The Contribution of Lexical, Grammatical, and Propositional Knowledge Preparation to L2 Listening Comprehension

Document Type : Research Paper


Imam Khomeini International University, Qazvin


Listening comprehension is a multifaceted L2 skill and its actual mastery has proved challenging for many EFL learners (Matthews, 2018). Pre-listening supports may help us change the dire situation in developing effective listening competence. Therefore, the current study tried to examine the effect of vocabulary preparation, grammar instruction and background knowledge activation as pre-listening tasks on the listening comprehension among 95 Iranian intermediate EFL learners in three experimental groups who were randomly selected from among 142 Iranian EFL learners after administration of a paper-based TOEFL. In group A, the teacher elaborated on the difficult grammatical structures of the listening comprehension (LC) test and the students did some exercises. Group B practiced related difficult words using synonyms, antonyms, and sentence examples. In group C, some topical knowledge about the content of the LC test was given and discussed. After the treatment, a valid researcher-made LC test was given to all groups. This procedure was followed for four more listening texts and after each treatment, a valid researcher-made LC test based on the text was administered. Data analysis using one-way ANOVA and Scheffe test revealed that background knowledge activation and vocabulary preparation significantly improved learners’ listening performances; however, grammar preparation did not exert a significant influence on EFL listening comprehension. These results were confirmed by the experts’ attitudes in the subsequent qualitative phase of the study. These findings suggest that EFL teachers should use background knowledge activation and lexical preparation prior to the main listening tasks.


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