Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

A Survey of Iranian Efl Teachers' and Learners' Attitudes toward Authentic Listening Materials at University Level

Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

A Survey of Iranian Efl Teachers' and Learners' Attitudes toward Authentic Listening Materials at University Level

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

This study intends to deal with attitudes of teachers and learners toward authentic listening materials at preintermediate level. Present study addressed EFL teachers and students at pre intermediate proficiency level. Participants included 60 students, from both genders; male and female university students studying at Rodaki Higher Institute Education in the following fields: Accounting, Computer Engineering and Commercial Management and also 30 teachers who have been teaching listening at Rodaki Higher Institute Education. Students were randomly selected and assigned to two groups. Then, a standard placement test was distributed among them (Oxford Placement Test) to check their proficiency levels. The participants were divided into two groups, one group (authentic) was exposed to and received authentic listening materials, taken from the UK radio program, and the other group (simplified) received simplified listening materials, taken and adopted from the authentic listening materials used in this study. After that, to be sure that they know what authentic materials are, they were exposed to two each of related materials, and then the questionnaire was distributed among them the results taken from the questionnaire showed that the participants of this study (Iranian students at pre-intermediate level) prefer authentic materials and have positive attitudes toward using them. By the same token, the analysis of teachers' questionnaire also denoted their satisfaction and positive attitudes toward authentic listening materials. The teachers asserted a cautious orientation toward using this material in the classroom. These findings can have implications for language learning/teaching, curriculum development paving the way for educational policy makers, teachers and learners to introduce authentic listening materials to EFL learners at pre-intermediate proficiency level.

KEYWORDS: Listening Skills, Authentic Materials, EFL, pre-intermediate

1. Introduction

Listening is one of the most important but Cinderella skill in EFL situation. Traditionally it was considered as a "passive skill ... our ears were receivers into which information was poured..." (Schmitt2002:193). Having been demystified those unjustly-neglected simplistic views, (myths) nowadays; it is regarded, as Schmitt (2002) aptly cited, an ..." active, interpretive process". For the variety of reasons maneuvering on this domain is really a worth-while process in applied linguistics and related disciplines in new millennium. Ever since the advent of communicative approaches in teaching, lots of efforts have been made by material developers and educational policy makers to make learning materials (tasks) as reallife like as possible. However there is significant difference in opinions regarding the presence of authentic materials in the FL classroom. Views range from strong caution to encouragement. The term authentic material has been defined in different ways throughout the literature. Scholars argue for the motivating power of authentic materials. By reviewing the related literature it become clear that using authentic materials has been mentioned a lot. It directly and effectively affects and is affected by other skills especially, speaking. In other words, our speaking shapes and are shaped by listening, how we involve in listening, what we listen, how we listen and how we are grown up with it. McNeil (1994) and Kilickaya (2004) indicate that the use of authentic texts is now considered to be one way for increasing students' motivation for learning since they give the learner the feeling that he or she is learning the real language-the target language as it is used by the community that speaks it. Empirical studies (Bacon «ScFinnemann's, 1990; Otte, 2006; Thanajaro, 2000) have confirmed that students' motivation and selfsatisfaction increased after exposure to authentic aural texts... However, Guariento and Morley (2001) assert that such difficulties can be overcome by designing tasks that require only partial comprehension; the benefits that authentic materials bring to the FL classroom greatly outweigh the challenges. …

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