Observed Mental Processing Patterns in Good EFL Listeners and Poor EFL Listeners

Ching-ning Chien, Nicholas Van Heyst
2014 Journal of Language Teaching and Research  
The purpose of this study aims to gain a better understanding of EFL learners' actual use of learning strategies in listening comprehension. One hundred and sixty-five sampled students from different disciplines participated in the study. They completed the whole process of survey and assessment, which included an MEPT English proficiency test, think-aloud protocol and immediate recall interviews. The study involved two groups which were distinguished based on listening comprehension scores
more » ... ehension scores from the MEPT; namely, those who scored greater than 70% and those who scored lower than 50%. By examining apparent differences in the strategies used by each group during the listening interpretation, the study found that even within these differences a common thread could be seen. There were three major commonalities that emerged as students worked to develop meaningful patterns from the listening content. A number of conclusions can be drawn from the data. First, good EFL listeners use more strategies than poor EFL listeners. Secondly, both groups appear to switch strategies at the point in which the one they were using fails to fulfill its purpose; however, the poor listeners gave up trying sooner. Thirdly, both groups appear to be using the available information to develop a discernible pattern. This study suggests that strategy use is not the most important factor that separates good listeners from poor listeners. Rather, failure to recognize audio linguistic clues and cultural scripts seem to be more important causes of comprehension failure.
doi:10.4304/jltr.5.3.599-605 fatcat:zcm5vxhspjfkffx4oxswtmj7zi