Comparing Authentic and Scripted Language Listening Comprehension in University-Level EFL Learners

Page No.: 
Robert Long, Kyushu Institute of Technology

This study investigated whether Japanese university EFL learners’ listening comprehension differed significantly on tests of authentic language (AL) or scripted language (SL). Possible differences in comprehension between low and intermediate proficiency students, and how lexical density of the listening samples correlated with listening comprehension, were also explored. Participants scored higher on SL multiple choice tests than on AL tests on average. There was no significant difference in the performance between low and intermediate proficiency students in this study, but there was a significant difference between scores of learners in the two pre-intermediate groups. The inclusion of more content words also appeared to aid the lowest performing students in better understanding authentic listening passages. The researcher suggests explanations for these findings, and suggests the need for more authentic listening practice in language classrooms.