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Volume 21 Number 1, Spring 2024, Pages 1-269   

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The Effect of Post-Shadowing on Listening Skills and Learner Attitudes

    Marina Goto

In recent years, shadowing has seen a significant surge in popularity in the field of English language learning. While much of the existing research has centered on its influence on listening skills, there is a prevailing belief that its benefits are predominantly observed among learners with lower proficiency levels. This study aims to examine the effects of post-shadowing on the listening skills of three different levels of learners in Japan. Three groups, low-, intermediate-, and upper-intermediate-proficiency learners, participated in eight shadowing practices which consisted of 15 minutes over the course of a month. The pre-and post-tests included the Eiken listening test and the dictation cloze test to measure phoneme perception and listening comprehension skills, respectively. The results showed that shadowing improved phoneme perception in the intermediate-proficiency group, but its effects were limited in low- and upper-intermediate-proficiency groups. Listening comprehension did not improve, and the scores of the low-proficiency group decreased from pre- to post-tests. However, regardless of their levels, most learners showed positive attitudes toward the shadowing experience and felt that it benefited their listening and speaking skills. The results are discussed in terms of second language acquisition (SLA) theories and psychological perspectives.

Keywords: shadowing, bottom-up, listening, phoneme perception