Spoken grammar awareness raising: Does it affect the listening ability of Iranian EFL learners?

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Mojgan Rashtchi
Mahnaz Afzali

Abstract

Advances in spoken corpora analysis have brought about new insights into language pedagogy and have led to an awareness of the characteristics of spoken language. Current findings have shown that grammar of spoken language is different from written language. However, most listening and speaking materials are concocted based on written grammar and lack core spoken language features. The aim of the present study was to explore the question whether awareness of spoken grammar features could affect learners’ comprehension of real-life conversations. To this end, 45 university students in two intact classes participated in a listening course employing corpus-based materials. The instruction of the spoken grammar features to the experimental group was done overtly through awareness raising tasks, whereas the control group, though exposed to the same materials, was not provided with such tasks for learning the features. The results of the independent samples t tests revealed that the learners in the experimental group comprehended everyday conversations much better than those in the control group. Additionally, the highly positive views of spoken grammar held by the learners, which was elicited by means of a retrospective questionnaire, were generally comparable to those reported in the literature.

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Author Biographies

Mojgan Rashtchi, Islamic Azad University

Mojgan Rashtchi is Associate Professor in the TEFL Department at Islamic Azad University, North Tehran Branch, Iran. She has published several articles in the field of language teaching and learning both in Iran and internationally. She has also published a number of books on teaching English to children and adults. Her main areas of interest include first language acquisition, critical thinking, philosophy for children, and language teaching methodology.

Mahnaz Afzali, Islamic Azad University

Mahnaz Afzali has obtained her MA in TEFL from Islamic Azad University, North Tehran Branch, Iran, and is a secondary school teacher. She has been teaching English to young learners for five years and her research interests include language teaching and young learners, language teaching and the related strategies, and classroom assessment.

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