Effects of Explicit Connected Speech Instruction on Libyan EFL Learners’ Perceptions of Listening Comprehension Problems in Speech Recognition, Parsing and Utilisation
Keywords:connected speech, listening perception & comprehension problems, EFL language teaching and learning.
This quasi-experimental study examined the effects of explicit connected speech instruction in reducing EFL learners’ listening comprehension problems associated with speech recognition, parsing and utilization. Sixty-two (N = 62) Libyan intermediate-level EFL learners, aged 19 to 21, served as the subjects. They were randomly assigned to either the treatment (n = 32) or control group (n = 30). The treatment subjects were exposed to explicit instruction on the features of connected speech for one term (i.e., 12 weeks). An adapted Listening Comprehension Processing Problems questionnaire was administered to both groups before and after the treatment in order to investigate the problems they encountered in comprehending connected speech. The questionnaire contained items measuring language comprehension difficulties in three categories, i.e., speech recognition, parsing, and utilisation. Following the 12-week intervention, the treatment group showed a significant improvement in their report of comprehension problems, while the control group remained constant or unchanged in their perception of the problems. The effect sizes of the differences between the treatment and control group were large, ranging between d = 1.14 (parsing) and d =1.19 (recognition). The findings highlight the necessity to teach connected speech recognition in the EFL curriculum to improve learners’ listening comprehension ability.
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