An Investigation of listening comprehension strategies in intermediate level Turkish EFL students
Stalker, James C.
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Listening comprehension is viewed as an active process in which individuals focus on selected aspects of aural input, construct meaning from passages, and relate what they hear to existing knowledge. This theoretical view has not been sufficiently supported by empirical research which clarifies what the listeners actually do when they engage in a listening task. The mental processes that take place during an aural input are known as listening comprehension strategies. This study focused on listening comprehension strategies of EFL learners in a foreign environment. The differences in strategy usage between good and poor listeners were investigated. The subjects in this study were all from Turkish backgrounds, intermediate in English proficiency, university graduates from different majors. They were enrolled in prep classes at Karadeniz Technical University, Trabzon, in order to reach a sufficient level of proficiency to be able to use English references for their academic needs. Data were collected through an interview guide which included questions asked to the subjects during individual interview sessions. Findings indicated that good listeners and poor listeners engaged in different mental processes during the listening activities. The main strategy types that differentiated good listeners from poor listeners were self reinforcement, elaboration, transfer, contextualization, resourcing, and questioning for clarification. Translation was found the most predominant strategy type employed by poor listeners, whereas it was used infrequently by good listeners.