This chapter examines the effect of an individualized Computer-Enhanced Language Learning Listening Comprehension Program (MMExplore) on students’ listening comprehension ability in the context of learning English as a Foreign Language in the Thai University system. MMExplore is an audio-visual media browser which is designed to provide learners with a wide variety of ways to interact with authentic listening texts. In 2003, MMExplore was used by twenty first year students of the Suranaree University of Technology (SUT), Thailand for a period of fifteen weeks with a minimum of four hours of training per week to evaluate the effect of this program on student performance. Various forms of evaluation, both qualitative and quantitative, were used. The findings of this research suggest that (a) there is an observable gain in students listening comprehension ability in English after training; and (b) the majority of the students were favourably towards this program.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Cognitive Load: The internal system which is employed in the listening process is fairly limited and plays a very important role in the success or failure of listening comprehension.
Thai Tones: There are five distinctive tones (pitches) in Standard Thai. They are: (1) mid level tone (here represented with the number 1), for example: khaa1 (to be lodged in); (2) low level tone (represented with the number 2), for example: khaa2 (Galanga, an aromatic root);(3) falling tone (represented with the number 3), for example: khaa3 (I, slave, servant);(4) high level tone (represented with the number 4), for example: khaa4 (to sell); (5) rising tone (represented with the number 5), for example: khaa5 (leg). Thai language is a syllable-timed language in which syllables are said to recur at regular intervals.
Cognitive Tactics: Any mental process which learners make use of in language learning such as inferencing, generalization, deductive learning, monitoring, and memorizing.
Stress-Timed Language: A language in which the stressed syllables are said to recur at equal intervals of time.
Perception: The recognition and understanding of events, objects, and stimuli through the use of senses (sight, hearing, touch, etc).
Syllable-Timed Language: A language in which all syllables are said to recur at equal intervals.