L2 Listening Comprehension: Is it a Language Problem or Listening Problem?

Mostafa El-dali

Abstract


In a foreign language environment, students typically have limited exposure to the language outside formal classrooms. Therefore, their ability to comprehend spoken English may be limited. To add to this problem, L2 learners often regard listening as the most difficult language skill to learn. On the other hand, it is noticeable that L2 listening remains the least researched of all four language skills. Accordingly, the present study is based on the commonly believed premises that (1) investigating the listening comprehension process can provide useful insights into teaching listening and (2) learners who learn to control their listening process can enhance their comprehension, and their overall proficiency may be highly developed.

The present study reports on the results of an empirical study on forty-six L2 learners of English. The subjects were equally divided into two groups. The first group (N=23) represents first year students (Beginners) in the Department of English at the Faculty of Education, Menufia University, Egypt. The second group (N=23) represents fourth year students (Advanced) in the same department. The major question that this study attempts to answer is “whether listening comprehension a language problem or listening problem?” The instruments of this study consist of five tasks: pre-test, questionnaire, classroom instruction sessions, post-test, and interviews. The data analysis had a quantitative and a qualitative part. Results were obtained and conclusions were made.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/elr.v6n1p14

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