Is Listening a Missing Link to Academic Language Acquisition in Today’s Secondary Schools?

Many English Learners are not acquiring the level of academic language needed for college and career readiness. Are we underestimating the impact that ongoing work with oral academic language can have?

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People can be taught to be better listeners.

Why would we want to do this and how does listening affect learning? Our white paper highlights some of the key research in this area as we consider the value of listening skills for our children.

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Key Listening Research

“On the Importance of Listening Comprehension”

Listening comprehension is a fundamental building block to reading comprehension development. Now there is new research evidence concerning a growing number of children who fail to develop adequate reading comprehension skills primarily due to poor listening comprehension.

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“If You Want People to Listen to You, Tell a Story”

Ever notice that good stories get better student engagement? This research highlights the power of a meaningful story to specifically impact listening behavior.

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Case Studies

Sanger Unified School District

Sanger’s district wide adoption of Listenwise is a roadmap for any district with a large EL population, especially if they are struggling with low listening scores on standardized tests. As many educators have found, concentrating on building listening skills through teaching with podcasts helps with engagement, skill building, and listening assessment preparation for English learners and all students.

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Clovis North High School

In 2015 Clovis piloted the new CAASPP test and saw alarmingly low scores in listening. After using Listenwise Premium for three years, Clovis North High School students listening scores increased by 26 percentage points, an increase of 15 percentage points higher than their district average.

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Beaver Country Day School

Beaver uses Listenwise to create critical listeners who can question what they are hearing. The authentic stories and voices have generated a unique kind of engagement in their classrooms.

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Lowell High School

Access to academic language, channeled through engaging content, is invaluable for Lowell’s booming population of English Language Learners. Teachers differentiate lessons to use Listenwise across a broad range of learners, settings, and subjects.

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