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Chapter 1

Introduction
PROBLEM AND ITS SETTING

Rationale

Listening is a skill that is highly important in our society; it is present in the

communication process in which youre going to take delivery of the message. It is the

process of receiving, constructing meaning from and responding to spoken or nonverbal

messages (International Listening Association, 1995, pp. 4-5). The Greek philosopher

Epictetus may have been the first person to notice that humans were created with two

ears, but only one tongue, so that humans may listen twice as much as they speak

(King, 2008, p. 2718). In practice however, listening have not yet mastered and had

been sadly neglected. Thus, after six to ten years of studying and talking formal English,

the students develop a certain degree of proficiency in reading and writing, but not in

listening. Their listening comprehension lags behind. They lack the ability to

comprehend the spoken language (Alcantara, 2004).

In Turkish university preparatory schools, metacognitive strategy training is not

an internal part of many listening course books or curricula and listening teachers do not

seem to pay attention to these strategies while designing their lessons. Listening does

not receive its due importance and students do not seem to be sufficiently trained about

the listening strategies (Seferoglu and Uzakgoren, 2004). Goh (2008) emphasizes that

more research is needed to investigate the role of metacognitive instruction in listening

performance in different contexts.


On a national scale, most of the students especially those in secondary,

graduated without proper training in effective listening. Mallari (2003) states that,

students in Bambas Gabaldon High School in Tarlac, doesnt have good practice in

listening skills, this tends to students weakness in communication skills. After four years

of secondary education, students results in test for listening is always poor.

In Davao City, the researchers observed that there is a lack of trainings and

activities on listening in secondary schools. Thus, the researchers were inspired to

conduct the study on listening strategies and its influence to academic performance.

A person may have perfect hearing, but because their listening skills are

inadequate, what they understand is not necessarily what is being said. There is a need

to use listening strategies that could help us to become effective listener and to increase

our academic performance. However, these strategies didnt utilize well. As indicated by

Cohen (2000), many researchers in the field of second language (L2) listening agree on

the idea that listeners often do not handle listening skill tasks in an effective way utilizing

these strategies.
Statement of the Problem/Research Objectives:

This study is seeking to uncover the impact of listening strategies to academic

performance among College of Teacher Education of the University of Mindanao.

Specifically, it sought to answer the following questions:

1. What is the level of listening strategies in terms of:

1.1 Cognitive strategy

1.2 Metacognitive strategy

1.3 Social/affective strategy

2. What is the level of academic performance in terms of:

2.1 Cognitive Ability

2.2 Motivation

3. Is there a significant relationship between listening strategies and academic

performance?
Hypothesis of the Study

The study tested the null hypothesis that there is no significant relationship

between listening strategies and academic performance among the College of Teacher

Education of the University of Mindanao.

Review Related of Literature

Listening

Listening is one of the important skills in communication, and it has also been

defined as an active process during which listeners construct meaning from oral input

(Bentley & Bacon, 1996). According to Feyten (1991), in daily communication, people

allot 45% of time in listening, 30% on speaking, 16% on reading, and only 9% on

writing. Percentages may differ somewhat according to the populations studied, or

according to how the study was conducted, but results consistently indicate that

listening takes up between forty to over sixty percent of our daily time spent in

communication.

Over five or more decades, researchers have explored why it is that good talkers

and listeners are more likely to become good readers and writers, noting that it is

listening the least explicit of the four language skills that is perhaps the most

essential for academic learning (Chand, 2007). And yet it is the least taught (Tindall &

Nisbet, 2008). In support, listening is one of the most important aspects of childrens

learning that impacts academic success Buttery (1990).


Listening strategies investigation

According to Freeman (2004) and Lin (2006), listening comprehension strategies

are techniques or activities that contribute directly to the comprehension and recall of

listening input. In Lus (2008) study, the result illustrated that 93.8% of the students

considered the listening skill was more important than the other three skills. However,

lack of trainings in utilizing well these strategies and listening comprehension ability is

far behind. Actually, these strategies are determined in part by specific task

requirements, by problem content, by situational constraints, and by prior knowledge

and experience which the listener possesses and brings to bear in each task. (Sakai

2009).

Since 1980, there have been a number of studies investigating listening

comprehension strategies used to work out effective ways of facilitating listening tasks

and help the learners overcome the difficulties they encounter. The result of a study

conducted by Graham, Santos and Vanderplank (2008) and Holden (2004) suggests

that learners understand what they hear well if they are aware of the effective ways of

using strategies to deal with various tasks. Metacognitive strategies can lead to

listening attainment when they work with cognitive strategies (Vandergrift, 1999).

As indicated by Song (2008), listeners often do not handle listening tasks

in an effective way utilizing these strategies successfully. They are not aware of listening

strategies. Chamot (2005) pointed out that less successful language learners do not

have the knowledge needed to select appropriate strategies. Goh (2000) emphasized

the importance of these strategies by arguing that learners awareness is related to


effective learning in all learning contexts. This assures that more studies are needed to

increase learners' awareness of strategies used in listening Song (2008), Chamot

(2005), and Goh (2000).

Listening strategies

Vandergrift (1999) showed Strategy development is important for listening

training because strategies are conscious means by which learners can guide and

evaluate their own comprehension and responses. OMalley and Chamot (1990)

claimed three main types of strategies: metacognitive, cognitive and social/affective

strategies.

Cognitive strategy

Is a strategy which involve actual mental steps (Vandergrift, 2003, p.427) used

to process, store, and recall information (Goh, 1998, p.125-126).

Metacognitive strategy

Vandergrift (1997) indicates that metacognitive strategies such as analysing the

requirements of a listening task, activating the appropriate listening processes required,

making appropriate predictions, monitoring their comprehension and evaluating the

success of their approach cause the difference between a skilled and a less skilled

listener.For example, for metacognitive planning strategies, learners would clarify the

objectives of an anticipated listening task, and attend to specific aspects of language

input or situational details that assisted in understanding the task (Vandergrift, 1999).
The use of metacognitive strategies activates one's thinking and leads to improved

performance in learning in general (Anderson, 2002).

Social/Affective strategy

Social/ affective strategies, Vandergrift (2003) defined the strategies as the

techniques listeners used to collaborate with others, to verify understanding or to lower

anxiety. Habte-Gabr (2006) stated that socio-affective strategies were those which were

non-academic in nature and involve stimulating learning through establishing a level of

empathy between the instructor and student. They included considering factors such as

emotions and attitudes (Oxford, 1990). It was essential for listeners to know how to

reduce the anxiety, feel confident in doing listening tasks, and promote personal

motivation in improving listening competence (Vandergrift, 1997). According to OMalley

& Chamot (2001), among the four strategies; metacognitive strategies, social strategies,

cognitive strategies, and affective strategies in listening comprehension, both social and

affective strategies influenced the learning situation immediately.

Academic Performance

Academic performance, also referred to as academic achievement, has been

defined as the specified level of attainment of proficiency in academic work designated

by test scores (Shamashuddin, Reddy, & Rao, 2008, p. 75).


Cognitive Ability

A cognitive ability can be described as a mental capacity, competency or skill

needed to carry out, or perform, a cognitive task(s) (Colman, 2009; Galotti, 2008). For

example, working memory is a cognitive ability or capacity to actively retain information

temporarily, while at the same time manipulating that information or accessing other

information (Dehn, 2008; Izawa & Ohta, 2005). Cognitive ability is considered a

powerful predictor of academic performance (Gustafsson & Undheim, 1996; Neisser et

al., 1996) as there is a vast amount of empirical evidence for a strong relationship

between the two (Chamorro-Premuzic, 2007; Rohde & Thompson, 2007; Walberg,

1984). As measures of cognitive ability have a rich history of accounting for meaningful

levels of variance in academic performance (Yen, Konold & McDermott, 2004) they

have, as such, become known as relatively reliable predictors of academic

performance.

In general, as ability increases so too does performance, however in reality a

higher level of cognitive ability does not automatically equate to higher academic

performance. This is because cognitive ability alone cannot account for all of the

variation in academic performance and much of the variance in academic performance

is yet to be explained (Kaplan & Saccuzzo, 2009; Mouw & Khanna, 1993; Rohde &

Thompson, 2007).

Motivation

While there are a number of factors that affect performance in school, one of the

most influential is motivation. Motivation, also referred to as academic engagement,


refers to cognitive, emotional, and behavioral indicators of student investment in and

attachment to education (Tucker, Zayco, & Herman, 2002, p. 477). It is obvious that

students who are not motivated to succeed will not work hard. In fact, several

researchers have suggested that only motivation directly effects academic achievement;

all other factors affect achievement only through their effect on motivation (Tucker et al.,

2002). However, it is not as easy to understand what motivates students. Numerous

studies have been conducted on this topic, which has led to the development of several

theories of motivation.

One widely accepted theory is Goal Theory. It postulates that there are two main

types of motivation for achieving in school. Students with an ability or performance goal

orientation are concerned with proving their competence by getting good grades or

performing well compared to other students (Anderman & Midgley, 1997; Maehr &

Midgley, 1991). On the other hand, students with a task goal orientation are motivated

by a desire to increase their knowledge on a subject or by enjoyment from learning the

material. Studies have shown that students with a task goal orientation are more likely

to engage in challenging tasks, seek help as needed, and adopt useful cognitive

strategies, and, possibly most importantly, tend to be happier both with school and with

themselves as learners (Ames, 1992; Anderman & Midgley, 1997).

The above cited literature and readings provide much information on the

variables of the study and deepened the researchers understanding and provided an

anchorage for the conceptual framework.


Theoretical Review

The theory adapted for this study was derived from the theory of Bruner (1986)

which is Constructive learning theory it is defined that learning is an active process in

which learners construct new ideas or concepts based upon their current/past

knowledge. Furthermore, Cohen & Oxford (1990) designed the Young Learners

Language Strategy Use Survey (YLLS). The result indicates the significance of the

three strategies for the subjects to interact and transact the meaning of the message to

the class and also to the facilitators. This shows the relevance between the four

strategies and constructive approach that stresses on social interaction and

construction of an understanding (Brooks & Brooks, 1993; Weisglass, 1990; Kline,

1996; Zhang, 2007).

In support, the Schema theory of Frederic Bartlett (1932) states it is a part of top-

down processing. Furthermore, Bartlett (1977 cited in Landry, 2002) considered

schemas to be structures of knowledge stored in the long-term memory (Psybox Ltd,

2002). Moreover, Rumelhart (1977 cited in Landry, 2002) has illustrated schemata as

"building blocks of cognition" that are used in the process of understanding sensory

data, in repossessing information from memory, in organizing aims and sub-goals, in

allocating resources, and in leading the flow of the processing system. Therefore,

schema theory is significant in many areas for instance communication and learning.

Conceptual Framework
This section proposes a conceptual framework within which the concept,

academic performance is treated in this work. It is arrived at basing on Constructive

learning theory by Bruner (1986). The selection of the model is based on the belief that,

the quality of input invariably affects quality of output in this case academic performance

(Acato 2006).

Figure 1 shows the variables of the study. The independent variable is listening

strategies with cognitive, metacognitive and social/affective strategies as its indicators.

On the other hand, the dependent variable is the academic performance with ability and

motivation as its indicators

Independent variable Dependent variable

LISTENING STRATEGIES ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE

- Cognitive strategy - Cognitive Ability

- Metacognitive strategy - Motivation

- Social/affective strategy
Figure 1. Conceptual Framework Showing

the Variables of the Study

Significance of the study

Results of this study are deemed beneficial to the following:

Learners- The result of this study will help them improve their academic

performance through utilizing well the listening strategies and enhance their listening

skills.

Educators- The result of this study will be the important references to evaluate

their teaching and learning listening experiences in the classroom as well as the

application in daily communication.

School Administrators- The result of the study will provide them inputs in

planning programs that will aid the students to become effective listener as well as

increase academic performance in the classroom.


Definition of terms

Listening- Listening is one of the important skills in communication, and it has

also been defined as an active process during which listeners construct meaning from

oral input (Bentley & Bacon, 1996).

Listening strategy- Vandergrift (1999) showed Strategy development is

important for listening training because strategies are conscious means by which

learners can guide and evaluate their own comprehension and responses. Strategies

were the thoughts and behaviors that learners used to help them comprehend, learn, or

retain information (OMally & Chamot, 1990).

Academic performance- Chan, Schmitt, Sacco, & DeShon, (1998); Nonis &

Wright, (2003) states that performance is a multiplicative function of both ability and

motivation.