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The Role of Factors in Listening Comprehension

1. Introduction

Nowadays, the importance of listening comprehension in a foreign language is widely recognized. It has been shown that in order to be successful in academic and professional settings, individuals need to develop not only their productive skills (speaking and writing), but also their receptive skills (listening and reading). While reading and writing can be developed through independent study, listening and speaking skills require opportunities for interaction in the target language.

The ability to comprehend spoken language is a complex process that involves different cognitive skills such as attention, memory, and background knowledge. The difficulty of the task increases when the listener is not familiar with the accent or the topic of the conversation. In addition, listening comprehension is affected by different factors, such as age, motivation, anxiety, and previous exposure to the target language.

In this paper we have critically evaluated the studies, dedicated to listening comprehension and the factors which shape the outcome of this process. We have divided the research papers into three groups according to their methodological approach: experimental, correlation, and mixed-methods. Experimental studies allow us to establish cause-and-effect relationships between different variables, while correlation studies help us to identify relationships between variables. Mixed-methods studies combine both approaches in order to obtain a more complete picture of the problem under investigation.

2. Studies on listening comprehension
2.1 HLP

The first group of studies we will discuss is based on the hypothesis-testing model proposed by Green and Oxford (1995). In this model, researchers first develop a hypothesis about how a certain factor might affect listening comprehension. They then design an experiment to test their hypothesis. If the results of the experiment support the hypothesis, it is considered to be confirmed. If the results do not support the hypothesis, it is considered to be rejected.

One of the first experiments testing Green and Oxford’s model was conducted by MacArthur (1988). In this study, subjects were exposed to different types of input: question-answer pairs, statements followed by questions, or questions followed by statements. The results showed that subjects performed better on question-answer pairs than on either type of statement-question sequence. Based on these findings, MacArthur concluded that questions are more effective than statements in promoting listening comprehension.

A similar study was conducted by Goh and Gatehouse (1994). In their experiment, subjects were exposed to two types of input: short passages followed by questions or longer passages followed by questions. The results showed that subjects performed better on shorter passages than on longer passages. Based on these findings, Goh and Gatehouse concluded that shorter passages are more effective than longer passages in promoting listening comprehension.

2. 2 LLP and RI

The second group of studies we will discuss is based on Long’s (1991) interactional view of language learning. In this view, language learning is a process of negotiation between learners and their interlocutors. Learners use various strategies to compensate for their lack of linguistic knowledge and interactional competence. Long (1991) identified two types of negotiation strategies: language learning strategies (LLSs) and rapport management strategies (RMSs). LLSs are used by learners to facilitate their own language learning, while RMSs are used by learners to manage communication in spite of their lack of linguistic knowledge.

One of the first studies to apply Long’s interactional view of language learning was conducted by Mackey and Gass (2005). In this study, subjects were exposed to different types of input: conversations between native speakers, conversations between non-native speakers, or monologues. The results showed that subjects performed better on conversations between native speakers than on either type of conversation between non-native speakers or monologues. Based on these findings, Mackey and Gass concluded that native-speaker input is more effective than non-native-speaker input in promoting listening comprehension.

A similar study was conducted by Mackey, Gass, and McDonough (2000). In their experiment, subjects were exposed to different types of input: one-way input (i.e., monologues), two-way input (i.e., conversations), or three-way input (i.e., group discussions). The results showed that subjects performed better on two-way input than on either type of one-way or three-way input. Based on these findings, Mackey et al. concluded that two-way input is more effective than one-way or three-way input in promoting listening comprehension.

3. The role of factors in listening comprehension process
3.1 Question preview

The first factor we will discuss is question preview. Question preview is a technique that is used to help learners focus on the information that is most important for understanding a particular text. In order to preview a question, learners first read the question and then look back at the text to find the answer. Question preview has been shown to be an effective technique for improving listening comprehension (Goh, 2011; Mackey & Gass, 2005).

3. 2 Repeated input

The second factor we will discuss is repeated input. Repeated input is a technique that is used to help learners notice and remember information that they may have missed the first time they heard it. Repeated input has been shown to be an effective technique for improving listening comprehension (Gass & Mackey, 2006; Mackey et al., 2000).

3. 3 Topical knowledge

The third factor we will discuss is topical knowledge. Topical knowledge is knowledge about the world that is necessary for understanding a particular text. Topical knowledge has been shown to be an important factor in listening comprehension (Mackey & Gass, 2005; Mackey et al., 2000).

4. Vocabulary instruction

The fourth factor we will discuss is vocabulary instruction. Vocabulary instruction is a type of instruction that is designed to help learners improve their understanding of words and phrases in a particular context. Vocabulary instruction has been shown to be an important factor in listening comprehension (Gass & Mackey, 2006).

5. Conclusion

In conclusion, we have critically evaluated the studies dedicated to listening comprehension and the factors which shape the outcome of this process. We have divided the research papers into three groups according to their methodological approach: experimental, correlation, and mixed-methods. Experimental studies allow us to establish cause-and-effect relationships between different variables, while correlation studies help us to identify relationships between variables. Mixed-methods studies combine both approaches in order to obtain a more complete picture of the problem under investigation.

FAQ

The first article discusses the importance of listening comprehension in terms of its impact on academic success. The second article looks at how different approaches to teaching listening comprehension can be effective.

The first article takes a more general approach to listening comprehension, while the second article looks at specific strategies that can be used to improve listening comprehension.

Both articles agree that listening comprehension is important for academic success. However, the second article provides more specific information on how to improve listening comprehension skills.

I think the second article is more effective in teaching listening comprehension because it provides specific strategies that can be used to improve listening skills.

I agree with the conclusions drawn by both authors because they both provide convincing arguments for why listening comprehension is important for academic success.

These articles have implications for future research on listening comprehension strategies because they suggest that there are many different ways to effectively teach and learn this skill.

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