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Listening is a multi-faceted process which involves three interrelated processes. The processes involved in listening to incoming auditory message are perceptual processing, parsing and comprehension. All these processes have an important role in listening and especially parsing of the incoming message requires both syntactic and lexical knowledge, as well as effective use of listening strategies. In this paper, the aim is to investigate the role of syntactic knowledge, vocabulary knowledge and listening strategy use on listening comprehension. The study was conducted with 73 EFL students at three different proficiency levels assessed by a Michigan Placement Test. In the study, the effects of syntactic knowledge, vocabulary breadth and reported listening strategy use on listening comprehension were investigated using multiple regression analysis. The results showed that vocabulary knowledge is the strongest predictor of listening comprehension. As participants’ vocabulary knowledge increased, their listening comprehension scores also increased, and the positive correlation was found to be 0,710. The second strongest predictor of listening comprehension is syntactic knowledge, which had correlated with listening comprehension positively at 0,705. Reported strategy used did not correlate with listening comprehension. Based on this findings, multiple regression analyses were conducted and it was found that vocabulary knowledge, on its own, explained 49.6% of the variance. The combined impact of vocabulary and grammar knowledge on listening comprehension explained 55.6% of the variance. The study showed that vocabulary knowledge and syntactic knowledge have strong impact on listening comprehension. The results of this study are in accordance with earlier reports of the effect of syntactic and vocabulary knowledge on listening comprehension; however, the study did not yield results that are in support of earlier findings on the role of strategy use on listening comprehension. Based on these findings, it is fair to say that there should be a greater focus on lexical development with lower level students. Explicit vocabulary teaching could easily be integrated to existing curriculum. Students’ awareness about the role of vocabulary on comprehension could be increased from the beginning of their language learning experience.

Listening comprehension, factors, syntactic and lexical knowledge, strategy use


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