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Motivation in Second Language

In: English and Literature

Submitted By myturkey
Words 2761
Pages 12
Çağ University
Institute of Social Sciences
English Language Teaching Department

Note-taking and Listening Comprehension of Conversations and Mini-Lectures
Any Benefit?

Sinan Özyurt
M.A. Thesis Proposal
May, 2013

1. Introduction

1.1 Background of the study

How to instruct listening has been an important issue for both teachers and researchers for a long time. Although much emphasis has been done on the significance of listening, there is still little known about how to increase students’ listening skills. That is because teachers often have a tendency to make more focus on reading, writing, and speaking rather than listening as a receptive skill in their language classes. However, in time, it has been understood that listening is challenging for almost any language learners because a great many of them do not have any idea on how to be effective learners in listening and succeed in listening tasks. That is why, most of the time our students’ listening skills are not as improved as we expect them to be. This somehow results in their inefficiency in listening comprehension as well. Considering this, our students might even feel demotivated towards listening lectures, which is something not desired by any teachers.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
As teachers, we often expect our students to do their listening tasks or activities as efficiently as possible. Even though we do our best to enhance our students’ listening skills, there is still much to do when considering their incompetence in their listening classes (Aminifard, 2012). It has been understood well that traditional ways of listening instruction are not effective enough to cope with students’ listening problems. That means it is hard for our students to enhance their listening comprehension skills unless a variety of strategies are adopted to do so. It is quite obvious that we, as the facilitators of our learners, need to use more effective ways if we expect our students to be competent learners in listening (Wilson, 2003).
At Gaziantep University’s Preparatory School, lack of note-taking skills and problems with note-taking as well as listening comprehension are troublesome areas most often reported by the students in listening lectures. In this sense, many students claim that as they listen, they can follow the speakers with some ease, but when it comes to remembering it sometime later, they have difficulty in recalling conversations or mini-lectures in their classes. More importantly, no further study has been implemented to see the relationship between note-taking and students’ improvement in listening comprehension so far. Considering this, it is remarkably significant to understand how a note-taking strategy called the Sentence Method affects students’ listening comprehension in terms of class conversations and mini-lectures.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to investigate the perceptions of Gaziantep University Preparatory students regarding their attitude towards note-taking in their listening classes. In accordance with this, the relationship between the Sentence Method as a note-taking strategy and its effect on their listening comprehension (LC) will be investigated. The researcher will analyze the data to seek greater understanding of students’ reactions to the effects of note-taking on listening comprehension of conversations and mini-lectures.
1.4 Significance of the Study
The issue of how note-taking and the Sentence Method as a note-taking strategy affect students’ listening comprehension hasn’t been given great importance and studied in detail so far. This study is supposed to contribute to the literature by investigating Gaziantep University Preparatory students’ attitude towards note-taking and the way how a note-taking strategy called the Sentence Method affects their listening comprehension. The way how they conceive note-taking in their listening classes and their note-taking habits will make concrete the issue from this perspective.

The research questions related with this study are: 1. What is the attitude of the students at Gaziantep University’s Preparatory School towards note-taking in their listening classes? 2. Why do the students at Gaziantep University’s Preparatory School experience inefficiency in listening comprehension? 3. How does the Sentence Method as a note-taking strategy affect the students’ listening comprehension of conversations and mini-talks?
1.5 Limitations
The present study focused on a target population that consisted of two preparatory school groups at Gaziantep University. A limited sample population consisting of only two groups from the same department posed some limitations that need to be taken into account when considering the study and its contributions to L2. One of the limitations of the study’s results is that they only rely on the two groups’ data. The second limitation of this study lies in the Sentence Method itself as a note-taking strategy. As Hayati and Jalilifar (2009) state, students often acknowledge the difficulty they experience in simultaeous listening and note-taking. Since students are required to write down what they hear even in very short sentences, they may lose their concentration on the recording and may not be able to recall the information. The last limitation of the study is the constraints on generalization and utility of findings.
1.6 Definitions of the Terms
Listening Comprehension: It is the receptive skill in the oral mode. When we speak of listening what we really mean is listening and understanding what we hear. Listening comprehension can also be defined as the ability to recall and understand information which is presented orally. This information might be presented through a book, filmstrip, video, or felt board set (Ornstein, 1994).
Note-taking: It is the practice of recording information captured from another source. By taking notes, the writer records the essence of the information, freeing their mind from having to recall everything. Note taking is a form of self-discipline (Wilson, 2003).
The Sentence Method: This method of note taking is very easy to use and appropriate for lectures that lack organization and when information is covered by the instructor very quickly. Students record every new thought, fact or topic on a separate line. All information is recorded, but it lacks clarification of major and minor topics. Immediate review and editing is required to determine how information should be organized (Aminifard, 2012).

2. Literature Review
Listening is considerably influenced by the particular note-taking strategy that a student uses. Teng (2011) suggests that note-taking is generally considered to promote the process of learning and covering lecture material. The author states that students who take notes while listening to the lecture and review their notes perform better in EFL lecture comprehension than those who only listen to the lecture without taking notes. According to Teng (2011), taking notes during listening lectures help students to remember key points of the lectures and cover the learning material better. Besides, taking notes during listening lectures provides students with organizing what teachers say, and feel more secure and confident. Note-taking also helps students to answer the questions better, make them feel more at ease, and help them to remember the information in the talks. It is seen that taking notes during listening lectures contribute well to students in terms of the senses of security and comfort. Since practice makes perfect, students who want to be effective EFL note-takers need to do more practice of note-taking in class and self-learning.
What learners know about their learning can considerably affect the process and even success of their learning. Goh (1997) puts particular emphasis on the strong relationship between students’ note-taking habits and their success in listening as a receptive skill. The researcher believes that what learners know about their learning can remarkably affect the process and even success of their language learning. She further states that unsuccessful learners are usually less aware of effective ways of handling learning tasks. Regarding this, Goh (1997) believes that listening diaries and self-reporting are two efficient ways that increase students’ metacognition and listening comprehension.
The author suggests that there is a strong relation between students’ metacognitive awareness and their success in listening. The author mentions three main factors that influence learners’ cognitive learning. These are person, task, and strategy. Regarding this, she indicates that students’ listening comprehension is shaped remarkably by three kinds of knowledge. She calls them person knowledge, task knowledge, and strategic knowledge. These types of knowledge directly affect students’ achievement in listening comprehension (LC). In this sense, she believes that ‘self-reporting’ is an effective way that helps learners be aware of their knowledge in listening. The author states that if students keep a diary as a way of self-reporting, they can observe and assess their knowledge and success during the listening process. Moreover, listening diaries can encourage learners to think about their own listening and consider ways of improving this skill.
Using different strategies is regarded as a necessity by many teachers in order to support students with their listening skills. Hanna (2012) states that there has been little research on the topic of second language learners and listening comprehension strategies. The author suggests that listening comprehension is easy to take place if the right strategy training is applied in our language classes. Considering this fact, even less effective learners can improve their listening skills through well-defined listening strategies. She provides an approach for teachers believing that it increases students’ listening comprehension. The author states that the use of Strategy Based Approach is significant since it makes students’ progress in listening comprehension possible. There are several significant steps for teachers to take when they use this approach. With regard to this, she says that teachers need to find out what strategies students are using. She states that teachers can ask students to complete a strategy analysis at the beginning of the term. The MALQ and SILL could be used for this purpose. The author suggests that these two questionnaires are useful because they raise students’ awareness in listening.
As the second step, teachers need to select one or two strategies found to be missing and identify them by name. Then teachers can explicitly explain to students why and when these strategies could be used during the listening process. The author thinks that teachers need to model how to use each strategy by providing students with ‘think aloud’. As stated by the author, modeling is a technique that allows teachers to explicitly show students how a behavior or activity should be completed. For instance, the teacher can play an audio-tape, and ‘think aloud’ the type of information that facilitates the students’ comprehension. The next thing teachers need to do is to ask students to describe what they heard or observed during the listening tasks. In this sense, students are expected to describe what background noise, gestures, body language, and where something is taking place, or choice of clothes being worn. And lastly, Hanna (2012) states that teachers need to give opportunities for students to practice their listening strategies, and ask them to assess how well they used them by engaging them in group discussions.
Marzban & Isazadeh (2012) state that Discovery Listening (DISL) and Strategy-Based Instruction (SBI) are two efficient listening strategies that can increase students’ listening comprehension. The authors indicate that they are important as they enhance students’ listening skills. According to the authors, the main focus of SBI approach is on making the L2 learners more aware of the strategies available in language learning and how to use them systematically and effectively enough. In this respect, the researchers make an emphasis on the use of metacognitive, cognitive, and socio-affective strategies that facilitate listening comprehension and make learning more effective. As stated by the authors, metacognitive strategies concern what listeners do for planning, monitoring, and evaluating their listening process. Cognitive strategies are the ones for how to go about the input and material or implement a strategy in a listening task. Socio-affective strategies focus on listeners’ collaboration with others or lowering listening anxiety. Discovery Listening (DISL), as stated by the authors, is a method that aims at improving listening ability by getting students to discover and then cope with their own listening difficulties during listening tasks. The authors state that the task in Discovery Listening has three phases: listening, reconstructing the original text, and discovering students’ weaknesses and strengths in listening tasks.
3. Methods
3.1 Participants
The subjects that will participate in this study will consist of 48 high-beginner English language learners at Gaziantep University Preparatory School. The researcher will conduct the study with two intact groups. One of them will be the experimental group and the other one will be the control group (each consisting of 24 students).
3.2. Instrument
To measure the students’ level of English listening, the data will be gathered through the Standardized Nelson Proficiency Test. This test will function as the pretest to ensure that the two intact groups are homogenous. Besides, there will be a post-test comprising two conversations and two mini-lectures chosen from People, Places, and Things 2 (2010), a coursebook which is based on four skills, and a questionnaire.

3.3 Research Design
The researcher will use experimental research in this study in order to investigate the relationship between the Sentence Method as a note-taking strategy and its effect on the students’ listening comprehension of conversations and mini-lectures. This will be implemented by using the appropriate data-gathering tool. “A major purpose of experimental research is to provide the researcher to maintain control over all factors that may affect the result of an experiment. In doing this, the researcher attempts to determine or predict what may ocur ( Key, 1997).
3.4 Procedure
The study will be conducted during the course of 8 weeks. At the beginning of the study, the standardized Nelson Proficiency Test will be administered, with the official permission of Richard W. Woodcock, F. Munoz-Sandoval beforehand, in order to ensure that the two intact groups are homogenous. The assigned time for this test is 40 minutes. Then one group will serve as the experimental group and the other one as the control group. The experimental group will be provided with the instruction of the Sentence Method, in which they will be instructed how to break up long sentences into shorter ones when they listen to long recordings. On the other hand, the control group will not be provided with this strategy. That is, the control group will only listen to the same materials without being allowed to take any notes. Finally, both groups will take the post-test, which is comprised of two conversations and two mini-lectures. It is also necessary to point out that the recordings for both groups will be played once. After the post-test, the students in the experimental group will be given a modified version of the questionnaire used by P.L. Carrell (2007) to read each statement and circle the number that best indicates their opinion.

3.5 Data Analysis
Data which will be collected from the participants’ performances on conversations, mini-lectures, and questionnaires. Statistical comparisons between these two groups will be conducted by using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). T-test will be used to analyze the relationship between the Sentence Method as a note-taking strategy and the students’ performances on listening comprehension of conversations and mini-talks.

References Aminifard, Y. (2012). Note-taking and Listening Comprehension of Conversations and Mini-Lectures: Any Benefit?. Canadian Social Science 8(4), 47-51.
Carrell, P.L. (2007). Note-Taking Strategies and Their Relationship to Performance on Listening Comprehension and Communicative Assessment Tasks (TOEFL Monograph Series No. MS-35). Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service.
Goh, C. (1997). Metacognitive awareness and second language listeners. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences 3 (1997) 190–193
Hanna, C. (2012). Listening strategies in the L2 classroom: More practice, less testing. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences 2 (2012) 3258–3262
Hayati, A. M., & Jalilifar, A. (2009). The Impact of Note-Taking Strategies on Listening Comprehension of EFL Learners. English Language Teaching, 2(1), 101-111. Marzban, A., Isazadeh, F. (2012). Discovery listening and explicit strategy-based instruction models’ effect on the Iranian intermediate EFL listening comprehension. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 46 (2012) 5435 – 5439
Ornstein, A. C. (1994). Homework, Studying, and Note-Taking: Essential Skills for Students. NASSP Bulletin, 78(558), 58-70.
People, Places, and Things 2. (2010). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Teng, H. (2011). Exploring note-taking strategies of EFL listeners. Procedia - Social and
Behavioral Sciences 15 (2011) 480 – 484

Wilson, M. (2003). Discovery listening-improving perceptual processing. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 34 ( 2003 ) 188 – 192…...

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...exploit technology in language learning • Challenges – • • • • • • • • • • • Not sure what teacher and pupil will see/find, Not sure what teacher and pupil will achieve, Not sure how to bring in all in online, What would be the performance of voice/video, What will be the costs, Who will manage, Who will be the trainer, When is the best time to arrange lessons, Which classes, What will be the feedback, How to conduct the lesson What we are doing (cont’d) • Uses cost-effective technology • What we want … For e-Lesson, we will be using key features: • Audio (Now) • PowerPoint presentation (Now) • Application sharing (1 year later) • Chat (Now) • Questions (Now) • Recording (1 year later) • Webcams and video (Now) • Writing using fonts or word (2 years later) What we are doing (cont’d) On-line presentati on Scores Prepare Tests Answers & Questions Preparation Lesson Script Invite What we are doing (cont’d) • Successfully completion of the trial period Increase Contact Hours and e-Lesson:– • To increase class contact hour and enhance students ability in language learning, BLLS Bangla school has started first e-Lesson class on 19 May and currently almost half of the classes (P5, P6, Sec1, and A-Level) are covered under this scheme.. • Demo 2. MoE background Proposal Scope 1. BLLS e-Lesson programme will provide a virtual classroom facility to it’s e-Lesson teacher and students to learn Bangla language at low costs (per......

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