I think the importance of listening input for students cannot be overemphasised, yet it is severely neglected in Japan, in both public and private teaching settings.
I myself have not really focused on teaching listening so far, for the following reasons:
1. graded listening materials are not as common as graded reading
2. it’s hard to categorize listening materials at a glance, like you would with a written text
3. technical issues get in the way: you have to make the materials available to the students, and it’s not as easy as just handing them a book or a handout
However, I have decided to have a go at really boosting my students’ listening practice. I am going to investigate online delivery, lending CDs, and lending mp3 players pre-loaded with content.
I will post on any challenges and successes with the project. Comments on the subject are also most welcome.