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Difficulties in
Listening Comprehension Faced by The EFL Learners  

In ABU-ISSA College




Submitted by: –

Fatima Mohammed Ajaj

Safa Al-amory Hussain

Safa Ali Hussain



Om Kalthoum Al-Bakosh













1.1 Introduction



1.2 Statement of the problem



1.3 Research questions



1.4 Research hypothesis



1.5 Research objective



1.6 Significant of the study



1.7 Limited study






2.1 Introduction



2.2 Definitions of listening



2.3 Significant of listening



2.4Factor that make
listening difficulties



2.5 Listening strategies



2.5.1 Cognitive strategies


11 bottom-up processing


12 top-down



2.5.2 Metacognitive strategies



2.5.3 Socio-affective strategies 



2.6 Relevant study






3.1 Introduction



3.2 Research Design



3.3 Population and sample



3.4 Data collection



3.5 Procedures



3.6 Data Analysis



























Listening is one of the most
important skills in English language learning. When EFL students listen to
English language, they face a lot of listening difficulties. EFL Students have
basic difficulties in listening comprehension because colleges and schools pay
more attention to writing, reading, and vocabulary. Listening is not an important
part of many course books and most teachers do not pay attention to this
important skill in their classes. In this research, the researchers will review
the terms listening, listening comprehension strategies, and listening
difficulties. So, the
researchers would have indicated that when teachers are aware of the EFL students’ learning difficulties they can help
them develop effective listening strategies and finally solve their
difficulties in listening and improve their listening comprehension abilities. Though, listening is a complex
process which is often a confusing matter especially for L2 learners, it is the
most frequent activity among learners. Gupta (2002) cited in Ahkam (2015)
expressed that the listening ability was disregarded and take a gander at a
detached procedure before in language teaching. However, it is gives much importance in stream language teaching
approaches that listening seems to be a simple and natural task to the fact we
tend to take it for granted. This simplicity of listening is questionable.

Nunan (1993) cited in Kazouz (2014)
revealed that listening is the Cinderella ability in a second language educating.
That is, listening is the principle ability which assumes a viable part in
showing second language.

Howatt and Dakin (1974) cited in Suradej
(2011), says that listening is the capacity to recognize and comprehend what
others are stating. This includes understanding a speaker’s accent or
pronunciation, the speaker’s linguistic use and vocabulary and perception of
significance. A capable audience can do these four things at the same time.
Also According to Hamouda (2013) cited in Kazouz (2014) expressed that
listening is basic as open aptitude as well as to the improvement of talked
language capability.

This research paper discusses the problems and difficulties that
faced Libyan student in the department of English language at the factually of
education in Abu-Isa.



             a lot of researchers said that the
listening is very difficult for EFL learners According to ”Hamouda (2013)
cited in Abbas & Narjes (2016:123) emphasized that listening comprehending
speech is a very difficult activity for students”; On the other hand, Yagang (1994) cited in SURADEJ 2011, stated that
the problems in listening were accompanied with the four following factors: the
messages, the speaker, the listener and the physical setting.

Anderson and Lynch (1997) cited in Abbas & Mohammed Reza (2011) guaranteed
that absence of foundation learning caused trouble in listening cognizance. Goh
(2000) cited Kazouz (2014) declared that listening challenges are characterized
as the interior and outside variables that may interfere with content
understanding and genuine handling issues specifically identified with
intellectual strategies that happen at different phases of listening perception.

            Comprehension or recognition:
students are unable to recognize the multi-word like form /meaning of the part
of speech when listening to the speaker or conversation, etc. they often assume
that each word in an utterance contributes to the meaning     independently. E.G.: when studied
listening for the first time we always ask a teacher how can be listening in
the best way and also asked what are strategies can we use when listening.
There for the student focus on the word in any spoken, conversation or any listening.

       So; the researchers focus on the difficulties and problems in listening to EFL learners in Abu-Isa college, and also to
describe some strategies to solve it.







This research
study tries to answer the following questions:

What are the problems with
listening comprehension faced by EFL students of the
English Department in college of Abu-Isa?

What strategies are used to help EFL students of the English Department in
college of Abu-Isa to succeed in listening comprehension?



            It is hypothesized that the
listening skill is the most important and the most used among the four skills.
Therefor third semester in Abu-Isa college face various problems and
difficulties. So; the researchers will help the students at the department of
English to understand and produce listening properly. So the researcher intends
to teach the student English listening for a period of time to ensure that they
will stay on listening


     In line with the research problem above, the
objectives of the study therefor are:

To describe the
problems in listening comprehension encountered by   L2 learners of the English Department at
college abu-issa.

To describe the
strategies used to help EFL students of the English Department at college
abu-issa to succeed in listening comprehension.



This study is important to the student because EFL learners have many
difficulties and problem; so the researcher have many strategies and solution
to make easier for any EFL learners in listening; and we will open new doors
for teachers in regard to L2 learning and draw the educationalists
attention to listening comprehension. And
EFL learners to identify their difficulties of listening comprehension.; when
listeners know something about own problems; In this case, the solution to this
problem is easy and you can also learn to deal with the problems that we face
in the future, so they will be able to improve their listening practices and
become better listeners.



Limited study
























       For the sake of organization, systematicity, and clarity the researcher arranged
literature review topically; that is, the title
and subtitle associated with hearing
difficulties. A lot of researchers and scholars conducted research on listening
comprehension difficulties in the 20th and 21st centuries,
such as Conrad, 1989; Blau, 1990; Griffith, 1992cited in Ahkam (2015). they
tried to improve listening comprehension and Find
out some strategies to solve this problem. Therefore; this chapter presents a review of the related literature
which involves the following main topic:

2.2definition of

2.3 significances
of Listening

2.4 Factors that
Make Listening Difficulties


2.6 relevant study



Listening is more
than simply hearing the word; is an interactive, not a passive skill, to
which the students need to apply much effort and; When people listen effectively, they might understand
what the person is thinking or feeling from the other person’s own perspective.
It is as if they were standing in the other person’s shoes, seeing through his
eyes and listening to the person ‘s ear. To listen effectively, people must be
actively involved in the communication process, and not just listening passively.


Ronald & Roskelly (1985) cited
in Abeer H (2010) characterize tuning in as a dynamic procedure requiring
similar aptitudes of forecast, estimating, checking, modifying, and summing up
that written work and perusing request.

Anderson, Lynch (1996) & Wolvin (2010) cited in Kazouz (2014)
said that hearing is an open procedure identified with the organic or the
physiological framework which lets audience members getting sound whether it is
important or not. Hearing underlies tuning in and not the other way around.
Along these lines, hearing is vital for listening cognizance.

conclusion; Listening is an essential piece of the corresponding procedure and
ought not be isolated from the other dialect expressions, and is a procedure of
recognizing and understanding what the speakers say, which incorporates
understanding a speaker’s articulation, linguistic use and vocabulary.



People have never really been
taught to listen. In school, they are taught speaking, reading, and writing
skills, but, in general, there are few courses devoted to listening. Moreover,
most people are so busy talking or thinking about what they are going to say
next that they miss out on many wonderful opportunities to learn about new
things, ideas, and people. Thought English is important for EFL learners at
Abu-Isa college. So the teacher in the class must be focused on the
conversation related to the listening.

”A study by Wilt (1950), (Adler.R. etal.2001) cited in Suradej (2011) found that people
listen 45% of the time they spend communicating, speak 30% of communication
time, read 16% and 9% is writing. That is, by any
standards, a lot of time listening”. It is worthwhile taking a bit of extra
time to ensure that you listen effectively.

Listening provides comprehensible
input for the learner which is essential for any learning to occur. Second,
learners need to interact with speakers to achieve understanding. Third,
listening exercises help learners draw their attention to new forms (vocabulary,
grammar, interaction patterns) in the language. In
this way listening comprehension gives the correct conditions to dialect
obtaining and advancement of other dialect aptitudes (Krashen, 1989) cited in
Suradej. Thus, the importance of listening in
classroom instruction has been less emphasized than reading and writing.
Nevertheless, it is evident that listening plays a significant role in the
lives of people. Listening is even more important for the lives of students
since listening is used as a primary medium of learning at all stages of



Yagang (as referred to Hien, 2015) notices that the issue in listening
was went with the four factors after variables: the message, the speaker, the
audience and the physical setting. Besides, a quantities of research has been
led to choose the issue in tuning in. The issues were accepted to cause by the
discourse rate vocabulary and elocution (Higgins, 1995; as cited in Idrissova,
Smagulova, and Tussupbekova, 2015). Identified with the troubles of listening
exhibitions, the accompanying eight attributes should be viewed as (adjusted
from Richards, 1983; Ur, 1984; Dunkel, 1991; Flowerdew and Miller, 2005, as referred
to in Brown, 2007): clustering, 2.
Redundancy3.Reduced structures 4. Performance factors5.Colloquial dialect 6.
Rate of conveyance7.Stress, cadence, and pitch8. Interaction.



strategies are needed to reach the expected goal, especially in listening
comprehension. In this case, strategies can be perceived as conscious, action
which is conducted on purpose to improve learning and allow the learners to use
information more effectively ”(Oxford, Chamot, and O’Malley, as cited in
Wilson, 2009), are categorized into three groups: cognitive strategies,
metacognitive strategies and socio-affective strategies”.



        Cognitive strategies are related to
understanding and gathering input in short term memory or long-term memory for
later use. Comprehension starts with the got information that is inspected as
back to back levels of development and a procedure of translating. Cognitive
strategy is a critical thinking technique that students apply to manage the
learning movement and encourage the learning of information (Azmi Bingol,
Celik, Yidliz, and Tugrul Mart, 2014) As indicated by Goh (1998) cited in Abbas
& Narjes(2016) , students use cognitive strategies to help them process,
keep, and recollect new data.

        There are two kinds of cognitive
strategies in listening: bottom- up and top-down. Bottom-up strategies are
word-for-word translation, arranging the rate of speech, repeating the oral
text, and concentrating on prosodic characteristics of the text. Top-down
strategies involve forecasting, guessing, explaining, and visualization. BOTTOM-UP

Nehei (2003) cited in Kazouz (2014)
guaranteed that Comprehension is anticipated to occur in a definite order, in
bottom up preparing gazing with the most reduced dialect joins together and
afterward climbing to the highest level. Listeners make up their understanding
starting with phonemes and then they combine them into words which together
shape phrases, clauses and so on till they fulfill a literal understanding. The
last, is then interpreted depending on relevance of the information at that
time to understand what the speaker means. Yet, listening comprehension is
achieved piece by piece going from the parts of the whole. According to this
idea, expectations which come from the background knowledge are prerequisite
for comprehension.

            This process goes in opposite
direction of the previous model. The listener

comprehends discourse by moving
highest unit, schemata, context and culture to the lowest, language knowledge
in processing a text, emphasis is on the use previous knowledge rather than
relying upon linguistic knowledge. The advantages of this model are that it can
remunerate to a specific level for the linguistic limitations when the
audience’s dialect learning isn’t adequate for comprehending a spoken input (as
referred to in Nehie and Koichi, 2003) cited in Kzouz (2014).


indicated by Rubin (1988) cited in Abbas & Narjes (2016), meta
cognitive strategies are administration procedures utilized by students to
control their learning through arranging, checking, evaluating, and evolving.
For example, for metacognitive arranging techniques, audience members clear the
points of a listening assignment and apply particular highlights of the aural
dialect input that make simple the comprehension of aural information. According
to ”Henner Stanchina (1987) cited in Abbas & Narjes (2016), metacognitive
strategies played an important role in listening comprehension. She mentioned
that skilled listeners can permanently explain and what they hear through (1) utilizing
their prior knowledge and predictions to create theories on the text; (2)
connecting new information with their continuing predictions; (3) making
deductions to fill comprehension breaks; (4) assessing their predictions; (5)
improving their theories”. Henner Stanchina (1987) proceeded with gifted
audience members can distinguish disappointment in understanding and activate
to their experience information to improve understanding







Vandergrift (2003) and Abdalhamid (2012) communicated that
socio-affective strategies are methods that listeners members use to
participate with others, to check their perception, and to lessen their dread.
Gardner and MacIntyre (1992) said that affective strategies are exceptionally
criticized on the grounds that the learning circumstance and students’
social-psychological factors are firmly identified with each other. There is a
noteworthy connection between low uneasiness and high listening execution: that
is, the utilization of full of feeling methodologies makes simple and enhance
tuning in (Aneiro, 1989). O’Malley and Chamot (1987) cited in Chou, Yen-Lin
(2004)spoke to that among the four systems of listening comprehension, social
and emotional techniques had the most impact on the learning setting. ”Wilson
(2003) said that socio-affective strategies are related to students’
interaction with other speakers and their reactions towards learning. ”


Takeno and Takatsukay (2007) described
factors that might affect listening comprehension ability of Japanese English
learners, those factors are grammar, reading comprehension, English
repeatability, and articulation speed of Japanese and English words.

Grant (1997) also pointed out four
strategies which would help learners to listen to English by activating or
building schema, guessing, or predicting, listening selectively, and
negotiating meaning.

Ma Weima (2005) reveals that short-
term memory is an important clue in listening comprehension, and put forward
three most effective ways to improve short-term memory retention, repetition,
dictation, and good command of the language.

Gary Buck (2001) stressed out that
listening comprehension is an active process of constructing meaning and this
is done by applying knowledge to the incoming sound in which number of
different types of knowledge are involved: both linguistic knowledge and
non-linguistic knowledge.

Wolvin and Coakley (1985) state
listening as the process of receiving, attending to and assigning meaning to
aural stimuli. This definition suggests that listening is a complex,
problem-solving skill. The task of listening is more than perception of sound;
although perception is the foundation, it also requires comprehension of meaning.
















Research Method


   The present chapter represents the
methodology of the present study. It is divided into six main sections. The
first section describes clearly the research methods. Then, the second section deals
with the research design. Next, the third section Population and Sample. While,
section of four data collection. Additionally, procedures and data analysis.


3.2 Research Design

       The present study adopts a descriptive
research design to collect data in order to answer the research questions that
guided this research. Singh (2006) claimed that the descriptive research is
concerned with the present and attempts to determine the status of the
phenomenon under investigation( cited in Ahkam 2015)This is due to the nature
of the problem under investigation in the present study which attempts to
investigate the problems that that faced Libyan third-semester in the
department of English language at the factually of education in Abu-Isa.


3.3 Population and

      To accomplish the
point set for the present study, a sample of twenty students registered in the
class of third-semester permit of English at Abu-Isa for the academic year 2017/2018
is used to serve as respondent in this research. According to Cohen, Manion and Morisson, cited in   KAZOUZ Ismail (2014:13)   claim that random sampling involves “choosing
the nearest individuals to serve as respondents and continuing that process
until the required sample size has been obtained or those who happen to be
available and accessible at the time”. The present
research takes place on college of Abu-Isa (Department an English Language
where English is considered as a foreign language)

This sample consists of fifty students. They
are 20 females. The strategy which the study followed to choose these
participants is simple random sampling.

That is to say; the study will select the
require number 20 of the participants randomly, in which all of them have an
equal chance to be a chosen. This method is reliable in collecting valid data,
because it is widely applied in education researchers.


3.4 Data
The data of the present research are
collecting in the third semester of the academic year (2017/2018) .

According to
Ary et al (2010), cited in Ahkam (2015) there are a few strategies for
instrument generally used to guide and help the researchers to produce the information,
for example: observation interview and document analysis. In addition,
questionnaire as the researchers instrument are apply . Consisting of questions
to be answered or statements to be responded by respondents, questionnaire is
used to gather the opinion from respondents (Best, J.W., Khan, J.V., 2003, as
cited in Latief, 2012). The scope of questions in preliminary study includes listening in
general, problems in listening, students’ opinion about listening class, and
students’ strategy in listening activity.

Questionnaire contains of closed and
open-ended questions. The idea for combining of both responses is that it is
easier to gather and analyze and the responses to the later will provide more
flexibility so that respondent can give more accurate answer.


3.5 Procedures:

This section explains all of operations that
are related to get information to answer the statement problems. The steps of
collecting the data in this study are as follows:

1.The researchers will explain the questionnaire to the
students. The researchers explain the items clearly to avoid misunderstanding.

2.The researchers give instruction to the student to fill out
the questionnaire.

3.the researchers will collect the students’


3.6 Data Analysis:

The next step after the researcher collects
the data is analyzing the data      

There are some steps in analyzing the data.
They are presented as follows:

1.Reading and identifying the
questionnaire that will be answer.

2.Classifying the result of the
questions based on the blueprint of questions.

3.Composing tables to classify students’
problems and strategies use based on the questionnaire.

4.Calculating the result that will be taken from
the students’ answer based on the table.

5.Drawing conclusion based on the data analysis.  







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