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    Unpacking listening comprehension: the effect of aural vocabulary knowledge and listening comprehension strategies on listening comprehension

    Benyahlou, Naima (2023) Unpacking listening comprehension: the effect of aural vocabulary knowledge and listening comprehension strategies on listening comprehension. Masters by Research thesis (MA), Manchester Metropolitan University.

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    Abstract

    Listening comprehension may seem straightforward for first language users; however, it is hard for Second(S) and Foreign Language (FL) learners (Vandergrift and Baker, 2018). This skill might be affected by various variables such as vocabulary knowledge, topic knowledge, metacognitive awareness and many others. However, there is little research putting emphasis on the role of aural vocabulary knowledge (AVK) and listening comprehension strategies (LCS) in listening comprehension (LC). Thus, the current study attempts to investigate; first, the relationship between aural vocabulary knowledge and Listening Comprehension; second, the different listening strategies used by the learners to succeed in understanding the listening input; and third, whether aural vocabulary knowledge can influence the learners` choice of the listening strategies. It is providing more empirical evidence on the variables affecting LC, and newer insights to S/FL learners to approach LC. It is giving more details on the effect of every frequency level of the first 5000-word families knowledge on LC for the purpose of obtaining more data on the strength of the relationship between AVK and LC, and for providing empirical evidence on what aural lexical coverage is the most accurate for listening comprehension. This study is applied on 59 Algerian EFL PhD students in the UK. Data were collected through utilising the IELTS, the A-Lex test, and the listening comprehension strategies questionnaire. Pearson correlations were executed to explore the correlation between AVK and LC. Regression analysis was operated to measure the proportion of the variance. Different frequency levels of the AVK test were also analysed using Pearson correlations and regression analysis to derive a model. Findings confirmed that the most contributor to LC is the AVK with R= .58, and that the third frequency level of lexical coverage could significantly predict LC compared to the other levels by .59 and P=.00. Pearson correlations were also executed to explore the relationship between LCS (including the overall score and the three types of strategies) and LC. Data showed that there is no connection between the two variables. Further, the sample was divided into two groups of 23 participants each according to their performance in the AVK (High level of aural vocabulary knowledge VS Low level of vocabulary knowledge). Independent Sample T Test was run to analyse data at this level with regard to the use of LCS. Results demonstrated that there is not any connection between the two and that the listening comprehension strategies use cannot be influenced by the level of aural vocabulary knowledge. Therefore, these findings indicate that the most important variable to listening comprehension is aural vocabulary knowledge and that the knowledge of the most frequent 3000-word families can help the listeners to achieve complete understanding of the aural input.

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