Understanding Videotext: Listening Strategy Use by Adult Mandarin-Chinese English Language Learners
Jason Slimon, University of Kansas, United States
University of Kansas . Awarded
A vast number of news video listening materials are now easily accessible to English language learners (ELLs) due to developments in broadcast and multimedia technology. While little is known about how ELLs attempt to comprehend this challenging medium, researchers agree on the critical nature of listening skills, which researchers have placed at the heart of second language acquisition (Rost, 2002; Vandergrift, 2007; Wolvin & Coakley, 2000). This study sought to identify the listening strategies (i.e., language learning strategies, LLS) that adult intermediate to advanced level, native Mandarin Chinese-speaking ELLs use to comprehend authentic short documentary-style news video listening materials (i.e. videotexts). Linguistic knowledge (i.e. grammatical and structural knowledge) has been found to have a potentially large influence on strategy use (Santos, Graham, & Vanderplank, 2008). Thus a standardized measure was used to assess subjects' linguistic knowledge and listening proficiency. This was done to determine if differences exist in how subjects (n = 27) with lower and higher abilities in these two areas use listening strategies. Immediate retrospective verbal reports (i.e. subjects' verbal reports during pauses while listening) were used to collect data about the strategies. The data were then transcribed, coded, and quantitatively analyzed to answer three research questions. A written free recall measure was used to assess subjects' comprehension of the operational videotext and to help answer three research questions. Key results include subjects with higher listening proficiency using significantly more bottom-up and total strategies as well as recalling significantly more audio-only idea units while also recalling significantly fewer image-only idea units. Linguistic knowledge was not found to have a strong quantitative relationship with strategy use. All results are discussed in order to contribute to future research and curricular development in the area of listening strategies and the use of videotext for educational purposes.
Slimon, J. Understanding Videotext: Listening Strategy Use by Adult Mandarin-Chinese English Language Learners. Ph.D. thesis, University of Kansas.
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