One evening this week when I was teaching a group of eight stronger elementary level students, I gave them a short listening test. All they had to do was listen to 12 simple questions on a particular track from their English course CD and write 12 simple short answers. Although they were basic Wh or Yes/No questions containing the words “is / was” “are / were” “can / could” they were spoken at a natural speed by a native speaker.
This particular group consists of 4 students who have studied practical English with me once a week since October 2010 (i.e. 5 hours a month x 18 months or approximately 90 hours of practice) and 4 other students who joined this group in October 2011 after taking a TOEIC Bridge placement test. These 4 students have had just under 30 hours of practical English lessons with me.
The results of this listening test were very interesting. There was a very noticeable gap between the scores of the two sub-groups. Those students who have studied 90 hours of English achieved much higher scores than those students who have only studied 30 hours. I like to think that this shows the value and effectiveness of the practical English lessons which they are taking. I also think it shows the lack of exposure to basic English spoken fluently of the students who have only studied for about 30 hours. I hope those 4 students who did not achieve high marks in this test will realize that they should also have equally good listening skills after another 60 hours or so of practical and active English classes.