Listening is one of the key skills needed to be proficient in a second language (L2). Some L2 teachers support the development of L2 learners' listening skills by providing input in a different sensory mode (e.g., reading). Nevertheless, developing L2 listening skills using more than one sensory mode, may lead to cognitive overload. In order to provide effective L2 listening instruction, teachers need to know what learning strategies will help students improve their listening skills. This quasi-experimental study examined the benefits of reading a text while listening to it and the effect that reading-while-listening (RWL) has on an L2 learner's listening comprehension. The study was done with intermediate-level, English as a Second Language (ESL) students in two pre-existing classes at the English Language Center (ELC) in Provo, Utah, with one class using a teaching method that included reading and listening together and one class that did no reading, just listening. The results of this study showed that both the control group and treatment group significantly improved their listening comprehension skills over the course of 14 weeks. For the treatment group which had used RWL, however, their listening scores were not significantly different from those of the control group. The pedagogical implications of the findings for second language teachers teaching listening skills are also discussed.
College and Department
Humanities; Linguistics and English Language
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Sohler, Sydney, "Developing Listening Comprehension in ESL Students at the Intermediate Level by Reading Transcripts While Listening: A Cognitive Load Perspective" (2020). Theses and Dissertations. 8516.
ESL listening strategies, listening pedagogy, reading-while-listening, cognitive load theory