The effects of semantic textual cues vs. semantic contextual cues on recall measures of listening comprehension in second semester college Spanish
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of specific textual and contextual materials to bridge the gap between the student's present level o proficiency in a target language and the level of proficiency required to perform a listening comprehension task in that language. This study also tested for interaction between the use of the textual and contextual materials and the learning modality of the students. In addition, confounding effects by either learning modality and foreign language classroom anxiety were controlled.Listening comprehension was assessed by a fourteen-item multiple-choice test in Spanish developed by the researcher. Learning modality was established by the Edmonds Learning Style Identification Exercise developed by H. Reinert. Foreign language class anxiety was measured by the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale developed by Elaine Horwitz, Michael Horwitz, and Joann Cope.A group of 198 college students enrolled in nine second-semester Spanish classes at Anderson University, Anderson, Indiana participated in the study. Three classes were randomly assigned to each of the three treatments: the contextual cue, the textual cue, and neither one.A three factor 3 x 3 x 2 fixed effects factorial design was used to analyze the data gathered in the study. Four null hypotheses were tested. The .05 level of significance was established as the critical probability level for the non-acceptance of the hypotheses.Findings1. There are significant effects attributable to a textual cue on recall measures of listening comprehension.2. There are no significant effects attributable to a contextual cue on recall measures of listening comprehension.3. There are no significant interactions between the use of the textual cue and the learning modality of the students.4. There are no significant interactions between the use of the contextual cue and the learning modality of the students.5. There are no significant effects attributable to learning modality on recall measures of listening comprehension.6. There are significant effects attributable to foreign language classroom anxiety on recall measures of listening comprehension.Conclusions1. Textual cues support listening comprehension tasks but contextual cues do not.2. The effect of a semantic cue can not be affected by the learning modality of the student.3. Learning modality by itself does not affect student comprehension of a listening task.4. Foreign language class anxiety inhibits student performance during a listening comprehension task.