Module 1: Better Listening

Welcome to Module 1 — Better Listening

This module is made up of five units and aims to show the teacher how effective listening can be taught in Junior Secondary School (JSS) classes in meaningful contexts, so that students learn how to understand and respond to real-life uses of English. Teaching listening does not mean teaching sounds, words or sentences in isolation; it refers to giving the students exposure to natural language in communicative situations. In this module, teachers will learn ways of engaging their JSS students in meaningful communicative tasks that will train them to perform various language functions in real-life contexts outside the classroom, such as asking for clarifications, responding to a request, an invitation or a greeting and so on.

Is this module for you?

This module is intended for teachers of English as a Second Language (ESL) teaching at the JSS level.

Module objectives

The objectives of this module are to:


  • help teachers devise and use meaningful activities to develop listening skills in the classroom, and

  • provide teachers with a variety of listening exercises that engage students in pair and group work activities to practise meaningful communication in English.


Module outcomes

Upon completion of Module 1 — Better Listening you will be able to:


  • teach listening skills in meaningful contexts,

  • engage your students in real-life communicative tasks to practise their listening comprehension,

  • help your students understand English when spoken at normal conversational speed,

  • enable your students to respond to language functions in English,

  • give your students opportunities to hear English spoken with standard, accepted pronunciation, and

  • familiarise your students with correct word and sentence stress in English.

Time frame

How long?

You will need approximately 15 weeks to finish this module — eight weeks for formal study and seven weeks for self-directed study — to complete all the recommended activities.

This is a distance learning programme, thus the time frame is flexible and largely self-directed.

Study skills

Study skills

As an adult learner your approach to learning will be different from that of your school days: you will choose what you want to study, you will have a professional and/or personal motivation for doing so and you will most likely be fitting your study activities around other professional or domestic responsibilities.

Essentially you will be taking control of your learning environment. As a consequence, you will need to consider performance issues related to time management, goal setting, stress management, etc. Perhaps you will also need to reacquaint yourself with such things as essay planning, coping with exams and using the Web as a learning resource.

Your most significant considerations will be time and space; that is, the time you dedicate to your learning and the environment in which you engage in that learning.

We recommend that you take time now — before starting your self-directed study — to familiarise yourself with these issues. There are a number of excellent resources on the Web. For example:

The “How to Study” website is dedicated to study skills resources. You will find links for tips on study preparation (a list of nine essentials for a good study place), taking notes, strategies for reading textbooks, using reference sources and coping with test anxiety.

This is the website of Virginia Tech’s Division of Student Affairs. You will find links to tips on time scheduling (including one called “Where Does Time Go?”), a study skill checklist, basic concentration techniques, how to take control of your study environment, note taking, how to read essays for analysis and tips on developing memory skills (“Remembering”).

Another “How to Study” website with useful links to learning about time management, efficient reading, questioning/listening/observing skills, getting the most out of putting your knowledge into practice, memory building, staying motivated and developing a learning plan.

The above links are our suggestions to start you on your way. At the time of writing these Web links were active. If you want to look for more go to and type “self-study basics,” “self-study tips,” “self-study skills” or a similar combination.

Need help?


Get help through your Google Group support email, SMS number or tutor.

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Adeyanju, T.K. (2009). Teaching English. (Unpublished manuscript.)