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Exploring listening comprehension tactics and their interaction patterns
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Goh, C. C. M. (2002). Exploring listening comprehension tactics and their interaction patterns. System, 30(2), 185-206.
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.
This is the final draft, after peer-review, of a manuscript published in System. The published version is available online at
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Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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