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Listening plays a vital role in language acquisition. A ready proof of this fact is that hearing-impaired children necessarily have trouble developing normal speech. In the same vein, most problems in second language learning, namely poor pronunciation and lack of progress, fundamentally stems from learners' neglect of listening. Even though few English learners knowingly choose not to listen, most receive little to no training at all to improve their listening skills.

Like plants being deprived of vital nutrients, English proficiency cannot be expected to grow without the development of an acute sensitivity toward the sounds of English. That explains the phenomenon of heavy "local accents", and why most people find it almost impossible to lose their heavy Cantonese accent when they speak English. Fortunately, instead of hearing impairment, their "speech problem" lies only in their poor "reception" and underdevelopment of appropriate techniques.

Course Objectives
revisit traditional beliefs relating English listening skills;
help participants gain noticeable improvement in 3 months, supported by , quantitative analysis;
discuss the importance of listening skills;
enhance their confidence and competence in listening and speaking;
strengthen learners' memory and correct usage of vocabulary through sound recognition.

Course Contents

<Listening & Speaking Skills - Level One>
foundation English listening skills;
training based on materials drawn mainly from "formal" speech events: speeches, news reporting, etc.;
basic skills for speech perception: "Strong and Weak forms of words", "Assimilation" and "Elision" etc.;
phrasal verbs and idiomatic expressions frequently used in day-to-day English conversations;
mastery of correct step-by-step listening training;
Composition: 90% of Listening Training and 10% Oral Training;
learners' assessment and improvement to be based objectively on TOEFL TEST.
<Listening & Speaking Skills - Level Two>
intermediate English listening skills;
training based mainly on materials of "Informal Speech": movies, television programmes, day-to-day conversations, etc.;
prosodic features characteristic of English speech: stress, intonation, linking etc.;
fun exercises for our tongue, an important articulator of English sounds, with "tongue twisters";
Composition: 60% of Listening Training and 40% Oral Training;
learners' assessment and improvements to be based on relatively fast authentic English exchanges.
<Listening & Speaking Skills - Level Three>
advanced English listening skills;
training based mainly on "colloquial discourse";
more on idiomatic and slang expressions and cliches;
introduction and usage of business and commercial jargon and terminology;
enhancement of public speaking and presentation skills;
developing descriptive, narrative and discussion skills in English;
Composition: 20% of Listening Training and 80% Oral Training;
learners' assessment and improvements to be based on authentic colloquial exchanges.

The path to a high level of English proficiency must pass through developing advanced listening kills. So instead of a detour, improving listening skills now will smoothen and straighten that path, and make the whole journey much more rewarding.

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