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Secrets of taking a successful
listening comprehension test
Robert Märcz
Foreign Language Centre
University of Pécs
EAS Conference - Miskolc,
June 15, 2012
Outline
-
Questions of listening comprehension
Influencing factors
Context, participants and instruments
Results
Conclusions
EAS Conference - Miskolc,
June 15, 2012
Particular Features of
Listening Comprehension
50% of our communication time
Complex process (top-down / bottom-up)
Various use of different strategies
Cannot be observed directly
EAS Conference - Miskolc,
June 15, 2012
What influences
Objective factors:
Task characteristics
Text characteristics
Situation-specific factors:
quality of the input
actual circumstances
EAS Conference - Miskolc,
June 15, 2012
What influences
Subjective factors:
L2 proficiency (in general)
L2 listening ability (in particular)
Memory and attention
Background knowledge
Experiences – exposure
Interest and motivation
Use of strategies
EAS Conference - Miskolc,
June 15, 2012
Context and participants
ECL International Language Examination System
Level – B2
Listening comprehension test
Two tasks: multiple choice (three options) (Eve’s Life)
short answer (Judy Bloom)
Online questionnaire
Cc 500 answers within the first two week (cc 30%)
EAS Conference - Miskolc,
June 15, 2012
The Questionnaire
Three parts:
1. Background data (7 items)
2. Statements concerning the factors that influence
listening comprehension (Influencing factors =
motivation, aptitude, memory, confidence,
preparation and exposure to L2) (30 items)
3. Statements concerning strategies (cognitive and
meta-cognitive)(16 items)
/Likert scale: 1 -4 / not anonym EAS Conference - Miskolc,
June 15, 2012
Procedure
Concentrate only on influencing factors (2nd part)
Data on the performance of the test-takers and the
questionnaire compared
Quantitative analysis: simple frequencies, percentages
and standard deviation calculated
EAS Conference - Miskolc,
June 15, 2012
Results and analysis
I need the language exam – 3.83
A language exam may always come in useful – 3.81
I regularly listen to music in English – 3.71
I like the English language – 3.59
I like the sound of English – 3.48
I can learn easily – 3.11
I regularly watch films in English with subtitles - 3.06
/standard deviation .497 - .684 /
Commonalities: motivation, aptitude and exposure
EAS Conference - Miskolc,
June 15, 2012
Results and analysis
Correlations between
test performance and influencing factors
Concentrating only on significant correlation
(i) intrinsic motivation
(ii) confidence
(iii) preparation
(iv) exposure to L2.
EAS Conference - Miskolc,
June 15, 2012
Results and analysis
Three steps:
1. bivariate correlation: test performance
influencing factor (consisting of several items)
and
2. bivariate correlation: between test performance and
each of the statements (constituting a particular
influencing factor) separately
3. Cross tabulation (batch correlations)
EAS Conference - Miskolc,
June 15, 2012
Results and analysis
Intrinsic motivation
Significant and weak, correlation (0.195)
I like the English language (0.261)
I like the sound of English (0.180)
(I like the American culture / I am interested in
British culture)
EAS Conference - Miskolc,
June 15, 2012
Results and analysis
Total
Int. Motivaton
Low
Count
0 – 59%
108
100
208
% within LPC_categories
51,9%
48,1%
100,0%
% within Mot_int_50_50
52,7%
37,5%
44,1%
% of Total
22,9%
21,2%
44,1%
56
82
138
% within LPC_categories
40,6%
59,4%
100,0%
% within Mot_int_50_50
27,3%
30,7%
29,2%
% of Total
11,9%
17,4%
29,2%
41
85
126
% within LPC_categories
32,5%
67,5%
100,0%
% within Mot_int_50_50
20,0%
31,8%
26,7%
8,7%
18,0%
26,7%
Count
Performance
60 - 79%
Count
80 – 100%
HIgh
% of Total
EAS Conference - Miskolc,
June 15, 2012
Results and analysis
Confidence
Significant and almost moderate correlation
(0.358)
I am good at listening comprehension (0.379)
I can understand English films well (0.336)
Other items (0.218 – 0.273)
EAS Conference - Miskolc,
June 15, 2012
Results and analysis
Table 7/ LPC_categories * Confidence50_50 Crosstabulation
Confidence
Low
Count
0 – 59%
60 - 79%
68
208
% within LPC_categories
67,3%
32,7%
100,0%
% within
Confidence50_50
55,8%
30,8%
44,1%
% of Total
29,7%
14,4%
44,1%
67
71
138
% within LPC_categories
48,6%
51,4%
100,0%
% within
Confidence50_50
26,7%
32,1%
29,2%
% of Total
14,2%
15,0%
29,2%
44
82
126
% within LPC_categories
34,9%
65,1%
100,0%
% within
Confidence50_50
17,5%
37,1%
26,7%
9,3%
17,4%
26,7%
Count
80 – 100%
High
140
Count
Performance
Total
% of Total
EAS Conference - Miskolc,
June 15, 2012
Results and analysis
Preparation
No significant correlation with this influencing
factor BUT significant and weak correlation with
one statement:
I came well prepared for the listening
comprehension test (0.152)
Others:
I practiced listening comprehension exercises
We completed many LP exercises with my teacher
EAS Conference - Miskolc,
June 15, 2012
Results and analysis
Exposure to L2
Significant and weak, correlation (0.280)
Correlations: (0.129 – 0.299)
EAS Conference - Miskolc,
June 15, 2012
Results and analysis
Exposure to L2
Low
Count
0 – 59%
Total
High
134
74
208
% within LPC_categories
64,4%
35,6%
100,0%
% within Exposure50_50
54,3%
32,9%
44,1%
% of Total
28,4%
15,7%
44,1%
66
72
138
% within LPC_categories
47,8%
52,2%
100,0%
% within Exposure50_50
26,7%
32,0%
29,2%
% of Total
14,0%
15,3%
29,2%
47
79
126
% within LPC_categories
37,3%
62,7%
100,0%
% within Exposure50_50
19,0%
35,1%
26,7%
% of Total
10,0%
16,7%
26,7%
Count
Performance
60 - 79%
Count
80 – 100%
EAS Conference - Miskolc, June
15, 2012
Conclusions
There is significant though mainly weak correlation
between
test performance
and
confidence
exposure to L2
intrinsic motivation
preparation
(0.358)
(0.280)
(0.195)
(0.152)
EAS Conference - Miskolc,
June 15, 2012
Conclusions
As the construct of any language tests is the
language knowledge itself the results mean that:
- the test is not biased
- it measures the construct
- there are some factors that do provide
advantages
EAS Conference - Miskolc,
June 15, 2012
Thank you for your attention!
EAS Conference - Miskolc,
June 15, 2012
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