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Enhancing listening comprehension and content learning in lectures

  • Enhancing listening comprehension and content learning in lectures
  • Quality in teaching & learning in higher education: A collection of refereed papers written from the 63 extended abstracts presented at the first conference on Quality in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
  • Hong Kong
  • Reprographic Unit of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • 1999
  • Conference on Quality in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (1998: Hong Kong)
    • Hong Kong
    • 1997.7 onwards
    • Post-Secondary Education
  • There are numerous types of English-listening problems which Hong Kong students face. These include recognized limitations in English vocabulary, as well as the problems which teachers create due to structural complexity or unfamiliar references. Students may also experience a "blur" factor in listening to English, i.e., when the combination of familiar words is merely perceived as a stream of sounds. Liu's (1998) preliminary study of the extent to which university students recognize and understand words in a short piece of English expository discourse presented on CD-ROM found that:
    • Students may encounter two major difficulties: unfamiliar vocabulary and failure to segment or divide sound streams into words.
    • Low proficiency students often cannot identify sounds of words that they know in writing.
    • Use of English grade D and E students recognize less than 40% of the words they hear.
    Apart from problems related to features of English speech, there remains a more "listener-external" problem, i.e., the intrinsic cognitive load of the lecture discourse. The nature of cognitive load is explored and examples of what might constitute high cognitive load are looked at. In what ways could teachers alleviate some of the problems associated with high cognitive load and low English proficiency?
    A small trial was carried out to explore ways in which university teachers can adjust lecture-support materials in English, in order to increase student comprehension and learning. Forty-one students at Hong Kong Baptist University participated in this study. Three types of lecture support materials (knowledge map, full outline, partial outline) were used.
    Although this exploratory study does not conclusively show the learning advantages (in terms of quiz scores) of one type of lecture aid over another, several important points emerge:
    • the knowledge map is perceived as enhancing lecture comprehension by students, even though students are not familiar with the graphic representation used in the knowledge map,
    • the full outline which previews the structure of the lecture is also very much preferred by students,
    • an appropriate lecture aid seems to depend on students’ English proficiency, their academic aptitude and prior subject knowledge,
    • teachers need to be more aware of the techniques for reducing cognitive loads for learners, so that they may better understand the lecture nhi develop their English language proficiency.
    This paper concludes with a look at some of the principles and strategies for providing comprehensible lectures and tutorials.
    • English
  • Conference Papers
    • 9623672675
  • 2011-05-27

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