Listening in Biomedicine

Although all medical listenings are 'specific' in that they tend to take place in certain well defined contexts and may involve the use of 'specialist' vocabulary, the problems that non-native speakers most often encounter are those inherent in listening to any text in English.

Different Types of Listening

Firstly, it is important to remember that there are different types of listening. Depending on the circumstances, your reasons for listening and exactly how much and what kind of information you need to extract will vary considerably. Consequently, the criteria that you use to decide if you have really 'understood' something will also vary.

Listening to learn

In the real world, most of the listening that you will do will be to extract varying degrees of information from what you hear. We have called this Listening to Learn listen because the focus of the activity is not so much on developing the skill of listening directly as acquiring new information.

Learn to Listening

Secondly, it is important to have some idea of what the causes of your listening problems are. Of course, problems may arise from such fundamental aspects as grammar, vocabulary and the speed of the speech you are listening to. However, other problems are also very common:

To help you practice the skills necessary to overcome these more fundamental problems we have developed some listening activities in whcih there is still a focus on meaning but also a certian focus on the skill of listening itself All such activities have been marked with the label Learning to Listen listen.

Remember that it is often difficult for non-native speakers to focus at the same time on the information being given and the language being used. Consequently, if you are serious about improving your listening , it is essential that you not only do as much listening as possible but that you also work on the language and on improving the basic subcomponents that make up the complex skill of listening.