University of Alberta, Canada is Assistant Professor (Second Language Education) at the Faculty of Education, the University of Ottawa, in Ottawa, Ontario (Canada).
The Comprehension Strategies of Second Language (French) Listeners: A Descriptive Study
Article first published online: 31 DEC 2008
© 1997 American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
Foreign Language Annals
Volume 30, Issue 3, pages 387–409, October 1997
How to Cite
Vandergrift, L. (1997), The Comprehension Strategies of Second Language (French) Listeners: A Descriptive Study. Foreign Language Annals, 30: 387–409. doi: 10.1111/j.1944-9720.1997.tb02362.x
- Issue published online: 31 DEC 2008
- Article first published online: 31 DEC 2008
ABSTRACT This paper reports on a study of the relationship between the types of listening comprehension strategies reported, the frequency of their use, and the differences in reported use across four variables: level of language proficiency, gender, listening ability, and learning style. High school students of French reported on their thought processes during a think-aloud procedure. All students reported using metacognitive and cognitive strategies, with an overall increase in total number of strategies reported by proficiency level. Results indicate clear differences in reported strategy use by listening ability and proficiency level. The use of metacognitive strategies, such as comprehension monitoring, problem identification, and selective attention appeared to be the significant factor distinguishing the successful from the less successful listener. Differences for gender were minimal, and differences for learning style were inconclusive. A qualitative analysis of representative protocols also pointed to the integral role of metacognitive strategies as well as differences in the use of prior knowledge, inferencing, prediction skills, and monitoring. Results are discussed in the light of information-processing theory. Implications for pedagogy conclude the paper.