ERG SES H 03, Language and Education
The starting point of this study is that listening is the least understood, taught and researched skill (Vandergrift, 2007, 2010) even if it is the most widely used language skill in foreign language acquisition (FLA) (Nunan, 2003). In language classrooms, it is like Cinderella which has been often disregarded by its half-sister, speaking (Nunan, 2002). It is usually considered as a passive activity in which the listener soaks up what the speaker sent like a sponge (Lucas, 2007). Most of language teachers and researchers are not generally concerned with listening because of its implicit and complex nature. In addition to this tendency, listening is often perceived as one of the most difficult language skills by FL learners (Graham, 2003) and, accordingly, it becomes a source of anxiety for many of them. To help learners reduce their listening anxiety level and improve listening performance it is important to firstly gain better insight into what factors are linked to FL listening anxiety. This study therefore focuses on whether metacognitive awareness is related to FL listening anxiety.
The term ‘metacognition’ was coined by Flavell (1976). He defined it as “one’s knowledge concerning one’s own cognitive processes and products or anything related to them” (p.232). Metacognition plays a crucial role in language learning. The learners using metacognition have knowledge of their own and others’ cognitive processes. They are aware of what they know and what they do not know (Dunlosky and Metcalfe, 2009). Paris and Winograd (1990) state that the learners using metacognition can monitor their own learning, thus shifting part of the responsibility from teacher to student. They also claim that the students utilizing metacognition develop positive self-perceptions and become motivated. According to Anderson (2008), “metacognition results in critical but healthy reﬂection and evaluation of thinking that may result in making speciﬁc changes in how learning is managed, and in the strategies chosen for this purpose” (p.99). In this regard, this study mainly aims to measure language learners’ metacognitive awareness with regard to listening and to seek its relationship with listening anxiety. The research questions of the study are as follows:
1. Is there a relationship between the metacognitive awareness and the anxiety of EFL listeners?
2. Is there a gender difference in the anxiety levels of EFL listeners?
3. Is there a gender difference in the metacognitive awareness of EFL listeners?
Research design An explanatory correlational research design was implemented to answer the research questions of the current study. An explanatory correlational research design is described as “a correlational design in which the researcher is interested in the extent to which two variables (or more) co-vary, that is, where changes in one variable are reflected in changes in the other” (Creswell, 2012, p. 340). Participants Eighty university students majoring in English Language Teaching Department participated in the study. They ranged in age from 17 to 26 years. Half of the participants was freshmen, and other half was seniors. Turkish was the first language of all of the participants. Data collection tools Two instruments were used to collect the required data. The Foreign Language Listening Anxiety Scale (FLLAS) by Kim (2000) was used to measure EFL learners’ listening anxiety level. The Metacognitive Awareness Listening Questionnaire (MALQ) by Vandergrift (2006) was applied to assess learners’ awareness of the processes and strategies required for successful EFL listening. The first part of the questionnaires elicited basic demographic information, including age, gender, year in school.
This study will provide important findings on the relationship between the metacognitive awareness and the anxiety of EFL listeners, thus both language teachers and researchers will gain better understanding of FL listening.
Anderson, N. J. (2008). Metacognition and good language learners. In C. Griffiths (Ed.), Lessons from good language learners (pp. 99-109). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. Creswell, J. W. (2012). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research. Boston: Pearson. Dunlosky, J., and Metcalfe, J. (2009). Metacognition: A textbook for cognitive, educational, life span & applied psychology. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. Flavell, J. H. (1976). Metacognitive aspects of problem solving. In L. B. Resnick (Ed.), The nature of intelligence (pp. 231-235). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Graham, S. (2003). Learner strategies and advanced level listening comprehension. Language Learning Journal, 28, 64-69. Kim, J.H. (2000). Foreign language listening anxiety: A study of Korean students leaning English. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, The University of Texas, Austin. Nunan, D. (2002). Listening in language learning. Methodology in language teaching: An anthology of current practice. In J. Richards & W. Renandya (Eds.), Methodology in language teaching (pp. 238-241). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Nunan, D. (2003). Listening in a Second Language. The Language Teacher, Retrieved March 2, 2015, from http://www.jaltpublications.org/old_tlt/articles/2003/07/nunan. Paris, S., and Winograd, P. (1990). Promoting metacognition and motivation of exceptional children. Remedial and Special Education, 11(6), 7-15. Vandergrift, L., Goh, C., Mareschal, C., and Tafaghodtari, M. (2006). The metacognitive awareness listening questionnaire (MALQ): Development and validation. Language Learning, 56, 431-462. Vandergrift, L. (2007). Recent Developments in Second and Foreign Language Listening Comprehension Research. Language Teaching, 40, 191 – 210. Vandergrift, L. (2010). L2 listening: Presage, process, product and pedagogy in Hinkel, E. (ed.) Handbook of research in second language teaching and learning, Volume II. (pp. 455-471). New York: Routledge.
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