Academic Listening Comprehension: Does the Sum of the Parts Make up the Whole?

Date
1985
Authors
Haper, Andrew G.
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Abstract
A listening test administered to eighty-five non-native speaker students demonstrated that: (a) a significant relationship exists between global academic listening comprehension (ALC) and a subset of four microskills –inferring the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary, and recognizing the respective functions of referential devices, conjunctive devices, and transitional devices; (b) each microskill tested is related to global ALC at p < .001 (correlattions ranged between .377 and .477); (c) common factors are involved in the skills of recognizing the functions of markers of cohesion and markers of coherence; (d) the relationship between global ALC and the ability to identify the main idea in short listening passages is significant but not particularly strong (r = .462). These findings imply that it might be useful to include microskill exercises in materials used for teaching and testing ALC.
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Keywords
listening comprehension, esl students, academic listening comprehension, active referential devices, transitional devices, esl assessment
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