Metacognitive Strategy Awareness and Listening Anxiety: The role of gender and proficiency level among Iranian EFL learners

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

Department of English Language, Sirjan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Sirjan, Iran

Abstract

While listening plays an important role in the process of foreign/second language learning, different factors can affect this process. This study was designed to assess the relationship between listening anxiety and metacognitive strategy awareness with a special interest in the role of gender and proficiency level. In order to conduct this survey, two instruments including the Metacognitive Awareness Listening Questionnaire (MALQ) as well as Foreign Language Listening Anxiety (FLLA) questionnaire were utilized and distributed among 105 upper-intermediate and advanced level Iranian EFL learners. The analysis of data indicated that there was a negative correlation between the participants' listening anxiety and their use of metacognitive strategies, indicating as the use of metacognitive strategies increased, lesser degrees of listening anxiety were observed and vice versa. Moreover, the findings showed that there was no difference between males and females in this regard. Regarding learners’ level, it was revealed that upper-intermediate learners were more anxious than advanced level ones. However, no difference was detected between these two levels in their strategy use. It is hoped that this study can help teachers to consider their learners’ characteristics in the instruction of suitable strategies and learners to become more autonomous and self-regulated in their listening performance.

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