An indispensable skill in acquiring a foreignlanguage is listening that must be defined as a problem-solving skill. Thesignificance of listening skill in foreign language acquisition cannot beignored at all due to the fact that it is indeed through listening by which onecan obtain language input in order to master language. Without imbibingadequately understandable input, learners studying of language cannot beoccurred, which is declared by Aneiro (1989). That listening skill is crucial in languageclassrooms due to providing input for students is the similar declaration,which was both advocated and approved by Bacon (1992). What plays an integralrole in learners’ language progress is listening, as an input skill.
Only theability to hear the linguistic material to obtain language cannot besufficient, people must comprehend them simultaneously, in conformity withKrashen (1985). Hence, this is over receiving comprehensible language inputthat language acquisition can be accomplished predominantly. “Withoutunderstanding inputs at right level, any kind of learning simply cannot occur”(Blau, 1991,p. 54). Consequently, listening evidences a vitalprecedence between the four skill areas for language learners because of beinga fundamental language skill. “Listening comprehension provides the rightconditions for language acquisition and development of other language skills”,in line with the statement of Chen (2005) (p.
138). Since students can be both able toincrease acquaintance of the target language and obtain worthwhile linguisticinput to construct language proficiency through listening, it is more likely tobe frequently recognized as the most central of the four language skills forEFL students. Nevertheless, it is crucial to note that to attain linguisticknowledge, simple exploitation of listening information cannot be the onlypossibly adequate approach. Listeners as language learners should not bedefined only as listener of language since a normally typical student need alsoto be active through the procedure of studying, which is indeed so far fromsimply interpreting the auditory demonstrations. Nevertheless, the incipient work on second language listening reliedexclusively on passive, bottom-up view (Chamot, 2004).
The result of the simplyheard materials eventuated in interpreting problems in second languagelistening and listening comprehension. To solve the issue, it was believed thatduring the listening process, listeners must make a mental summary so that itcan be used to paraphrase the original contents of utterer speech. Toappreciate the speaker’s gist learners must modify various ilk of material,which is stated by Carrier (2003).
A listener, a text and a speaker areencompassed in listening. An active process is a procedure in which theimprovement of listening takes place.In the early twentieth century, the AudioLingual Method (ALM) in the U.S. and Situational Language Teaching in the U.K.
subjugated the field of language pedagogy was subjugated by two teachingapproaches: the Audio Lingual Method (ALM) in the U.S. and Situational LanguageTeaching in the U.K.. Speaking as well as listening skills were accentuatedwithin these methods in language teaching.
The teachings syllables were onpattern practice, slight couple drills and pronunciation practice intended toimprove speech conducts corresponding to the way by which native speaker’sspeak, in ALM. Richards and Rodgers (2001) stated that thehighly accentuation of this method was chiefly upon the precise exploitation ofpronunciation and structures during speaking in the target language even if allof these processes occurred in oriental orders. The natural and unplannedexploitation of such fresh language in dialogue received only a ting of attention.In addition, the intentions of other succeedingapproaches such as Silent way, Community Language Learning, and Suggestopediahighlighted oral language proficiency.
The capability to speak the selectedlanguage through a pronunciation, which must be close to native ones, waswell-thought-out as the rudimentary language mastery, within all of thesemethods. Possessing grammatical knowledge of the language was dominant albeitthese fresh approaches instilled the motivation of further interactive languageutilization in students.Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) came toexist in the 1960s due to the insufficiency that had been observed in suchmethods. The aim of CLT was the acknowledgment of language as a means for bothactive and comprehensible communication, and that is why comprehensiblepronunciation, as an instance, within such method, is of highly significantaspect than anything else including native-like pronunciation. The same amountof significance was given by CLT to both the functional and the structuralaspects of language, which is indicated by (Littlewood, 1983; Nunan, 1987). Inorder to utilize authentic language, the students require the ability that issupplied through utilization of comprehensible and interactive actions in CLT.
The motto of CLT turned out to be “Using language to learn it” in lieu of”Learning language to use it” (Widdowson, 1978). As the imperative language aims both fluencyand accuracy, participated in purposeful frameworks within the approach also,were highlighted. Because of the importance oflistening comprehension ability, the present research is going to find out the effect of Audio-lingual method (ALM) versus Communicative Language Teachingtechniques (CLT) onintermediate EFL learners’ listening comprehension ability.
1.1. Purposeof the StudyIn the current research the effect of ALM versus CLT techniques on listeningcomprehension ability of female Iranian EFL learners in English Institute wasinvestigated.
The most significant aspect of the present research is its relationship withthe practicality of the research. The English language has been considered oneof the key component in keeping up with the globalization trend in Iran.Therefore English has been a compulsory subject in the Iranian educational curriculum,and knowledge of the English language is looked upon as top priority for allIranian at all levels. This situation has created great demands in developingeffective and efficient learning and teaching models in English education.Likewise, the students and the teachers have paid more attention to CLTinstructional approaches in order to help Iranian EFL learners to have nativelike proficiency in the English language.
To shed more light on thepracticality of different method of teaching EFL listening, the current studyaimed to compare the effectiveness of ALM versus CLT methods on Iranian EFL listeningcomprehension. 1.3.Statement of the ProblemFormingaccurate expressions, consuming these expressions appropriately in myriadcontexts, and a learners’ ability to perform through the grammatical rulesconsumption all go back to the concept of communicative competence. Thedevelopment of all aspects of communicative competence ought to be theconcentration of all foreign language programs so that the pupils’ overallcommunicative competence in a target language can be built better.
By both anumber of diverse sorts of listening materials and processes learners canincrease their listening skills (Harmer, 2007). The involvement of all types of knowledgeof learners to construe the meaning confirm the intricacy of listening skill.The proper insinuations, that are indispensable to understand the message, canbe made much easier if the hearer be cognizant of the presented text, andrelates it to his or her background knowledge (ibid). Several researchers in the field ofsecond and foreign language (L2) listening, as mentioned by Cohen (2000), reachagreement on the notion listening tasks deliver by listeners usually do notmanipulating these strategies in an effective way. L2 listening researchers aremore likely to have similar condolence that listening ought to be considered asa skill that demands the usage of strategy, that must be taught to learnerabout the howness of their precise exploitation in order to perceive development in their listening ability.Seferoglu and Uzakgoren in 2004 mentioned that listening does not treated bygreat respect in as much, which is expected.
As result if it, learners are lesslikely to be adequately taught about the listening strategies. Unfortunately, listening skills arenot often taught explicitly in spite of the regularity of listening activity inclassrooms (Newton, 1990). “Most teachers teach, assuming that because they aretalking, their students are listening” (Swanson, 1996).
Listening can be the most difficult task orskill among the others to most language learners in most of the language areas,from which it is possible to partially observe that effective listeninginstruction is the neglected part of the most language teaching programs, whichdemonstrate itself further clear when most language learners complain about notbeing capable to “listen” or “hear” properly. Also, it is perceived thatstudents are incognizant of some pertinent facts such as the listening nature,how to develop their listening, and how to quell the listening comprehensionissues happening during the listening in general about listening. With thislack of research in mind, the present research is going to investigate the effect of Audio-lingual method (ALM) versusCommunicative Language Teaching techniques (CLT) on intermediate EFL learners’ listeningcomprehension ability. It will provide more insights about the efficiency ofvarious modes of listening instruction.
1.4. Significance of the StudyAfter a substantial argument in the L2literature upon the significance of listening comprehension, it was spotlightedas an independent and essential element of language learning.
The listeningcomprehension received further concentration in the 1970s as well as ametaphorical shift happened, from the embryonic status of listening, which wasmainly unimportant in as such that only by the fate of life students could workon listening tasks, to a highest prominence status of being examinedexplicitly. That focusing on listening comprehension, particularly in the incipientlevels of second language learning/ teaching, generates four diverse kinds ofadvantages: cognitive, efficiency, utility, and affective led the importance oflistening in language learning to be realized properly when it was stated byGary (1975). An additionally natural way to learn the language is given tostudents through an early acquaintance of listening which eventuate in thecognitive improvement. Before speaking, listening ought to be emphasizedbecause recognition knowledge must be defined as a necessity to process anddecode the auditory input, while retrieval knowledge must be known asobligatory to translate and produce speech. Begin by focusing on speaking atthe early levels eventuates in few attentions for listening, which lead to thelackage of comprehension.
When the requirement to speak instantly is not demanded from students,and only listen to the language is required, language learning becomes moreefficient. Since learners are open only to good representations of the languagesuch as the teacher and authentic recordings, such initial accentuation onlistening is efficient.Utility also recognized as the third advantage,as its name suggest the utilization of language divulges practicality of theapproachable skill. In line with research in the fields of communication, thestatistics demonstrate that when adults communicate, they devote 40-50% ofcommunication time to listening, 25-30 % speaking, 9 % writing, and about 11-16% reading (Rivers in Gilman and Moody, 1984), which makes it clear that thehighest utilization of comprehension skills are listening and readingindeed.
Affective advantage is the ultimate benefit of listening concentrationthrough the infancy stages. When students are coerced to create initial oralproduction, they undergo a shameful condition which often results inunmotivated feeling to speak. Nevertheless, learners can relax and be attentivein improving the listening skill, by which the other language skills can beoccurred due to the absence of such pressure, that all lead to instill moremotivation to study into students and to maintain further their learningprocess because of their former accomplishment. Moreover, through the arrival of communicative and proficiency-orientedapproaches to language teaching, which has highlighted listening within alllevels of language learning, listening was no longer underestimated in secondlanguage acquisition, is crucial to be noted. Thecurrent researcher intends to investigate theeffect of Audio-lingual method (ALM) versusCommunicative Language Teaching techniques (CLT) on intermediate EFL learners’ listeningcomprehension ability.
1.5. Research Questions and HypothesisThe question that thisstudy seeks to find its answer is:· ResearchQuestion: Does Audio-lingual method (ALM) versusCommunicative Language Teaching techniques (CLT) significantly affect Iranian intermediate EFLlearners’ listening comprehension ability? In step with the above-mentioned researchquestion, the researcher poses the following research Hypothesis:· ResearchNull Hypothesis:Audio-lingual method (ALM) versusCommunicative Language Teaching techniques (CLT) does not have any effect on Iranianintermediate EFL learners’ listening comprehension ability. 1.6. Definition of Key TermsThe followings are some definitions of the key terms of thepresent study: 1.
6.1. ListeningComprehensionTo comprehend the native dialogue at normalpace in an unplanned condition is the goal of listening comprehension, on theword of Chastain (1971). A rational phenomenon can be associated with listeningcomprehension since listeners make an attempt to create a meaning duringgaining the information from the listening source. Consequently, listeningprocess must be known as “the ability of one individual perceiving another viasense, aural organs, assigning a meaning to the message and comprehending it”.
That listening is the elementary skill in language learning is indicated byNunan (1998) in as such that though its absence, the effective communicationcannot be possible to students forever. 1.6.2.Reactive Performance Reactiveperformance requires the teacher to enable learners to listen to the surfacestructure of an utterance and to repeat what they had heard.
1.6.3.Intensive performance Intensiveperformance emphasizes components of spoken language or listeners’bottom-up level such as phonemes, sounds, words, intonation, discourse markersand grammatical structures.1.6.
4.Communicative Language Teaching As areaction to preceding methodological principles, like those encompassedAudiolingualism or Grammar-Translation, CLT appears, as a repercussionconversely. To improve communicative competence, to move “beyond grammaticaland discourse elements in communication” and investigate on the “nature ofsocial, cultural, and pragmatic features of language” are the main objectivesof CLT (Brown, 1994, p.
77). Therefore, it can be drawn that students aresupposed to be able of communicating and being fluent rather than expressingprecisely grammatical sentences or to be accurate completely. Hence, classroomlanguage learning is associated with real-life communication, authenticexamples of language, discourse or contextualized chunks than any separateitems are engaged without any restrains, which provide learners tools forproducing spontaneous language outside the limited area of the classroom. 1.7.
Delimitations and LimitationsDuring the process of completing this study,there were some limitations which made it take longer time to accomplish thegoals which were set at the very beginning of the study. One of the mostimportant problems was limited number of participants who were pre-intermediateEnglish learners in Shokoh’s Language Institute in Lahijan. Sixty twointermediate learners were selected as the participants of the current study,however, two participants did not take part fully in the study; therefore, theywere regarded as the subject mortality. As a result, the researcher had tocontinue the research with 30 learners in the each group.
In addition, some ofthe participants did not cooperate in completing the tests honestly since somefactors were out of control in this study, for example, personality factorssuch as aptitude, the students’ attitude and motivation, their interest and soon. Oneof the delimitations of this study was intermediate level of the participantswhich was considered as a control variable. Moreover, among different methodsof listening comprehension instruction, this study dealt with the effect of CLTmethod and ALM method on EFL listening.