Listening strategies and strategy assistance: teacher beliefs and practices in a Syrian ELT context

Karikian, N (2022) Listening strategies and strategy assistance: teacher beliefs and practices in a Syrian ELT context. PhD thesis, Bath Spa University.


This study is an exploration of the beliefs and practices regarding listening strategy assistance of five EFL teachers in a Syrian language school. The study aims to bridge a gap in the literature about teacher beliefs and language learning strategies, which to date contains very few studies about teacher beliefs about listening instruction and particularly listening strategy assistance, and none of which is in the Syrian context to the best of my knowledge. For a contextual exploration of teachers' beliefs and practices, a case study approach was used. Five EFL teachers from one language school were recruited after being purposely chosen based on their varying levels of experience and expertise. Initial interviews, classroom audio-recordings and stimulated-recall interviews were the methods of data collection, and data were collected online via Skype, Google Mail, and Google Drive. The findings of the study show that despite being expected to provide strategy assistance in their classes, the teachers exhibited an overall lack of content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge about language learning strategies (LLSs), listening strategies (LSs), and listening strategy assistance (LSA) as they were provided no training to perform LSA, which had an impact on both their belief statements and their classroom practice. However, the study also revealed that despite their lack of conscious explicit knowledge about their own practices, the teachers did embed some implicit LS practice in their classes, albeit without conscious knowledge about the rationale behind the activities that promoted the use of these strategies. The study also investigated teachers' beliefs about various aspects of LSA and revealed that on the whole the teachers exhibited positive beliefs towards the teachability of LSs, considered LSA useful and beneficial in many respects, and preferred implicit to explicit LSA in the GE class. The study also uncovered other complex, intertwined, and at times contradictory set of beliefs about different aspects of LSA that the teachers had. In addition, it revealed how these beliefs they held, along with their practice, were influenced and shaped by their level of knowledge of LSA, primary beliefs they held about teaching, learners, and the skill of listening, and contextual factors.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: English as a foreign language (EFL), language learning, language learning strategies, listening strategies, listening strategy assistance, classroom practice, teachers' beliefs, interviews, case study, Syria
Divisions: School of Education
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2022 11:46
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2022 11:46
URI / Page ID:
Request a change to this item or report an issue Request a change to this item or report an issue
Update item (repository staff only) Update item (repository staff only)