Listening for Success: The Importance of Audio Files

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Description: In this video, Haohsiang Liao shares that he encourages students to listen to audiofiles or dvds during their preparation for class. He believes learning to trust their ears and focusing on sounds will help them succeed in their Chinese studies.

Instructor: Haohsiang Liao

HAOHSIANG LIAO: We always tell our students to trust their ears, not their eyes. That basically means that we want them to work more with the audio files. So interact with the audio files for DVDS. Work with them. Work with the sounds. And I always ask my students, when you interact with people, what are you dealing with? You deal with sounds, not texts.

So that's what we mean by trust your ears, not your eyes because students, when they're out of time, the first thing they do for preparation is to read the dialogue. It's reading. They read the dialogue and thought that they know. However, they're not familiar with the sounds. And in class, what we do a lot in class is interactions by speaking and listening. So they will feel totally disoriented if they just focus on reading or talking about the text or romanizations of a language.

So that's always the first challenge for our students, how to give up yourself to your ears. And we know that this also increases students' anxieties from time to time. But this is always a reminder we have to our students every day that work more. When you have time, work with the audio files, not just reading the romanizations. If your preparation lies mostly in reading, that will not get you too far in your Chinese studies.