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CHAPTER III Listening

SAM DUKER

tive process. During the past three years a large body of research dealt with this topic; relatively few of these studies are considered in this chapter. For example, 36 master's theses on various aspects of listening were completed during this period. The mere quantitative increase would, in itself, be of little importanceif there had not also been an improvementin quality. Happily, research on listening showed a greater degree of creative excellence than was reportedin previous three-yearperiods. This is not to say, however, that a completely satisfactory level of research has yet been reached. There is still a regrettable amount of work that is done in a slovenly, careless, and indifferent manner on minor and unimportant questions. However, the better studies compare favorably with good research in any field.

LISTENINGIS no longer considered a peripheral aspect of the communica-

Bibliographies
A bibliography of 743 referenceswas compiled by Duker (1961). Lists of 107 master's theses and of 128 doctoral dissertations together with classifications and comments were separately published by Duker (1962, 1963). Extensive bibliographies and reviews of research on hearing were contributedby Pollack (1961), Wever (1962), and Small (1963). Because of the continuing increase of material on listening, there is need for an annotated bibliography. This could serve as a guide to sources that would meet specific needs of research workers, since an examination of all the material available is becoming an impractical task for an individual investigator.

Teaching Listening
The basic assumption that listening is a teachable skill, accepted by many investigators, was challenged by Petrie (1961). In an experiment involving 712 college freshmen as subjects, he found that a group receiving four hours of training in listening along the lines generally advocated showed no greater improvement in listening skills than did two groups without such training. Petrie concluded that not enough is known about listening to warrant the kinds of precise generalizations on which are based most present-day programs of listening instruction in industry, 156

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colleges, and schools. He argued that existing research is contradictoryor, at best, inconclusive and that satisfactory means of testing listening skills do not exist. This sort of refreshing and thought-provokingcritical analysis of previous research should have beneficent effects on future research work. Petrie's argument is weakened by the doubt that any skill, let alone one as complex as listening, can be taught in as short a time as four 50minute periods. To a considerable extent, therefore, his research is subject to many of his own criticisms of previous research. Additional References: Brown and Keller (1962); Devine (1961); Duker (1961, 1962); Edgar (1961); Hancock (1960); Hill (1961); Merson (1961). Listening and Foreign Language Teaching Does training in listening skills aid in the aural comprehension of a foreign language? Tezza (1962) reported experimental findings that 10 weeks of listening training in English did not significantly affect aural comprehensionof Russian. On the other hand, Ehrmann (1963) reported that training in listening improved the aural comprehension of Hebrew. The approachesand methods of these two studies were so similar that the discrepancy in findings is not readily explainable. Listening Tests Notwithstandingthe criticism of existing listening tests by Kelly (1962) and Petrie (1961), no research reported during the period under examination led to the construction of new tests. Johnson and Frandsen (1963) carried out a well-designed and carefully executed study on methods of administering the Brown-CarlsenListening ComprehensionTest. Because adhering to time requirements in the live administration of this test was difficult,Johnson administereda filmed version and a taped version to two experimentalgroups. The control group received a live administration.The taped presentation had the greatest reliability and also yielded the highest scores. The least reliable was the filmed version. The subjects were 2,400 college freshmen. Johnson also reported that the second part of this test, which purports to test lecture comprehension, appeared to evaluate a different set of skills from that tested by the first part. Additional References: Brown (1962); Hannah (1961); Williams
(1962).

Listening Relationships
Since reading and listening are the two major receptive skills in the communicative process, much interest was shown by investigators in relationships existing between these two abilities. Using 400 high school stu157

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dents as subjects, Holmes and Singer (1961) used factor analysis to determine the factors involved in reading. They found the correlation between speed of reading and listening as measured by the California Auding Test to be .60. The corresponding correlation with power of reading was reported as .74. Holmes and Singer reported that listening accounted for 14 percent of the variance in speed of reading; this was 25 percent of that portion of the variance for which the factor analysis accounted. Of the variance in power of reading, listening accounted for 16 percent; this was 21 percent of the portion of the variance explained. In their substrata analysis, Holmes and Singer reported that 68 percent of the variance of the listening factor in the case of speed of reading could be accountedfor by the subfactorsof verbal analysis, range of information, vocabulary in context, Latin and Greek roots, and prefixes. Subfactors that accounted for 58 percent of the variance of listening as a factor of power of reading were musicality, range of information, reasoning, prefixes, Latin and Greek roots, and speed of addition. Toussaint (1961) conducted an elaborate testing program to determine which factors would best serve to estimate reading potential. She reported that a weighted combination of listening, arithmetic, and intelligence test results yielded the best estimate. The two studies just noted are of twofold importance.First, they represent careful, painstaking, thorough research-one at the postdoctoral and one at the doctoral level. Too much research is, or at least appears to be, governed in very large part by expediency in setting time limits in determining the degree of thoroughness in the treatment to be afforded data once collected. Secondly, the clarification of the interrelationshipbetween listening and reading is important to the reading teacher who may find therein a reason for emphasizing an aural approach to parts of reading instruction. Additional References: Bonner (1960); Evertts (1961). Speech and Listening In a sense, all speech can be judged in terms of its effectiveness only after a study of the impression made on the listener. Therefore, it sometimes is difficultto determine whether a study is one of listening as such or one of speech. Casambre (1962) reported on a comparison of listeners' levels of comprehension of live and taped presentations. He found no significant difference. However, the addition of visual clues to oral speech was found to aid comprehensionboth on immediate and on delayed recall. Casambrefurther compared the results of administering the test of comprehension orally to those results associated with the usual visual administration. On immediate recall there was no difference; on delayed recall there was a significant difference in favor of the visual presentation. Additional Reference: Kibler (1962). 158

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Learning and Listening The extent to which learning is aided by the possession of listening skills has intrigued many investigators. Kielsmeier (1960) selected 30 eighth grade pupils who had listening test scores at least one standard deviation below the mean and a corresponding group whose scores were at least one standard deviation above the mean. He reported that, on a task consisting of learning a word list, the better listeners learned faster than the poorer ones. Surprisingly, when the groups were retested 24 hours later and again 7 days after the original test, there was no difference between them on recall. The statement is often made that there is a high positive relationship between school achievementand listening ability. Baldauf (1960) investigated this relationship by administering to 352 fifth grade pupils the listening test of the Sequential Tests of Educational Progress, the Otis Quick-ScoringMental Ability Tests, and the Stanford Achievement Test battery. He found the over-all correlation between intelligence and school achievementand between listening and school achievementto be identical: .82. However, when intelligence was held constant, the partial correlation between school achievement and listening was .20. These findings confirmed that many listening test items are the same type as items used on tests of intelligence. If listening tests actually do tend to measure intelligence rather than listening, a problem worthy of research work would be to find ways of developing a valid test of listening that would not duplicate the items of an intelligence test. Additional Reference:Murphy (1962). Visual Versus Oral Presentations No subject connected with listening has been of greater interest to researchers than the relative value of visual and oral presentations for learning purposes. Almost one hundred investigations covering a span of more than 75 years have presented sharply conflicting results. This discrepancy may be explained in part by the different circumstances under which materials were presented, by differences between subjects, by the different natures of the materials used, and by the different methods used to test results. Consequently,it is impossible to compare most of these studies. It is doubtful that much knowledge is to be gained from still another study with a unique pattern, yet such studies continue to be made. Using 132 twelfth grade students as subjects, Cody (1962) performed an experimenton the presentationof 1,200-word biographical sketches. Some pupils simply read them; some read them while the passages were also being read to them; others had the passages read to them while they took notes; one group listened, but did not take notes. Cody reported that reading was the most effective operation in terms of comprehension and 159

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retention; reading and simultaneouslistening was the next most effective; and listening while taking notes was superior to listening without taking notes. Additional References: Jones (1962) ; Martin (1961).

Listening Behavior Versus Listening Ability


Kelly (1962) studied the difference between (a) listening ability measured by listening tests of persons who knew they were being tested and (b) listening performance of persons who did not know they were being tested. Kelly gave tests on material presented as a lecture and found that the results were different from those obtained in a listening test situation. The Brown-CarlsenListening ComprehensionTest was found to correlate to a greater degree with an Otis intelligence test than with the listening performance test. Management and employee judgments of the listening effectiveness of foremen did not correlate significantly either with the listening ability test or with the listening performance test. Personality factors were more closely related to the listening performancescore than to the listening ability score. Although the samples used by Kelly were very small, there can be no doubt that the distinction between ability and performance is one worthy of further investigation. The mere possession of listening ability is of little moment if this ability is not used in day-to-day listening situations. Whetherthis distinction between ability and performance is a testing problem as much as a teaching problem is an open question.

Rapid Listening
Foulke (1962) made a preliminary report of the study being carried on by him and his associates to determinethe feasibility of using speeded speech to present aural material to blind children. Previous research has established that taped speech can be speeded without distortion by eliminating part of it and that it is possible to retain perfect intelligibility even when as much as one-half of the speech has been compressed.Foulke used a Tempo-Regulator,manufactured in Germany, to increase the rate of materialfrom 175 words per minute (wpm) to 225, 275, 325, and 375 wpm without any distortion. Subjects were 291 braille readers in grades 6-8. Two 2,000-word passages were presented on tape at the several speeds just noted. A test of 36 multiple-choiceitems was used to test comprehension in both cases. A reliability of .75-.80 was reported for these tests. There was no appreciable fall in degree of comprehension up to 275 wpm. Thereafter, the decline in performance was rapid, but even at 375 wpm there was some indication of comprehension.The potential importance of this study can be gauged by Foulke's estimate that the median reading rate 160

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of high school seniors is 250 wpm, the mean braille reading rate of high school students is 90 wpm, and the mean speaking rate used in recording "talking books" is 175 wpm. A question remains: What effect might specific training have in increasing comprehensionat even higher rates? The subjects used in this study had no previous experience with speeded speech.

Summary
The research completed during the past three years has increased considerably knowledge about listening. Many questions raised by this research need further study: In what way can what is known about listening aid the teaching of listening skills? How valid and reliable are the devices presently used to measure listening? To what extent do items on listening tests duplicatethose used on intelligencetests? Is there a differencebetween listening ability as measuredby listening tests and actual listening performance? If there is such a difference, does it pose a problem of measurement or of teaching? What are the possibilities inherent in the concept of speeded speech? What practical uses can be made of the potential timesaving qualities of such speech? One area that remains neglected is the teaching of discriminating,critical listening. Being able to go beyond knowing merely what is said is of major importance in the age of aural mass communication; researchers should explore all aspects of this topic. Coordination of research on listening is poor, as it is in other areas. Duplication of investigations is seriously wasteful when so much remains to be done. Availability of completed studies has been improved by the use of microfilm for most doctoral dissertations, but previous research reports are still not sufficientlyaccessible.

Bibliography
Relation to the School Achievement of Fifth Grade Pupils. Doctor's thesis. Boulder: University of Colorado, 1960. 83 pp. Abstract: Dissertation Abstracts 21: 2979-80; No. 10, 1961. ALEJANDROJIMENEZ. The Effects of Certain Variables in Informative SpeakCASAMBRE, ing on Listener Comprehension. Doctor's thesis. Columbus: Ohio State University, 1962. 221 pp. Abstract: Dissertation Abstracts 23: 3022-23; No. 8, 1963. CODY, MOTHERM. IRENE. An Investigation of the Relative Effectiveness of Four Modes of Presenting Meaningful Material to Twelfth-Grade Students. Doctor's thesis. New York: Fordham University, 1962. 213 pp. Abstract: Dissertation Abstracts 23: 127071; No. 4, 1962. DUKER, SAM. A Bibliography on Listening. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Office of Testing and Research, Brooklyn College, 1961. 52 pp. DUKER, SAM. "Master's Theses on Listening." Journal of Communication 12: 234-42; December 1962.
BALDAUF, ROBERT JOHN. A Study of a Measure of Listening Comprehension and Its

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DUKER,SAM. "Doctoral Dissertations on Listening." Journal of Communication 13: 106-17; June 1963. ELIEZER L. "Listening Comprehension in the Teaching of a Foreign LanEHRMANN, guage." Modern Language Journal 47: 18-20; January 1963. and OTHERS. "The Comprehension of Rapid Speech by the Blind." FOULKE, EMERSON, Exceptional Children 29: 134-41; November 1962. HARRY. The Substrata-Factor Theory: Substrata Factor JACKA., and SINGER, HOLMES, Differences Underlying Reading Ability in Known-Groups at the High School Level. Final Report covering Contracts No. 538, SAE-8176, and No. 538A, SAE-8660. U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Office of Education. Berkeley: School of Education, University of California, 1961. 317 pp. F. CRAIG, and FRANDSEN, KENNETH. JOHNSON, "Administering the Brown-Carlsen Listening Comprehension Test." Journal of Communication 13: 38-45; March 1963. CHARLES MILBURN. "Actual Listening Behavior" of Industrial Supervisors, as KELLY, Related to "Listening Ability," General Mental Ability, Selected Personality Factors, and Supervisory Effectiveness. Doctor's thesis. Lafayette, Ind.: Purdue University, 1962. 215 pp. Abstract: Dissertation Abstracts 23: 4019; No. 10, 1963. MILTON. KIELSMEIER, Learning Differences Between High and Low Auding Subjects. Doctor's thesis. Los Angeles: University of Southern California, 1960. 110 pp. Abstract: Dissertation Abstracts 21: 1460; No. 6, 1960. CHARLES JR. An Experimental Evaluation of Two Methods for ImPETRIE, ROBERT, proving Listening Comprehension Abilities. Doctor's thesis. Lafayette, Ind.: Purdue University, 1961. 454 pp. Abstract: Dissertation Abstracts 22: 2511-12; No. 7, 1962. IRWIN. POLLACK, "Hearing." Annual Review of Psychology. (Edited by Paul R. Farnsworth, Olga McNemar, and Quinn McNemar.) Palo Alto, Calif.: Annual Reviews, 1961. Vol. 12, pp. 335-62. ARNOLD SMALL, M., JR. "Audition." Annual Review of Psychology. (Edited by Paul R. Farnsworth, Olga McNemar, and Quinn McNemar.) Palo Alto, Calif.: Annual Reviews, 1963. Vol. 14, pp. 115-54. S. The Effects of Listening Training on Audio-Lingual Learning. DocJOSEPH TEZZA, tor's thesis. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh, 1962. 202 pp. Abstract: Dissertation Abstracts 23: 2035; No. 6, 1962. ISABELLA HASTIE. TOUSSAINT, Interrelationships of Reading, Listening, Arithmetic, and Intelligence and Their Implications. Doctor's thesis. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh, 1961. 106 pp. Abstract: Dissertation Abstracts 22: 819; No. 3, 1961. ERNEST GLEN."Hearing." Annual Review of Psychology. (Edited by Paul R. WEVER, Farnsworth, Olga McNemar, and Quinn McNemar.) Palo Alto, Calif.: Annual Reviews, 1962. Vol. 13, pp. 225-50.

Additional References
MYRTLE CLARA A Critical Analysis of the Relationship of Reading STUDDARD. BONNER, Ability to Listening Ability. Doctor's thesis. Auburn, Ala.: Auburn University, 1960. 236 pp. Abstract: Dissertation Abstracts 21: 2167-68; No. 8, 1961. T. "Introductory Study of Breathing as an Index of Listening." BROWN,CHARLES Speech Monographs 29: 79-83; June 1962. PAUL W. "A Modest Proposal for Listening TrainCHARLES BROWN, T., and KELLER, ing." Quarterly Journal of Speech 48: 395-99; December 1962. GERARD. The Development and Evaluation of a Series of Recordings THOMAS DEVINE, for Teaching Certain Critical Listening Abilities. Doctor's thesis. Boston: School of Education, Boston University, 1961. 251 pp. Abstract: Dissertation Abstracts 22: 3546-47; No. 10, 1962. SAM. "Goals of Teaching Listening Skills in the Elementary School." ElemenDUKER, tary English 38: 170-74; March 1961. SAM. "Basics in Critical Listening." English Journal 51: 565-67; November DUKER, 1962. KENNETH FRANK.The Validation of Four Methods of Improving Listening EDGAR, Ability. Doctor's thesis. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh, 1961. 326 pp. Abstract: Dissertation Abstracts 22: 1084; No. 4, 1961.

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ELDONNA L. An Investigation of the Structure of Children's Oral Language EVERTTS, Compared with Silent Reading, Oral Reading, and Listening Comprehension. Doctor's thesis. Bloomington: Indiana University, 1961. 358 pp. Abstract: Dissertation Abstracts 22: 3038; No. 9, 1962. HAZEL THOMPSON. The Effect of Listening and Discussion on the JEWELL HANCOCK, Social Values Held by Sixth-Grade Children. Doctor's thesis. Boulder: University of Colorado, 1960. 252 pp. Abstract: Dissertation Abstracts 21: 3377; No. 11, 1961. A Study of Listening from the Reusch-Bateson Theory of HANNAH,Jo MORISON. Communication. Doctor's thesis. Denver: University of Denver, 1961. 76 pp. Abstract: Dissertation Abstracts 22: 3775; No. 10, 1962. S. An Analysis of the Results of Special Training in Listening Compared HILL,EDWIN to Special Training in Reading Skills. Doctor's thesis. Bloomington: Indiana University, 1961. 131 pp. Abstract: Dissertation Abstracts 22: 3093-94; No. 9, 1962. An Explanatory Study of the Efects of Two Media of MICHAEL. JONES,WILLIAM Presentation on Performance in Reasoning. Doctor's thesis. Seattle: University of Washington, 1962. 53 pp. Abstract: Dissertation Abstracts 24: 434-35; No. 1, 1963. ROBERT II. The Impact of Message Style and Channel in CommuniJOSEPH, KIBLER, cation. Doctor's thesis. Columbus: Ohio State University, 1962. 317 pp. Abstract: Dissertation Abstracts 24: 893; No. 2, 1963. WILLIAM IVAN,JR. A Comparative Study of Listening Comprehension and MARTIN, Reading Comprehension in the Teaching of Literature to Seventh Grade Pupils. Doctor's thesis. Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University, 1961. 204 pp. Abstract: Dissertation Abstracts 23: 2806-2807; No. 8, 1963. EDNAMAY. The Influence of Definite Listening Lessons on the Improvement MERSON, of Listening and Reading Comprehension and Reading Vocabulary. Doctor's thesis. College Park: University of Maryland, 1961. 267 pp. Abstract: Dissertation Abstracts 22: 3120-21; No. 9, 1962. A Study of the Relationships Between Listening Ability and WILLIAM CARL. MURPHY, High School Grades in Four Major Academic Areas. Doctor's thesis. University: University of Alabama, 1962. 115 pp. Abstract: Dissertation Abstracts 23: 3693; No. 10, 1963. FREDERICK DOWELL. An Experimental Application of the Semantic DifferenWILLIAMS, tial and "Cloze" Procedure as Measurement Techniques in Listening Comprehension. Doctor's thesis. Los Angeles: University of Southern California, 1962. 219 pp. Abstract: Dissertation Abstracts 23: 2628-29; No. 7, 1963.

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