One benefit of listening is that learners are not overloaded by having to focus on two or more skills at the same time. Another benefit of listening and delayed speaking is that learners will not feel shy about their language classes. When I was learning English, it was initially very difficult to pronounce words in English. I was shy to answer questions and to speak the language because I could often pronounce the words wrongly. It took a lot of listening for me to eventually get the pronunciations right. I therefore think that language tutors should discourage their students from speaking early in a course but rather encourage them to listen and comprehend the language patterns before they attempt to speak.
Some people are of the view that research on the comprehension approach was not well done and for this reason, the disapprove it. Others suggest that the comprehension approach is not sufficient to bring about the kind of learning that is needed to produce the language.
In my view, the comprehension approach is effective in language learning. Although listening only during the initial stages of language learning may not be sufficient, it should certainly form a major part of the learning process. Personally, I prefer focusing on meaningful listening until I comprehend a language well and can speak confidently.
I am convinced that visual support makes listening easier. I agree with Nation that visual structures of well designed diagrams for information transfer provide a conceptual scaffold to assist comprehension. As opposed to listening to verbal utterances or reading written words, a multi-sensory experience is more memorable to learners. Visual aids have a corporeal presence, texture and feel that can create potent and unforgettable images.
Note taking stores information for later use and provides the opportunity to encode information. The encoding effect of note-taking is more important than the storage effect of note-taking because it helps learners to recall information. Encoding enables learners to change information from one form to another which they can easily remember.