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The Effects of Notetaking, Lecture Length, and Topic on a Computer-Based Test of ESL Listening Comprehension
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Applied Language Learning Volume 14, ISSN 1041-679X

Abstract

With the goal of improving the reliability and validity of tests of English as a foreign language, in particular with respect to the question of whether to allow notetaking on EFL/ESL computer-based listening comprehension tests, the present study examined the effects on ESL listening comprehension of notetaking (allowed or disallowed) in relation to lecture length (minitalks of 2.5 or 5 minutes) and topic (arts/humanities or physical sciences). A listener aptitude variable, overall English listening comprehension proficiency, was also examined. Two hundred and thirty-four ESL students took tests of computer-based (CB) listening comprehension and the listening comprehension section of a disclosed paper-and-pencil TOEFL. Results of the post-listening comprehension assessment revealed: (1) interaction between notetaking and topic: on arts/humanities topics listeners performed least well when no notetaking was allowed, better when notetaking was allowed, and about the same on physical science topics whether notetaking was allowed or disallowed; (2) interaction between notetaking and lecture length: on short lectures listeners performed better when notetaking was allowed, less well when notetaking was not allowed, and about the same on longer lectures whether notetaking was allowed or not. No statistically significant differences in the pattern of results were found when overall English listening comprehension proficiency was factored into the 2 (notetaking) X 2 (lecture length) X 2 (topic) ANOVA-R model. Results of the study have implications for allowing notetaking on computer-based testing of listening comprehension, especially the computer-based TOEFL.

Citation

Carrell, P.L., Dunkel, P.A. & Mollaun, P. The Effects of Notetaking, Lecture Length, and Topic on a Computer-Based Test of ESL Listening Comprehension. Applied Language Learning, 14, 83-105. Retrieved September 15, 2019 from .

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