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Goh, C. C. M. (1998). How ESL learners with different listening abilities use comprehension strategies and tactics. Language Teaching Research, 2(2), 124-147.
This article presents findings from research into listening strategies and tactics of ESL learners from the People’s Republic of China studying on an intensive English language and academic skills programme in a
university in Singapore. This research makes a distinction between strategies and tactics, with the term ‘strategy’ referring to a general approach and ‘tactic’ meaning a specific action or step. In this article I
identify the cognitive and metacognitive strategies and tactics used by 16 ESL learners, and compare the way high- and low-ability listeners applied them. I specifically examine the frequency and the types of
strategies and tactics used.To find evidence of these cognitive processes, retrospective verbal reports were analysed. The study showed that the high-ability listeners used more strategies and tactics than the lowability
ones. They were also able to vary their application of tactics within each strategy. Both groups used more cognitive strategies and tactics than metacognitive ones, but the low-ability listeners were
particularly poor at it. In addition to reporting the results from the study, the article also discusses issues related to using verbal reports as data and training learners to use listening strategies.
This is the final draft, after peer-review, of a manuscript published in Language Teaching Research. The published version is available online at
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