Some Academic Listening Problems Facing Second-Year English Major Students

Topics: Learning, English language, Phonology Pages: 5 (1693 words) Published: March 16, 2013
Listening plays a vital role in daily life. People listen for different purposes like communication, information, academic purposes, entertainment …In addition, without listening skill, no communication can be achieved. However, according to some previous researches, such as Rixon’ one (1993), those who learn English as a foreign language, especially in a non-native setting, find it difficult to acquire good listening skill. The listening problems involved hearing the sounds, understanding intonation and stress, coping with redundancy and noise, predicting, comprehending colloquial vocabulary, fatigue, understanding different accents, using visual and aural environmental clues (Ur, !990). To investigate thoroughly this matter, in this project, listening skill of second-year English major students researched to point out the attitude of students towards learning listening, which difficulties they often face when listening English and the reasons for these problems. This research would concentrate only on problems in term of redundancy, vocabulary and accents when students study listening English. Materials and Methods

In order to gather the data for our study, a monolingual questionnaire (Appendix) was developed because of its advantages. For example, questionnaires are considered as reliable ways for collecting information since they are anonymous and this encourages greater honesty. Furthermore, they are also cheap and easy to answer. Our questionnaire was created including 9 closed items. Two first questions investigate whether listening skill is a hindrance for second-year English major students. The next three questions ask students what problems they often face when studying listening English. And the four last ones probe what the reasons for their difficulties are. Second-year English Department students at Hanoi University were the subjects of our research. 50 students from different classes were all selected on voluntary basic. Most of them are female and the age range is 20-21. These participants were chosen because all of them may experience such problems. We started administering the project in Hanoi University in March, 2010. All the participants were summoned to one class room. 50 questionnaires were sent to 50 subjects. Before they answered the questions, all the queries were responded and participants then progressed to completing the questionnaire. All the handouts were collected after 30 minutes. Results and discussion

I. Evaluation of second-year English major students’ listening skill As illustrated in this column chart, studying listening is a really big obstacle for second-year English major students. The number of students who answered listening skill was hard was 60% and very difficult was 10%. This figure was approximately six times as much as the percentage of students (12%) who thought listening English just was a trivial matter. Obviously, the large number of sophomores who are lack of confidence in their own abilities of listening proves their modest level at listening. II. Problems of academic listening facing second-year English major students The investigation into the difficulties which second-year English major students often encounter when studying listening shows that most of them have problems with redundancy, colloquial vocabulary and different accents. As shown in table 1, it is clear that most of the sophomores agree that redundancy was a hindrance for them when listening. Redundancy includes such thing as repetition, paraphrases, self-correction, and the use of words such as “I mean”, “well”...A learner listener is often unable to profit from such redundancy by becoming aware that not every new sentence or phrase contains new information and that there is extra time available for comprehending. Instead, they will feel interfered and distracted. This was proved by the data recorded. Among 50 students questioned, 43 ones said they always or sometimes faced problem with...
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