A Study of EFL Listening Styles

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Most people listen more as a function of habit than conscious choice and typically rely on a single listening style when communicating with others. The purpose of the present study is to examine the relationship between listening styles and EFL listening proficiency for Taiwanese college students. Respondents in the study included six freshman classes of about 300 students at a university in Taiwan. One instrument adopted in the study is a listening test which designated respondents’ EFL listening proficiency. The other is a questionnaire of the Listening Styles Profile (Watson et al., 1995) which identified four distinct listening styles, i.e., people-oriented, action-oriented, content-oriented, and time-oriented. The respondents first took the EFL listening test, and then completed the listening styles profile. Finally, an interview was held with ten of the respondents to probe their perceptions of listening styles. Significant links between each listening style and EFL listening proficiency and listener gender variables was explored using correlational tests and analysis of variance. Results of the study show that Taiwanese college students adopted the people-oriented listening styles most often, and that there is positive relationship between respondents’ people-oriented listening styles and their scores of EFL listening test. Furthermore, it is found that female college students used more people-oriented listening styles while male students used more action, content, and time styles. Based on the results, the important implication for EFL listening instruction is to teach EFL listeners employ people-oriented listening styles more frequently to improve their listening comprehension.


Keywords: L2 Listening, EFL Listening Proficiency, Listening Style
Stream: Literacy, Language, Multiliteracies; Languages Education and Second Language Learning
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: , Study of EFL Listening Styles, A


Dr. Huei-Chun Teng

Professor, Department of Applied Foreign Languages, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology
Taipei, Taiwan, Taiwan

Huei-Chun Teng got her M.A. and Ph.D. from the Program of Second Languages & Cultures Education at the Department of Curriculum & Instruction in University of Minnesota, U.S.A.. She is currently a professor at the Department of Applied Foreign Languages in National Taiwan University of Science & Technology, Taiwan. She has presented a number of research papers at some of the major international conferences on second language learning, such as TESOL, AAAL, AILA. Her research interests include L2 listening, speaking assessment, and EFL learning strategies.

Ref: L09P0029