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Title: Exploring listening comprehension tactics and their interaction patterns
Authors: Goh, Christine Chuen Meng
Issue Date: 2002
Citation: Goh, C. C. M. (2002). Exploring listening comprehension tactics and their interaction patterns. System, 30(2), 185-206.
Abstract: Much of listening strategy research has focused on broad strategy use with little attention paid to the different mental techniques by which each strategy is operationalised. This study examined a group of Chinese ESL learners’ listening strategies and the tactics that operationalised these strategies. It also conducted an exploratory analysis of the way these tactics interacted in the processing sequences of two learners. Data were collected and analysed using a retrospective verbalisation procedure based on the principles of human information processing proposed by Ericsson and Simon (1993. Protocol Analysis: Verbal Reports as Data, second ed. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA). Besides revealing tactics for two new strategies, the study identified a number of tactics for operationalising some existing strategies in the literature. Altogether, 44 listening tactics have been identified. In the comparison of the two learners’ retrospective protocols, it was found that although they used many similar strategies, the higher ability listener demonstrated more effective use of both cognitive and metacognitive tactics. The paper concludes that examining specific tactics was useful in clarifying some strategies in the literature and that an investigation of how individual tactics interact in processing sequences could offer insights into cognitive differences between learners. It also recommends the use of carefully selected retrospective protocols on tactic use for classroom awareness-raising activities.
Description: This is the final draft, after peer-review, of a manuscript published in System. The published version is available online at
ISSN: 0346-251X
Other Identifiers: 10.1016/S0346-251X(02)00004-0
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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