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Teaching Advanced Foreign Language Listeners: Lessons learned from students' perspective

Improving Learning Strategies in Liberal Arts

Discussant Information

Dr. Sandra Robinson

Author Information:

Romulo Guedez-Fernandez
UWI, St. Augustine
Romulo.Guedez@sta.uwi.edu
Dr. Anne-Marie Pouchet
UWI, St. Augustine

Presentation Information:

Presentation #: 3
Date: 1st June, 2015
Time: 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Location: KHAIROON WEST (Room 2)

Abstract:

This study examines the progress in Foreign Language (FL) listening comprehension by a group of university students (N=30) enrolled in a Spanish major programme in The UWI. Participants were pursuing an advanced Spanish language course in their final year. The course integrates the four skills ? reading, writing, listening and conversation ? around two different topics: immigration and politics. The course consisted of a total of six hours per week, two hours of which were devoted to listening comprehension. Teaching and assessment for this course follow descriptions established by the ? ?Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) for the C1 level. The classroom environment encouraged students to practise and reflect on the use of metacognitive strategies. Three listening comprehension tests were administered throughout the semester, after each test participants completed a metacognitive awareness questionnaire (Vandergrift et al, 2006). Either fragments of interviews or conferences (7 - 12 minutes) about topics in the target language were used to assess participants? listening comprehension performance. In each case test takers listened twice and were allowed to take notes. Test takers? task for every test consisted of enumerating the most important ideas. Feedback on their listening comprehension was provided one week after each test. Participants kept a weekly journal. Semi-structured interviews of ten students of different levels of proficiency provided further insights into students??listening comprehension performance. The paper reports on the findings of participants? journals, test scores, meta-cognitive awareness questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. Results indicated a positive washback. Implications of performance testing for advanced FL listeners are discussed.