Articles

Vol. 3, No. 3 (May 2015)

 

A Comparison of Normal and Moderately Slow Speech Rates: Listening to Students' Voices in Listening Comprehension Classes in EFL Context

Dr. Khadijeh Jafari, Islamic Azad University, Gorgan Branch, Iran

Prof. Fatimah Hashim, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

International Journal of Foreign Language Teaching in the Islamic World (FLTJ), 3(3), 5-11.      Download Full Text

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of practicing listening comprehension at a moderately slow speech rate (approximately 130 wpm) as compared with speech delivered at a normal rate (approximately 160 wpm) on listening comprehension of tertiary EFL learners. Seventy-two second-year university students at higher and lower listening proficiency levels were randomly assigned to either the moderately slow or normal speech rate groups. At the outset of the study, both groups were measured on a listening pretest. The pretest scores were used as a covariate to adjust for the initial difference in listening proficiency. Both groups listened to identical listening materials for five weeks; the only difference was on the speed of the listening passages. ANCOVA results showed that the students practiced listening at a moderately slow rate demonstrated significant improvement in the listening comprehension posttest while the other group did not; moreover, the interaction effects between speech rates and listening proficiency levels on the students’ listening comprehension scores were significant. The qualitative findings from the interviews showed that listening to normal speech rates is demanding for both higher and lower listening proficiency students while in the moderately slow speech rate group, both groups found the rate appropriate for improving their listening comprehension.

Key words: Listening comprehension; Normal and moderately slow speech rate; EFL students



 

Exploring EFL Listening Strategies among Iranian Junior High School Students

Dr. Afsaneh Ghanizadeh, Imam Reza International University, Mashhad, Iran

Ms. Soghra Babaei Moghadam, Imam Reza International University, Mashhad, Iran

International Journal of Foreign Language Teaching in the Islamic World (FLTJ), 3(3), 12-17.      Download Full Text

Abstract

The main goal of this study was to validate a listening strategies (LSQ) questionnaire for Iranian EFL learners at the beginning level of English learning and to identify the listening strategies of junior high school students. The Persian version of LSQ was administered to 200 high school students in Mashhad. The scale designed based on Vandergrift’s (1997a) listening strategies model measured the perceived use of listening strategies and processes underlying three factors including, cognitive strategies (i.e., linguistic inferencing and problem solving), metacognitive strategies (i.e., planning and monitoring listening comprehension), and affective strategies (i.e., motivation and anxiety).The results of Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) and reliability indices demonstrated the validity and reliability of the scale. Among 21 items, one item did not have acceptable factor loading. So, this item was discarded and this resulted in a more refined version of the scale comprising 20 items. It was also found that that the students at the beginning level of English learning employed cognitive and metacognitive strategies more frequently than socio-affective strategies in their listening classes.

Key words: Listening strategies; Novice EFL learners; CFA; Validation



 

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