Gains to L2 Listeners Listening While Reading

Gains to L2 Listeners Listening While Reading

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  • Date Submitted: 10/15/2013 6:03 AM
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System 37 (2009) 652–663

Gains to L2 listeners from reading while listening vs. listening only in comprehending short stories
Anna C.-S. Chang
Applied English Department, Hsing-Wu College, Taipei, Taiwan Received 13 August 2008; received in revised form 30 November 2008; accepted 6 May 2009

Abstract This study builds on the concept that aural–written verification helps L2 learners develop auditory discrimination skills, refine word recognition and gain awareness of form–meaning relationships, by comparing two modes of aural input: reading while listening (R/L) vs. listening only (L/O). Two test tasks (sequencing and gap filling) of 95 items, and a short questionnaire of immediate post-test perceptions were administered to 84 college students after listening to two stories of equal length and level. Overall test results show that students gained only 10% more with the R/L mode; however, students showed a strong preference for the R/L mode. The majority of the students perceived that listening in the R/L mode made listening tasks easier, the duration seem shorter, the stories more interesting, and they paid much better attention. With such a strong and positive effect on L2 listening, this study suggests R/L aural input mode could be used to develop L2 learners’ listening proficiency in the long run rather than merely to boost test scores in the short term. Teaching suggestions and scope for future research are also provided. Ó 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Listening comprehension; Listening perceptions; L2 listening; Simultaneous listening and reading; Reading while listening

1. Introduction Aural input plays an essential role in second language learning and acquisition, and research has shown that a major difference between more and less successful learners lies in their ability to use listening as a means of acquisition (Vandergrift, 1999). Although the quantity...

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