Empirical and Attitudinal Effects of Bottom-up Listening Activities in the L2 Classroom

by Joseph Siegel
J. F. Oberlin University, Japan

and Aki Siegel
Rikkyo University, Japan

Abstract­
Second language listening pedagogy has generally favored the development of top-down processing and suppressed the importance of bottom-up abilities such as phonetic perception and word segmentation. Recently, however, some listening methodologists have started to advocate a shift away from previously accepted listening pedagogy and toward listening activities that aim to improve students’ bottom-up processing and decoding skills. This paper reports on a study of bottom-up listening activities used in two Japanese university listening courses, in which a coordinated program of bottom-up activities was implemented over one semester. Results from 100-word pre/post-semester dictation tests were compared to determine what, if any, influence the bottom-up activities had on students’ decoding of the speech stream. In addition, a questionnaire was used to ascertain student opinions of these classroom techniques. Results from both the dictation tests and the questionnaire suggest that such listening activities have value in the second language classroom for development of learners’ phoneme processing and sentence parsing abilities.


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5 thoughts on “Empirical and Attitudinal Effects of Bottom-up Listening Activities in the L2 Classroom

    • Hi Carissa,

      Thanks for your post and blog. Glad to hear you enjoyed the article, and we hope that bottom up activities get more of the attention they deserve.

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