Vol. 4,No. 5, May 2014

Author(s): Roohollah Maleki, Bijan Fadaie Pirooz, Ahmad Mohseni

Abstract: Having been aware of the difficulties second language learners experience with Listening tasks and its important effect on language learning, the researchers of the present study decided to see whether the presence or absence of discourse topic prior to the spoken texts and gender have any role in EFL learners’ listening comprehension. To gain these ends, two questions were posed: 1) does discourse topic affect the listening comprehension of Iranian advanced EFL learners? And 2) does gender affects the listening comprehension of Iranian advanced EFL learners. To answer these questions, the quasi-experimental method and a Two-way ANOVA was used to analyze the data and examine the null-hypotheses. Sixty-one male and 61 female EFL learners, among 191 students, were selected from a Foreign Language Institute in Iran, Tehran. The aforementioned participants were then split into two intact groups: control and target. The target group took the listening tests containing discourse topic, while the students in control group took the same listening tests without discourse topic. After the results and scores of the two groups were carefully dissected regarding their gender, it was found that those learners who had access to the discourse topic outperformed those who didn’t, and there was no significant difference in the listening performance of male and female participants. So based on the gathered data the results of this study made this researcher to claim that using the appropriate discourse topic for text in listening tasks make them easier and more satisfying to comprehend. The learners can predict the incoming discourse and guess the message of the whole text beforehand. Furthermore, they get interested in the content of the text via hearing the topic and look forward to knowing the message of the text.

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