VietTESOL International Convention, VietTESOL International Convention 2018

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Improving Academic Listening Performance through Schema Activation Activities
My Thi Le Nguyen

Building: A12
Room: Room 302
Date: 2018-10-12 10:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Last modified: 2018-09-15


A schema is an individual collection of prior knowledge that plays a significant role in interpreting the meaning of new information. Schema activation has been applied in EFL classes not only to generate students’ readiness in terms of linguistic, content and formal knowledge but also to boost their interest and confidence in understanding a newly-presented material. Despite the importance of schemata, it is observed in Academic Listening sessions that first-year students have relatively limited experience with academic topics, formats and vocabulary, not to mention a number of students did not have much listening practice during high school. Also, in a heterogeneous class, students’ schemata are also not equal. The research applied schema activation in pre-listening group activities to get students ready, give them a meaningful reason to listen to unfamiliar materials, and, above all, help them realize the importance of building schemata in listening. Aiming at investigating their attitudes towards the strategy, the study was conducted with a population of 75 first-year mainstream students. By employing class observations, journals and semi-structured interviews, the research revealed students’ level of engagement, their perception of how helpful the in-class schema activating practice is, and their motivation to apply it in their further practice. Based on the findings, students are aware of the importance of forming and activating schemata and transform it from a new activity into a learning strategy which they can adopt in the future. Moreover, the researcher can make adjustments in effectively exploiting schema activation in listening lessons.


schema, listening, EFL, academic