An Experimental Study of the Effects of Listening on Speaking for Students

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English Language Teaching

Vol. 2, No. 3

An Experimental Study of the Effects of Listening on Speaking for College Students
Yan Zhang
Foreign Languages, College Qingdao University of Science and Technology E-mail: zhangyangrace@yahoo.com.cn
Abstract
As China enters WTO, more college graduates with higher oral English proficiency are required. However, we learned that even students in some distinguished universities are lack of this ability. Based on her teaching experiences and the theory proposed by Krashen and some other well-know foreign languages teaching researchers, the author of this thesis formulated two hypotheses: 1) Students’ listening ability and their oral English production ability are correlated. 2) Teachers who bring listening and audio-visual materials into oral English class are likely to have better teaching results. Krashen’s Comprehensive Input Hypothesis is the theoretical foundation of the author’s research. The author studies the nature of listening and speaking, by doing so she points out the effects of listening on improving students’ oral English from two broad aspects.

This thesis aims at making a quantitative analysis on the effects of listening on speaking for college students. With the help of SPSS 11.5 software, a quantitative computerized analysis on this research hypothesis is made. Moreover, a quantitative analysis on correlation between listening and speaking is also made. The result shows that listening and speaking ability are closely related, and listening does have positive effects on improving college students’ oral English.

Keywords: Listening, Authentic, Oral English
1. Introduction
1.1 Background
As China enters WTO, as international relationships become closer, as unions and partnerships across nations become more widespread, an increasing number of jobs are likely to require a person not only to be good at his specialty, but also to acquire higher proficiency in oral English.

What affects an employee’s ability to communicate effectively the most in a multinational company environment is oral English ability. For about 90 percent of the job openings we see in China, oral English (at a business level) is a must, with strong reading and writing abilities preferred. These positions usually require candidates to interface often with international managers as well as communicate updates and information to China-based and home office senior management. Beyond just speaking, candidates must be able to express themselves accurately and clearly. In spite of the fact that English language courses are required in colleges and universities, the students’ oral English ability is far from satisfying. The possible reason for such embarrassing cases might be that students who have good command of English in reading and writing might not be good enough at speaking in English. Students may be qualified in reading or writing some English materials, but might fail in oral English communication. For college English teachers, there is a must to at least partly solve this problem. Luckily, nowadays, most of them have realized this problem and some of them tried possible ways to improve students’ oral English. These tentative reforms in teaching have undoubtedly positive effects on improving students oral production ability, however, in the writer’s view, those methods in oral English teaching could not be the panacea for all students at college levels, and they may not work for students whose English proficiency level is either too high or too low. Such being the case, some students who have lower or higher proficiency level might suffer from the courses rather than improve their oral English. 1.2 Significance of the study

The significance of this study is two- fold. From the research perspective, although listening has been widely used in oral English classes, it just has been used for imitation, but not been seen as a way to make students’ oral English more authentic. This study might...
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