The use of note-taking strategies for listening comprehension among english-majored senior students at ctu

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CAN THO UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF EDUCATION ENGLISH DEPARTMENT The Use of Note-taking Strategies for Listening Comprehension among English-majored Senior Students at CTU B.A thesis Field of study: English Language Teaching Supervisor: M.A. Do Xuan Hai Student: Nguyen Thi Truc Linh Code: 7062904 Class: NN0652A1 Can Tho, 2010 Contents Contents .................................................................................................................. i Acknowledgements ................................................................................................. iii Abstract Vietnamese ................................................................................................... iv English ......................................................................................................... v List of Tables and Figures ....................................................................................... vi Chapter 1 Introduction 1.1 Problem and Rationale..................................................................................... 1 1.2 Research Questions ......................................................................................... 2 1.3 Hypotheses ...................................................................................................... 2 1.4 Thesis Organization......................................................................................... 2 Chapter 2 Literature Review 2.1 Listening Comprehension ................................................................................ 4 2.1.1 Definition of listening comprehension ................................................ 4 2.1.2 Strategies of listening comprehension ................................................. 5 2.1.3 Role of listening comprehension ......................................................... 6 2.2 Note-taking...................................................................................................... 6 2.2.1 Definition of note-taking..................................................................... 6 2.2.2 Analysis of the main notes used by students........................................ 7 2.2.3 Principal functions of note-taking ....................................................... 8 2.3 Related researches ........................................................................................... 9 Chapter 3 Research Methodology 3.1 Design ............................................................................................................. 12 3.2 Participants...................................................................................................... 12 3.3 Instrument ....................................................................................................... 13 3.4 Procedure ........................................................................................................ 14 Chapter 4 Data Analysis 4.1. Result of research question 1 ............................................................................ 17 4.1. Result of research question 2 ............................................................................ 17 4.1. Result of research question 3 ............................................................................ 19 Chapter 5 Discussions and Conclusions 5.1 Discussions...................................................................................................... 22 5.1.1. Research question 1 ............................................................................ 22 5.1.2. Research question 2 ............................................................................ 22 5.1.2. Research question 3 ............................................................................ 22 5.2 Implications..................................................................................................... 24 i 5.3 Limitations and recommendation..................................................................... 24 5.3.1. Limitations.......................................................................................... 24 5.3.2 Recommendations................................................................................ 25 5.4 Conclusions..................................................................................................... 26 References............................................................................................................... 27 Appendix A............................................................................................................. 30 ii Acknowledgements Firstly, I would like to express my respectful gratitude to Mr. Đỗ Xuân Hải, my supervisor, for his invaluable advice on all aspects of the research design, choice of instruments and interpretations of the results. Next, I greatly appreciate Ms. Ngô Thị Trang Thảo for her guidance of using and analyzing collected data by using SPSS software. Besides, I wish to thank Ms. Lê Xuân Mai and Ms. Chung Thị Thanh Hằng for their perceptive and constructive comments in refining the thesis. At the same time, my thanks go to my adviser, Ms. Bùi Minh Châu who helped me cross initial hurdles at the beginning of this research. I must also express my gratitude to all of my friends for their cooperation and enthusiasm when completing the questionnaires. Finally, I would like to express my special thanks to my family for their timely support and unconditional love which helped me give my best shot for the research. Nguyễn Thị Trúc Linh iii Tóm tắt Bài nghiên cứu này được thực hiện nhắm đến việc khảo sát và tìm hiểu quan điểm của sinh viên năm cuối, chuyên ngành tiếng Anh tại trường Đại học Cần Thơ về “những chiến thuật ghi chú”, mức độ thường xuyên và mức độ hữu ích của những chiến thuật này phục vụ cho mục đích nghe hiểu ở các khóa Nghe-Nói (từ khóa 1 đến khóa 5). Bảng câu hỏi là được dùng để thu được những số liệu cần thiết cho việc khảo sát. Bảng câu hỏi gồm 21 ý kiến, tập trung nhận xét về 5 chiến thuật ghi chú (không chuyên sâu, nội dung, hiệu quả, tổ chức và xem lại).70 sinh viên của hai nhóm Cử nhân tiếng Anh và Sư phạm tiếng Anh tại trường đã thực hiện bảng câu hỏi này. Đồng thời, phần mềm phân tích dữ liệu SPSS đã được sử dụng cho việc phân tích số liệu và nhận dạng những chiến thuật nổi bật. Kết quả của nghiên cứu đã cho thấy chiến thuật ghi chú “nội dung” (gồm có ghi lại những ý chính, sự kiện quan trọng, tránh ghi tất cả những gì được phát ra từ người nói) và chiến thuật “xem lại” được sử dụng nhiều nhất và được xem là có ích nhất cho việc nghe hiểu. Trái lại, chiến thuật “không chuyên sâu” (gồm có viết chữ rõ ràng, viết những từ không liên quan) được xem là ít sử dụng nhất và đem lại lợi ích thấp nhất. Ngoài ra, để tạo thuận lợi cho việc nghe hiểu của sinh viên chuyên ngành tiếng Anh, chiến thuật ghi chú “hiệu quả” (sử dụng chữ viết tắt, ký hiệu, diễn đật lại, sử dụng từ chỉ nội dung và loại bỏ những từ chỉ chức năng) và chiến thuật ghi chú “tổ chức” (sử dụng bảng biểu, hình ảnh, đề cương, danh sách, mũi tên, đường tròn, gạch dưới, đánh số…) được đề xuất cần đầu tư thời gian cho việc giảng dạy và thực hành. iv Abstract The present study was conducted to investigate the views that English-majored senior students at Can Tho University (CTU) hold about the frequency of use and degree of helpfulness of note-taking strategies which they used for listening comprehension in their Listening-Speaking classes from course 1 to course 5. A questionnaire concluding 21 statements focused on note-taking strategies (general, content, efficiency, organization and review), was administered to 70 English-majored senior students from Bachelor of English and English of Education groups to collect the targeted data. The SPSS software was used for data analysis and identification of merging patterns. The findings revealed that content note-taking strategy (writing down the main ideas and important facts, as opposed to trying to write down everything the speaker said) and review of notes are the most frequently utilized and helpful while general one (using neat handwriting and writing down unconnected words) is the least frequently utilized and helpful. Moreover, the results suggested that efficiency (using abbreviations, symbols, paraphrases, using content words and omitting function words) and organization note-taking strategies (using diagrams, pictures, outlining, numbering, lists, arrows, boxes, circles, underlining) should be more focused in term of instruction and practice in Listening-Speaking courses at CTU for promote English-majored students’ listening comprehension. v List of Tables and Figures Table 1 Table 2 Table 3 Table 4 Table 5 Table 6 Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Relevant participant characteristics ........................................................ 13 The 21 items questionnaires and their composite categories ................... 14 Reliability statistics of frequency ........................................................... 16 Reliability statistics of helpfulness ......................................................... 16 Frequency of use of each note-taking strategy........................................ 18 Degree of helpfulness of each note-taking strategy................................. 19 Frequency of use of each note-taking strategy ........................................ 19 Degree of helpfulness of each note-taking strategy ................................. 20 Degree of helpfulness of review note-taking strategy.............................. 21 vi CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION 1.1. Problems and Rationale English-majored students at CTU have been studying Listening-Speaking courses (XH155, XH156, XH157, XH158, and XH159) with a wide variety of listening and speaking practice in both natural conversations and academic English through popular topics. To listening strategies in specific, according to the course descriptions and the aims of these courses, at the end of these courses, students are expected to be able to “develop brainstorming and guessing new vocabulary in contexts and ideas, note-taking and outline-making skills for a wide range of academic subjects, and getting the main ideas and necessary details from authentic listening exercises”. However, language learners, who learn English as a foreign language in a nonnative setting, often find it difficult to capture the main ideas and necessary details from authentic exercises. Particular, this presents a problem that while many Englishmajored students listen to listening tasks, they feel at a loss when listening to some new texts or cannot understand the speakers (Luo, 2008). Therefore, it is necessary for these students to find appropriate and effective strategies to promote their listening comprehension. In a non-native English setting, as is the case at CTU, the role of listening comprehension skill is more significant than in the context where a native language is used. This is because the Listening-Speaking classroom culture dictates the teachinglearning tasks to be achieved largely through talking and listening. As a result, effective listening becomes one of the determinants of the students’ success or failure (Taron & Yule, 1989). Particularly, at the English-majored senior level of learning, the ability to listen effectively is a necessity. At this level, students are expected to understand different types of lectures, discussions, presentations, seminars and other academic spoken discourses. In addition, the authentic tasks demand that students should be able to take important notes to produce summaries, inferences, reports, ect. A large body of research has been done to help these learners to acquire the strategic skills that are in desperate need. Different solutions have been proposed, i.e., listening to the same content several times or ignoring function words. It should be noted that using note-taking strategies is one of the principal methods have been investigated. In fact, studies in using note-taking strategies for listening comprehension of lectures in both L1 and L2 have greatly multiplied. Previous research has clearly demonstrated the potential benefits of note-taking during listening 1 comprehension to lectures (Piolat, Barbier & Roussey, 2008; Carrell, Dunkel & Mollaun, 2002; Boch & Piolat, 2004; Carrell, 2007; Hayati & Jalilifar, 2009; Kiliçkaya & Çokal-Karadaş, 2009). However, there has been relatively little analysis of using note-taking strategies for listening comprehension among students studying English in a non-native setting. Especially, to English-majored students at CTU, note-taking skills are instructed explicitly in their materials including taking notes for main ideas or specific information as well as for making the outlines of lectures spoken by native speakers. Therefore, the intents of this study are to investigate the note-taking strategies that may be used by English-majored seniors at CTU who studying English in a non-native setting and their’ views about the helpfulness of note-taking strategies that they used for listening comprehension as well as to give implications for instructions of notetaking in appropriate degree. 1.2. Research questions The following three questions dictate the focus, design, and shape of this research. 1.2.1. Do English-majored senior students at CTU use notes-taking strategies of general, content, efficiency, organization and review for their listening comprehension? 1.2.2. To which degree are these note-taking strategies used by Englishmajored senior students at CTU? 1.2.3. To which degree do the above students think the note-taking strategies they used are helpful for their listening comprehension? 1.3. Hypotheses It is to English-majored senior students at CTU, the hypotheses are that - English-majored senior students at CTU use notes-taking strategies of general, content, efficiency, organization and review for their listening comprehension. - Content note-taking strategy (getting the main ideas and important facts, as opposed to trying to write down everything the speaker said) is the most frequently utilized and most helpful. - General note-taking strategy (using neat handwriting and writing down unconnected words) is the least frequently utilized and least helpful. 1.4. Thesis Organization 2 In order to help readers follow this thesis with ease, the body of the thesis is clearly organized into five different chapters and what was concerned in each one as follows. Chapter 1: Introduction In general, the reader can find out the reason why this topic is chosen as the confidential one and what is measured when carrying the topic the answers for these questions in the first chapter of the thesis- Introduction. Chapter 2: Literature Review Some works closely related to the study are clearly stated in this part of the thesis. Basically, the literature review gave a necessary foundation to implement the topic. Chapter 3: Research Methodology Purposefully, this chapter outlines the way the study was proceed including the approach of designing methods, choosing participants, the selecting of instruments and the procedure of the research. Chapter 4: Data Analysis and Results In this section, basing on the data collected and analyzed from questionnaire, the readers, themselves can withdraw their own point of view about what was previously mentioned. Chapter 5: Discussions and Conclusions Discussions for the study along with conclusion would be revealed in the last chapter-chapter 5. Note-taking strategies were used and were helpful at a definite frequency to the fourth-year English students. Also, some unavoidable limitations in the thesis were all mentioned as well as some recommendations for further researches on note-taking strategies for listening comprehension were suggested. Finally, thanks to discovering many interesting and useful issues when doing the study, some implications and conclusions were given. 3 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Literature review is an account of what has been published on a topic by accredited scholars and researchers but not simply a new interpretation of old material. Therefore, this chapter is intended both to demonstrate relevant information on note-taking for listening comprehension and to provide informed evaluation of the literature. This chapter explains various aspects related to the topic of note-taking for listening comprehension. It is started with a brief description of listening comprehension, note-taking strategies, and finally a focus on related studies. 2.1. Listening comprehension 2.1.1. Definition of listening comprehension By analyzing listener responses and the skills or strategies used, many writers have given various definitions to listening comprehension. “Listening is the activity of paying attention and trying to get meaning for something we hear” (Underwood, 1989, p. 1). Listening comprehension is also described by Morley (1991) as “an act of information processing in which the listener is involved in two-way communication” (interactive listening in which the reciprocal speech chain of speaker-listener is obvious to us), or “one-way communication” (noninteractive listening in which the auditory input comes from a variety of sources (e.g. lectures, news, public address announcements, religious services, films). In one-way communication, the listener listens to the speaker but does not react. S/he may simply vocalize or sub-vocalize responses, and/or self dialogue communication (the one in which the listener takes internal roles as “speaker” and “listener/reactor” in his/her own thought processing without being aware of it). To rejecting the conceptualization of listening as a passive act, Vandergrift (1999) further describes, Listening comprehension is anything, but a passive activity. It is a complex, active process in which the listener must discriminate between sounds, understand vocabulary and grammatical structures, interpret stress and intonation, retain what was gathered in all of the above and interpret it within the immediate as well as the larger sociocultural context of the utterance. (p.168) This view of listening as a complex and active process is also shared by Rost (2001) and Cook (2001). They argue that as a goal-oriented activity, listening 4 comprehension involves both bottom-up and top-down processing that are assumed to take place at various levels of cognitive organization: phonological, grammatical, lexical and propositional. In bottom-up processing, listeners attend to data in the incoming speech signals, whereas, in top-down processing the listeners knowledge and expectations to create meaning. It involves "prediction and inference on the basis of hierarchies of facts, propositions and expectations" (Morley, 1991, p. 87). In fact, with the above views, listening comprehension is considered a hard task, which demands a great deal of mental analysis on the part of the listener. In order to construct the message the speaker intends, the listener must actively contribute skills and both linguistic and nonlinguistic knowledge. These include having an appropriate purpose for listening, social and cultural knowledge and background knowledge (Littlewood, 1981; Richards, 1985; Anderson & Lynch, 1988; Morley, 1991) 2.1.2. Strategies of listening comprehension Techniques or activities that contribute directly to the comprehension and recall of listening input are listening strategies. Depending on how the listener processes the input, listening strategies can be classified into bottom-up strategies and top-down ones. Bottom-up strategies are text based in which relies on the language in the message, that is, proceeding from sounds to words to grammar relationships to lexical meaning, ect., to a final “message”. It means that the listeners typically focus on sounds, words, intonations, grammatical structures, and other components of spoken language. Bottom-up strategies include: • listening for specific details • recognizing cognates • recognizing word-order patterns Top-down strategies are listener based which evoked from the listeners’ background knowledge of the topic, either content schema (general information based on previous learning and life experience) or textual schema (awareness of the kinds of information used in a given situation) (Morley, 1991, p. 87). This background knowledge activates a set of expectations that help the listener to interpret what is heard and anticipate what will come next. Top-down strategies include: • listening for the main idea • predicting • drawing inferences • summarizing It is important for learners to operate both above strategies from instructions since both can offer keys to determining the meaning of spoken discourse. For example, an effective listener is able to concentrate on what is being heard, to plan 5 what to listen for, and to interact with both textual cues (bottom-up) and personal prior experience (top-down), whereas an ineffective listener employs predominately bottom-up processing, listening for single words, and using strategies at random (Liu, 2008). 2.1.3. Role of listening comprehension It cannot be denied that listening comprehension plays an important role in language learning. For example, Luo (2008) indicates that listening comprehension is foundational in learning a foreign language because it is the most important skill of the five and also the basic way of receiving language input Furthermore, listening comprehension levels do influence the capacity for improvement in other language skills such as speaking, reading, writing and translating. The evidence from Luo’s study suggests sound reasons for emphasizing listening comprehension, which highlights the importance of spending much more time doing it. As Dunkel (1986) pointed out that most researchers of listening comprehension agreed that “listening comprehension should be the focal methodology in foreign/ second language instruction, particularly at the initial stage of language study”. Listening comprehension is therefore, an essential skill that EFL learners should acquire as early as possible. In a non-native English setting, as is the case at CTU, the role of listening comprehension skill is more significant than in the context where a native language is used. This is because the Listening-Speaking classroom culture dictates the teachinglearning tasks to be achieved largely through talking and listening. As a result, effective listening becomes one of the determinants of the students’ success or failure (Taron & Yule, 1989). To develop this complex but essential skill, students indeed need much support from their teachers. They must be exposed to a variety of input sources in the form of listening opportunities embedded in social and academic situations. Besides, they should be provided with varying listening activities that enable them to employ different strategies and enhance their macro and micro listening skills (Underwood, 1989; Rost, 1990; Harmer, 2001). 2.2. Note-taking 2.2.1. Definition of note-taking Frequently, note-taking occurs in various everyday life situations such as to make purchases, to plan future events and activities, to study for examinations, to prepare a technical talk, to design a model in an industry, to record the minutes of work meetings, ect. Note taking is a complex activity in which comprehension and selection of information and written production processes are required (Piolat, Olive & Kellogg, 2005). 6 In a condense way, Castallo (1976) has defined note-taking as a two step process in which the students must listen for the important information and then write it in some organized way. Fajardo (1996) has pointed that note-taking is involvement with the combination of different skills like listening or reading, selecting, summarizing and writing, and it is also a requirement of selecting the relevant information from the nonessential. Note-taking involves putting onto paper the data received through any of our senses. These data could range from simple figures, letters, symbols, isolated words, or brief phrases to complete sentences and whole ideas. To sum up, note-taking is an important skill for students, especially at the college level. Note-taking can be considered as the practice of rapid transcription of information or selecting and writing pieces of information to store information in long-term memory. It often requires comprehension and organizing in an informal or unstructured manner. Many different forms are employed to structure information and allow large amounts of information to be put on paper very quickly and to find or use later such as shortened words and substitution symbols, abbreviating operations, syntactical short-cuts, paraphrasing statements, and often a physical formatting of the notes that differs from the linear text of written source material (Piolat, 2001; Boch & Piolat, 2004; Beecher, 1988). 2.2.2. Analysis of the main notes used by students Too often, note-taking is realized under severe time pressure. However, the average writing speed of a student is around 0.3 to 0.4 words/second (Boch & Piolat, 2004). Therefore, note-takers have to use a number of conventional or personal procedures and devices that are more or less fixed (i.e., abbreviations, icons, graphic symbols, page layout, etc.) and allow them to capture as much information as possible, even in a note-taking situation involving extreme time pressure (Barbier, Faraco, Piolat, & Branca, 2004; Piolat, 2001). In the literature on note-taking, formal analyses of notes are based on the identification of at least two types of variables (Chaudron, Loschky & Cook, 1994; Barbier, Roussey, Piolat & Olive, 2006). The first variables are quantitative and concern the total number of words and/or abbreviations. Quantitative analyses of notes show that abbreviating procedures, which are considered by some scholars as performance indicators of notetaking (Fahmy & Bilton, 1991; Janda, 1985, cited in Babier et al., 2006) or even as quality indicators (Chaudron et al., 1994), are little used in second language. For example, when students take notes in second language they do not use the surface abbreviating procedures that are commonly shared by native speakers. They also do not use the note-taking tools, such as icons, they used in their first language notetaking and that allow them to quickly write down what they hear. Actually, note takers 7 in second language do not possess a large variety of techniques and so they sometimes switch in a first language transcription of information or even sometimes produce neologisms (Faraco, Barbier, & Piolat, 2002; Dunkel & Davis, 1994). The second ones are qualitative and relate to the content of the notes (new words, words in first and second language), to the organization of ideas and to the structuring of the spatial layout (in particular use of marks related to lists effects: classification, separation in sections, underlining, columns, etc. (Barbier et al., 2004). Qualitative analyses of notes in L2 indicate the use of a limited syntax, a “disorganized” note-taking or confusion in the procedures that highlight information provided between titles, definitions and examples (Fahmy & Bilton, 1990). Cushing (1993, cited in Carrell, 2007) shows that note-taking is apparently related to individual differences among L2 learners. According to Carrell’s following literature on note-taking strategies relevant to second language listening comprehension test performance, she came up with the 5 strategies consisted of both qualitative and quantitative variables as following: 1. General note-taking strategies such as using neat handwriting and writing down unconnected words. 2. Note-taking strategies that involved content (i.e., writing down the main ideas and important facts, as opposed to trying to write down everything the speaker said) reflect a focus on content of the materials. 3. Note-taking strategies involving efficiency (abbreviations, symbols, paraphrases, using content words and omitting function words) represent an encoding or transformation of verbatim information into the listener’s own comprehension system. 4. Note-taking strategies involving the organization of the notes (e.g., using diagrams, outlining, indentation, numbers, lists, arrows; using circles, boxes and highlighting) reflect how information in the notes was overtly organized or emphasized by the note-takers. 5. Review strategy. In brief, the above five note-taking strategies are in term of relevant to the context of using note-taking strategies for listening comprehension in a non-native setting of studying English. Therefore, the current research mainly focuses on these strategies to look into the frequently utilized and helpful extend of each one for listening comprehension. 2.2.3. Principal functions of note-taking Otto (1979) stated that note-taking is useful because when people listen to some kind of discourse, they try to extract information, either factual or effective. The information is then applied to some further need which may be casual conversation, technical writing or answering test questions. The ability to listen for a certain kind of 8 information and apply it to one of these needs is a note-taking skill which can be learned and practised. Note-taking is important because it improves the listening ability by increasing the listener's attentiveness and prevents sidetracking. In other words, it helps to keep note-taker focused on their subject area and to the task at hand and prevent wandering off. Note-taking also increases the listener's chances of reviewing what he has heard, therefore remedying weaknesses in listening. In addition, note-taking improves the learner's ability to learn from the spoken word as well as improves memory of what is heard (Hartley, 2002, Slotte & Lonka, 2003). According to Craik and Lockhart, 1972; Craik and Tulving, 1975 (cited in Smith and Tompkins, 1988), the benefits of note-taking result from the heightened activation of several cognitive processes. First, the students have to actively attend to the message and select important ideas to retain in the notes. Second, students who paraphrase and add their own comments are relating their own prior knowledge to the new information. Third, as students elaborate on content by paraphrasing, indicating relationships among ideas, and developing their own examples, they are processing the content more deeply. This increased depth of processing multiple encoding increases the likelihood of comprehension and retention. Finally, in creating their own notes, students generate a transportable and permanent storage of important information that is available for review. To sum up, note-taking has the following five functions: (1) to avoid distraction, (2) to make the content meaningful to the learners, (3) to combine new and old information, (4) to review the main ideas quickly before a test, and (5) to make the message more impressive. These functions warrant that note-taking is considered a crucial skill. Therefore, according to Hayati and Jalilifar (2009), many educators believe that it should be explicitly taught in school and university. At the same time, teachers have responsibility to polish up students’ note-taking skill and should spend some time letting students review their notes before a test (Kiewra, 1985). It could be said that note-taking should be part of the curriculum (Ornstein, 1994). 2.3. Studies on note-taking strategies for listening comprehension Kiewra and Benton (1988) concluded that the "amount of note-taking is related to academic achievement" and the "ability to hold and manipulate propositional knowledge in working memory is related to the number of words, complex propositions, and main ideas recorded in notes." (p. 33) Chaudron, Cook, and Loschky (1994) investigated a number of quantitative and qualitative measures of the notes and their relationships to successful short-term recall. Utilizing multiple choice and cloze comprehension tests, Chaudron et al. (1994) concluded that three measures (symbols, abbreviations, and total words) were 9 significantly correlated with multiple-choice test scores on one lecture, but not with multiple-choice test scores on two other lectures. In a study of the content of notes, Cushing (1991) employed a qualitative analysis of sets of the notes taken by the high and low proficiency L2 listeners when students were provided an outline of the lecture to guide their note-taking. The results indicated the following: (1) high proficiency students tended to take more complete notes than low proficiency students; (2) high proficiency students made somewhat better use of the note-taking guide than did low proficiency students; (3) overall, there was not a great deal of incorrect information in the notes, although 40% of the low proficiency students had written wrong or incomplete information in blanks in the note-taking guide; (4) lower proficiency students did not distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information as well as higher proficiency students; (5) graduate students tended to fill in the blanks on the note-taking guide more completely (although not always more accurately) than did either undergraduate or noncredit students, suggesting perhaps that they approached the task more seriously. In a more recent study of the functions of note-taking and the content of L2 listeners’ notes in the context of a group of Chinese EFL learners, Liu (2001, cited in Carrell, 2007) found that taking and having one’s notes available during question answering had a significant effect on the recognition of specific information (but not general information) in both immediate and delayed multiple-choice test performance. A follow-up study reported in the same thesis investigated the relationship between three qualitative features of the Chinese students’ notes and test performance: number of content words, number of words spelled out fully, and number of notations. Liu found significant positive correlations between number of content words and lecturespecific information (as opposed to general information), as well as significant negative correlations between number of words in full spelling and lecture-specific information (again as opposed to general information). Liu concluded that learners should be encouraged to “take down more content words when required to recall specific information,” and as it might be a lost cause to spell out words fully, to establish a “personalized shorthand system” (2001, abstract). Ferit and Derya’s (2009) study also focused on the effect of note-taking on students’ listening comprehension. In detailed, 44 Turkish EFL students in the first year of their undergraduate level in the Department of Foreign Language Education in Middle East Technical University and were aged between 18 and 20 were divided into two classes of 22 students. The first class (experimental group) practised listening comprehension questions taking notes while the other class (control group) practised the same questions without taking notes. As results, participants’ responses suggest that they felt at ease if allowed to take notes while listening to lectures (100% agreed) and also 86.4 %believed that taking notes helped to understand the lectures. However, 10 about half of the students (% 45.5 agreements) stated that taking notes helped them to listen carefully to the lectures. However, 36% stated that they used their notes when answering the test questions and also 95% wanted more time to review their notes. Carrell (2007) examined the relationship between the content of notes taken by examinees during mini-lectures and their performance on a listening comprehension measure and integrated listening/speaking and listening/writing tasks. Among four objectives of his study, examinees’ perceptions of their note-taking strategies as well as their perceptions of the helpfulness of those note-taking strategies in their performance on the listening comprehension measure and speaking and writing tasks based on the lectures were investigated by administering the questionnaires. He found that note-taking strategies that involved content were the strategies they used most frequently and found to be most helpful. Note-taking strategies were those involving efficiency were the next most frequently utilized and helpful. Note-taking strategies involving the organization of the notes were reported as being used less frequently and as being less helpful. General note-taking strategies such as using neat handwriting and writing down unconnected words were reported as being used least frequently and as being least helpful. 11 CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY The chapter in the previous section of the thesis provides an overview of notetaking for listening comprehension, drawing on pertinent theories, examples and illustrations from linguistics research literature, which have been conjoined with personal analyses, assessments, suggestions and deductions. In the forthcoming section, an empirical report is presented based on the findings from a survey. The section starts with a brief description of the survey design, participant, method and procedures. 3.1. Design The research was a descriptive one based on descriptive data that did not use of statistical procedure. Questionnaire including 21 statements derived from Carrel (2007) was designed in the hope of investigating which note-taking strategies the English-majored senior students used for their listening comprehension in their Listening-Speaking courses, to find out their views about the frequency of various note-taking strategies and the helpfulness of those note-taking strategies that they used. 3.2. Participants Like other skills, note-taking also requires real experiences which achieved from the participants’ attendances at courses including courses from ListeningSpeaking 1 to Listening-Speaking 5. In other words, the participants had finished all classes of these courses. That is the reason why the fourth-year students were chosen, not the others to be the participants in this project. In specific, the participants of this research were 70 senior students majoring in Bachelor of English and Education of English at CTU. In condition of time constraints, 70 were the possible participants that could be found. They obviously represented for the rest to reach the reliability of students’ views and of the research. Altogether the 70 English-majored senior students participating, of whom 11 were male students (15.7 %) and 59 (84.3 %) were female students with their ages ranking from 21 to 24 (M= 22.08). Reasonably, the number of female students is always more than male students in English major. There may be a concern here that “Does it have any differences between Bachelor of English groups and Education of English groups?” The answer is there is no significant difference between these two groups because of the same curriculum of listening-speaking courses with the same 12 aim courses as well as the same materials. Relevant participant characteristics are detailed in Table 1. Table 1. Relevant participant characteristics Characteristics Gender Male Female Age Mean Range Major Bachelor of English Education of English Native Vietnamese language N Year 11 59 % 15, 7 84, 3 22.08 21-24 47 23 67, 1 32, 9 3.3. Instruments Depending on the research questions being addressed in the study, questionnaires were selected as the principal instrument of this research to elicit targeted data. The questionnaire was adapted and redesigned from the questionnaire of Carrell (2007) and have been judged by two experienced lecturers at CTU. At the same time, the analyzing program SPSS was used to describe for the reliability scale if item deleted. In another words, if the items affected the reliability coefficient (alpha), it must be redesigned or deleted. It is reasonable for this choice because questionnaires are considered more reliable ways since they are anonymous and this encourages greater honesty. In Cohen and Manim’s (1998) words, they are more amenable to quantification and easy to answer. (See Appendix A for a copy of the questionnaire.) In specific, 70 questionnaires were used. Each questionnaire comprised 21 items of statements which were organized into the same categories based on the analysis of notes adapted from Carrell (2007). These categories are classified into the good things -“do write down” and the opposite ones - “don’t write down” following Instructional Intervention—Good Practices in Note-taking (Carrell, 2007). The two items (13 and 15) in the first category focused on general note-taking strategy including using neat handwriting and writing down the words. The second category consisting of 4 items (16, 17, 18 and 20) dealed with content strategy (main points, facts, important ideas). Six items (1, 2, 3, 4, 8 and 19) concerned with efficiency one (e.g. abbreviations, symbols, content words, etc.) made the third category. The fourth category contained 8 items (5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14) devised to elicit information of organization strategy (organizing notes, using diagrams, pictures, outlining, numbering, lists, using arrows, ect.). Finally, the last one was review strategy to make 13
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