intermediate EFL learners’ listening comprehension ability?
۱.۶. Research Question:
The purpose of study is to reveal the Impact of Speech Rate on Iranian Intermediate EFL Learners’ Listening Comprehension Ability. The result will, therefore, shed lights on the following two hypotheses: 1) slow speech rate does not have any effect on Iranian intermediate EFL Learners’ listening comprehension ability.
۱.۷. Definitions of Key Terms
Similar to the reading comprehension processes, LC is theoretically defined as an inferential process in which a listener is assumed to “associate an available auditory input with his/her existing background knowledge to access the intended meaning” Listening comprehension is more than just hearing what is said; rather, it is a child’s ability to understand the meaning of the words he hears and to relate to them in some way. Since comprehension during listening is dependent upon more than just the introduction of visual referents presented in a culturally neutral hybrid format, other factors such as velocity, and ”field” figure strongly in students’ aural comprehension fluency. When children hear a story, for instance, good listening comprehension enables them to understand it, remember it, discuss it, and even retell it in their own words. This is an important skill to develop even at an early age, because good listeners grow up to become good communicators.
Speech rate: The speed of input delivery – termed technically as speech rate – is one of the acoustic-temporal characteristics of the aural text. In the rate specialist literature, SR was classified as either belonging to the speaker’s characteristics (Ishler, 2010) or to the text features (Rubin, 1994) depending on the mode of the language delivery. Given that the standardized “normal,” “fast,” and “slow” SR ranges reported by Tauroza and Allison (1990) may be un generalizable to the IGCSE setting targeted, being highly context-bound, the SR range considered as the “normal” in this study fell between 124-150 WPM. This range represents the speeds preset by The Cambridge International Exams. Editing the aural texts included in this. study by inserting 3-second empty pauses reduced the SR range to 120-136 WPM, whereas adopting the deliberate articulation yielded a slower SR range of 70-124 WPM. These two SR ranges represent the “slow” SRs in the current study.
This study will expand our perceive of listening comprehension ability from two different speech rate (normal and slow) although both of them have some advantage and disadvantage ,This study said that if speech rate go up listening comprehension go down and vice versa. In this study, which is the “appropriate rate” as perceived by EFL intermediate learners. First, the rationale of manipulating the temporal characteristics of the audio-taped native talk to be comprehensible for NNSs was clarified. Next, the complexities involved in slowing the speeds of the native speech, the hot debate on the slowed speech rate authenticity, and the highly subjective definition of speech rates. Further, two research questions focused on the efficacy of speech rate reduction techniques, in facilitating the listening comprehension task performance of the target participants and their perceptions of appropriateness. Both dependent and independent variables of the experiment were mentioned. Finally, constructs of listening comprehension proficiency, speech rates and the task used for measuring the participants’ and listening comprehension ability were briefly discussed.
Listening comprehension is one of the most important skills in learning and teaching of second language. Researcher define listening as the perceiving of meaning from a continues stream of verbal symbols. According to theory of communication listening comprehension is receiving, decoding and interpreting of verbal message. According to (Pimsleur, Hancock and Furey, 1977) ” it would develop of itself if we taught our students to speak” when researchers mentioned about listening comprehension it means that comprehending the message or conversations in the second language is based on what is hear,s/he must answers a number of question. Because comprehension during listening of different speech depended on more than introduction of visual referents that it is present in a culturally neutral format and other factors for example velocity and ‘field’ strongly in students aural comprehension fluency. According to Friedman and Jonhn son (1971) and Jarvis (1972) ”students of second language are in apposition comparable that of persons listening to compressed speech in their native tongue. Although transition of lexical and syntactic are known in both but speech is too fast `to be processed efficiently. According to Little (1976) reduction of ”phonic rate of native speakers” as a result it make improved students’ performance therefore we have a question ” how do the second language learners perceived spoken English or fail to understand of it? Researchers to investigate the listening comprehension process that it can provide useful insights in to teaching of listening .Some students who learn to control their listening process can improve their comprehension .For improving the listening comprehension ability students can success in L2 acquisition in term of reduce learner’s anxiety. Since listening comprehension of learner’s self-confidence will be increase the learners will be motivated to get better conversation with L2 speakers. Vander grift (2007) said that L2 listening remains least researched of all four skills. Despite least researched skill in second language studies listening comprehension have different subject, such as: cognitive like bottom up process and top down process; linguistic subjects likes linguistic factors, lexis and phonology and affective subjects likes motivation and anxiety in listening have all investigated. The new construct of speech rate appear to have effected on listening comprehension and rate research in the 21 century. According to Hayati and Khatib (2010) and Zaho(1997) the speech manipulation and subjective the ”suitable rate” speech rate facilitate listening comprehension by giving control of speech to students listening comprehension was achieved by slowing down the speech rate .Jensen and Vinther’s (2003) pointed that listening comprehension training slower speeds can help to improve L2 learner’s comprehension. Swain (1995) showed that SLA studies described comprehensible input is critical for language acquisition as well as comprehensible output Other studies (Snow, Van Eeden & Muysken, 1981), investigated the impact of quantity of L2 input on SLA determined that exposure only to native speaker interactions in the target language does not appear to support SLA. So it is the subject that not only the quantity, but also the quality, of input is important to L2 learning outcomes. This study selected according to list of studies two criteria: currently &diversity. Most of studies which is considered listening comprehension research and speech rate due to important role of oral skills in effective communication between native speakers and non-native speakers. Rost (2001) contended that ” a key difference between more successful and less successful acquirers relates in large part to ability to used listening as a means of acquisition” (P.94). The first criteria that is used by different researchers in different context are presented. Iran (hayati and khatib (2010), Japanese(Griffith 1992) and(Chun2001) ,China (Flowerdew and miller 1992),Turkey (Coskun,2008) and (Kawashima ,2010) .Although research on L2 listening is increased over the past decades with various subject: example of listening comprehension processes (Valette,1977;Lund,1991;Bacon,1992;Goh,1997,2000,2002;Rost,2001). This variety of information related to how speech rate affects the comprehensibility of input directed to EFL listeners of with different L1 speakers. According to (Rivers, 1982) there is English speech rate and listening in English for intermediate level school curriculum, In spite of the importance of speech rate for improving English listening comprehension and fluency .Although before these study some of speech rate in the elementary level of school they have conducted that a nationwide Standardized Achievement Test (NSAT) for few years ago which aimed to find out 6th grad students English communicative ability. Jung (2009) said that it has relatively slow which affected by speech rate of majority of elementary text books. There for to keep the students to exposure to slow rate of English for improving listening comprehension because speech rate has been identified as an