NCT Articles

Effects of Identifying, Understanding and Solving the Problem Factors in Listening


Orlino Daguman Rabago     02-04-2014

Effective learning is very important to be received by the learners. This is the greatest gift that can change the life of students for lifetime. Also, this is the ultimate task of every academic institution from the basic education up to the tertiary so that the Learners? outcomes will be desirable; thus competency and competitiveness of the learners can contribute to a much larger system ? to the country?s economic development. In reality, providing quality education through effective learning is not an easy task to do. It requires time, money, effort and resources to attain its peak. It requires as well the full participation of the stakeholders such as: The Management, The Teaching and Non-teaching Personnel and the Learners. Eventually, all the academic institutions are continuously seeking for updates since change is constant and competition is stiff. And the fact is that it is a good investment to provide quality education for the risk is at stake particularly in private academic institutions where competition in business operation is very much involved. By promoting and providing quality education and effective learning, clienteles are encouraged to enroll; hence ROI for the private educational institutions is achieved, and on the part of the public educational institutions it will be an investment for a long-term strategic and economic plan.

Educational Managers and Educators need to face the reality that effective learning in the 19th century is no longer effective in today?s system of education. The learners 10 or 20 years ago are not the same as the learners of the 21st century. This is because change is constant as stated earlier. For this reason, the aforesaid stakeholders are extremely vital to be considered in identifying the problem factors to attaining the very desirable outcomes. However, attaining the graduate attributes and the outcomes set by the institution have some impediments in the process that each member of the organization must be dealing with. The management for instance must ensure that its tasks are properly conducted so that the other variable (the teachers) will also do the tasks accordingly. In the end, if the two variables are properly executing their respective toils, the learners will harvest the best learning that they must have. And this will redound to the economy. This will be started when the learners already found their preferred jobs in the society they are included with. But if their capability, competency and competitiveness are not properly honed, the country is the one which will suffer the most. On the contrary, if quality education and effective learning are given prior to the actual job application of their skills, the country in a sense will be very competitive. To support the aforesaid statement, based on the studies conducted by the United Nations on Education for Sustainable Development (UNESCO 2012), it stated that:

?Education, or the transmission, acquisition, creation and adaptation of information, knowledge, skills and values, is a key lever of sustainable development. This is based on a vision of inclusive societies in which all citizens have equitable opportunities to access effective and relevant learning throughout life delivered through multiple formal, non-formal and informal settings. As such, education is essential to individuals? development as it is to the development of their families, of the local and national communities to which they belong, and to the world at large.?

On the issue at hand, it is said that these impediments to economic development are the problem factors that emanated from the variables in the institution and from the stakeholders mentioned. As mentioned earlier, these are: Management, Personnel, Learner, and including facilities and Equipment. How can this be possible? Let us admit it that there is no such thing as a perfect system. And, human beings as the creator of change and development also make the opposite. That is why if we look back at our history, educational system evolved in a dramatic way and it will continue to evolve as long as man is still breathing. So, problems factors as well will continue to evolve and have their different forms in the future.

How do we define problems then? Problems are said to be nuisances, stressors, and culprits to disorganization. For this reason, these are commonly avoided by every organization for they affect the operation in general. But, a competitive organization like an academic institution must not avoid the problems or just turned its back and ignore the situation at hand but instead, find the best way to make these problems become its strengths. Eventually, this is the right thing to do since an academic institution is a learning institution, and the quality education can be best attained through solving problems and making sound solutions. More so, an academic institution works in a very complex process. This is because it has a very large set of organizations starting from the Management level, to the instructional level, and down to the learners. And this is the reason why problems must always be addressed in the organization.

In connection above, Outcomes-Based Teaching and Learning (OBTL) is the core process in which the concerned variables or stakeholders stated are working together. Sometimes, this is termed as Outcomes-Based Approach (OBA) or Outcomes-Based Education (OBE) but in a sense, they have the same components such as: Learning Objectives, Teaching-Learning Activities and Assessment Tasks. These components are passing through the variables in a procedural order; that, these are first set by the management then given to the teachers to be administered to the students. The students as the receiver will have their individual outcomes based on the graduate attributes set by the institution. However, in the process and in between of the components, problems factors might interfere, thus the outcomes of the learners might be jeopardized. Basically, attaining the desirable outcomes must emanate from the constructive alignment. According to John Biggs and Catherine Tang (2013), constructive alignment starts with clearly stating, not what the teacher is going to teach, but what outcome of that teaching is intended to be. For this reason, to attain such desirable outcome, the process must start from the management level by creating the things that the teachers must do and provide them after to the learners.

Tantamount to the ideas given above, Listening as one of the macro-skills in English is entailed in the Outcomes-Based Education. This is one of the important skills that the learners must master to acquire the necessary communication skills. According to Bernard Uzi Weingarten (2012) in his article entitled, Wisdom Nugget ? A Key to Effective Communication: Listen First, ?the first skillful communication is Listen First.? Haven?t you ever wondered why children can acquire any language wherever place (country) they are put into? The magic formula - ?Kids do observe, listen, and then imitate.? You might say, it?s because of the theory of ?Tabula Rasa? or empty mind. Yes, it?s true that tabula rasa plays the role in acquiring the language. However, exposure to correct English language words or sounds through listening has the higher percentage to master the language than ?tabula rasa? theory. This is the reason why listening must be taken seriously as the key factor to provide effective learning to the learners. More so, most of the studies related with ESL pointed out that once listening skill is mastered, proficiency in ESL is higher than in mastering other skills. This is as well the key lever to acquiring the correct manner of articulation of the English language - which if the learners mastered it, it is the way to becoming competent and competitive. In addition, acquiring competency and competitiveness in English language communication provides as well other benefits, such as: having the self-confidence, advantage in job application, job promotion, and others.

With this regard, identifying, knowing and solving the problem factors of Outcomes-Based Education of Listening can provide a wide range of benefits not only to the learners but to the NCT Community and to the country in general.