The other day I was thinking about the role of listening in the 英会話 (eikaiwa) industry here in Japan. A lot of students in my school (スミス英会話生駒） have trouble repsonding because they have trouble with listening.
You can just ask them to practice listening at home but that may not change things much. A lot of them already are.
However, they have trouble hearing reductions in English, because they are not aware of them.
But recently I found one area they have trouble listening to: the disappearing ‘H’.
We were studying the story ‘The Baby’, and I noticed that they could not hear the word ‘her’ several times in the story. I thought about it and then realized that ‘put her down’ in the story actually sounds like ‘pudder down’ which is hard to understand if you don’t know about the Disappearing ‘H’.
Well, now every class I make a small 15 s listening story and ask them to answer a question about it… of course they need to ‘hear’ the disappearing h to understand and answer my question. Already after only three stories like this they are responding better and better.
I wonder if this is common in 英会話 (eikaiwa) schools…