Metacognitive listening strategies: exploring the effects of implicit metacognitive instruction on intermediate second
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The present study attempted to establish relationships between second or foreign language learners’ metacognitive awareness and the level of listening comprehension proficiency. Metacognition is defined as the awareness of the knowledge an individual has or does not have and to the ability to monitor and control cognitive activities in learning processes (Flavell, 1979; Maichenbaum, 1985). According to Vandergrift & Goh (2012), listening is the most commonly used, important, and active skill in oral communication; and yet, it is the skill which is least likely to be taught effectively and the most underresearched one. Vandergrift (2004, 2007) and Vandergrift and Goh (2012) proposed a Metacognitive Pedagogical Sequence that intends to improve students’ use of metacognitive strategies when performing listening comprehension tasks. The present research is a quantitative quasi-experimental study which intends to explore the effects of an implicit metacognitive listening strategy intervention on the students’ listening comprehension level of proficiency. In order to conduct this research, two groups were selected as the experimental and control groups. The participants were 12 second year students from the English Linguistics and Literature program offered at Universidad de Chile. On the one hand, an implicit metacognitive intervention based on the Pedagogical Sequence was designed for the experimental group and, on the other hand, the control group continued with their regular listening classes. The students in the experimental group attended six 45-minute listening instruction sessions given by the teacher of the Listening subcomponent of the English Language II course. Two sample versions of the First Certificate in English (FCE) listening comprehension test were given in order to assess the students’ listening comprehension proficiency. The first version was used as a pre-test whereas the second version was used as a post-test. The questionnaire chosen to elicit the data about the students’ level of metacognitive listening awareness was the Metacognitive Awareness Listening Questionnaire designed by Vandergrift, Goh, Mareschal, & Tafaghodtari (2006). Concerning the results of the study, the general averages of the experimental group listening comprehension tests and of the Metacognitive Awareness Listening Questionnaires increased. In turn, the metacognitive instruction intervention was moderately successful. Therefore, it can be claimed that there was a slight improvement on the students’ listening performance and their metacognitive listening awareness.
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