The study is aimed at investigating the effects of the three-phase active listening remedial program (TPALRP) on English listening performance and responses for the lower English achievers in the eighth grade in central Taiwan. To achieve the purpose, 32 lower English achievers in the eighth grade from two classes in a junior high school were recruited in this study. In the TPALRP, the students learned how to apply the three-phase active English listening strategies, including “listening and circling the keyword,” “listening and matching the picture,” and “listening and choosing the good explanation,” for 12 weeks. The data collected from the students’ two English listening comprehension tests, and their responses to the pre-study questionnaire as well as the post-study questionnaire were analyzed quantitatively by a paired samples t-test and descriptive statistics. Three open-ended questions in the post-study questionnaire were analyzed in a qualitative way.
The major findings were summarized as follows.
1. There is a significant difference in the students’ English listening comprehension before and after the TPALRP. According to the increased mean score of the post-test for the subjects, the TPALRP was effective in improving the students’ English listening comprehension.
2. There are 11 significant differences in the student responses to the English listening before and after the TPALRP. The increased mean scores show that the students cultivated positive responses to English listening through the TPALRP. Specifically, most of the students’ interest and confidence in English listening were promoted after the TPALRP. In addition, the students’ perception of English listening was enhanced after the TPALRP. The students were motivated to learn English listening and recognized the importance of English listening.
3. The students demonstrated positive responses to three-phase active English listening strategies after the TPALRP. They could apply those strategies in English listening practices and comprehension tests. For instance, the students could make use of the “listening and circling the keyword strategy” to pay attention to keywords in the listening materials, apply the “listening and matching the picture strategy” to connect the picture with their understanding of the listening materials, and apply the “listening and choosing the good explanation strategy” to check their English listening comprehension.
4. Most of the students expressed their gains, difficulties, and suggestions respectively after the TPALRP. Specifically, the students’ gains included English listening performance, English learning motivation, and the application of the listening strategies. In addition, the students had difficulties in vocabulary, grammar, and the speech rate of the listening materials and the use of the listening strategies. As for the suggestions for the TPALRP, the students made the suggestions that the teacher select English listening materials with slower speed of delivery, easier vocabulary, and less-complicated sentence patterns. Concerning the listening practices, the students suggested that the teacher provide more opportunities of English listening practices and repeat the listening materials more than one time to increase the comprehension of English listening materials. As for the strategy use, the students suggested the teacher provide more opportunities for them to practice English listening strategies.
On the basis of study findings, it is suggested that EFL teachers incorporate listening strategy teaching and remedial program in the regular English lessons to enhance students’ English listening ability and provide some English listening materials related to the students’ lives to increase the students’ interests and willingness to learn English. EFL students are encouraged to actively participate in English learning and apply the strategies they obtained in the TPALRP to the overall English learning. Finally, the educational authorities should incorporate English listening teaching in the curriculums of the junior high school to boost the students’ English listening ability and to deal with the English listening comprehension test in the Junior High School Educational Examination for the ninth graders of the 12-year compulsory education.