Investigating the impact of segmented and whole-text repetition on listening comprehension, comprehension processes, and comprehension problems

O'bryan, Anne
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This dissertation presents a product- and process-oriented approach to investigating how a common teaching methods used in second language listening classrooms--repetition--might be structured in a way that enhances listening comprehension and facilitates input processing. The major purpose of the dissertation was to investigate the impact of both whole-text and semantically segmented repetition on English as a Second Language (ESL) learners' listening comprehension and comprehension problems.

An embedded, mixed-methods approach was employed in the study. Quantitative data consisted of written recalls from 100 intermediate-level, ESL participants who each listened to two, authentic lecture excerpts in one of the two aforementioned conditions. Qualitative data consisted of verbal protocols and post-task interviews with 12 participants.

The findings indicate that there was no statistically significant difference between overall recall scores (i.e., summed recall scores for the two texts) for students in the two conditions. When recall scores for each lecture were compared individually, the results mirrored those found when looking at the scores overall in terms of statistical significance. Despite the lack of statistical significance from the recalls, findings from the verbal protocol data largely supported the hypotheses that students in the whole-text condition would encounter more problems attending to the task and forming a mental representation of the input compared to students in the segmented condition who were provided with more guidance in attending to the task and structure building through the task's design.

The results from the study were mixed in terms of supporting and refuting the claims in previous literature. However, both the findings and methods from the study hold a number of implications and recommendations for language teachers, materials developers, those interested in the use of technology for language learning and assessment, and future researchers.

English as a Second Language, Listening, Listening problems, Listening processes, Mixed methods, Repetition