The role of Schema-theory Based on Background Knowledge and Graphic Organizer on Enhancing Iranian EFL Learners’ Listening Comprehension

Prof. Ali Asghar Rostami Abusaeedi, Alireza Karballaei & Eldar Roozbeh, Iran, ID CLEaR2016-322;         The main purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of schema-theory based on background knowledge and graphic organizers on the listening comprehension of Iranian EFL learners. Initially, 90 male intermediate EFL learners were selected non-randomly for the purpose of this study. Next, they were given a Nelson Proficiency Test, the results of which were drawn upon to select a homogeneous pool of sixty-five participants. These participants were then divided into two groups. A pretest was administered to the participants of the two groups to make sure that the two groups were not significantly different in terms of listening comprehension performance. Then, Graphic Organizers (GOs) tasks were used as the treatment for the first experimental group. Regarding the second experimental group before listening to the text, the researcher assisted the participants in activating their background knowledge by considering the topic of the listening material. The whole treatment lasted for 5 sessions. Having finished the treatment sessions, both groups sat for the listening posttest. The results of statistical analysis indicated that both schema related activities and graphic organizers led to improvement of the listening comprehension performance of the participants. Moreover, the results of the independent samples t-test on the posttest scores of the two groups indicated that the participants who received graphic organizers as treatment outperformed the participants in the group which received schema related activities on the listening comprehension posttest.

Keywords: Schemata, Background Knowledge, Listening Comprehension, Graphic Organizers