Listening is typically the first language skill to develop in first language (L1) users and has been recognized as a basic and fundamental tool for communication. Despite the importance of listening, aural abilities are often taken for granted, and many people overlook their dependency on listening and the complexities that combine to enable this multi-faceted skill. When second language (L2) students are learning their new language, listening is crucial, as it provides access to oral input and facilitates social interaction. Yet L2 students find listening challenging, and L2 teachers often lack sufficient pedagogy to help learners develop listening abilities that they can use in and beyond the classroom. In an effort to provide a pedagogic alternative to more traditional and limited L2 listening instruction, this thesis investigated the viability of listening strategy instruction (LSI) over three semesters at a private university in Japan through a qualitative action research (AR) intervention. An LSI program was planned and implemented with six classes over the course of three AR phases. Two teachers used the LSI with 121 learners throughout the project. Following each AR phase, student and teacher perceptions of the methodology were investigated via questionnaires and interviews, which were primary data collection methods. Secondary research methods (class observations, pre/post-semester test scores, and a research journal) supplemented the primary methods. Data were analyzed and triangulated for emerging themes related to participants’ perceptions of LSI and the viability thereof. These data showed consistent positive perceptions of LSI on the parts of both learners and teachers, although some aspects of LSI required additional refinement. This project provided insights on LSI specific to the university context in Japan and also produced principles for LSI program planning and implementation that can inform the broader L2 education community.
|Date of Award||16 Jul 2014|
|Supervisor||Anne C Burns (Supervisor)|
- action research
- listening pedagogy
- second langauge acquisition