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The effects of videos on adult English as a second language student listening comprehension Ewasiw, Joan F.A.

Abstract

This two-part study employed an experimental design and interviews to examine the effects of videos on adult English as a Second Language (ESL) student listening comprehension. The purpose of the first part of the study was to compare the effects of video in two pre-listening activity conditions on beginner and upper-beginner adult ESL listening comprehension. The participants were 49 Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) students enrolled in two beginner and two upper-beginner ESL classes The beginner classes were randomly assigned either to the audio only (AO) condition or the audio with written script (AW) condition. The upper-beginner classes were similarly assigned to the two conditions, the AO condition or the AW condition. In the AO condition, the students listened to a tape recording of four pre-listening questions prior to viewing the video. In the AW condition, the students listened to the same tape recording and, in addition, were shown the same questions that were printed on large sheets of paper and held up at the front of the class by the teacher. The same pre-test was administered to all four classes. Twelve exercises including pre-listening questions, videos, and comprehension questions were completed. The beginner classes viewed videos from Learning English in the Community LINC 2 (Cameron et al., 1995), and the upper-beginner classes viewed videos from Learning English in the Community LINC 3 (Cameron et al., 1995). The same post-test was administered to all four classes. Results indicated that the written script in the AW condition significantly improved the listening comprehension ability of beginner and upper-beginner adult ESL students. The second part of the study was aimed at gaining insights into the pre-listening questions, the videos, and their value on teaching listening comprehension. All of the students were individually interviewed. Overall the students were positive about the showing of videos as aids for enhancing listening comprehension, the content of the videos, as well as the questions. Some of the students, however, found some of the instruments difficult to understand. They found that the vocabulary was unfamiliar or the speed of delivery was too fast. This lack of comprehension may have affected the results of Part One of the study.

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