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A Comparison of Active and Interactive Listening in Secondary School Foreign Language Classrooms in Belgium and Turkey

Boek - Dissertatie

A Comparison of Active and Interactive Listening in Secondary School Foreign Language Classrooms in Belgium and TurkeyWhile central to language learning, listening comprehension is the least understood and least researched skill (Vandergrift, 2007). There are many reasons for this, among which is the fact that listening is the most internalized (making it difficult to observe) and teacher-centered skill (Field, 2009); in addition, as listening material has a nonrecursive nature, learners find it difficult to control their comprehension processes.There is a clear need to revise the current approach to second language (L2) listening education in such ways that increase interaction about auditory input and give learners greater control over their own processes (Field, 2009) to move the skill from being 'isolated' to 'interactive' and the listener from being 'passive' to 'active'. Thus, this study aimed to create new insights in L2 Listening education by investigating the effects of collaboration and self-controlling the audio on listening comprehension in the foreign language classroom. The literature reviewed for this study included studies related to self-access/control on the one hand and collaboration/interaction in L2 listening classroom on the other hand.1.Listener autonomy/self-controlMany studies about listening are based on what students report while listening (think-aloud technique), or while listening to an oral text (Vandergrift, 2003). However, Roussel (2011) conducted a computer-assisted study to analyze the process actions of listeners. She recorded the movements of students on the PC via a screen recording software package. She analyzed the data and time courses of mouse clicks as a good indicator of metacognitive activity. She found a relationship between the type of linguistic features and self-regulation strategies.2.Peer-peer dialogueSeveral studies, mainly set up from a sociocultural perspective, have studied collaborative dialogue in L2 classrooms, but few have addressed listening skills directly.Garcia and Ascension (2001) examined the effects of interaction on the participants' performance of a post-listening activity. They found that interaction can help improve listening comprehension, and students were found to provide scaffolding for each other by questioning language use and repairing grammatical forms.3.Self-control and peer-peer dialogue combinedDespite some literature existing on the impact of autonomy and peer interaction on listening comprehension, most of these studies involve adult learners and have reported results on a particular proficiency level and cultural background. It is highly unclear whether autonomy and peer interaction make a positive difference for secondary-level foreign language (FL) learners from internationally comparative aspects, regarding different proficiency levels and cultural backgrounds, in terms of enhancing their listening comprehension. To address this gap, the current study was conducted in two different countries on students with two different proficiency levels and cultural backgrounds; the aim was to shed new light on issues related to autonomy and peer interaction as two vital elements of a holistic and up-to-date approach in a foreign language classroom from an international perspective.The main questions guiding this dissertation were as follows:What is the effect of self-control of the audio equipment on secondary school students' performance on an English listening task?What is the effect of peer interaction with and without self-control of the audio equipment on secondary school students' performance on an English listening task?What are common listening comprehension issues of pairs with and without self-control of the audio equipment?Based on the available literature, I formulated the following hypotheses:(I) Learners who are granted autonomy can more effectively check and repair their comprehension breakdowns compared with listeners without the option to self-control the audio equipment during listening exercises. Therefore, autonomy is expected to have a positive effect on FL listening comprehension.(II) Learners who work with a peer during an FL listening comprehension task perform significantly better compared with learners who do not.(III) Because autonomy and peer interaction are both believed to enhance FL listening comprehension, learners who are given both control over the audio equipment and the opportunity to interact with a peer are expected to demonstrate significantly better performance on listening tasks and fewer listening comprehension problems compared with students who are given one or neither of these options.The first study involved 67 Flemish learners, while the second study involved 97 Turkish learners of English as a foreign language. Students were in the 6th grade of Flemish and 4th grade of Turkish secondary education, both of which equal the last year of compulsory education, with students being aged 16-18 years. As for gender, in Belgium, 36 were boys and 31 were girls; and in Turkey, 39 were boys and 58 were girls. Students were enrolled in three different secondary schools in Leuven, Belgium, and two different secondary schools in Istanbul, Turkey.Before the actual experiment, the students' level of language proficiency was tested through the Key English Test (KET) (Cambridge University Examinations, 2013) and found to have reached the A2 level in Belgium, while their Turkish counterparts were found to have an A1 level of listening comprehension. Next, they performed the actual task under four different conditions:Individuals: Students worked as individuals without having any extra options.Individuals with self-control: Students worked as individuals having the opportunity to self-control the audio during the task.Pairs: Students worked in pairs but without self-controlling the input during the task.Pairs with self-control: Students had a peer to work with and were also provided with PCs to self-control the input as much as they wanted while performing the task.A replication of the same study was conducted in Belgium and Turkey. The data were analyzed in terms of descriptive and inferential statistics. Two-way analyses of variance were conducted for results in Belgium and Turkey to examine the simultaneous effect of the self-control option and pair work option on the listening performance (task scores) of students.In Belgium, no significant interactions between the effects of self-control on listening performance or pair work were found. However, in Turkey, significant interactions between the effects of self-control on listening performance and pair work were found.This study highlights the importance of learner awareness and the capability to operate the listening processes. Self-control data revealed that the more the option was used for definitive purposes, the better the outcomes it brought. Interaction data showed that when students used the collaboration option more in exchanging answers rather than pooling their sources to discuss comprehension breakdowns, this did not change the performance. However, when they used the option to scaffold each other, they performed significantly better than their counterparts. Last but not least, the positive effect of self-control on peer interaction and vice versa was revealed in both of the countries.
Jaar van publicatie:2021
Toegankelijkheid:Embargoed
Embargoed until:19/10/2022