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Effects of Different Input Delivery Modes on Turkish EFL Learners’ Listening Comprehension: A Meta-Analysis

The popularity English has gained throughout the globe has given English language learners many opportunities to be exposed to this language. Although some of this exposure to English occurs via magazines, books, songs, advertisements, movies, and television, some of this exposure is compulsory in schools where English is the medium of instruction as an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) context. Particularly this obligatory contact with English has brought an urgent need to improve the listening skill of learners so as to help them better comprehend English (Demirkol, 2009) because the input outside the English language classroom depends heavily on voluntary initiatives. However, with technological advances, there are now more opportunities to expose learners to English by using multimedia technologies, with their capacity to juxtapose all the traditional media of language learning (Brett, 2000). The research reported that when listening materials are supported with visuals and/or captions, they help foreign language learners to improve their listening comprehension (Guichon & McLornan, 2008; Winke, Gass & Sydorenko 2010). However, it is still debatable if visual support really facilitates listening comprehension, and if so, from which content delivery mode the students can get most benefit in listening. As a result, it has become a matter of urgency for the practitioners to be able to identify the most suitable content delivery format for learners (Chen & Chang, 2011) especially in Turkish context where English is the foreign language. In the light of the studies mentioned, it is clear that no other studies have employed four different content delivery modes, namely (1) one single (audio-only) and three dual language learning material delivery modes; (2) audio with video, (3) video, audio with target language subtitles, (4) audio and PowerPoint presentation to support an academic listening text. Therefore, the purpose of the present study is to investigate the effects of different content delivery modes on foreign language learners’ while-listening comprehension in academic listening environments to gain a better understanding of the process and to provide insights for learners, practitioners and instructional material designers. The theoretical framework of the present study and its underlying principles were based on the cognitive load theory (Sweller, 1988) and multimedia learning theory (Mayer, 1997; 2001). The data have been gathered through: a listening proficiency exam, a topic familiarity questionnaire, listening comprehension tests, think-aloud protocols and a semi-structured focus group interview. Analysis of data demonstrated that the students’ listening comprehension scores were significantly lower in audio-video with subtitles mode. In addition to this, the students stated that they experienced most confusion and anxiety in understanding through audio-video with subtitles. Moreover, the students mentioned that they were most successful in the audio with PowerPoint presentation mode. Results also indicated that the students were influenced by their pre-university listening class experiences, meaning that they were most accustomed to the audio-only mode, and therefore felt most relaxed when they listened only.

Author(s):

Volkan Incecay    
ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING
Yeditepe University
Turkey

Volkan İnceçay received his Bachelor’s degree in English Language Teaching (ELT) from Marmara University, İstanbul, Turkey in 2001. He then attended the graduate school at the same university and completed a Master’s degree in Education Management and Supervision in 2007. He also received a Master’s degree in English language teaching from Yeditepe University, İstanbul, Turkey in 2012. He’s currently teaching at Yeditepe University as an English as a foreign language (EFL) instructor and continuing in the PhD. program in ELT as a doctoral student in the same institution. He has presented several research papers in national and international conferences with proceedings. His main research interests are beliefs and perceptions of language learners and teachers, technology use in language classrooms and teaching language skills and language assessment.

Zeynep Kocoglu    
ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING
Yeditepe University
Turkey

Dr. Zeynep Kocoglu is an Assistant Professor at the English Language Teaching Department, Yeditepe University, Turkey. She received her doctorate in Applied Linguistics from Bogazici University,Turkey. Her research interests include teacher education with a focus on technology, and language testing.

 

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