In the Name of God
Islamic Azad University
Rasht Branch
Faculty of Human Science
Presented in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for (M.A) degree
Title
The impact of silent and freeze-frame viewing techniques of video materials on the intermediate EFL learners` listening comprehension
Supervisor:
Dr. Abdorreza Tahriri
Author:
Sara Shahani
Date:
January 2014

To:
REZA, my beloved husband for his unwavering love
Acknowledgement
It is a pleasure to thank the many people who made this thesis possible. First and foremost thank God for the perseverance he has bestowed upon me during this research project. I would like to gratefully and sincerely thank my dear supervisor, Dr. Abdorreza Tahriri, for his guidance, understanding, patience, and most importantly, his great effort to explain things clearly and simply. I have been extremely lucky to have a supervisor like Dr. Tahriri who responded to all of my questions and queries so promptly with sound advice. I wish to thank him for his editing skill in helping me to structure and write this thesis. I would have been lost without him. For everything you have done for me, Dr. Abdorreza Tahriri, I thank you. It would be also my pleasure to thank my dear advisor, Dr. Hoda Divsar, for all of her meticulous reading and insightful comments and suggestions. I would like to thank Ms. Hafezi, the principal of Shahed high school, the teachers and students who attended this study and also I must specially thank Ms. Omolbanin Musazade. I am deeply indebted to her for suggestions and help on statistical procedures. I am most grateful to thank Dr. Masoumeh Arjmandi, the head of English department, for her cooperation, constant encouragement, and friendship during my graduate studies. I must also express my gratitude to all my lecturers specially Dr. Abdorreza Tahriri, Dr. Ramin Rahimi, Dr. Behzad Barkat and Dr. Masoome Arjmandi and also my dear classmates at Guilan Science and Research University who made my studies in Rasht one of the most memorable parts of my life. Lastly, and most importantly, I wish to sincerely thank my dear husband Reza for his constant support and encouragement. I also wish to extend my deep appreciation to my parents, Hussein Shahani and Keshvar Shahvand and my sisters and brothers and Reza`s parents, Manuchehr Farabi and Zahra Rumezpoor for unconditional support and their faith in me.
Table of contents
Abstract…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….1
Chapter 1: Introduction
1.0 Preliminaries…………………………………………………………………………2
1.1 Theoretical Framework…………………………………………………………….5
1.2 Statement of the Problem…………………………………………………………..7
1.3 Significance of the Study………………………………………………………….10
1.4 Purpose of the Study…………………………………………………………………11
1.5 Research Questions of the Study………………………………………………….11
1.6 Hypothesis of the Study……………………………………………………………12
1.7 Definition of Key Terms………………………………………………………….12
1.7.1 Listening Skill……………………………………………………………..12
1.7.2 Listening comprehension………………………………………………..12
1.7.3 Video material……………………………………………………………13
1.7.4 Silent viewing………………………………………………………………13
1.7.5 Freeze-frame viewing…………………………………………………….13
1.8 Outline of the Study……………………………………………………………….14
1.9 Summary…………………………………………………………………………..14
Chapter 2: Review of the Literature
2.0 Preliminaries…………………………………………………………………………15
2.1 Significance of the Listening Skill…………………………………………………15
2.2 The Listening Process………………………………………………………………17
2.2.1 Top-down Processing……………………………………………………17
2.2.2 Bottom-up Processing……………………………………………………18
2.3 Components of the Listening Skill…………………………………………………20
2.4 Types of the Listening Skill………………………………………………………21
2.5 A Historical Overview of the Listening Instruction………………………………24
2.6 Teaching Listening…………………………………………………………………28
2.7 Areas of Research in the Listening Comprehension………………………………31
2.8 Video Material……………………………………………………………………33
2.8.1 Dual Coding Theory (DCT)……………………………………………..35
2.8.2 Authenticity………………………………………………………………37
2.8.3 Studies on Using Video Material in Language Classes…………………38
2.8.4 Studies on Using Captions and Subtitles…………………………………..47
2.8.5 Studies on Using Advance Organizers……………………………………..54
2.9 Summary……………………………………………………………………………59
Chapter 3: Methodology
3.0 Preliminaries…………………………………………………..………………….60
3.1 The Design of the Study………………………………………………………….60
3.2 Participants……………………………………………………………………….61
3.3 Instruments and Materials………………………………………………………….62
3.3.1 Oxford Placement Test………………………………………….………62
3.3.2 IELTS Listening Test………………………………………..………….63
3.3.3 Close-ended Questionnaire………………………………….………….63
3.3.4 Video Material…………………………………………………..………63
3.3.5 Pilot Study………………………………………………………………64
3.4 Data Collection Procedure………………………………………………..………65
3.5 Methods of Analyzing Data……………………………………………………….66
3.6 Summary………………………………………………………………..…………67
Chapter 4: Result
4.0 Preliminaries…………………………………………………………….…….…..68
4.1 Data Analysis and Findings…………………………………………….…………69
4.1.1 Pilot Study……………………………………………………..…………69
4.1.2 General Placement Test (OPT)………………………………..…………70
4.1.3 Testing the Normality Assumption…………………………….…………71
4.1.4 The First Research Question……………………………….……………73
4.1.5 Descriptive Statistics for the Pre-Test Scores of Listening Comprehension……………………………………………………………………….74
4.1.6 Descriptive Statistics for the Post-Test Scores of Listening Comprehension…………………………………………………………..……….……76
4.1.7 The Second Research Question……………………….…………………78
4.1.8 The Third Research Question……………………………………………78
4.1.9 The Fourth Research Question……………….………………………….79
4.2 Summary………………………………………………………………………………83
Chapter 5: Discussion
5.0 Preliminaries……………………………………………………………………….85
5.1 General Discussion……………………………………….…………………………..85
5.2 Implications of the Study………………………………….………………………90
5.3 Limitations of the Study…………………………………………….…………….91
5.4 Suggestions for further Research…………………………………………………92
5.5 Summary………………………………………………………………………….92
References………………………………………………………………….…………93
Appendices………………………………………………………………………….102
Appendix A: Oxford Placement Test…………………………………………102
Appendix B: IELTS Listening Tests…………………………………………110
Appendix C: Close-ended Questionnaire………………….…………………118
List of Tables
Title Page
Table 2.1 Years of Training in Different Skills………………………………….……17
Table 3.1 Information about the Participants` age……………………………………61
Table 4.1 Correlations between First and Second Administration of Listening Test……………………………………………………………………………………70
Table 4.2 Reliability Statistics…………………………………………………….…..70
Table 4.3 Statistics for OPT Test Scores………………………………………………71
Table 4.4 Statistics for the Skewness Analysis……………………………………….72
Table 4.5 Descriptive Statistics for Pre-test Scores of Listening Comprehension Test……………………………………………………………………………………..74
Table 4.6 One – Way ANOVA for the Three Groups on Pre-Test………………….…75
Table 4.7 Descriptive Statistics for the Results of the Post–Test………………….…..76
Table 4.8 One- Way ANOVA for the Three Groups on Post-Test……………….……77
Table 4.9 Multiple Comparisons (Scheffe test) for Three Groups on Post-Test……….78
Table 4.10 Item Statistics for the Attitude Questionnaire…………………………….80
List of Figures
Figure 4.1 Scatter plot for the two experimental and control group for pre-test scores………………………………………………………………………………….73
Figure 4.2 Scatter plot for the two experimental and control group for post-test scores………………………………………………………………………………….73
Figure 4.3 The comparison of the three groups on pre-test…………………………..75
Figure 4.4 The comparison of the three groups on post- test…………………………79
Abstract
The present study investigated the impact of silent and freeze-frame viewing techniques of video materials on the intermediate EFL learners` listening comprehension. In addition, it aimed at investigating the learners` attitudes towards these two viewing techniques. To these ends, 45 intermediate EFL learners were randomly assigned into one control and two experimental groups who received the treatment of viewing techniques in silent and freeze-frame separately. The participants were selected based on Oxford Placement Test from among 150 EFL learners. The two experimental groups received their treatment for ten sessions while for the control group the visual material was presented in written form. Before the treatment, all three groups received a pre-test based on IELTS listening which was administered to make sure there were not any significant differences among the groups in terms of their listening comprehension. After ten sessions of treatment, a post-test based on IELTS listening test, identical to the pre-test, was given. The results of One-Way ANOVA revealed that there was a statistically significant difference between the experimental groups and the control group. While the difference between the two experimental groups was not significant, the experimental groups outperformed the control group significantly. A closed questionnaire was also administered to explore the participants’ attitudes and the results revealed that the participants of the experimental groups had positive attitudes towards using specific viewing techniques of video materials.
Key terms: Listening comprehension, viewing techniques, silent viewing, freeze-frame viewing, video material, EFL.

Chapter One
Introduction
1.0 Preliminaries
Learning a second/foreign language is of utmost importance for the learners and being able to communicate with the native speakers is the ultimate goal of it. To be able to communicate means to express thoughts, feelings and information effectively through the four skills, i.e., writing, reading, speaking, and listening. Although speaking is commonly equated with communication but according to Rivers (1981, p. 196) “speaking does not of itself constitute communication unless what is being said is comprehended by another person”. In fact, other skills are also important in communication.
Listening is a basic skill in first and second language acquisition and it is also important and crucial in learning English as a second or foreign language (ESL/EFL). In a language classroom, listening ability plays an important role in the development of other language skills; however, according to Chastain (1988),”both language teachers and students tend to overlook the importance of listening comprehension skills. They do so because their attention is fixed so completely on their ultimate goal, speaking, that they fail to recognize the need for developing speaking skills” (p.192). Chastain explains further that as the listening comprehension process is internal, it is not subject to direct external observation, examination, and correction. Therefore, language teachers and students tend to overlook its prerequisite importance in language learning because there is no immediate observable output. It is argued that “for many years, listening skills did not receive priority in language teaching and teaching methods emphasized productive skills. This position has been replaced by an active interest in the role of listening comprehension in SLA by the development of powerful theories …” (Richards & Renandya, 2002, p. 235). Nunan (2002, p. 238) also states, “Listening is the Cinderella skill in second language learning. All too often, it has been overlooked by its elder sister- speaking”.
In the 1980s, Krashen and Asher proposed the idea of comprehensible input for the first time; Nunan (2002, p. 238) stated that “their idea was based on the belief that a second language is learned most effectively in the early stages if the pressure for production is taken off the learners”. Therefore, if the learners feel relaxed and they do not feel pressure for production, they will listen more effectively. Nunan (2002) also mentions that “by emphasizing the role of comprehensible input, second language acquisition research has given a major boost to listening” (p. 238). Rost (1994) pointed out that “listening is vital in the language classroom because it provides input for the learner. Without understanding input at the right level, any learning simply cannot begin. Listening is thus fundamental to speaking” (cited in Nunan, 2002, p. 239).Therefore, language teachers should provide comprehensible input for the learners in the language classroom.
Since video materials can be used to serve the purpose of providing comprehensible input, they should be included in language learning programs. Videos can be considered to have the characteristics of comprehensible input based on Krashen’s idea of comprehensible input. According to Krashen (2009, p. 21), we understand language not by only using linguistic competence but we can understand language by using our knowledge of the world and our extra-linguistic information. When learners watch videos, they can comprehend the message using their background knowledge and also they can use extra-linguistic factors existing in movies.
According to Potosi et al. (2009, p. 7), “Video materials can be a learning alternative because they contain dialogues from highly proficient English speakers, which could contribute to an easier understanding of their pronunciation”. Yang, Huang, Tsai, Chung and Wu (2009) stated that “using videos or films as a learning resource has received a great deal of attention from researchers and has been successfully applied to various educational applications” (cited in Hsu, Hwang, Chang, & Chang, 2013, p. 404).Videos can also provide the learners with authentic material that can facilitate learning. Herron (1994, p. 190) pointed out that “the theorists stress the importance to foreign language acquisition of providing the language learner with contextualized and meaningful input”. He also mentions that “video has the advantages of permitting students to witness authentic linguistic and cultural interactions between native speakers, and it is a medium with which students are very familiar” (p. 190). Video can provide the students with not only contextualized input but also with authentic materials. In addition, Herron (1994) states that “video has the advantages of permitting students to witness authentic linguistic and cultural interactions between native speakers, and it is a medium with which students are very familiar” (p. 190).
Listening as a crucial skill in learning a second language can be best practiced by using videos. Learners of English in Iran have numerous problems in listening skill and according to Bozorgian and Pillay (2013, p. 106) learners think their listening comprehension problems contribute to their insufficient competence or to “the linguistic difficulty of stimulus text”. Bozorgian and Pillay (2013) also argued that in Iran’s English institutions, “the process of the skill of listening is not emphasized despite a wide access to listening materials with accompanying audiovisual technology in the classroom such as CDs, DVD or video” (p. 106).
Video is a valuable tool but it is not usually used in the classroom. The teachers simply put a video at the end of the term and let the students watch a movie without making them involved actively in the task. Because video as a learning tool according to Mckinnon (n. d.) can help and improve the listening experience of the students, it should be practiced in the classroom. Mckinnon (n.d.) believes that by using video in the classroom, “we can add a whole new dimension to aural practice” (Para. 2).He further adds that “the setting, action, emotions, gestures, etc., that our students can observe in a video clip, provide an important visual stimulus for language production and practice” (Para. 2).Mckinnon points out that there are many ways to implement video in the classroom like split viewing, vision on/ sound off, observe and write, video dictogloss, watch and observe and many others. The teacher can choose any of them and practice watching videos in the classroom and let the students practice their listening skill in a more challenging way.
The present study is an investigation of the impact of silent and freeze-frame viewing techniques of video materials on the intermediate EFL learners’ listening comprehension in addition to exploring the attitudes of the participants toward these viewing techniques to see how effective they will be for Iranian EFL learners’ listening comprehension ability. In other words, this study seeks to see whether different techniques of video viewing have any impact on the listening comprehension of the learners or not.

1.1 Theoretical Framework
This study would try hopefully to find a practical solution for the listening comprehension problems of EFL learners. The present study was an attempt to examine how video materials and specific ways of viewing videos, i. e., silent and freeze-frame control mode could influence EFL learners’ listening comprehension skill.
Selecting useful and suitable listening material which can help learners improve their listening comprehension ability is highly important. Authentic and natural material can reduce the distance between the learners and their real life situations. These natural and authentic materials can attract both learners and language teachers because they are very similar to everyday life situations.
Murphy and Cooper (1995), stated that “prior to the 1970s, listening was characterized as a receptive skill, and it was believed that listeners would passively assimilate the information presented to them” (cited in Salahshuri, 2011, p. 1446). According to Long (1989, p. 32), “During 1970, cognitive psychology began to focus on the individual as an active processor of linguistic input”. Today listening skill is not a passive skill because it demands a lot of processes on the part of the learners. Long (1989), stated that according to cognitive psychology, individuals are given an active role in dealing with the incoming information and learners are able to get meaning during the comprehension process by dividing the input into meaningful bits. Cognitive psychology clarifies comprehension as information processing. In processing the information, according to Long, world knowledge also enables the learner to process the information. Long (1989, p. 32), states that “world knowledge is experientially based and enables individuals to make inferences and form expectations”. Cognitive scientists believe that “world knowledge is organized around scripts, also called frames or schemata” (p. 33). Long (1989), also pointed out that schemata help learners’ understanding the input in ordinary situations because they provide the missing information. Chastain (1988) states, “The mind of the learner has the capacity to interpret the world according to patterns, rules and relationships it perceives” (p. 25). Hunt, 1982 (cited in Chastain, 1988, p. 25) states that “with this information the mind forms concepts, divides the world into categories, and organizes its knowledge into related groupings called schemata”. Schemata are very important in the comprehension process.
Schema theory is one of the important theories of learning a language. According to Rumelhart (1980), schema theory supposes that individuals fit the obtained knowledge into some structures in their memory and they get help to understand that knowledge; then learners breakdown the incoming information to generalizable units which are stored in special groups in brain for later recall. The schema theory is the principle for two fundamental modes of information processing: bottom-up processing and top-down processing.
According to Rubin (1994, p. 210), “Process refers to how listeners interpret input in terms of what they know or identify what they don`t know”. Rubin (1994) believes that top-down and bottom-up processing are considered in L2 context. According to Rubin (1994), when a learner uses “knowledge of the world, situations and roles of human interaction to focus on meaning” it is called top-down processing (p. 210) and when the learner uses “knowledge of words, syntax and grammar” (p. 210) to get the meaning it is called bottom-up processing. Richards (2008, p. 7) stated that “whereas bottom-up processing goes from language to meaning, top-down processing goes from meaning to language”. Then, he defines that the background knowledge is the previous knowledge about “the topic of discourse, situational or contextual knowledge, or knowledge in the form of “schemata” or “scripts”– plans about the overall structure of events and the relationships between them” (p. 7).
Morley (2007) argues that in real life people manage their listening by both processes simultaneously. In the classroom, the learners of English also will have to apply a combination of the two processes. Morley (2007) believes that the students use both top-down and bottom-up processes in real life. She believes that teachers can help the students to practice both ways of listening at different times with different learners, i. e., low level and high level students. For example, low level students who know less vocabulary may practice top down and high level students who may fail to get the words in high speed speech, can practice bottom up processing. Morley (2007) thinks that the emphasis of the L2 learning has been shifted to improving top-down processing. When learners make use of top-down processing, they can comprehend more even when they face with unfamiliar vocabulary. They can get help from their background and world knowledge to comprehend the message. She also believes that “bottom-up listening activities can help learners to understand enough linguistic elements of what they hear to then be able to use their top-down skills to fill in the gaps”(page 9; paragraph 1).
Video material are learning tools which can provide learners with visual, contextual, and non-verbal features and these features can help EFL learners compensate any lack of comprehension. If the students can mix the two ways of processing information, bottom-up and top-down in the listening comprehension in watching the video materials, they can make learning a foreign language effective and successfully comprehend the message which is the ultimate goal of language learning. Therefore, watching videos with special techniques should be taken into consideration as an important criterion in improving learners` listening comprehension skill in order to enhance learning outcomes.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
For many years, listening skill did not receive any attention in language teaching. Teaching methods focused on productive skills. Field (2002, p. 242) stated, “There was a time when listening in language classes was perceived chiefly as a means of presenting new grammar. Dialogues on tape provided examples of the new structures to be learned”. According to Field (2002, p. 242), from the late 1960s, practitioners got the importance of listening and began to allow time for practicing the skill.
Now listening has an essential role in everyday communication and educational process for the learners. Mendelsohn (1994; cited in Pourhossein & Ahmadi, 2011, p. 977) states that “Of the total time spent on communicating, listening takes up 40-50%; speaking, 25-30%; reading, 11-16%; and writing, about 9%”. Listening is now considered as much more important in both EFL classrooms and SLA research. In recent years, there has been an increased focus on L2 listening ability because of its perceived importance in language learning. In a language classroom, listening ability plays an important role in the development of other language skills.
Barker (1971) believes that listening can help students make their own vocabulary, improve language proficiency, and improve language usage. Dunkel (1986, p. 99) defines that “developing proficiency in listening comprehension is the key to achieving proficiency in speaking”. It can be concluded that enough time should be spent to practice listening skill in the classroom.
Despite the importance of listening comprehension, in language institutes of Iran, English language classes still emphasize other skills rather than listening skill. In addition, the Iranian EFL learners do not have the opportunity to meet the native speakers and practice listening to them. This fact shows that Iranian EFL learners might experience listening comprehension problems so teachers must find ways to help them improve their listening skills. According to Mousavi and Iravani (2012), the institutes in Iran are “the case of EFL situation in which the English language is taught as a subject at school and used only inside, but not outside, the classroom” (p. 21). Mousavi and Iravani (2012, p. 21) also mention that “the students therefore are not accustomed to hearing the language as it is produced by native speakers for native speakers”. Therefore, when the students meet native speakers, they have a lot of problems understanding them.
Textbooks are the usual material to be used in the language classroom. However, today many teachers begin to use other sources in their classroom. To practice the listening skill, the best material, other than audio cassettes, is the movies. Teachers begin to question the basis of using textbooks as the only teaching materials and they tend to use more visualized materials. To make the students more willing to practice the listening skill and catch their eyes, teachers can make use of videos. Videos can be considered as valuable learning tool because they are more interesting than textbooks and they will help increase students` enthusiasm and motivation to learn. According to Bowen (1990; cited in Soong, 2012), “As we learn most through visual stimulus, the more interesting and varied these stimuli are, the quicker and more effective our learning will be”. Also Soong (2012, p. 133) defines that “… lessons with video could be more enjoyable to EFL students because of visual stimuli which impel them to learn English language”. Soong (2012) also adds that EFL students will have a feeling of achievement if they are able to comprehend the message of the film. The teachers who use video materials can also provide the learners with authentic and comprehensible input. Most EFL students do not use English in their everyday life situations because they don`t live in English speaking countries and English video films, as Soong states, “help substitute for the experience as they bring the real English world to the learner” (2012, p. 132).
As it was noted above, listening skill is essential for communication and most of the Iranian EFL learners have problems in this area. According to the afore-mentioned studies, providing learners with visual aids may solve this problem. Video programs and films can be considered as a valuable material in the classroom as they provide the learners with comprehensible, authentic and challenging materials. To help learners to improve their listening skill, it would be a good idea to use the video materials in English language classrooms. To this end, this study tried to investigate the impact of silent and freeze-frame, two special viewing techniques of video materials on the intermediate EFL learners` listening comprehension ability in addition to exploring the attitudes of the participants toward these viewing techniques to see how effective they would be for EFL learners` listening comprehension ability.
1.3 Significance of the Study
Video materials have numerous extra-linguistic signs in helping the learners to comprehend the message of them; in fact, using video materials and TV based series are very helpful in improving the listening comprehension of the learners in the language classroom and can provide the learners with authentic and meaningful input. As such, video programming can be a potential solution for the learners` listening comprehension problems. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of silent and freeze-frame, two special viewing techniques of video materials on the intermediate EFL learners` listening comprehension ability in addition to exploring the attitudes of the participants toward these viewing techniques to see how effective they are. As it was noted above, the listening skill is a very important and almost neglected skill in the area of language learning and it must be practiced a lot in the classroom to make the learners as competent listeners outside the classroom especially for Iranian EFL learners as they do not have the opportunity to meet the native speakers. In addition, it was noted that video material could be very helpful and potential solution for the learners` listening problems because exposure of the learners to video materials can improve their listening comprehension.
In this study, the present researcher sought to investigate the ways of utilizing videos in the classroom. Here silent and freeze-frame control mode of viewing videos were used to examine their effectiveness on the listening comprehension. Using instructional film-based materials like video programs and even authentic videos like TV series provide students with an abundance of target language forms used in context like films by native speakers.
Researchers, teachers, and students can benefit from the outcomes of this study. Researchers can use the results of the present study to make clear the effects of specific ways of video viewing like silent and freeze-frame mode on the listening comprehension. In addition, they would be encouraged to investigate the impact of other video viewing techniques on the listening skill and other skills as well. Teachers can be aware of the effect of them on the students` listening comprehension; as a result, they can harmonize their teaching instructions with video materials for more effective listening comprehension. This leads to flourishing maximum potential of learners in learning contexts. Students can also be aware of the impact of videos on their listening and the subsequent effect of them on their communicative competence and tend to watch more films and videos out of the classroom.
1.4 The purpose of the Study
The primary aim of the study was to open up new ways with which teachers could help the learners improve their listening comprehension via video materials. This study investigated the impact of using specific modes of video programs on the learners. In this study, silent and freeze-frame control modes of viewing was used to examine their impact on the listening comprehension.
Another objective of the study was to explore the attitudes of the participants toward these viewing techniques to see how effective they are for Iranian EFL learners` listening comprehension ability.

1.5 Research Questions
This study aimed at investigating the role of silent and freeze-frame viewing techniques of video materials on the intermediate EFL learners` listening comprehension. As such, there were four major research questions to be answered in this study:
Q1: Does the use of silent viewing technique have any impact on intermediate EFL learners` listening comprehension ability?
Q2: Does the use of freeze-frame viewing technique have any impact on intermediate EFL learners` listening comprehension ability?
Q3: Is there any statistically significant difference between silent viewing and freeze-frame viewing techniques in terms of their effect on intermediate EFL learners’ listening comprehension?
Q4: What are Iranian intermediate EFL learners’ perceptions of silent and freeze-frame viewing techniques in improving their listening comprehension?
1.6 Hypotheses of the Study
Concerning these questions, the following null hypotheses were driven the present study:
H0 1: The use of silent viewing technique does not have any impact on intermediate EFL learners` listening comprehension ability.
H0 2: The use of freeze-frame viewing technique does not have any impact on intermediate EFL learners` listening comprehension ability.
H0 3: There is no statistically significant difference between silent viewing and freeze-frame viewing techniques in terms of their effect on intermediate EFL learners` listening comprehension.
Since the fourth question was descriptive in nature, no hypothesis was put forward as far as this question was concerned.
1.7 Definition of Key Terms
There are some key terms used in this study which are clarified and elucidated in this section. These terms are: 1) listening skill 2) listening comprehension and 3) video material4) silent viewing and 5) freeze-frame viewing.

1.7.1 Listening skill
According to Richards, J. C. (2008, p. 3) “Listening as comprehension is the traditional way of thinking about the nature of listening”. He believes that in most methodology manuals listening and listening comprehension are synonymous. He also believes that the main function of listening in second language learning is to facilitate understanding of spoken discourse. According to Underwood, (1989; cited in Abdalhamid, 2012, p. 12), listening means “the activity of paying attention to and trying to get meaning from something we hear”.
1.7.2 Listening comprehension
According to Richards and Schmidt (2002, p. 313),
“Listening comprehension is the process of understanding speech in a first or second language. The study of listening comprehension processes in second language learning focuses on the role of individual linguistic units (e.g. phonemes, words, grammatical structures) as well as the role of the listener’s expectations, the situation and context, background knowledge and the topic”.
Mendelsohn, 1994 (cited in Pourhossein & Ahmadi, 2011, p. 978) defines “listening comprehension as the ability to understand the spoken language of native speakers.” O‘Malley, Chamot, and Kupper (1989, p. 19) also provide a good definition of listening: “Listening comprehension is an active and conscious process in which the listener constructs meaning by using cues from contextual information and from existing knowledge, while relying upon multiple strategic resources to fulfill the task requirement”.
1.7.3 Video material
Video is relatively a new option in teaching and learning a second language. Video refers to recording, controlling and showing moving images, especially in a format that can be presented on a television. According to Canning-Wilson (2000), video is best defined as the collection and arrangement of messages in an audio-visual context. Hoodith (2002, Para. 1) believes that “video is [sic] an educational technology became affordable only in the late 1970s. It is a relatively new option for the language teacher when compared with textbooks, the blackboard and audio tape. Video is a valuable learning tool”.
1.7.4 Silent viewing
In silent viewing, the teacher plays a film extract at normal speed but without the sound and the students have to guess what the characters are saying. The teacher also can play the extract with sound again to check the answers.
1.7.5 Freeze-frame viewing
In this mode of viewing a film, the teacher can stop or freeze any scene of the film and ask the students to guess what will happen next.
1.8 Outline of the Study
This study includes the following chapters:
Chapter one is Introduction in which the variables under investigation are defined. In addition, significance of the study, objectives, research questions and hypotheses, theoretical framework, and definition of key terms are stated.
Chapter two is Literature Review in which the most important studies on listening comprehension and using video material and movies to improve the listening skill and their relationship are cited.
Chapter three is concerned with the Methodology of the study which includes relevant information about the participants, instruments, data collection and data analysis of this study.
Chapter four is the Results and Discussion in which the results of the study are presented and discussed with respect to the questions already stated.
Chapter five summarizes the Conclusions of the study in which the major findings of the study are summarized, their pedagogical implications are discussed, and the related limitations and delimitations are given. In addition, some suggestions for further research are proposed.
1.9 Summary
In this chapter fundamentals of this study were discussed along with outline of the thesis. The importance, aims and objectives of the study have been analyzed in details. Instruments and materials of the study have also been introduced.
Chapter Two
Literature Review
2.0 Preliminaries
In this chapter, relevant theories and different issues of listening comprehension skill in which listening processes, listening components, types of listening, and areas of research in listening are fully discussed. In addition, in this chapter, video materials and related topics such as dual-coding theory and authenticity of video materials are explained and in the final section three areas of previous studies on using video, captioning and advance organizers are reviewed. The results of these studies will shed light on what aspects of these areas of language learning have been worked on, and what aspects need to be further investigated.
2.1 Significance of the Listening Skill
Learning English as an international language has been gaining momentum in recent years. In the learning process of a second language, learners must be taught the four skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing. Consequently, there is a great deal of research on the best strategies for teaching the four language skills.
Of the four skills, listening is very important for language learning and, as Rost (2002, p. 18) indicated, by the emergence of communicative language teaching, “teachers are becoming increasingly aware of the important role of listening in language acquisition”. Consequently, listening for language teachers and learners is considered as a very essential skill to be learned. Besides, Nunan (1998) stated that learners are not able to communicate successfully without listening effectively. Moreover, according to Purdy (1997), listening skill has been completely viewed differently and of course importantly because he thinks that listening can provide people power by which they can interact with others personally and professionally. In his view, in today`s modern life, one must learn to listen consciously and “becoming a conscious listener will make you more sensitive to the needs of the listener (audience) and hence, improves your competence as a speaker” (Purdy, 1997, p. 2).
Listening skill is an active process because it involves an intention both to hear and to understand what is heard. Based on Saha and Talukdar (2008), comparing listening and hearing, listening is a skill in which the listener is active and analyzes the streams of sounds but hearing includes only perceiving sounds passively. Underwood (1989, p. 1) clarifies listening as “the activity of paying attention to and trying to get meaning from something we hear” and Poelmans (2003) explains further that the skills of language can be defined in terms of modality (auditory/visual) and processing activity (decoding/encoding); as such, listening is both auditory and decoding. Clearly, then listening can be explained as “the process by which the language user decodes auditory input, i.e., speech” (Poelmans, 2003, p. 9).
Naturally when we are born, we are engaged in listening first; in fact, it is the first communication skill. We are always in a state of listening and we acquire our first language by listening. According to Rivers (1981), people listen twice as much as they speak, four times more than they read, and five times more than they write. In addition, Purdy (1997) makes this clear that most of communication time, about 42% to 60% or more, is devoted to listening and this variation in the percentage is due to the type of



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