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Volume 14 Number 4, Winter 2017, Pages 587-836 PDF Download

Effects of Speech Rate and Background Noise on EFL Learners' Listening Comprehension of Different Types of Materials

    Ryoko Fujita

The present study examined the effects of speech rate and background noise on EFL learners' listening comprehension of film and textbook materials. The participants listened to eight different types of dialogues with different conditions in the speech rate, the background noise, and the types of learning materials, and their listening comprehensibility was measured. For the speech rate factor, either a fast or a slow speech rate was used. The background noise effect was executed by adding crowd talking noise to the dialogue. The script was adapted from either textbook materials or film materials. The results showed that each factor had an influence on learners' listening comprehension. Though the readability, word levels, and the number of words were at the same level, the scores when textbook materials were used were significantly higher than that of the film materials. Regarding the textbook materials, they had higher scores with the slow speech than the fast speech, and also the scores in the silent condition were higher than that of the noise condition. The students' listening comprehension score was the lowest where there was background noise and a fast speech rate.

Keywords: listening, authenticity, speech rate, background noise, material type