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The Effects of Consecutive Interpreting Note-taking Training on the Senior High School English Listening Test in Taiwan
consecutive-interpreting note-taking,Test of English Listening Comprehension (TELC),strategy-based instruction,English listening comprehension,senior high school,
After the College Entrance Examination Center introduced the Test of English Listening Comprehension (TELC) in 2012, more attention has been given to listening strategy instruction in senior high schools. Although previous studies have explored the benefits of various listening strategies, few studies have looked into the effect of conference interpreting strategies on listening comprehension tests. The consecutive interpreting notes commonly used in interpreting teaching are an important tool that assist interpreters in listening to and remembering the source speech, but whether consecutive interpreting note-taking can be applied to high school English listening comprehension tests remains unknown.
This study thus attempted to fill the research gap by exploring the effects of consecutive interpreting note-taking on the Test of English Listening Comprehension. The materials for this study included a pre-study questionnaire, a pre-test and a post-test, 8 listening mock tests, a post-study questionnaire, and CINT handouts. The CINT instruction designed by the researcher was based on the principles on consecutive interpreting note-taking, and the lesson procedures were drawn up using the Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach (CALLA) proposed by Chamot et al. (1999). A total of 60 students from two intact classes in a senior high school in Taiwan were recruited for the study, and they were divided into an experimental group and a control group accordingly. Both groups received eight weeks of listening training, during which the experimental group received CINT instruction and was urged to apply the CINT skills to the TELC practice tests, whereas the control group received the same listening exposure without any instructions in note-taking. Both groups were asked to fill out the post-study questionnaires which investigated their perception of the CINT instruction. Data collected from the pre-test and post-test were analyzed statistically to determine the effectiveness of the CINT instruction, and the qualitative data from the pre-study and post-study questionnaires were also analyzed to find out how senior high school students perceived the CINT instruction.
The results of the present study imply that the CINT instruction developed by the researcher failed to improve students’ performance on the Short Talk section of the TELC. Both groups scored worst on the post-test, but the difference between their impaired performances were nonetheless not significant. This could be attributed to insufficient practice during the short training course, which did not allow the participants in the experimental group to achieve meaningful levels of competency in CINT, or even resulted in poor effort distribution that disrupted listening. Another plausible reason is that the nature of the TELC short talk rendered CINT superfluous, as the talks were not long enough to cause cognitive overload in the first place. However, the participants in the experimental group generally held a positive attitude toward CINT.
The study has arrived at two pedagogical implications. Firstly, CINT may be helpful in terms of improving concentration, memory, and efficiency, but rigorous practice is needed to overcome the difficulties encountered at the initial stages of acquisition. Secondly, linguistic abilities are still a prerequisite in effective listening comprehension. Without basic understanding of the aural input, any form of note-taking would be pointless.
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