Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 464

Search results for: listening comprehension

464 Explaining Listening Comprehension among L2 Learners of English: The Contribution of Vocabulary Knowledge and Working Memory Capacity

Authors: Ahmed Masrai

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Listening comprehension constitutes a considerable challenge for the second language (L2) learners, but a little is known about the explanatory power of different variables in explaining variance in listening comprehension. Since research in this area, to the researcher's knowledge, is relatively small in comparison to that focusing on the relationship between reading comprehension and factors such as vocabulary and working memory, there is a need for studies that are seeking to fill the gap in our knowledge about the specific contribution of working memory capacity (WMC), aural vocabulary knowledge and written vocabulary knowledge to explaining listening comprehension. Among 130 English as foreign language learners, the present study examines what proportion of the variance in listening comprehension is explained by aural vocabulary knowledge, written vocabulary knowledge, and WMC. Four measures were used to collect the required data for the study: (1) A-Lex, a measure of aural vocabulary knowledge; (2) XK-Lex, a measure of written vocabulary knowledge; (3) Listening Span Task, a measure of WMC and; (4) IELTS Listening Test, a measure of listening comprehension. The results show that aural vocabulary knowledge is the strongest predictor of listening comprehension, followed by WMC, while written vocabulary knowledge is the weakest predictor. The study discusses implications for the explanatory power of aural vocabulary knowledge and WMC to listening comprehension and pedagogical practice in L2 classrooms.

Keywords: listening comprehension, second language, vocabulary knowledge, working memory

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463 The Impact of Keyword and Full Video Captioning on Listening Comprehension

Authors: Elias Bensalem

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This study investigates the effect of two types of captioning (full and keyword captioning) on listening comprehension. Thirty-six university-level EFL students participated in the study. They were randomly assigned to watch three video clips under three conditions. The first group watched the video clips with full captions. The second group watched the same video clips with keyword captions. The control group watched the video clips without captions. After watching each clip, participants took a listening comprehension test. At the end of the experiment, participants completed a questionnaire to measure their perceptions about the use of captions and the video clips they watched. Results indicated that the full captioning group significantly outperformed both the keyword captioning and the no captioning group on the listening comprehension tests. However, this study did not find any significant difference between the keyword captioning group and the no captioning group. Results of the survey suggest that keyword captioning were a source of distraction for participants.

Keywords: captions, EFL, listening comprehension, video

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462 Improving Listening Comprehension for EFL Pre-Intermediate Students through a Blended Learning Strategy

Authors: Heba Mustafa Abdullah

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The research aimed at examining the effect of using a suggested blended learning (BL) strategy on developing EFL pre- intermediate students. The study adopted the quasi-experimental design. The sample of the research consisted of a group of 26 EFL pre- intermediate students. Tools of the study included a listening comprehension checklist and a pre-post listening comprehension test. Results were discussed in relation to several factors that affected the language learning process. Finally, the research provided beneficial contributions in relation to manipulating BL strategy with respect to language learning process in general and oral language learning in particular.

Keywords: blended learning, english as a foreign language, listening comprehension, oral language instruction

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461 The Implication of News Segments and Movies for Enhancing Listening Comprehension of Language Learners

Authors: Taher Bahrani

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Armed with technological development, the present study aimed at gauging the effectiveness of exposure to news and movies as two types of audio-visual programs on improving language learners’ listening comprehension at the intermediate level. To this end, a listening comprehension test was administered to 108 language learners and finally 60 language learners were selected as intermediate language learners and randomly divided into group one and group two. During the experiment, group one participants had exposure to audio-visual news stories to work on in-and out-side the classroom. On the contrary, the participants in group two had only exposure to a sample selected utterances extracted from different kinds of movies. At the end of the experiment, both groups took another sample listening test to find out to what extent the participants in each group could enhance their listening comprehension. The results obtained from the post-test were indicative of the fact that the participants who had exposure to news outperformed the participants who had exposure to movies. The findings of the present research seem to indicate that the language input embedded in the type of audio-visual programs which language learners are exposed to is more important than the amount of exposure.

Keywords: audio-visual news, movies, listening comprehension, intermediate level

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460 The Impact of Syntactic Priming on Language Learners’ Perception of Relative Clauses

Authors: Kaine Gulozer

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Listening comprehension in a foreign language context has been a constant challenge for Turkish speakers of English. Syntactic priming (SP) of relative clauses might affect the perception of subsequent sentences of identical structure and this could have an impact on the listening comprehension of second or foreign language learners. There has been little attempt to investigate the syntactic priming of English subject relative clauses and object relative clauses in relation to perception for the learners of English in Turkish context. This study investigates SP effects on low-proficiency EFL learners’ production of English relative clauses. Both qualitative and quantitative method along with a pre-test and post-test tasks were adopted, recruiting 62 EFL learners to receive a six-week listening instruction on relative clauses. Testing instruments for language production included the two tasks: (1) the visual- cued presentation and recall and (2) the auditory-cued presentation and recall. Students’ listening comprehension in task 1 and 2 were recorded and transcribed. Fifteen of the participants were also interviewed. The results of the dependent samples t-test analyses revealed that SP had a significant effect on the overall perception of relative clauses.

Keywords: listening comprehension, relative clauses, structural priming, syntactic persistance, syntactic priming

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459 Listening Anxiety in Iranian EFL learners

Authors: Samaneh serraj

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Listening anxiety has a detrimental effect on language learners. Through a qualitative study on Iranian EFL learners several factors were identified as having influence on their listening anxiety. These factors were divided into three categories, i.e. individual factors (nerves and emotionality, using inappropriate strategies and lack of practice), input factors (lack of time to process, lack of visual support, nature of speech and level of difficulty) and environmental factors (instructors, peers and class environment).

Keywords: listening Comprehension, Listening Anxiety, Foreign language learners

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458 Improving Vocabulary and Listening Comprehension via Watching French Films without Subtitles: Positive Results

Authors: Yelena Mazour-Matusevich, Jean-Robert Ancheta

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This study is based on more than fifteen years of experience of teaching a foreign language, in my case French, to the English-speaking students. It represents a qualitative research on foreign language learners’ reaction and their gains in terms of vocabulary and listening comprehension through repeatedly viewing foreign feature films with the original sountrack but without English subtitles. The initial idea emerged upon realization that the first challenge faced by my students when they find themselves in a francophone environment has been their lack of listening comprehension. Their inability to understand colloquial speech affects not only their academic performance, but their psychological health as well. To remedy this problem, I have designed and applied for many years my own teaching method based on one particular French film, exceptionally suited, for the reasons described in detail in the paper, for the intermediate-advanced level foreign language learners. This project, conducted together with my undergraduate assistant and mentoree J-R Ancheta, aims at showing how the paralinguistic features, such as characters’ facial expressions, settings, music, historical background, images provided before the actual viewing, etc., offer crucial support and enhance students’ listening comprehension. The study, based on students’ interviews, also offers special pedagogical techniques, such as ‘anticipatory’ vocabulary lists and exercises, drills, quizzes and composition topics that have proven to boost students’ performance. For this study, only the listening proficiency and vocabulary gains of the interviewed participants were assessed.

Keywords: comprehension, film, listening, subtitles, vocabulary

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457 The Role of Metacognitive Strategy Intervention through Dialogic Interaction on Listeners’ Level of Cognitive Load

Authors: Ali Babajanzade, Hossein Bozorgian

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Cognitive load plays an important role in learning in general and L2 listening comprehension in particular. This study is an attempt to investigate the effect of metacognitive strategy intervention through dialogic interaction (MSIDI) on L2 listeners’ cognitive load. A mixed-method design with 50 participants of male and female Iranian lower-intermediate learners between 20 to 25 years of age was used. An experimental group (n=25) received weekly interventions based on metacognitive strategy intervention through dialogic interaction for ten sessions. The second group, which was control (n=25), had the same listening samples with the regular procedure without a metacognitive intervention program in each session. The study used three different instruments: a) a modified version of the cognitive load questionnaire, b) digit span tests, and c) focused group interviews to investigate listeners’ level of cognitive load throughout the process. Results testified not only improvements in listening comprehension in MSIDI but a radical shift of cognitive load rate within this group. In other words, listeners experienced a lower level of cognitive load in MSIDI in comparison with their peers in the control group.

Keywords: cognitive load theory, human mental functioning, metacognitive theory, listening comprehension, sociocultural theory

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456 A Metacognitive Strategy to Improve Saudi EFL Learners’ Lecture Comprehension

Authors: Abdul Wahed Al Zumor

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Saudi EFL Students majoring in English face difficulties in academic lectures listening comprehension in content courses like linguistics, applied linguistics or literature theories. To validate this assumption, a questionnaire assessing students' lecture comprehension experience was administered. The findings have shown that Saudi EFL learners face a great challenge in lecture comprehension at advanced levels. Literature has suggested a myriad of techniques which can enhance academic lecture comprehension. This study has used "reciprocal peer-questioning and responding technique" as an integral part of the academic lecture occupying the last ten minutes. Improvement in experimental students' scores in these courses has been noticed.

Keywords: EFL learners, lecture comprehension, content courses, peer questioning

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455 The Effect of Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety and Tolerance of Ambiguity on EFL Learners’ Listening Proficiency

Authors: Mohammad Hadi Mahmoodi, Azam Ghonchepoor, Sheilan Sohrabi

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The present study was conducted to investigate the effect of foreign language classroom anxiety and ambiguity tolerance on EFL Learners’ listening proficiency. In so doing, 442 EFL learners were randomly selected form Azad University and some accredited language institutions in Hamaden, and were given the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS) (1983), and Second Language Tolerance of Ambiguity Scale (SLTAS) (1995). Participants’ listening proficiency level was determined through listening scores gained in standardized exams given by university professors or institutes in which they studied English. The results of two-way ANOVA revealed that listening proficiency was significantly affected by the interaction of anxiety and AT level of the participants. Each of the two variables were categorized in three levels of High, Mid, and Low. The highest mean score of listening belonged to the group with low degree of anxiety and high degree of ambiguity tolerance, and the lowest listening mean score was gained by the group with high level of anxiety and low level of tolerance of ambiguity. Also, the findings of multiple regressions confirmed that anxiety was the stronger predictor of listening comprehension in contrast with tolerance of ambiguity. Furthermore, the result of Pearson correlation coefficient showed that there was a significant negative relationship between the participants’ foreign language classroom anxiety and their ambiguity tolerance level.

Keywords: Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety, Second language tolerance of ambiguity, Listening proficiency

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454 The Effect of Speech-Shaped Noise and Speaker’s Voice Quality on First-Grade Children’s Speech Perception and Listening Comprehension

Authors: I. Schiller, D. Morsomme, A. Remacle

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Children’s ability to process spoken language develops until the late teenage years. At school, where efficient spoken language processing is key to academic achievement, listening conditions are often unfavorable. High background noise and poor teacher’s voice represent typical sources of interference. It can be assumed that these factors particularly affect primary school children, because their language and literacy skills are still low. While it is generally accepted that background noise and impaired voice impede spoken language processing, there is an increasing need for analyzing impacts within specific linguistic areas. Against this background, the aim of the study was to investigate the effect of speech-shaped noise and imitated dysphonic voice on first-grade primary school children’s speech perception and sentence comprehension. Via headphones, 5 to 6-year-old children, recruited within the French-speaking community of Belgium, listened to and performed a minimal-pair discrimination task and a sentence-picture matching task. Stimuli were randomly presented according to four experimental conditions: (1) normal voice / no noise, (2) normal voice / noise, (3) impaired voice / no noise, and (4) impaired voice / noise. The primary outcome measure was task score. How did performance vary with respect to listening condition? Preliminary results will be presented with respect to speech perception and sentence comprehension and carefully interpreted in the light of past findings. This study helps to support our understanding of children’s language processing skills under adverse conditions. Results shall serve as a starting point for probing new measures to optimize children’s learning environment.

Keywords: impaired voice, sentence comprehension, speech perception, speech-shaped noise, spoken language processing

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453 Salient Issues in Reading Comprehension Difficulties Faced by Primary School Children

Authors: Janet Fernandez

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Reading is both for aesthetic and efferent purposes. In order for reading comprehension to take place, the reader needs to be able to make meaningful connections and enjoy the reading process. The notion of reading comprehension is discussed along with the plausible causes of poor reading comprehension abilities among primary school children. Among the major contributing causes are imaging, lack of schemata, selection of reading materials, and habits of the readers. Instruction methods are an integral part of making reading comprehension a meaningful experience, hence several models are presented for the classroom practitioner. Suggestions on how primary school children can improve their reading comprehension skills are offered.

Keywords: children, improve, reading comprehension, meaningful strategies

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452 Effects of Listening to Pleasant Thai Classical Music on Increasing Working Memory in Elderly: An Electroencephalogram Study

Authors: Anchana Julsiri, Seree Chadcham

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The present study determined the effects of listening to pleasant Thai classical music on increasing working memory in elderly. Thai classical music without lyrics that made participants feel fun and aroused was used in the experiment for 3.19-5.40 minutes. The accuracy scores of Counting Span Task (CST), upper alpha ERD%, and theta ERS% were used to assess working memory of participants both before and after listening to pleasant Thai classical music. The results showed that the accuracy scores of CST and upper alpha ERD% in the frontal area of participants after listening to Thai classical music were significantly higher than before listening to Thai classical music (p < .05). Theta ERS% in the fronto-parietal network of participants after listening to Thai classical music was significantly lower than before listening to Thai classical music (p < .05).

Keywords: brain wave, elderly, pleasant Thai classical music, working memory

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451 Pedagogical Effects of Using Workbooks in English Classes for the TOEIC Test: A Study on ESL Learners in Japanese Colleges

Authors: Mikako Nobuhara

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The Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) test, conducted by the Institute for International Business Communication (IIBC), has a huge impact on education in Japan. Almost all college students have to submit their TOEIC test scores when applying for entry-level jobs at companies. In addition, an increasing number of colleges are encouraging students to have a global vision. For this specific reason, studying for the TOEIC test is essential for English as a second language (ESL) learner to develop English communication skills. This study shows that studying by using some workbooks about the listening section of the TOEIC test clearly helps ESL learners to develop their listening skills. For this purpose, the listening test scores before and after classroom sessions were analyzed for each student. Students obtained higher scores in the listening section of the test and improved their English listening skills at the end of all the classroom sessions. In conclusion, it is important for English teachers to achieve the following objectives: (1) facilitate the learning of effective methods for correctly solving questions based on listening skills and (2) prepare listening tasks for reading aloud so as to keep up with the original speed, which is required for solving questions in the TOEIC test.

Keywords: education, ESL, listening skills, TOEIC test

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450 The Effect of Metacognitive Think-Aloud Strategy on Form 1 Pupils’ Reading Comprehension Skills via DELIMa Platform

Authors: Fatin Khairani Khairul 'Azam

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Reading comprehension requires the formation of an articulate mental representation of the information in a text. It involves three interdepended elements—the reader, the text, and the activity, all situated into an extensive sociocultural context. Incorporating metacognitive think-aloud strategy into teaching reading comprehension would improve learners’ reading comprehension skills as it helps to monitor their thinking as they read. Furthermore, by integrating Digital Educational Learning Initiative Malaysia (DELIMa) platform in teaching reading comprehension, it can make the process interactive and fun. A quasi-experimental one-group pre-test post-test design was used to identify the effectiveness of using metacognitive think-aloud strategy via DELIMa platform in improving pupils’ reading comprehension performance and their perceptions towards reading comprehension. The participants of the study comprised 82 of form 1 pupils from a secondary school in Pasir Gudang, Johor, Malaysia. All participants were required to sit for pre-and post-tests to track their reading comprehension performance and perceptions. The findings revealed that incorporating metacognitive think-aloud strategy is an effective strategy in teaching reading comprehension as the performance of pupils in reading comprehension and their perceptions towards reading comprehension were improved during the post tests. It is hoped that the findings of the study would be useful to the teachers incorporating the same strategy in teaching to improve pupils' reading skills. It is suggested that future study should involve the motivation factor of the participants on incorporating think-aloud strategy into teaching reading comprehension as well.

Keywords: DELIMa Platform, ESL Learners, Metacognitive Strategy, Pupils' Perceptions, Reading Comprehension, Think-Aloud Strategy

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449 Using WebQuest for Developing English Reading Comprehension Skills for Preparatory Experimental School Students: Proposed Design

Authors: Sarah Hamdy Abd-Al Hamid Seyam

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The research aimed investigating the effect of using web quest on developing English reading comprehension skills for preparatory experimental school students. The descriptive design was adopted in the study. The tools of the study are represented in: a checklist for the English reading comprehension skills and a test of the English reading comprehension skills for the first year preparatory experimental school students. Results of the study were discussed in relation to various factors that affect the learning process. Finally the research presented applicable contributions according to using web quest in teaching English as a foreign language generally and improving reading comprehension in particular.

Keywords: English as a second language, preparatory experimental schools, reading comprehension, WebQuest

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448 The Development of Ability in Reading Comprehension Based on Metacognitive Strategies for Mattayom 3 Students

Authors: Kanlaya Ratanasuphakarn, Suttipong Boonphadung

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The research on the development of ability in reading comprehension based on metacognitive strategies aimed to (1) improve the students’development of ability in reading comprehension based on metacognitive strategies, (2) evaluate the students’ satisfaction on using metacognitive strategies in learning as a tool developing the ability in reading comprehension. Forty-eight of Mattayom 3 students who have enrolled in the subject of research for learning development of semester 2 in 2013 were purposively selected as the research cohort. The research tools were lesson plans for reading comprehension, pre-posttest and satisfaction questionnaire that were approved as content validity and reliability (IOC=.66-1.00,0.967). The research found that the development of ability in reading comprehension of the research samples before using metacognitive strategies in learning activities was in the normal high level. Additionally, the research discovered that the students’ satisfaction of the research cohort after applying model in learning activities appeared to be high level of satisfaction on using metacognitive strategies in learning as a tool for the development of ability in reading comprehension.

Keywords: development of ability, metacognitive strategies, satisfaction, reading comprehension

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447 Background Knowledge and Reading Comprehension in ELT Classes: A Pedagogical Perspective

Authors: Davoud Ansari Kejal, Meysam Sabour

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For long, there has been a belief that a reader can easily comprehend a text if he is strong enough in vocabulary and grammatical knowledge but there was no account for the ability of understanding different subjects based on readers’ understanding of the surrounding world which is called world background knowledge. This paper attempts to investigate the reading comprehension process applying the schema theory as an influential factor in comprehending texts, in order to prove the important role of background knowledge in reading comprehension. Based on the discussion, some teaching methods are suggested for employing world background knowledge for an elaborated teaching of reading comprehension in an active learning environment in EFL classes.

Keywords: background knowledge, reading comprehension, schema theory, ELT classes

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446 Investigating the Effect of Juncture on Comprehension among Adult Learners of English in Nigeria

Authors: Emmanuel Uba, Oluwasegun Omidiora, Eugenia Abiodun-Eniayekan

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The role of phonology on reading comprehension is long established in the literature. However, the vast majority of studies on the relationship between phonology and reading or comprehension among adults involve investigating the role of intonation, stress, and segmental knowledge on understanding texts. Not much attention is paid to junctural observation and its effect on the interpretation of texts. This study, therefore, presents a preliminary case-study investigation of the effect of juncture on comprehension of texts among adult Nigerian learners of English. Eighty adult learners of English in Nigeria were presented with fifteen seemingly ambiguous sentences to interpret. The sentences were structured in a way that pausing at different points would produce different interpretations. The results reveal that wrong application of pause is capable of affecting comprehension even when other phonological factors such as stress and intonation are observed properly.

Keywords: comprehension, juncture, phonology, reading

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445 Training in Communicational Skills in Students of Medicine: Differences in Bilingualism

Authors: Naiara Ozamiz Etcebarria, Sonia Ruiz De Azua Garcia, Agurtzane Ortiz Jauregi, Virginia Guillen Cañas

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Introduction: The most relevant competencies of a health professional are an adequate communication capacity, which will influence the satisfaction of professionals and patients, therapeutic compliance, conflict prevention, clinical outcomes´ improvement and efficiency of health services. The ability of Active listening , empathy, assertiveness and social skills, are important abilities to develop in all professions in which there is a relationship with other people. In the field of health, it is even more important to have adequate qualities so that the treatment with the patient will be adequate and satisfactory. We conducted a research with students of third year in the Degree of Medicine with the objectives: - to know how the active listening, empathy, assertiveness and social skills of students are. - to know if there are differences according to different demographic variables, such as sex, language, age, number of siblings and interest in the subject. Material and Methods: The students of the Third year in the Degree of Medicine (N = 212) participated voluntarily. Sociodemographic data were collected. Descriptive and comparative analysis of the averages of the students with respect to active listening, empathy, assertiveness and social skills were performed. Once the questionnaires were collected, they were entered into the SPSS 21 database. Four communicational aspects were evaluated: The active listening questionnaire, the TECA empathy questionnaire, the ACDA questionnaire and the EHS questionnaire Social Skills Scale. The active listening questionnaire assesses these factors: Listening without interruption and less contradiction, Listening with 100% attention, Listening beyond words, Listening encouraging the other to go deeper. The TECA questionnaire of cognitive and affective empathy evaluates: Adoption of perspectives, Emotional Comprehension, Emphasizing stress, Empathic joy. The EHS questionnaire Social Skills Scale: Self-expression in social situations, Defending one's own rights as a consumer, Expressing anger or dissatisfaction, Refusing to do and cutting interactions off, Making requests, Initiating positive interactions with the other sex. The ACDA questionnaire Assertiveness Assessment Scale evaluates self-assertiveness and heteroaservitivity. Applicability: To train these skills is so important for clinical practice of medical students and these capabilities that can be measured in a longitudinal way time. Ethical-legal aspects: The data were anonymous. The study was approved by the Ethics Committee. Results: The students of the Third year in the Degree of Medicine (34.4% Basque speakers and 65.6% Spanish speakers) with average age 20.93, (27.8% men and 72.2% women). There are no differences in social skills between men and women. The Basque speaker students of are more heteroactive (ACDA) than Spanish students. Active listening has a high correlation with social skills, especially with self-expression in social situations. Listening without interruption has a high correlation with self-expression in social situations and initiating positive interactions with the opposite sex. Adoption of perspectives presents a high correlation with auto- assertiveness. Emotional understanding presents a high correlation with positive interactions with the opposite sex. Empathic joy correlates with self-assertiveness, self-expression in social situations, and initiating positive interactions with the opposite sex.

Keywords: active listening, assertiveness, communicational skills, empathy, students of medicine

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444 Using 'Know, Want to Know, Learned' Strategy to Enhance the Seventh C Grade Students' Reading Comprehension Achievement at SMPN 1 Mumbulsari

Authors: Abdul Rofiq Badril Rizal M. Z.

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Reading becomes one of the most important skills in teaching and learning English. The purpose of this research was to improve the students' active participation, and reading comprehension achievement by using Know, Want to Know, Learned (KWL) strategy. The research design was Classroom Action Research. The area and participants of this research were chosen by using purposive method. The data were collected by observation, a reading comprehension test, interview, and documentation. The results showed that there was significant improvement in Cycle 1 to Cycle 2 of the research. In cycle 1, the students’ active participation increased 49.77% from 28% to 77.77. In addition, in cycle 2, the students’ active participation also increased by 14.17% from 77.77% to 81.94%. The students’ reading comprehension achievement also increased by 52.14% from 25% to 77.14% in Cycle 1 and increased by 5.71% from 77.14% to 82.85% in cycle 2. It indicated that using Know, Want to Know, Learned (KWL) strategy could enhance the Seventh C grade students’ descriptive text reading comprehension achievement, and active participation.

Keywords: active participation, reading comprehension, classroom action research, Indonesian folktales

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443 The Role of Vocabulary in Reading Comprehension

Authors: Engku Haliza Engku Ibrahim, Isarji Sarudin, Ainon Jariah Muhamad

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It is generally agreed that many factors contribute to one’s reading comprehension and there is consensus that vocabulary size one of the main factors. This study explores the relationship between second language learners’ vocabulary size and their reading comprehension scores. 130 Malay pre-university students of a public university participated in this study. They were students of an intensive English language programme doing preparatory English courses to pursue bachelors degree in English. A quantitative research method was employed based on the Vocabulary Levels Test by Nation (1990) and the reading comprehension score of the in-house English Proficiency Test. A review of the literature indicates that a somewhat positive correlation is to be expected though findings of this study can only be explicated once the final analysis has been carried out. This is an ongoing study and it is anticipated that results of this research will be finalized in the near future. The findings will help provide beneficial implications for the prediction of reading comprehension performance. It also has implications for the teaching of vocabulary in the ESL context. A better understanding of the relationship between vocabulary size and reading comprehension scores will enhance teachers’ and students’ awareness of the importance of vocabulary acquisition in the L2 classroom.

Keywords: vocabulary size, vocabulary learning, reading comprehension, ESL

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442 The Effectiveness of Computerized Dynamic Listening Assessment Informed by Attribute-Based Mediation Model

Authors: Yaru Meng

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The study contributes to the small but growing literature around computerized approaches to dynamic assessment (C-DA), wherein individual items are accompanied by mediating prompts. Mediation in the current computerized dynamic listening assessment (CDLA) was informed by an attribute-based mediation model (AMM) that identified the underlying L2 listening cognitive abilities and associated descriptors. The AMM served to focus mediation during C-DA on particular cognitive abilities with a goal of specifying areas of learner difficulty. 86 low-intermediate L2 English learners from a university in China completed three listening assessments, with an experimental group receiving the CLDA system and a control group a non-dynamic assessment. As an assessment, the use of the AMM in C-DA generated detailed diagnoses for each learner. In addition, both within- and between-group repeated ANOVA found greater gains at the level of specific attributes among C-DA learners over the course of a 5-week study. Directions for future research are discussed.

Keywords: computerized dynamic assessment, effectiveness, English as foreign language listening, attribute-based mediation model

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441 The Relationship between Rhythmic Complexity and Listening Engagement as a Proxy for Perceptual Interest

Authors: Noah R. Fram

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Although it has been confirmed by multiple studies, the inverted-U relationship between stimulus complexity and preference (liking) remains contentious. Research aimed at substantiating the model are largely reliant upon anecdotal self-assessments of subjects and basic measures of complexity, leaving potential confounds unresolved. This study attempts to address the topic by assessing listening time as a behavioral correlate of liking (with the assumption that engagement prolongs listening time) and by looking for latent factors underlying several measures of rhythmic complexity. Participants listened to groups of rhythms, stopping each one when they started to lose interest and were asked to rate each rhythm in each group in terms of interest, complexity, and preference. Subjects were not informed that the time spent listening to each rhythm was the primary measure of interest. The hypothesis that listening time does demonstrate the same inverted-U relationship with complexity as verbal reports of liking was confirmed using a variety of metrics for rhythmic complexity, including meter-dependent measures of syncopation and meter-independent measures of entropy.

Keywords: complexity, entropy, rhythm, syncopation

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440 Students’ Perception and Patterns of Listening Behaviour in an Online Forum Discussion

Authors: K. L. Wong, I. N. Umar

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Online forum is part of a Learning Management System (LMS) environment in which students share opinions. This study attempts to investigate the perceptions of students towards online forum and their patterns of listening behaviour during the forum interaction. The students’ perceptions were measured using a questionnaire, in which seven dimensions were used including online experience, benefits of forum participation, cost of participation, perceived ease of use, usefulness, attitude and intention. Meanwhile, their patterns of listening behaviours were obtained using the log file extracted from the LMS. A total of 25 postgraduate students undertaking a course were involved in this study, and their activities in the forum session were recorded by the LMS and used as a log file. The results from the questionnaire analysis indicated that the students perceived that the forum is easy to use, useful, and bring benefits to them. Also, they showed positive attitude towards online forum, and they have the intention to use it in future. Based on the log data, the participants were also divided into six clusters of listening behaviour, in which they are different in terms of temporality, breadth, depth and speaking level. The findings were compared to previous clusters grouping and future recommendations are also discussed.

Keywords: e-learning, learning management system, listening behavior, online forum

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439 Developing the Skills of Reading Comprehension of Learners of English as a Second Language

Authors: Indu Gamage

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Though commonly utilized as a language improvement technique, reading has not been fully employed by both language teachers and learners to develop reading comprehension skills in English as a second language. In a Sri Lankan context, this area has to be delved deep into as the learners’ show more propensity to analyze. Reading comprehension is an area that most language teachers and learners struggle with though it appears easy. Most ESL learners engage in reading tasks without being properly aware of the objective of doing reading comprehension. It is observed that when doing reading tasks, the language learners’ concern is more on the meanings of individual words than on the overall comprehension of the given text. The passiveness with which the ESL learners engage themselves in reading comprehension makes reading a tedious task for the learner thereby giving the learner a sense of disappointment at the end. Certain reading tasks take the form of translations. The active cognitive participation of the learner in the mode of using productive strategies for predicting, employing schemata and using contextual clues seems quite less. It was hypothesized that the learners’ lack of knowledge of the productive strategies of reading was the major obstacle that makes reading comprehension a tedious task for them. This study is based on a group of 30 tertiary students who read English only as a fundamental requirement for their degree. They belonged to the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka. Almost all learners hailed from areas where English was hardly utilized in their day to day conversations. The study is carried out in the mode of a questionnaire to check their opinions on reading and a test to check whether the learners are using productive strategies of reading when doing reading comprehension tasks. The test comprised reading questions covering major productive strategies for reading. Then the results were analyzed to see the degree of their active engagement in comprehending the text. The findings depicted the validity of the hypothesis as grounds behind the difficulties related to reading comprehension.

Keywords: reading, comprehension, skills, reading strategies

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438 The Effect of Using Mobile Listening Applications on Listening Skills of Iranian Intermediate EFL Learners

Authors: Mahmoud Nabilu

Abstract:

The present study explored the effect of using Mobile listening applications on developing listening skills by Iranian intermediate EFL learners. Fifty male intermediate English learners whose age range was between 15 and 20, participated in the study. The participants were placed in two groups on the basis of their scores on a placement test. Therefore, the participants of the study were homogenized in terms of general proficiency, and groups were assigned as one experimental group and one control group. The experimental group was instructed by the treatment which was using mobile applications to develop their listening skills while the control group received traditional methods. The research data were obtained from the 40-item multiple-choice tests as a pre-test and a post-test. The results of the t-test clearly revealed that the learners in the experimental group performed better in the post-test than the pre-test. This implies that using a mobile application for developing listening skills as a treatment was effective in helping the language learners perform better on post-test. However, a statistically significant difference was found between the post-tests scores of the two groups. The mean of the experimental group was greater compared to the control group. The participants were Iranian and from an Iranian Language Institute, so care should be taken while generalizing the results to the learners of other nationalities. However, in the researcher's view, the findings of this study have valuable implications for teachers and learners, methodologists and syllabus designers, linguists and MALL/CALL (mobile/computer-assisted language learning) experts. Using the result of the present paper is an aim of raising the consciousness of a better technique of developing listening skills in order to make language learning more efficient for the learners.

Keywords: Mobile listening applications, intermediate EFL learners, MALL, CALL

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437 The Impact of Content Familiarity of Receptive Skills on Language Learning

Authors: Sara Fallahi

Abstract:

This paper reviews the importance of content familiarity of receptive skills and offers solutions to the issue of content unfamiliarity in language learning materials. Presently, language learning materials are mainly comprised of global issues and target language speakers’ culture(s) in receptive skills. This might leadlearners to focus on content rather than the language. As a solution, materials on receptive skills can be developed with a focus on learners’culture and social concerns, especially in the beginner levels of learning. Language learners often learn their target language through the receptive skills of listening and reading before language production ensues through speaking and writing. Students’ journey from receptive skills to productive skills is mainly concentrated on by teachers. There are barriers to language learning, such as time and energy, that can hinder learners’ understanding and ability to build the required background knowledge of the content. This is generated due to learners’ unfamiliarity with the skill’s content. Therefore, materials that improve content familiarity will help learners improve their language comprehension, learning, and usage. This presentation will conclude with practical solutions to help teachers and learners more authentically integrate language and culture to elevate language learning.

Keywords: language learning, listening content, reading content, content familiarity, ESL books, language learning books, cultural familiarity

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436 Analogical Reasoning on Preschoolers’ Linguistic Performance

Authors: Yenie Norambuena

Abstract:

Analogical reasoning is a cognitive process that consists of structured comparisons of mental representations and scheme construction. Because of its heuristic function, it is ubiquitous in cognition and could play an important role in language development. The use of analogies is expressed early in children and this behavior is also reflected in language, suggesting a possible way to understand the complex links between thought and language. The current research examines factors of verbal and non-verbal reasoning that should be taken into consideration in the study of language development for their relations and predictive value. The study was conducted with 48 Chilean preschoolers (Spanish speakers) from 4 to 6-year-old. We assessed children’s verbal analogical reasoning, non-verbal analogical reasoning and linguistics skills (Listening Comprehension, Phonemic awareness, Alphabetic principle, Syllabification, Lexical repetition and Lexical decision). The results evidenced significant correlations between analogical reasoning factors and linguistic skills and they can predict linguistic performance mainly on oral comprehension, lexical decision and phonological skills. These findings suggest a fundamental interrelationship between analogical reasoning and linguistic performance on children’s and points to the need to consider this cognitive process in comprehensive theories of children's language development.

Keywords: verbal analogical reasoning, non-verbal analogical reasoning, linguistic skills, language development

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435 A Rational Intelligent Agent to Promote Metacognition a Situation of Text Comprehension

Authors: Anass Hsissi, Hakim Allali, Abdelmajid Hajami

Abstract:

This article presents the results of a doctoral research which aims to integrate metacognitive dimension in the design of human learning computing environments (ILE). We conducted a detailed study on the relationship between metacognitive processes and learning, specifically their positive impact on the performance of learners in the area of reading comprehension. Our contribution is to implement methods, using an intelligent agent based on BDI paradigm to ensure intelligent and reliable support for low readers, in order to encourage regulation and a conscious and rational use of their metacognitive abilities.

Keywords: metacognition, text comprehension EIAH, autoregulation, BDI agent

Procedia PDF Downloads 243