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CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Background There are many factors affecting listening comprehension of college students.

The most important two are background knowledge and finding relevant links between an oral text and known knowledge. The former can be explained by the schemata theory and the latter by the relevance theory. Topic familiarity and language level have a profound effect on listening comprehension. These two factors can be explained by schemata theory and relevance theory. Besides, college students listening comprehension may be affected by the difficulty of an oral material itself, the speed and sound of language, the vocabulary accumulated and so on. Due to young peoples own characteristics, such as numbness, laziness, etc, psychological factors and their learning habit also exert great influence on their listening comprehension.



Definition Listening comprehension is an active process of constructing meaning and this is done

by applying knowledge to the incoming sound in which number of different types of knowledge are involved: both linguistic knowledge and non-linguistic knowledge. To put it in another way, Gary Buck (2001: 31) concludes comprehension is affected by a wide range of variables, and that potentially any characteristic of the speaker, the situation or the listener can affect the comprehension of the message.. In other words, comprehension of a spoken message can either be through isolated word recognition within the sound stream, phrase or formula recognition, clause or sentence, and extended speech comprehension (Scarcella and Oxford, 1992).


The Process of Listening Comprehension The process moves through the first three steps - receiving, attending, and

understanding - in sequence. Responding and remembering may or may not follow. As it might be desirable for listeners to respond immediately or to remember the message in order to respond at a later time. the comprehension process is constructed based on the two principal sources of information which Widowson (1983) refers to as (1) systematic or linguistic knowledge (knowledge of phonological, syntactic, and semantic components of the language system) and (2) schematic or non-linguistic information. Figure 2 below summarizes the relationship between these information sources. In fact, it is; however, difficult to distinguish between these information sources in any clear or conscious way.


Listening skills and comprehension skills

In general, as the focus of language teaching and learning has moved from teacher-centered approaches to more learner-centered approaches, the focus of listening has also changed. In the late 70s this skill was labeled as a passive skill in which no major recognition to the internal and cognitive processes was given. Nowadays, listening is recognized as an active receptive skill (Anderson and Lynch, 1988) in which the hearer activates previous knowledge to integrate new knowledge.

Listening difficulties for foreign language learners Listening knowledge of a foreign language is often important to academics studies, professional success, and personal development. Listening in a language that is not the learners first language, nevertheless, is a source of considerable difficulties for L2 learners. Some authors (Underwood, 1989; Thompson and Rubin, 1996; Goh, 2000) indicate that problems with foreign language listening may be either listening problems or language problems, depending on the listeners learning abilities and skills.

Listening Problems It can be seen that beginning L2 learners have to deal with a great deal of difficulties in listening comprehension as listening in somehow is a receptive skill. However, the listening process is often described from an information processing perspective as an active process in which listeners select and interpret information that comes from auditory and visual clues in order to define what the speakers are trying to express (Thompson & Rubin, 1996, p.331). Considering various aspects of listening comprehension, Underwood (1989) organizes the major listening problems as follows: (1) lack of control over the speed at which speakers speak; (2) not being able to get things repeated; (3) the listeners limited vocabulary; (4) failure to recognize the signals; (5) problems of interpretation; (6) inability to concentrate; (7) and established learning habits.

CHAPTER III CONCLUSION The relevant literature which is needed to form the theoretical and conceptual framework for the present study is presented. Firstly, prominent definitions of listening comprehension are given according to some leading scholars, and then the listening process is presented in order to investigate the nature of listening comprehension. It has been concluded that listening is a complex process that goes through several steps such as receiving, understanding, remembering and responding.

Secondly, the currently dominant groups of models of the listening process have been discussed as they all have important contributions to the nature of listening comprehension and the listening process. Thirdly, some sets of listening skills have been presented and taken into consideration. Lastly, the field of second/foreign language learning has proved that listeners often encounter difficulties when listening in the target language.