by Chris Bedwell
Centre for English Language Communication
National University of Singapore
Underwood, M. (1989). Teaching listening. Harlow, England: Longman.
ISBN 978-0582746190, 128 Pages.
Mary Underwood’s book, Teaching Listening (Longman, 1989), has been recommended reading for many trainee and in-service teachers on ESOL certificate and diploma courses. It provides a wide range of practical techniques (also conveniently summarised in an appendix) covering the pre-, while- and post-text stages of a listening lesson. Also included throughout the book are commonsense suggestions and observations on learner behaviour which can inform the teacher of the likely success, or otherwise, of a lesson. Since listening is considered by many ESOL practitioners to be the preferential mode of first exposure to English in the classroom (the rationale being that it is unfair to expect students to produce language verbally without ever having heard it beforehand), the text constitutes a useful initial point of reference.