Date of Award

6-2019

Culminating Project Type

Thesis

Degree Name

English

Department

English

College

College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

John Madden

Second Advisor

Sharon Cogdill

Third Advisor

Choonkyong Kim

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

English learners, listening comprehension, vocabulary, young

Abstract

Abstract

Many second language learners struggle to understand and comprehend the spoken language. The amount of known vocabulary and the depth of understanding of known vocabulary can have an impact on listening comprehension. The focus of this study was the timing of explicit vocabulary instruction and the impact it has on listening comprehension of second language learners. The participants of this study were 24 elementary school age students studying English as a second language. Students had various home languages and levels of English proficiency. Each participant took part in 2 experimental conditions and 1 controlled condition. Each of these conditions altered the timing of vocabulary instruction. Condition 1 received explicit vocabulary instruction of target vocabulary before listening to a text. After the listening task, students completed a multiple-choice assessment that reflected their comprehension of the listening task. Condition 2 received vocabulary instruction after listening to a text. Once the listening task was complete, students took a multiple-choice assessment that reflected their comprehension of the listening task. Condition 3, or the control condition, received no vocabulary instruction before listening to a text and completing the assessment. However, target vocabulary was taught after the assessment was given to ensure students still received instruction on the target vocabulary. This study used a within-subjects design which eliminated the order effect. The results show no significant difference between vocabulary instruction that takes place before listening to a text and vocabulary instruction that takes place after listening to a text. However, the results of this study show a significant difference between vocabulary instruction and no vocabulary instruction at all. This indicates that teaching vocabulary, regardless of the timing, enhances student listening comprehension more than not explicitly teaching vocabulary at all. Based on the results of this study, teachers should explicitly teach vocabulary, in general, because it enhances listening comprehension in English language learners.

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