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Volume 8 Number 1, Spring 2011, Pages 1-162   

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Improvement of Listening Comprehension Skills through Shadowing with Difficult Materials

    Yo Hamada

This study challenged the widely accepted theory that shadowing is most effective when using easier materials. This is experiment-based research with 73 learners in total. To examine if difficult materials can improve learners' listening comprehension skills, two experiments were conducted. The first study investigated whether learners' listening comprehension skills would improve by shadowing with difficult high school materials and what aspects of listening comprehension skills they would improve by the shadowing training. 44 Japanese first year high school students participated in the first study. 13 lessons were taught using a high level English textbook from a Japanese publisher, Crown I. The second study used authentic difficult materials to support the result of the first study and examine the effectiveness of difficult materials from a different perspective. 29 high school third year students participated in the second study and practiced 17 sets of passages in Obama speech collection. Furthermore, potential problems of shadowing were analyzed qualitatively. The results suggest that shadowing with difficult textbooks can improve students' listening comprehension skills, and the problems the students have in listening after short-term shadowing training are addressed.

Keywords: shadowing, listening comprehension skills, i +1, i-1