The Effect of Bottom-up/Top- down Techniques on Lower vs. Upper -Intermediate EFL Learners’ Listening Comprehension

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Islamic Azad University,Tabriz Branch

2 Islamic Azad University, Shiraz Branch


Listening is regarded as an interactive process involving decoding of information. This study was launched to find out the impact of bottom-up (BU) and top-down (TD) techniques on Iranian lower and upper intermediate learners’ listening comprehension. We selected a total of 120 participants in six intact classes, three lower intermediate and three upper intermediate. The proficiency level of the groups was further verified and groups at each proficiency level were randomly assigned as a BU group who were engaged in BU activities during the pre-listening stage of each lesson throughout the eight-session treatment, a TD group who performed TD activities, and a control group (CG) for whom no pre-listening attention focusing activities were used. The One-way and Two-way analysis of variance of the listening post-test scores indicated that the lower-intermediate BU group and the upper-intermediate TD group did significantly better compared to the other groups. The findings suggest that BU processing activities were more effective at lower intermediate level while TD processing activities played a more facilitative role for upper intermediate participants. The findings support the interaction between proficiency level and information processing techniques and imply a number of pedagogical implications.


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