Variables Affecting Listening Comprehension in English Among Third Year High School Students of LSPU- SPCC, 2012- 13. Chapter 1
The Problem and Its Background
An assumption made that listening is a reflex, a little like breathing;
listening seldom receives overt teaching attention in one’s native language has
masked the importance and complexity of listening with understanding in a nonnative language. People tend to take listening as a subconscious matter, when in
fact it is not, as noted by Morley as cited by Fantahun, 2003. Can you speak
using the English language? This is a common question asked to the English
language learners (ELLs). However, the question like can the ELLs understand in
English is rarely asked. Rost as cited by Goh, points out that listening is vital in
the language classroom because it provides input for the learner. Without
understanding input at the right level, any learning simply cannot begin. Listening
is thus fundamental to speaking. (Rivers, 2001) advocated that speaking does
not of itself constitute communication unless what is said is comprehended by
another person. Teaching the comprehension of spoken speech is therefore of
primary importance if the communication aims is to be reached. Morley (1991;
2003, p.82) notes that we can expect to listen twice as much as we speak, four
times more than we read, and five times more than we write. In this Morley notes
that among the other macro- skills in the English language we are well exposed
to listening. But, why is it that it is least mastered?
Background of the Study
Most national examinations e.g. National Achievement Test (NAT) and
National Career Assessment Examination (NCAE) taken by Filipino students do
not include listening comprehension; the current status of students is not
evaluated properly. Therefore, the teaching attention is not being diverted
towards the listening skill. Philippine schools aim to produce students who are
well acquainted in communicating in their L2; in this case is in English. Now,
being that communication is a two process; how will one respond if what have
been said is not comprehended, this is where listening comprehension comes in.
Without listening comprehension the effective communication in the L2 would not
be possible. Listening comprehension therefore should not be overshadowed by
the other macro- skills of English. This may then be the key to achieve effective
communicative skill in L2. Thus, we should know the lingering variables affecting
the listening comprehension in L2 for the effective communication to take place,
fulfilling the aims of the Philippine schools.
According to Devine (1982; 2004), listening is the primary means by which
incoming ideas and information are taken; to Brown as cited by Ross, for second
language learners, developing the skill of listening comprehension is extremely
important. Students with good listening comprehension skills are better able to
participate effectively in class. Wolvin and Coakley (2005) concluded that, both in
and out of the classroom, listening consumes more of daily communication time
than other forms of verbal communication. Listening is central to the lives of
students throughout all levels of educational development. Then these indirectly
state the importance of listening. Both instructors (Ferris & Tagg, 1996; 2003)
and students acknowledge the importance of listening comprehension for
success in academic settings. The importance of listening in classroom
instruction has been less emphasized than reading and writing. Nevertheless, it
is evident that listening plays a significant role in the lives of people. Listening is
even more important for the lives of students since listening is used as a primary
medium of learning at all stages of education. Wolvin and Coakley, 1992;
identified comprehensive listening as one of the kinds of listening wherein the
students listen for the content of the message; thus, implying that students do not
just merely listen but comprehends as well. Now, although there are the existing
reading materials, if we rely too much to these the essence of developing
listening as a macro- skill of the English language will be lost which is not the aim
in this study. As suggested by Rost cited by Vandergrift, we cannot assume that
providing listeners with more help options will necessarily lead to better learning
outcomes. That is why what we need to know are the factors that greatly affect
the effective listening comprehension of the students in order to supply what is
needed for improvement and no longer rely too much on sub- titles when
watching a movie in the second language nor wait for the pamphlet or hand- outs
to be given by a teacher during a lecture in an English class and in other subjects
that uses English as a medium of instruction.
A. Student- Related Variables
3. Interest towards Listening in
B. Teacher- Related Variables
1. Methods and Strategies
2. English Language
C. School- Related Variables
1. Classroom Size
2. Classroom Location
3. Speech and Audio- Visual
Facilities and Equipment
Fig. 1 The Research Paradigm
This figure shows the independent and dependent variables in this study.
The independent variables are the following: A. Student- Related Variables such
as age, gender, interest towards listening in English, B. Teacher- Related
Variables; methods and strategies, English language competence and C. SchoolRelated Variables; classroom size, classroom location and speech and audiovisual facilities and equipment. The dependent variable in this study is the
student’s listening comprehension. The dependent and independent variables
shall have a correlational relationship.
Statement of the Problem
The main concern of the study is to determine the Variables Affecting the
Listening Comprehension in English among Third Year High School Students of
LSPU- SPCC, 2012-13.
Specifically, the study sought to answer the following questions:
1. What is the profile of the respondents in terms of:
1.1 Age and
2. Are the respondents interested towards listening in English?
3. How do the respondents perceive their English teacher in terms of:
3.1. Methodology and Strategies Used;
3.2. English Language Competence?
4. What is the perception of the respondents towards school in terms of:
4.1. Classroom Size,
4.2. Classroom Location and
4.3. Use and Availability of Speech and Audio- Visual Facilities and
5. Is there a significant relationship between the following:
5.1. Student- Related Variables,
5.2. Teacher- Related Variables;
5.3. School- Related Variables
and the respondents listening comprehension?
The researcher hypothesizes that:
1. The student- related variables such as age, gender and interest towards
listening in English does not have a significant relationship between the
listening comprehension in English.
2. The teacher- related variables such as methods and strategies and the
English language competence does not have a significant relationship
between the listening comprehension in English.
3. The school- related variables such as classroom size, classroom location
and the speech and audio- visual facilities and equipment does not have a
significant relationship between the listening comprehension in English.
Significance of the Study
This study will provide the significance of this study to the following:
To students. Help them to know what factors hinder them to comprehend
what is listened to during class discussions and outside activities that
To teachers. Understand why most students find the English language
difficult therefore developing strategies that would eliminate the factors
affecting the effective listening comprehension among students.
To school. See the importance of listening as a macro- skill and recognize
the factors that make it hard for comprehension to take place, this also
aims to catch their attention in order for them to develop a school inviting
for the enrichment of the listening comprehension skill.
To society. Become aware that having a listening comprehension can also
be a limiting factor in understanding the English language as a second
language in the Philippines.
To future researchers. Serve as a guide to future studies to be conducted
in relation to the factors affecting the effective listening comprehension of
Scope and Delimitation
This study determined the variables affecting listening comprehension in
English among the third year high school students of LSPU- SPCC only. The
different variables affecting the student’s listening comprehension included are of
follows; student- related variables, teacher- related variables and the school-
related variables. Furthermore, this study provided the relationship between the
variables affecting listening comprehension in English of the student’s and their
level of listening comprehension. The data collected conform to the year 20122013. Utmost confidentially and pieces of information gathered during the
conduct of this study are kept by the researcher.
Definition of Terms
In this definition of terms, the terms are listed with their operational
definition in this study.
Equipment- These are those which aids the listening instruction process like
microphones, headsets, radios, audio players and alike to take
Facilities- Those facilities like speech laboratories, audio- visual rooms or
computer laboratory that may be of help for listening comprehension
Listening Comprehension- It is the act of listening with message and the key in
attaining language proficiency in the English language.
Methodology- It pertains to how the teacher presents listening in English to the
students including approaches and strategies.
Second Language – In this study this pertains to the English language.