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Volume 20 Number 3, Autumn 2023, Pages 507-753   

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A Mixed-Methods Approach to Exploring EFL Listening Strategy Use: Bangladeshi Tertiary Learners' Perceived and Task-Based Strategy Use

    Tasnima Aktar

This study explored strategy use as metacognition in action among tertiary-level learners in an input-poor EFL context of Bangladesh. It specifically investigated relationship between strategy use and listening comprehension and differences between the less successful listeners (LSLs) and the more successful listeners (MSLs) in two conditions- off-line, perceived and on-line, task-based. Employing an explanatory mixed-methods design, data were collected in two phases: 1) perceived strategy use via a Listening Strategy Questionnaire and listening comprehension via a practice IELTS test from a larger sample of 388, 2) task-based strategy use via think aloud protocols and listening task performance from a subsample of 30. Data were analysed using Correlations and ANOVA in Phase I, and content analysis (Correlations and Mann-Whitney U) and thematic analysis in Phase II. Contrary to almost no significant findings in perceived strategy use, task-based strategy use revealed significant correlations for overall metacognitive strategies and several individual strategies. Task-based strategy use further revealed both significant and in-depth differences in strategy orchestration between the LSLs and MSLs. The study has methodological and pedagogical implications: triangulation of findings advocates for think aloud technique as a more productive and reliable tool; EFL listeners (particularly the LSLs) can benefit from the dynamic strategic behaviour of the MSLs.

Keywords: EFL listening; metacognition in action; perceived vs task-based strategy use; mixed- methods; think aloud protocol