Date of Award

12-2015

Culminating Project Type

Thesis

Degree Name

English: Teaching English as a Second Language: M.A.

Department

English

College

College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

James Robinson

Second Advisor

Ramon Serrano

Third Advisor

Masha Mikolchak

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

ESL LISTENING COMPREHENSION VISUAL SUPPORT GESTURES

Abstract

Rubin (1994) stresses the value of visual support in listening comprehension and cites several studies including her own in favor of using videos in language classrooms. Hoven (1999) correlates listening comprehension to visual comprehension and argues that LC and VC are complementary and should both be incorporated in teaching listening and speaking in L2. Furthermore, gestures play a significant role of mediator in the language learning process (McCafferty, 2004), and technology offers multiple ways to introduce input in language classrooms (Rost, 2007). A listening comprehension task was designed to compare three different modes of input in a listening and speaking class among a group of 33 English language learners. All three groups wrote a recall after listening twice to the same audio-text. The control group did not benefit from any visual support, while experimental 1 could see the video of the speaker using gestures and facial cues. Experimental 2 group watched a PowerPoint presentation where the oral input was enhanced with pictures and some text. The pictures represented each example cited in the presentation. The analysis comprised in a T-test to compare the recall students wrote individually in each group, and a Chi-square test to compare the number of examples cited in students’ recalls per group. The T-test did not show any significant results to form a claim in favor of one mode of input over the other. However, a Chi-square tests which compared the number of examples cited per group indicated that there is a relationship between the number of examples and the various groups according to each treatment. This study strongly suggests that supporting oral input with pictures is highly recommended. In fact, the results show that students who were given specific examples accompanied with pictures, were the only group where some participants successfully cited all the examples mentioned in the presentation.

Comments/Acknowledgements

I would like to thank all the people who helped me and supported me throughout this research project. All the people who made graduate school a great experience. Friends I will cherish for life, professors who opened my eyes and mind to new ways of thinking, my committee members, Dr. Robinson who had the patience to guide me and answer my 101 questions, my mom who values education beyond limits, my family who always believed in me, and my daughter Rayja who gives me the strength to reach beyond my limits. Carol, Richard, David, Doris, Salim, Betsy, Emily, Leah, James, and many more to cite them all, your names are not mentioned here fortuitously, I thank you for being the beautiful people you are.

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