Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Faculty of Education


The purpose of this study was to investigate the nature of interactive listening and the characteristics of listening comprehension processes for Japanese junior high school students of English. The first aim of this study was to investigate the interplay between the learner’s listening strategies and the speaker’s speech modifications and non-linguistic cues. The second aim was to investigate the listening comprehension processes and listening strategies used by the participants. The methodology employed was primarily qualitative. The literature on listening comprehension models, research areas of difficulties with listening and speech modifications and strategy research were chiefly reviewed. Six selected Japanese junior high school case study students (from a population N=19) and a native speaker (Assistant Language Teacher) participated in this study. Three different types of listening tasks were used to elicit the data. The data collection was mainly based on stimulated recall procedures and task observation. The data analysis followed grounded theory methodology. The first part of the data analysis indicated that concrete visual referents, contextual cues and speech modifications accompanied by gestures were conductive to listening comprehension for basic level listeners. The data indicated that bottom-up processing and top-down processing interacted with each other. The participants were likely to pay selective attention to an individual known word (s). The second part of the analysis identified 25 types of listening strategies and categorized them as the metacognitive strategies, cognitive strategies and social/affective strategies. The use of listening strategies was shown to greatly depend on task type, L2 proficiency, context and listener’s affective factors. The data also showed that interactive listening as a collaborative process between the listener and speaker to enhances comprehensibility. Repetition by a native speaker was found to be the most effective cue for listening comprehension, while elaboration was the least effective. A major implication of this study is that greater emphasis on interactive listening would promote the communicative language ability of Japanese students of English in their English lessons.

02Whole.pdf (2205 kB)