The Perspectives and Effectiveness of Authentic Materials in Listening Comprehension of Saudi University Students (Published)
Due to the lack of exposure to the use of English real language beyond the classroom time, specifically the use of authentic listening materials in the listening lessons, many students have great difficulty understanding the real language produced by native speakers or the authentic ones they hear. However, far too little attention has been paid to the use of authentic listening materials in the Saudi EFL context. To address such critical gab, the current study aims at investigating the effect of using authentic materials on the listening comprehension ability of Saudi EFL subjects. It also explores students’ attitudes and reactions towards the use of authentic listening materials. The participants of this study were students majoring in English Language Translation Department at Qassim University. After random selection, 44 students from the fourth level took part in this study. The participants were randomly divided into two equal groups: the experimental group consisting of (22) students and the control one consisting of (22) other students. The control group underwent listening activities through inauthentic materials, while the experimental group was exposed to and received a combination of inauthentic and authentic listening materials. Data collection instruments were two listening comprehension tests, interviews and questionnaires. Results of post-tests revealed the experimental group’s listening comprehension ability improved significantly more than that of the control group. Analysis of the interviews and the questionnaire also revealed EFL students’ satisfaction and positive attitudes toward the use of authentic listening materials. This means that the use of authentic materials helps bring the contact to life, and ultimately makes learning and using language more meaningful and easier for students. These results again verified the value of authentic material-use in the classroom, specifically in regards to teaching listening skills. The positive findings of this study also indicate the need for authentic materials to gain a larger role in the EFL classroom and for more research to be carried out in other areas of language skills. Hence, using authentic materials in teaching English in tertiary level needs more attention in their use in the classroom.