EFL Learners’ Metacognitive Awareness in Listening Performance


Research Paper (undergraduate), 2018

23 Pages


Excerpt

Table of contents

Introduction
Significance of the Study
Statement of the Problem

Methodology
Setting
Participants
Data Collection Instruments
The Metacognitive Awareness Listening Questionnaire (MALQ)
Listening Section of the final exam
Data Collection Procedures
Data Analysis

Results
Quantitative data results:

Discussion

Conclusion

References

Appendix
Appendix I: Metacognitive Awareness Listening Questionnaire (MALQ)
Appendix II: Listening

Author’s Bio

Ismail Baniadam is MA in TEFL and he is an English lecturer in Urmia University of Medical Sciences. Now, he works as the International Students Admission Affairs Advisor at Urmia University of Medical Sciences. He is a Supervisor and TTC Tutor in language institutes, TOEFL and IELTS, TÖMER Instructor, English and Turkish Languages Translator, Simultaneous Interpreter in International Congresses, as a Tour leader in English and Turkish Languages, and volunteer member of Iranian Red Crescent organization. He also has different international teaching certificates such as TEFL, TESOL, and TTC Diploma. He has published several papers in national and international journals, and has also participated in different national and international conferences.

Affiliation: Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia, Iran

Abstract

Metacognition defined as the knowledge and ability to monitor and control cognitive conditions in the learning process (Flavell, 1979). Listening is the most important skill of the four language skills in both learning and teaching and plays an important role in our daily life. Although nowadays there is a deeper perception of listening, it needs more attention and research. The present study investigates the relationship between the Metacognitive awareness and listening performance of English as foreign language learners. The participants were 50 Iranian male students of English language institutes. They completed Metacognitive Awareness Listing Questionnaire (MALQ) and listening section of the final exam. First the listening section were of the final exam was applied to the participants at classrooms by the teacher. Immediately after the administration of the examination, the MALQ were conducted. The analysis exposed a weak positive relationship between learners` Metacognitive awareness scores and listening performance. Although correlation was not high, still there is more correlation in problem solving, directed attention and planning evaluation than others.

Keywords: Metacognitive, Awareness, Listening, Males, EFL learners

Introduction

Learning languages is the process of dealing with 4 skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing and in order learns to all skills perfectly we should use proper learning/teaching strategies. Among these four skills, Listening is the skill of understanding spoken language and it is an important skill; perform as a reflection of other life activities (Lindsay & Knight, 2006). In another view according to Bueno (2006), listening is a psychological phenomenon, happens in people minds. It acts as a social phenomenon in order to scaffolding the elements. Listening is an essential skill which develops faster than speaking and often affects the development of reading and writing abilities in learning a new language (TafarojiYeganeh, 2013).

Listening is one of the core skills in our daily life and we spend about 45% of our communication in listening (Adler & Rosenfeld, 2001). Listening is our first exposure to language (Palmer, 1921). Therefore, teaching and learning the skills of listening can help us to make a big progress. Listening is the most important, irreplaceable factor in starting SLL (Rost & Candlin, 2014) but in some cases regardless of this fact, listening is not considered as a primary or superior skill in some language learning centers (Valizadeh & Alavinia, 2013) or could not totally understand by learners. According to Abu‐Rabia and Lanir, (2010), some students are not good at listening because of three barriers: weak of attention control, limitation of working memory, and poor verbal/ sequential memory.

Learning the second language is a complex process (Harputlu & Ceylan, 2014). Some learners fulfill this task properly and some fail even they follow the same rules because learners have different ways of learning or individual differences affect the process of learning (Harputlu & Ceylan, 2014). Learning strategies of the L2 learning spotlighted since the mid-1970s and defined as techniques for understanding, remembering, and using information that is intentionally used and consciously controlled by the learner (Rahimi & Katal, 2012). This consciousness or awareness in the process of listening is related to the way listeners think about the listening process; plan, monitor, and evaluate the listening task; and how do listen (Rahimi & Abedi 2014). As listening presses mostly related to our mind and other similar factors, we should talk about the term Metacognitive knowledge. According to Flavell (1979), it refers to the knowledge of persons` related to personal characteristics, task characteristics, and available strategies in a learning situation which could act as a positive component and facilitated the learning or as a negative point and make inhibition and also this knowledge include learners ability to connect the learning task required strategies (Vandergrift & Goh, 2012). It is a bridge between areas, e.g., between decision making and memory, between learning and motivation, and between learning and cognitive development (Hoare, 2011).

Flavell (1979) defines cognitive knowledge as knowledge about one’s own cognitive strengths and limitations. Metacognition connected to motivation and self-efficacy (KarimiJozestani, Faramarzi & Yarmohammadian, 2016) and as self-regulated learning is based on Metacognition and motivation, and talking about Metacognition is somehow related to self-regulation (Hasselhorn & Labuhn, 2011). According to Zimmerman and Pons (1986) as a social-cognitive theorist, in self-regulative learning model, learners in the process of learning instead of completely rely on teachers and parents, they are going to have an active participation in learning based on their motivation, feelings, cognitive and Metacognitive.

The way we listen to our learners gives us their ideology and their feeling and thoughts that show us which method or strategy we should take. Atasheneh and Izadi (2012) focused on the teachers important role in listening and said that controlling the language program or improving learners performance is relating to how a teacher listen, to know what is going on in learners head to help them to reach their goals. So, the critical rule of the teacher who could use best strategies by knowing the learners type and the fundamental part of the learner whom the whole process of learning is for him/her and learners` Metacognitive awareness that enable learner to know his/her barriers or boosters in the way of learning and also the syllabus or curriculum designers are able to choose the best in designing the learning materials.

The present study intends to explore the relationship between the Metacognitive awareness and EFL learner’s listening performance. Although there are some studies on Metacognition and listening, it seems that there is not enough attention to the self-regulation learning and listening. Most of the learners facing with problems feel demotivated in listening related to a wrong idea about listening.

Significance of the Study

The results of this study can be used by curriculum designers of English language programs, and help teachers in selecting instructional methods. The results of this study have some important implications for language teachers, institute or school managers, and psychologists in educational and academic contexts. Research on Metacognitive can enhance the understanding of the demands of the learning situation in the EFL context. Furthermore, it can also enhance our understanding of the teaching methods and strategies in the classroom. It can also evaluate the needs of the students in terms of providing authentic and pragmatically appropriate materials. The findings of this study have benefits to EFL teachers, materials developers, policy makers, assessment specialists at the universities, and language schools all over the country. Language learners are another group who can benefit from this study in the way that the findings of present study will have some direct effects on students’ learning progress.

Statement of the Problem

The way we listen to our learners gives us their ideology and their feeling and thoughts that show us which method or strategy we should take. Atasheneh and Izadi (2012) focused on the teachers important role in listening and said that controlling the language program or improving learners performance is relating to how a teacher listen, to know what is going on in learners head to help them to reach their goals. So, the critical rule of the teacher who could use best strategies by knowing the learners type and the fundamental part of the learner whom the whole process of learning is for him/her and learners` Metacognitive awareness that enable learner to know his/her barriers or boosters in the way of learning and also the syllabus or curriculum designers are able to choose the best in designing the learning materials.

The present study intends to explore the relationship between the Metacognitive awareness and EFL learner’s listening performance. Although there are some studies on Metacognition and listening, it seems that there is not enough attention to the self-regulation learning and listening. Most of the learners facing with problems feel demotivated in listening related to a wrong idea about listening.

Lingzhu (2003) proposed that by focusing on critical words, you can usually get the message and even find yourself ahead of the speaker by using appropriate listening strategies. Therefore, if we could find these negative elements and propose some solutions it could help learners to find their motivation, teachers to make handy activities and assignment or grading, and even syllabus designers, because usually all kinds of lifelong learning related to learners motivation and feelings and behavior.

Metacognition is usually defined as a conscious, intentional process whereby people reflect upon their own mental activity. Metacognition, or ‘cognition about cognition’, appears to be fundamental to our understanding of consciousness. However, Metacognition is usually construed as a controlled, intentional process whereby people intentionally and effortful reflect upon their own mental activity. Consciousness is awareness of one's body and one's environment; self-awareness is recognition of that consciousness—not only understanding that one exists. To be conscious is to think; to be self-aware is to realize that you are a thinking being and to think about your thoughts (Jabr, 2012).

Humans are more than just conscious, they are self-aware. Someone who is self-aware possesses a fairly good understanding of how her mind works. S/he has learned the reasons why she thinks, feels and behave the way she does. Another term for this is mindfulness and When you are self-conscious, it feels like you are on stage and every movement and every step it’s been scrutinized by the audience (Pall, 2016).

Consciousness and self-awareness related to philosophy and Psychology and cognition about cognition (thinking about thinking), or Metacognition, is the field that has emerged from these types of concerns and questions. Metacognition is generally defined as any judgment made about a mental event. When we engage in a process, we do not just think or remember or imagine or perceive but we are also aware that we are engaging in these cognitive processes. The awareness of which of these processes we are engaging protects us from falsely concluding we are remembering when in fact experiencing novel situations (Jersakova, Moulin, & O’Connor, 2016). These consciousness and awareness related to the cognition and Metacognition which by utilizing proper strategies enable us to learn better. The purpose or focus of the study is to find any possible relationship between Metacognitive awareness and learners listening performance.

Regarding the discussion proposed, following research questions are going to be discussed in details.

- Is there any relationship between Metacognitive Awareness and Iranian male EFL learners listening performance?
- H0: there is no relationship between Metacognitive Awareness and Iranian male EFL learners listening performance.

Methodology

Setting

This study was applied to students’ in language institutes in the spring and summer term of 2016 in Urmia and contained 50 male students in upper intermediate and advanced level in English learning .They had about 2 years of English experiences. These students’ classroom experiences and knowledge was based on Top Notch and Summit course Level by Pearson Longman press.

Participants

The target population of the study was 50 students at upper intermediate and advanced level language learning institutes that participated in this study in the spring and summer term of 2016. All of the participants were native speakers of Turkish. All of them received English in school as a compulsory course in primary and secondary school before starting their voluntary attending in English language centers. Their age ranged from 15 to 24, Selected randomly and voluntarily to completed the questionnaire. The participants were self-selected and research was focused only on male gender.

Data Collection Instruments

This study is based on Correlation coefficient which measures the extent to which two variables tend to change together. The coefficient describes both the strength and the direction of the relationship and Pearson product moment correlation intended to evaluate the linear relationship between two continuous variables. A relationship is linear when a change in one variable is associated with a proportional change in the other variable. The data were collected using two separate instruments. The research was designed primarily to collect quantitative data to be analyzed. In order to collect the required data, two scales a listening proficiency test were administered in this study: Metacognitive Awareness Listening Questionnaire (MALQ) as one variable, and the listening section of the final exam as the other variable. In addition, the scales included a demographic information section which contained questions concerning students’ personal information such as, age.

The Metacognitive Awareness Listening Questionnaire (MALQ)

The Metacognitive Awareness Listening Questionnaire developed by Vandergrift, Goh, Mareschal, Tafaghodtari (2006) consists of 21 items. The items are rated on a six-point Likert scale rating from 1 (strongly disagree) to 6 (strongly agree). It evaluates L2 learners’ “Metacognitive awareness concerning their perceived use of strategies while listening to oral texts” (Goh & Hu, 2014, p. 260). It further assesses their perceptions with regard to the difficulty of listening skill and their self-efficacy in it. Five subscales are included in the questionnaire, namely problem-solving, planning and evaluation, mental translation, directed attention, and person knowledge. The first subscale is planning and evaluation that contains items about how learners plan ahead for listening and evaluate the outcome of their listening efforts (items 1, 10, 14, 20 & 21). The second subscale is problem-solving which consists of items on how learners monitor comprehension and solve difficulties as they arise (items 5, 7, 9, 13, 17 & 19). The third subscale of the questionnaire directed attention includes items on how learners maintain their attention and stay on task during listening (items 2, 6, 12 & 16). The fourth subscale, mental translation, comprises items indicating whether listeners use mental translation strategies as they listen (items 4, 11 & 18). Finally, person knowledge, the fifth subscale, contains items representing listeners’ perceptions about the difficulty presented by L2 listening and their self-efficacy in L2 listening (items 3, 8 & 15).Items 3, 8 and 16 were stated negatively so that the participants would not indicate a favorable attitude towards marking only one side of the scale. Items 4, 11 and 18 represent the mental translation strategies, which the learners should avoid to become efficient listeners. Thus, these six items were reverse coded for overall interpretation of scores. The questionnaire was conducted in its original form. The reliability coefficient of MALQ calculated in this study was .879. The coefficients for each subscale were appeared to be .756 for problem-solving, .559 for planning and evaluation, .767 for mental translation, .536 for directed attention, and .809 for person knowledge.

MALQ-items are randomly interwoven with others; some are negatively worded to avoid learners to mark only one side of the rating scale (mental translation); the internal reliability of the MALQ (Cronbach’s alphas) for the items was respectable, ranging from .68 to .78 (Vandergrift, 2006, as cited in Fernandez 2013). MALQ was useful to assess the extent to which language learners are aware of and can regulate the process of L2 listening comprehension; It is also intended to serve as a self-assessment instrument. Learners themselves can use it to appraise the awareness of the listening process as well as to reflect on their use of strategy when listening to texts in the L2.

Taking the reverse coding into consideration, the maximum score of the Metacognitive awareness listening questionnaire is 126 points when every item is answered with ‘strongly agree’; in turn, the minimum score is 21 points when the respondents answer with ‘strongly disagree.

Listening Section of the final exam

The second instrument used in this study was the learners’ English listening section of the final exam. It was used to determine the participants’ listening ability according to the own levels in English classes. It consisted of 10 multiple-choice (3 options) questions. Students had listened to a scientist who was talking about whales and supposed to choose the correct answer. At first, they had 90 seconds to study the sentences. Then they listened to the podcast for about 7 minutes. They listened to the program for the second time to correct or finish their work. Finally, they had 90 seconds to finalize their answers.

Listening was about scientist who is talking about whales. There was a research team collecting information about the whale's tune and sounds and songs for long period of time and compared it with new data and considered the difference between male and female voices and the way they changed it during the time and the voices conceived as a harmonic, like a piece of music. The test included general listening and multiple choice questions. Total of raw points was (min=0, max=20) and each question had 2 points which converted into a scaled score of 0 to 20.The total number of the final examination was 100 and it contained 5 parts: Reading, writing, speaking (as an interview), and listening and students class activities during the term. Each part assigned score was 20.

Data Collection Procedures

The teacher explicitly explains the Metacognitive listening methodology to the students in class instruction. Metacognitive processes are typically predicting, planning, monitoring, evaluating and problem-solving (Goh, 2008).

The investigation was conducted five intact classes at the same level. At first, the teacher informed the students about the purpose and procedure of the study. It was also emphasized that their participation would be anonymous and confidential. Then, the listening section of the exam was played to the participants. It took about 15 minutes to finish answering the questions. Immediately after the exam, the MALQ were administered. It took almost 10 minutes to complete them.

Data Analysis

Quantitative data obtained from the instruments were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), Microsoft excel. The questionnaire was analyzed by grouping items to the 5 categories (predicting, planning, monitoring, evaluating and problem-solving). The subjects’ responses to each item were counted. Then each item was considered within the group of items that address a specific category. Finally, the means of all the subjects’ responses to each group of items were calculated. The mean supplies information on the average performance of all the subjects’ Metacognitive strategies and informs the researcher about how subjects as a whole performed.

[...]

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Details

Title
EFL Learners’ Metacognitive Awareness in Listening Performance
College
Urmia University  (Urmia University of Medical Sceinces)
Course
TEFL
Author
Year
2018
Pages
23
Catalog Number
V437710
ISBN (eBook)
9783668790506
ISBN (Book)
9783668790513
Language
English
Tags
learners’, metacognitive, awareness, listening, performance
Quote paper
Ismail Baniadam (Author), 2018, EFL Learners’ Metacognitive Awareness in Listening Performance, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/437710

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