For many years teachers has been
thought listening skill is a passive
one and it had not any place in their lesson plans as a separate skill to teach
because its difficultness to be learned. In recent years, this view has changed
and teachers plan for teaching listening in their classrooms. Therefore,
listening becomes a critical skill and listening comprehension plays a crucial
role in language leaning. In this paper we are going to talk about the changes
that listening skill teaching undergone in the recent years.
Until recently, teachers in language
classes pay more attention to the others skills (speaking, reading, and
writing) rather than listening. About a century ago, the dominant method of
teaching was Grammar Translation Method and it had nothing to do with listening
skill. The aim was to read and translate text. After that we had Direct Method.
In this method we had a shift from reading to oral skill. But again there was
no place for listening skill. In second half of the 20th century,
students were expected to develop their listening skill themselves without any
help from the instructors and also by osmosis. Osmosis was a term introduced by
Mendelsohn which is also called Audio Lingual Method. In this method students
should listen to listening task in target language all day and regularly.
Therefore, they will be able to improve their listening comprehension through
experience. This method has its root in Behaviorism. It is based on stimulus
and response and its idea is taken from Pavlov’s conditioning and also it
emphasizes on reinforcement. The focus of ADM is on learning vocabulary and
grammar through imitation. An advocator of listening comprehension named ‘Rivers’
began an argument and said that speaking can’t be a tool of communication
unless there would be another party to listen and comprehend. Slowly the
attention to listening skill increased and now listening is an active skill
involving many processes. During 1370s, a variety of different methods were
introduced by different researchers and they gave priority to listening skill.