Effects of Metacognitive Strategy Teaching on Intermediate L2 Learners’ Listening Comprehension

Document Type : Original Article

Authors

1 Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics, Department of English Language, Faculty of Letters & Humanities, Shahrekord University, Iran

2 Ph.D. Candidate in Applied Linguistics, Department of English Language, Faculty of Letters & Humanities, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran

10.22034/efl.2022.339340.1158

Abstract

Although listening is a crucial skill to enhance one’s position in academia, this skill is challenging for most L2 learners. The first step to improve L2 learners’ listening skill is to figure out their listening problems and to provide them with appropriate instruction. The aim of the current study was told-fold: (1) It explored Iranian intermediate L2 learners’ listening problems, and (2) it examined the effect of metacognitive strategies’ instruction on Iranian intermediate L2 learners’ listening comprehension. Participants were a random sample of 31 intermediate L2 learners in Iran. The Oxford Placement Test (OPT) was administered to the participants to check their homogeneity. Also, the participants’ listening comprehension was pretested. After 10 treatment sessions, the participants were posttested to check the (possible) changes in their listening comprehension ability. In order to check the participants’ listening problems, they filled Liu’s (2010) Listening Comprehension Processing Problems Questionnaire. Data were analyzed through one samples t test and paired samples t test, whose results indicated that metacognitive strategies elevated the participants’ ability in terms of listening. Results revealed that the participants had problems in the steps of parsing and perception, although the problems were not significant. On the other hand, in the utilization phase, there seemed to be no problem. As a result, applying the findings of this research will help materials developers, curriculum planners, instructional decision-makers, and teachers.

Keywords

1. Introduction

Learning English as an international language is one of the most vital and indispensable means of communication. Individuals enhance their speaking ability through exposure to listening materials frequently (Newton & Nation2020). To decrease or eliminate EFL learners’ listening problems, it is, first, required to explore their problems. All listening comprehension problems that learners may face can be categorized into three phases: perception, parsing, and utilization (Goh2000). 

Given that learners face many listening comprehension problems, utilizing listening strategies came to be considered an essential element for L2 learning. According to Chamot (2005), strategies are those procedures that facilitate a learning task, and they are also most often conscious, teachable, and goal-driven. Therefore, the need for teaching and assessing strategies to assist an L2 in utilizing the strategies effectively in different situations and evaluating their listening comprehension in different tasks is essential (Vandergrift2007). 

According to Firoozi et al. (2019), Iranian EFL learners are not good listeners because of the lack of listening instruction in their secondary school. Besides, listening steps in English institutes are not included in a teacher’s lesson plan. Most teachers do not model using their learners’ strategies and expect them to elevate their listening abilities naturally. Determining the obstacles in listening comprehension can help L2 teachers, learners, and decision-makers to, first, find out the most problematic areas of listening comprehension and, second, to elevate L2 learners’ listening proficiency and, consequently, language proficiency based on eliminating the problems through using the metacognitive strategies. 

The literature review and bibliometric studies results (Zhang2020) have indicated that other skills such as writing and reading have been the focus of multitude of studies (e.g., Hashemian & Farhang-Ju2018a2018bJalilifar2010), and the listening skill has relatively been overlooked. Hence, the current study intended to provide further assistance for L2 learners to develop their listening comprehension. Accordingly, the present study was an effort to find answers for the following questions:

  1. Do Iranian intermediate EFL learners have problems in the perception level?
  2. Do Iranian intermediate EFL learners have problems in the parsing level?
  3. Do Iranian intermediate EFL learners have problems in the utilization level?
  4. Does explicit teaching of metacognitive strategies affect Iranian intermediate EFL learners’ listening comprehension?

2. Review of Literature

Until recently, listening was not the focus of attention in language teaching theories and practical works. Almost all L2 learners may encounter some difficulties while listening (Hedge2005). Considering different aspects of listening, Underwood (1989) grouped listening problems into seven parts as the following: inability to control the rate of addressee’s speaking, no repetition, the listener’s limited vocabulary, failure to recognize the signals, problems of interpretation, inability to concentrate, and established learning habits.

One way to overcome listening difficulties is to use strategies. Strategies are defined as "the thought of ways in which a learner approaches and manages a task" (Buck2001, p. 104). According to Vandergrift (2007), strategies are essential for L2 learners because they can be developed. There are mainly three kinds of strategies: cognitive, metacognitive, and socioaffective. In the metacognitive strategy, L2 learners listen to a text cautiously. In this type of strategy, they learn how to plan, monitor, and evaluate information (Holden2004). Five factors should be considered to define and measure metacognitive awareness: planning-evaluation, problem solving, mental translation, directed attention, and personal knowledge (Vandergrift et al.2006).

Several researchers have done numerous studies on strategy training. Goh and Taib (2006) conducted a small-scale study to assess 10 Chinese primary school learners’ improvement over eight listening lessons. The results depicted that L2 learners with less listening proficiency improved a lot in motivation, confidence, and strategy knowledge. 

Another study was carried out by Liu (2010) on the importance of listening strategy instruction. The data were collected using 101 male and female university learners at three universities. The results indicated the more proficient L2 learners used more planning and managing attention strategies than the less proficient ones. Liu also found that the advanced L2 learners did not translate the materials into their L1. The participants who were able to use the strategies effectively were also more successful in controlling their emotions. 

The effect of listening strategy training for EFL adult listeners on their listening production and processing was investigated by Chen (2010). The participants received a 14-week strategy training on metacognitive strategies. The results illustrated that listening strategy training had a positive effect on the L2 learners’ learning process and their listening performance.

The role of metacognitive listening strategy awareness and podcast use readiness was obtained by Rahimi (2012), the result of which indicated that podcasting use was significantly related to metacognitive listening strategies. The impacts of metacognitive listening strategy training on L2 learners’ listening subskill performance were examined by Dousti (2013). After an 8-week treatment and pottesting the students, the result of the t test showed that there was a significant difference between the posttests of both groups. As a result, it can be inferred that metacognitive strategies should be integrated into instructional programs.

Rahimi and Katal (2013) examined the impact of metacognitive instruction on L2 learners’ listening comprehension and oral language skill. The results showed that the experimental group outperformed the control group in terms of their speaking ability, although there was no difference between the two groups’ listening ability. Rasouli et al. (2013) designed a research study to investigate the effect of metacognitive listening strategies training on L2 learners’ listening comprehension. The results indicated that the metacognitive strategies training advanced the Iranian L2 learners from the beginning level to a higher level. 

A very recent study by Zaker (2015) investigated the effect of teaching metacognitive strategies on intermediate L2 learners’ listening comprehension. Metacognitive strategies were taught only to the two experimental groups. Analyzing the data depicted that the two experimental groups outperformed the other two classes significantly. Finally, Kobayashi (2018) examined the metacognitive strategies’ impacts on Japanese EFL learners’ listening comprehension, whose findings illustrated that the treatment positively impacted the learners’ listening comprehension.

3. Method

3.1. Participants

The present study was carried out in an English school in Isfahan, Iran. The participants were a convenience sample of 31 intermediate L2 learners whose ages ranged between 18 and 23. They were all Iranian female L2 learners with a Persian sociocultural background. 

3.2. Instruments

The first instrument for collecting the data was the Listening Comprehension Processing Problems Questionnaire (LCPQ) developed by Liu (2010). LCPQ is a standard test that is reliable and valid. It is a 5-point Likert scale 1 (never) 2 (rarely) 3 (sometimes) 4 (usually), and 5 (always) with 23 items. The first 10 items dealt with perception problems. Items 11-17 covered parsing problems, and the last 18-23 items elicited information about the utilization process.

Two tests were used to check the participants’ ability before and after the treatment to measure their progress after teaching the strategies. The tests were both adapted from Passages 1 (Richards & Sandy2015). The test contains three listening parts questions in the form of multiple-choice and true-false questions. For the posttest, the participants were supposed to listen to three pieces of listening texts, as well. The total number of the questions on the posttest was similarly 12. In order to make sure about the reliability and validity of the tests, they were pilot-tested prior to the study. The test’s reliability was calculated through the KR-21 method, and it came out to be 0.82, which is an acceptable result. Moreover, the validity of the test was calculated by some university professors. The tests were both approved by the professors. 

The last material used in the present study was a metacognitive listening approach lesson plan (Vandergrift2006). The selection of this lesson plan was motivated by the act that it is the most cited and employed lesson plan. Besides, its validity has been extensively checked before. It consists of four parts: predictions, first listening, second listening, and third listening. In the first section, which is prediction, EFL learners are supposed to guess and predict the words, phrases, and information they may hear during the listening part. After introducing the topic of listening, they may be able to guess the words they will hear. The strategies which should be practiced here are direct attention and planning strategies. 

While listening to the text for the first time, they should check their predictions and take notes. After this part, they will work in pairs or groups and check their understanding. Besides, they try to fill in the gaps and determine the parts they need to look for the next time. The strategies which should be focused on are selective attention, monitoring, evaluation, and planning. Next, while EFL learners listen for the second time, they try to fill the gaps and take some other notes. At the end of the listening part, they work together to talk about the main points. Here, monitoring, evaluation, planning, and problem solving are the strategies that are focused on. At last, EFL learners listen to the text for the third and the last time and try to pay attention to the main parts and hear the things they did not pay attention to during the first and the second time. Finally, they are supposed to write a short reflection about what they had heard. At this level, selective attention, monitoring, problem solving, evaluation, and planning are focused.  

3.3. Procedure 

Before launching the study, the participants were informed about the purpose of the study. Participation in this study was voluntary. The firstest given to the participants was the pretest in order to check their listening comprehension proficiency before the treatment. Apart from being pretested for their listening comprehension proficiency, they were asked to complete the LCPQ prior to being exposed to the teaching strategies. As mentioned before, it is a 5-point Likert scale questionnaire. The goals for completing such a questionnaire were clearly explained to the participants in their L1 (i.e., Persian). The first 10 sessions of the class, about 4 weeks, were held typically. For the listening parts, the conventional way of teaching listening was followed. The listening section was played three times, and the participants were supposed to answer the questions on their books. After the first 10 sessions, the advantages and the importance of strategies were elaborated clearly for the participants. 

The last material used in the present study was a metacognitive listening approach lesson plan (Vandergrift & Tafaghodtari2010). It consists of four parts: predictions, first listening, second listening, and the third listening. Each step was explained carefully and completely in order to the teachers to be exact and to the point. In order to teach the strategies, the steps of this lesson plan had to be followed by the teachers. 

In the first section which is prediction, EFL learners are supposed to guess and predict the words, phrases, and information they may hear during the listening part. After introducing the topic of listening, they may be able to guess the words they will hear. The strategies which should be practiced here are direct attention and planning strategies. 

While listening to the text for the first time, they should check their predictions and take notes. After this part, they will work in pairs or groups and check their understanding. In addition, they try to fill in the gaps and determine the parts they need to look for the next time. The strategies which should be focused on are selective attention, monitoring, evaluation, and planning. 

Next, while EFL learners are listening for the second time, they try to fill the gaps and take some other notes. At the end of listening part, they work as a whole class to talk about the main points. Here, monitoring, evaluation, planning, and problem solving are the strategies which are focused on. 

At last, EFL learners listen to the text for the third and the last time and try to pay attention to the main parts and hear the things they did not pay attention to during the first and the second time. Finally, they are supposed to write a short reflection about what they had heard. At this level, selective attention, monitoring, problem solving, evaluation, and planning are focused (see Table 1):

Table 1

Metacognitive Listening Approach (Vandergrift, 2010)

 

 

First listening

Second listening

Third

listening

Procedure

  1. After being introduced to the text they are about to hear, students begin to predict words, phrases, and information they may encounter during listening.
  1. While listening, students check their predictions and take notes on what they hear.
  2. Afterwards, in pairs or small groups, students discuss what they have heard, figure out the gaps in understanding, and determine what they need to pay attention to next time.
  1. Students listen again and complete the same procedures.
  2. As a whole class, students reconstruct the main points of the text and how understood these parts.
  1. Students listen for a final time and pay attention to the main points that were constructed together- things they were not able to hear or understand during the first and second listening.
  2. Students write a short reflection and set goals for future listening activities.

Strategies

Planning, direct attention

Selective attention, monitoring, evaluation, planning

Monitoring, evaluation, planning, problem solving

Selective attention, monitoring, problem solving, evaluation, planning

In the final step, the data were inserted into SPSS to answer the first three research questions. Frequencies and percentages of the participants’ responses, along with t test, were used. The fourth question was answered by conducting a paired samples t test

4. Results

The first research question of the study intended to probe the Iranian L2 learners’ potential problems at the perception level (see Table 2):

Table 2 

Learners’ Responses Regarding Problems with the Perception Level

 

Statements

Frequency/Percent

Never

Rarely

Sometimes

Usually

Always

Mean

1

Hearing sound, but not clear words

Frequency    

Percent

0

0%

0

0%

18

58.06%

11

35.48%

2

6.45%

3.48

2

Fast speech rate

Frequency 

Percent

6

19.35%

12

38.70%

6

19.35%

7

22.58%

0

0%

2.45

3

Missing the beginning of the text

Frequency 

Percent

5

16.12%

7

22.58%

0

0%

19

61.29%

0

0%

3.06

4

Knowing the meaning of a word when seeing it

Frequency

Percent

0

0%

0

0%

9

29.03%

18

58.06%

4

12.90%

3.83

5

Slow in recalling the meaning of familiar words

Frequency 

Percent

0

0%

5

16.12%

14

45.16%

12

38.70%

0

0%

3.22

6

Mistaking one word for another

Frequency 

Percent

0

0%

10

32.25%

16

51.61%

5

16.12%

0

0%

2.83

7

Too many unfamiliar words and expressions

Frequency 

Percent

2

6.45%

6

19.35%

7

22.58%

13

41.93%

3

9.67%

3.29

8

Not recognizing so many sounds and words

 

 

Frequency 

Percent

8

25.80%

7

22.58%

16

51.61%

0

0%

0

0%

2.25

9

Missing the next part of the text while thinking about the meaning

Frequency 

Percent

0

%

2

6.45%

0

0%

8

25.80%

21

67.74%

4.54

10

Difficulty in concentration

Frequency 

Percent

1

3.22%

9

29.03%

0

%

17

54.83%

3

9.67%

3.29

Because most of the items were greater than 3.00, the mean scores could be inferred that the participants had problems with most of the points. The only items with which they had no problem were Item # 2 (= 2.45, fast speech rate), Item # 6 (= 2.83, mistaking one word for another), and Item # 8 (= 2.25, not recognizing so many sounds and words). The most problematic thing for the participants was missing the next part of the text while thinking about the meaning (Item # p, = 4.54).

The overall mean of the 10 items was above 3.00, which shows the participants had problems at the perception level. Therefore, the t-test analysis was conducted to find out whether the degree to which the problems were of statistical significance or not (see Table 3): 

Table 3 

One Samples t-Test Results Regarding Problems with the Perception Level

 

Test Value = 3

t

df

Sig.

(2-tailed)

Mean Difference

95% Confidence Interval of the Difference

Lower

Upper

Perception Level

1.07

9

.31

.22

-.24

.69

The second research question is about the parsing level. Items # 11-17 are related to the parsing level. Table 4 shows the descriptive statistic regarding the participants’ problems at the parsing level:

Table 4

Learners’ Responses Regarding Problems with the Parsing Level

No

Statements

Frequency/

Percent

Never

Rarely

Sometimes

Usually

Always

Mean

12

Forgetting words or phrases just heard.

Frequency 

Percent

1

3.22%

0

0%

14

45.16%

14

45.16%

2

6.45%

3.51

13

Not understanding the meaning of sentences

Frequency 

Percent

5

16.12%

0

0%

18

58.06%

8

25.80%

0

0%

2.93

14

Difficulty in dividing the sentences into several parts

Frequency 

Percent

9

29.03%

12

38.07%

10

32.25%

0

0%

0

0%

2.03

15

Difficulty in guessing the accurate meaning of words in sentences

Frequency 

Percent

0

0%

6

19.35%

8

25.80%

17

54.83%

0

0%

3.35

16

Difficulty in following unfamiliar topics

Frequency 

Percent

0

0%

0

0%

8

25.80%

23

74.19%

0

0%

3.74

17

Difficulty in understanding a lot of information in a short time

Frequency 

Percent

9

29.03%

9

29.03%

7

22.58%

6

19.35%

0

0%

2.32

18

Missing the next parts because of earlier problems

Frequency 

Percent

0

0%

7

22.58%

7

22.58%

8

25.80%

9

29.03%

3.61

The mean scores of Items # 11, 14, 15, and 17 were larger than 3.00. This means that the participants had problems in these areas. On the other hand, the mean scores of Items # 12 (= 2.93), 13 (= 2.03), and 16 (= 2.32) were less than 3.00, indicating that the participants did not have problems.

The overall mean of the seven items was above 3.00, which indicates that the participants had problems at the parsing level; however, the t-test analysis was conducted to determine whether the degree to which the problems were statistically significant (see Table 5):

Table 5 

One Samples t-Test Results Regarding Problems with the Parsing Level

 

Test Value = 3

t

df

Sig.

(2-tailed)

Mean Difference

95% Confidence Interval of the Difference

Lower

Upper

Parsing Level

.27

6

.79

.07

-.54

.68

As it could be seen in Table 5, the value under the column labeled Sig. (2-tailed) appeared to be greater than the significance level (.79 > .05). This means that the difference between the overall mean of the items related to problems at the parsing level (3.07) and the mean of options (3.00) did not reach statistical significance. Items # 18 to 23 pertained to the problems the learners might have at the utilization level (see Table 6):

Table 6

Learners’ Responses Regarding Problems with the Utilization Level

No.

Statements

Frequency/Percent

Never

Rarely

Sometimes

Usually

Always

Mean

19

Understanding words but not the intended message

Frequency 

Percent

0

0%

12

38.70%

9

29.03%

10

32.25%

0

%

2.93

20

Difficulty in getting the order of ideas in a text

Frequency 

Percent

11

35.48%

17

54.83%

3

9.67%

0

0%

0

0%

1.74

21

Getting confused about the main idea

Frequency 

Percent

9

29.03%

20

64.51%

2

6.45%

0

0%

0

0%

1.77

22

Difficulty in getting the details

Frequency 

Percent

0

0%

7

22.58%

13

41.93%

5

16.12%

6

19.35%

3.32

23

Difficulty in getting the relationships among ideas

Frequency 

Percent

11

35.48%

8

25.80%

12

38.70%

0

0%

0

0%

2.03

24

Difficulty in getting the supporting ideas

Frequency 

Percent

10

32.25%

21

67.74%

0

0%

0

0%

0

0%

1.67

The mean scores of all the items except Item # 21 (= 3.32) were smaller than 3.00, which means that the participants did not have problems. The overall mean of these six items equaled 2.24, which means that they did not have problems at the utilization level; nonetheless, the one samples t test analysis was conducted to find out whether the degree to which there was a lack of problem at the utilization level was statistically significant or not (see Table 7):

Table 7

One Sample t-Test Results Regarding Problems with the Utilization Level

 

Test Value = 3

t

df

Sig.

(2-tailed)

Mean Difference

95% Confidence Interval of the Difference

Lower

Upper

Utilization Level

-2.63

5

.04

-.75

-1.49

-.01

 

Table 7 shows that the value under the Sig. (2-tailed) the column turned out to be smaller than the significance level (.04 < .05), which means that the difference between the overall mean of the items related to problems at utilization level (2.24) and the mean of options (3.00) reached statistical significance, so the participants had no problems at the utilization level.

The last research question of the study was formulated to see the effect of metacognitive strategies instruction. The participants’ pretest and posttest listening scores were compared via an independent samples t test (see Table 8):

Table 8

Descriptive Statics Results Comparing the Pretest and Posttest Scores of the Learners

 

Mean

N

Standard Deviation

Standard Error Mean

 

Pretest

9.06

31

1.82

.32

 

Posttest

10.19

31

1.64

.29

In Table 8, it could be observed that the participants’ posttest means score (= 10.19) was larger than their pretest mean score (= 9.06), which shows they improved in terms of listening comprehension from the pretest to the posttest. Whether this improvement was statistically significant or not could be determined in Table 9:

Table 9

Independent Samples t-Test Results Comparing the Pretest and Posttest Scores of the Learners

 

Paired Differences

t

df

Sig.

(2-tailed)

Mean

Standard Deviation

Standard Error Mean

95% Confidence Interval of the Difference

Lower

Upper

 

Pretest –Posttest

 

-1.12

 

1.45

 

.26

 

-1.66

 

-.59

 

-4.32

 

30

 

.000

Given the value in Table 8 (= .000), which is lower than the significance level, one can infer that the difference between the pretest and posttest scores of the participants was statistically significant. 

5. Discussion

In phase 1, the objective of the research study was to gain information and better insight into their problems in listening. As for question # 1, the data of the first 10 items of the questionnaire were analyzed. The mean score of most of the items was greater than 3.00, and it could be concluded that the participants had problems in almost all the parts. The most problematic area here referred to Item # 9, which is about missing the next part of the text while thinking about the meaning. Accordingly, L2 teachers must make their learners aware of planning and teach them how to get the main idea without being confused by the details. It is predicted that through working on metacognitive strategies, this ability to plan their learning can be significantly enhanced. 

Items # 2, 6, and 8 were the only items in which the participants did not show any significant problems. Almost these three items are related to the speaker’s speed in which the participants did not show any problems. It could be inferred that the participants blamed themselves for not understanding the information—not the speaker. 

As stated by Field (2008), perception problems are related to the inability to distinguish sounds and words. There are two different types of problems in this phase: phonological and lexical. L2 learners’ difficulty understanding intonations, stress, different accents, hesitation, interruption, pauses, and overlaps are severe problems in this phase. The findings of this research study are almost in line with what Goh (2000) found out. According to what he said, there are 10 listening problems, five related to perception problems. Among these five problems, one of the mentioned ones with a high frequency is neglecting the next part while thinking about the meaning of the other part of a text, which had the highest frequency in this study. 

Cross (2011) argued that the most problematic area for EFL learners is the recognition of the words. There seem to be many problems concerning word recognition (e.g., reduction, assimilation, elision, resyllabification, and cliticization). In contrast to what Cross said, the participants in the current study did not show any salient problem in word recognition. 

In the second question, the Iranian L2 learners’ problems at the parsing level were examined carefully. The mean score of Items # 12, 13, and 16 were less than 3.00, meaning that the participants did not have problems in these parts. These three items were about understanding the whole meaning of a sentence, dividing the sentence, and understanding a lot of information. On the other hand, their responses indicated that they had difficulty forgetting words or phrases, guessing the meaning of the words, following unfamiliar topics, and missing the next part. 

The third question of the research explored the Iranian L2 learners’ problems at the utilization level. The last six items of the questionnaire were set up to evaluate problems at this stage. The mean scores of all the items—except for Item # 21—were below 3.00, showing that the participants did not consider this stage a problematic one. Item # 21, which was about the difficulty in understanding the details, was more than 3.00. It can be indicated that the participants were good at getting the main idea of the text, but not the details. The other five items were about understanding the intended message, getting the order of ideas, getting the main idea, the relationship among ideas, and understanding supporting ideas; there seemed not to be a fundamental problem. In addition, the overall mean of the items reached statistical significance. The conclusion can be made here that the Iranian L2 learners do not have problems at the utilization level, and this is, in fact, significant. According to Scarcella (1990), the problems here are pragmatic and discoursal. Pragmatics refers to understanding the meaning and being able to communicate, as well. The problems here will arise when L2 learners understand the words, but not the intended message. On the other hand, discoursal problems occur when they cannot get the order of events and the text’s overall organization (Underwood1989). It should be mentioned that in this study, the only problematic item was Item # 21, which was about getting the details, although, in Goh’s (2000) study, the Chinese learners had problems in understanding the intended message. 

The last question of the research study was up to explore the effectiveness of teaching metacognitive strategies based on Vandergrift’s (2008) model. Accordingly, the participants’ pretest and posttest scores were compared. It was revealed that their posttest scores were greater than their pretest scores. This difference was significant, according to the t test. As a result, the fourth question of the study can be answered: Explicit teaching of metacognitive strategies based on Vandergrift’s (2008) model affects the Iranian intermediate EFL learners’ listening comprehension. 

The findings of the present study can be compared with what was done before. According to Cohen (1998), metacognitive strategies can advance L2 learners from the beginner to a higher level. As it was depicted, if L2 teachers modify learning strategies to L2 learners’ needs, their learners will elevate their proficiency and develop their listening ability dramatically. 

Besides, in another study by O’Malley and Chamot (1990), it seemed vital for L2 teachers to alert the effectiveness of metacognitive strategies training for English language learners. Based on their findings, L2 teachers should make an effort to integrate metacognitive strategies into their teaching and inform EFL learners about its nature. According to Cohen (1998), the traditional view of listening comprehension and instruction in which EFL learners were exposed to tasks without thinking and planning progress should be substituted with an approach in which strategies are explained and taught. 

It can be agreed that if L2 teachers wish to have an effective outcome, they need to go further than ordinary instructions of listening. They would fail unless they are exposed to learning strategies to enhance their understanding. To fulfill their dream of listening improvement, L2 teachers play an active and crucial role in listening strategies (Vandergrift2007).

6. Conclusion

This study aimed to see if metacognitive strategy training could positively impact EFL learners whose ultimate goal is to comprehend L2 input. The results indicated that treatment had a positive effect on them.

The findings can have several implications in ELT: For instance, applying the findings of this research study to EFL classrooms will address multiple actions including material development (i.e., the ways in which oral and print texts reflect teaching and listening and steps for listening) curriculum planning (i.e., the ways in which listening instruction and strategies are planned), and instructional decision making (i.e., the ways in which L2 teachers approach and teach listening strategies). EFL materials designers are to replete textbooks with different steps for learning listening strategies. It is sensibly desirable to incorporate the easiest strategies first and then the complicated ones. Regarding the positive relationship between knowing the strategies and listening comprehension, it is now advisable that L2 materials designers boycott presenting listening exercises in isolation and replaced them with plenty of tasks to develop their strategies.          

 The results of the study revealed that the EFL learners showed a plethora of problems in the first two levels of parsing and perception, but not utilization. In fact, the most problematic areas for the EFL learners were missing the next part of the text while thinking about the meaning and forgetting words and phrases just heard. Therefore, it is majorly, but not solely, L2 teachers who are supposed to teach EFL learners some strategies related to these problems. 

Although this study opened a new door to the world of teaching English, it is, undeniably, true to admit that there may be some limitations: The number of the learners who participated in this study. In other words, the size of the sample was insufficient to be confidently generalized. The results could have been more representative if the number of participants had been more. This shortcoming was due to the lack of participants willing to participate in the study. So, broad generalizations should be made cautiously. 

One more limitation was gender. The possible impact of gender was controlled, and only female EFL learners participated in the study. The results could have been different if the study had been done in male classes or coeducational system. As a result, this generalization can be made just for females. Furthermore, study was done on intermediate L2 learners. The impact of treatment on other levels of proficiency may be significantly different compared to the results of the present study. 

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Volume 7, Issue 2
2022
Pages 77-96
  • Receive Date: 25 April 2022
  • Revise Date: 18 May 2022
  • Accept Date: 25 May 2022
  • First Publish Date: 25 May 2022