Examining the Association between T-unit and Pausing Length on the EFL Perception of Listening Comprehension

Document Type: Research Paper


Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran



Listening taking over half of the learners’ time and effort (Nunan, 1998), forms a basis for acquiring much of a language. There are factors affecting listening comprehension and its perception, such as the speech rate, phonological properties of the text, the quality of the recording, the learners’ anxiety, and listening comprehension strategies (Goh, 2000; Hamouda, 2013). At the Iran Language Institute in Dezful, S.W. Iran, some teachers attributed some learners’ perception of partially unsuccessful comprehension of the recorded material to factors such as rate of speech, T-unit length, and pauses between T-units or inside T-units. This study aimed at the probable association between learners' and teachers' perceptions of these variables and compare them to the real qualities of the recordings they listen to. Thus, in an analytic single-shot design, a researcher-made questionnaire was developed and was answered by 504 (229 male and 275 female) participants together with their teachers in 21 classrooms across the six levels of proficiency at the Iran Language Institute. The results, not normally distributed, were juxtaposed with Kendall's tau and Spearman's rho correlation coefficients to ensure maximum agreement between the statistical analyses. The results indicated a strong or moderate correlation between the audio tracks' characteristics with neither learners' perceptions nor teachers' perceptions. Teachers' and learners' perceptions showed a moderate correlation between the perceived rate of speech and a weak correlation between their perceptions of between-T-unit pauses.


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