The present study attempts to find out to what extend giving a pre-task activity of a glossary of unknown vocabulary assists L2 learners of “2n de Batxillerat” with their performance on listening comprehension questions across low intermediate, intermediate and upper-intermediate levels. Each level consists of two groups, an experimental group and a control group. (Twenty participants each group).
A total of 120 participants. The experimental group will receive a glossary of unknown vocabulary items with the pronunciation one day before the listening and the post listening comprehension questions.The expected results are that all three levels of students will get significant better results with the pre-task activity than the results obtained by students without the pre-task activity. Literature review Changes in the stream of language teaching reflect the direction towards oral proficiency rather than reading comprehension or writing. A great number of studies have examined the effect of providing background knowledge to help students enhance listening comprehension. ( Keshavarz & Babai, 2001; Long, 1989; Markham & Latham, 1987).
Due to the listening complexity, some pre-listening activities as support in the teaching of listening are proposed by authors like (Chastain, 1988; Richards, 1990; Rost, 2001; Underwood, 1989). Anderson and Lynch(1988) have defined, “Listening as the means to immediate oral production”. Brown(1980) maintains, “ Listening ability lies at the heart of all growth, from birth through the years of formal education. The better those learning skills are developed, the more productive our learning efforts” (p.
10). So, this skill is crucial by learners to learn a second language. Rost, 1990, p. 62) says “ Meaning is created only by an active listening in which the linguistic form triggers interpretation within the listener’s background in relation to the listener’s purpose”.
Due to complexity of this skill especially in real live situations, learners have always had difficulties in completing listening tasks. ( Buck, 2001) identifies numerous difficulties which can be confronted in listening tasks such as unknown vocabulary, unfamiliar topics, fast speech rate, and unfamiliar accents.Some authors believe that lack of vocabulary is one of the primary causes which increases listening difficulties ( Goh, 2000; Kelly, 1991; Rost, 1990). Despite the facts that lack of vocabulary knowledge seems to cause the most worry of L2 learners, there are a few studies regarding the effect of vocabulary preparation on listening comprehension (Chang,2006; Chang and Read, 2008; Lin & Chui, 2009). METHOD Hypotheses and research questions Question1. Are there any differences in the effect of a pre-task (glossary of unknown vocabulary) on improvement of L2 low intermediate learners’ listening comprehension?Question2. Are there any differences in the effect of a pre-task (glossary of unknown vocabulary) on improvement of L2 intermediate learners’ listening comprehension? Question3.
Are there any differences in the effect of a pre-task (glossary of unknown vocabulary) on improvement of L2 upper intermediate learners’ listening comprehension? Participants A total of 120 English learners from “ 2n de batxillerat” with age range of 17-19 will participate in this study. 65 female and 55 male make up this population.Before the study, the participants will be divided into three different levels: lower intermediate, intermediate and upper intermediate by a “escola official d’idiomes” actual level test. This will lead to the formation of three groups of 40 participants.
First group the top 40 results (upper intermediate), the last group the last 40 results (Lower intermediate), and the 40 results in the middle (intermediate). The levels lower intermediate, intermediate and upper intermediate are only as guidance, since the selection will be done by order of results and it might not be necessarily 100% in accordance with the levels.Out of each of the three levels, we are going to select at random 20( 50%) students which will form the control group.
A total of 60 students will be in the control group and a total of 60 students in the experimental group. Instruments and materials Two language tests will be used in this study to measure 1) language learners’ level of English and 2) listening comprehension. The first test will be an “escola official d’idiomes” level test. This test will be used to divide participants into three levels of proficiency (it will be given 1 week before the listening test).The second will be a listening test (A five comprehension multiple choice questions and a cloze test with five blank spaces, resulting 10 listening comprehension questions totally).
The materials used for this study prior to taking the tests will be listening activities chosen from among textbook units appropriate for the levels of participants. The pre-task activity of vocabulary will be offered one day before conducting the listening tests. Procedures Prior to the study, the participants will be divided into three different levels of proficiency by an “Escola official d’idiomes” level test.
The 40 participants of each level will be divided into two groups randomly, one experimental group and the other control group. A pre-test of listening comprehension will be conducted to guarantee the homogeneity of the participants in their listening skill and measure their listening proficiency. The experimental group in each level will be given a glossary of unknown vocabulary with the pronunciation as a type of pre-task activity.
To make them familiar with the pronunciation and relate the vocabularies to listening text, the glossary will be given one day before taking the listening test.At the beginning, the participants will be required to listen once before receiving the questions. The second time along, they will be required to answer the questions. At the end, due to their exposure two times to the listening task, they will be asked to fill in the blanks in cloze test without listening to the text again. To prevent the learners from being aware of the listening text, the students will be required to answer the multiple choice questions at the beginning and then answer the cloze test. Limitations and expected results