in the target language. A new item is difficult depending on these factors: the content in which listeners meet; listeners' knowledge of the topic; the world's analyzability in terms of listeners' L2 language and similarity to an L1 items, and so on.
+ Length of text: Because the reasons of listeners' fatigue and memory load, length of text is considered as factors affecting listening tasks' difficulty. Short texts are believed to simplify the tasks, especially for low lever learners. However, longer texts also create chances for learners to understand because of the increasing information supplied by speakers. Thus, length of text is suggested to be considered in the relationship with other factors, especially our overall listening purpose.
Grading through task factors
+ Listening purpose: Along as the attention to social and communicative function of language, listening purpose has been discussed as a feature that can be counted on in grading listening tasks (Anderson and Lynch, 1988). Anderson and Lynch (1988, p. 88) argues that in theory "it is possible to take any listening text and compose a listening task that would be appropriately difficult for a particular group of learners at any level of L2 proficiency". Windeatt (1981) also agrees that it is possible to "grade the task, not the text". He generated a set of listening exercise with six levels of task difficulty.
Listen to one of the news items and try to write down the main points.
Listen to one of the news items and try to write down as many of words as you can.
Listen to the whole news broadcast once and write down as much as you can remember.
Listen to the broadcast and stop at the end of each item. Make a summary of the main points.
Listen to one or more of the news items and write down all of the words.
How many news items are there?
Is there an item about the weather?
Is there just one person reading the news, or do other people give reports of interviews as well?)
In multi-level class, it calls for the need of a different task, a kind of tasks that can be solved by beginners but not too easy ; it should be difficult enough to be a challenge to students in higher levels. The teacher decided to try using multi-level tasks in her class. In fact, some listening exercises are in forms of multi-level, there are some easy questions and some more difficult ones. However, the level of the teacher's class range from beginner to pre-inter. There are so few exercises that can be appropriate to all students in class. Moreover, the course book is fixed by the head of the institution. Therefore a multi-level class seems to be an appropriate solution.
What teacher should do is make the task become multi-level? It means give some easy question and some more difficult ones. To do this, the first thing