Spontaneous links between help option use and input features that hinder second language listening comprehension

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As more second language (L2) learners autonomously attend to authentic online input, L2 researchers are examining the mediating role of technology in the listening process. This qualitative multiple-case study explored the links between spontaneous use of help options and identification of input text characteristics of dissemination talks. Working with authentic video clip segments in six individual sessions, 13 high-intermediate learners of English from Chile interacted with pre-, while-, and post-listening exercises hosted in a purpose-built listening environment that supports a range of help options. Data was collected through an entry-survey, task-directed listening questionnaires, screen-capturing software, and semi-structured interviews. Results suggest that the use of help options was instrumental for participants producing informed responses, and allowed for the identification of general lexis, technical vocabulary, and fast speech rate as comprehension-impeding characteristics of dissemination talks. In particular, transcripts were the most helpful ancillary element. The article presents pedagogical implications and discusses avenues for further research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102308
StatePublished - Oct 2020


  • Computer-based listening
  • Help options
  • Input text characteristics
  • Reflection


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