3.1. of the study which has been chosen

3.1. Introduction

In this
chapter, we turn to a consideration the methodology of the current study. The
present study needs that the methodology be explained in details. We need a
methodology to explain where we are coming from and why we want to do the
research in a particular way. This chapter should cover all practical aspects
of the study; first, there is a design of the study which has been chosen to
one created specifically for the purpose of the experiment; second, there are
both pretest and posttest in this study to measure the target attributes;
third, there should be a treatment in this study that it has followed specified
teaching strategies of the materials.

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3.2. Research Method

This thesis is based on a quantitative method research approach.
Dornyei (2007, p. 24) defined Quantitative research as “involving data
collection procedures that result primarily in numerical data which is then
analyzed by statistical methods”. Quantitative research utilizes objective assessment
technoques in ordeer to collectnumeric data which used to answer research questions
or test predetermined hypotheses. It generally requires a well-controlled
setting.

            For quantitative
research, a sample size of 30 participants is considered appropriate (Dornyei,
2007), and this sample should be representative of the larger group. Samples
that are chosen at random will often make it possible to generalize the
research findings (Johnson and Onwuegbuzie, 2004). In the case of this thesis,
one quantitative research method was employed: a listening comprehension test.
The purpose of the listening test was to differentiate between the
effectiveness of ALM method versus CLT method on Iranian
intermediate EFL learners’ listening comprehension.

 

3.3. Design
of the Study

The design of the study should be quite in line with the
purpose of the research. As it has been clearly stated throughout the current
thesis, this study made an attempt to compare
the effectiveness of ALM and CLT methods on Iranian -intermediate EFL
learners’ listening comprehension. In fact, the current study is a type of instructional
approach evaluation in which two methods for teaching listening to Iranian EFL
learners at various private institutes or universities, namely CLT and ALM,
were selected to see if they are effective in enhancing EFL learners’ listening
comprehension.

            A
quasi-experimental design is one that looks a bit like a true experimental
design but lacks random assignment the key ingredient. With respect to internal
validity, quasi-experimental designs often appear to be inferior to randomized
experiments. But there is something compelling about the application of these
designs; taken as a group, they are implemented more easily than their
randomized cousins. There are situations where randomization is not possible;
therefore, to have more reliable results quasi-experimental designs can be a
suitable substitute.

In this regard, Cresswell (2009) asserted that the
experimental research method, quasi-experimental design included, is primarily
used to examine the effect of an intervention on an outcome and control for
other factors that possibly impact on the outcome. In quasi-experimental, as
adopted by the current study, participants will be selected from intact classes
when the researcher is not allowed to assign learners to different groups
randomly.

Quasi-experimental research is a type of design in
quantitative research without random assignment. Many second language studies
involve a comparison between two or more groups. Control group (or comparison
group, in many cases) does not receive the treatment or receives alternative
treatment. The control group would typically take the same pretest and posttest
as would the experimental groups, but would not have the same treatment between
tests. Thus, participants are given a pretest to ensure comparability of the
participant groups prior to their treatment, and a posttest to measure the
effects of treatment (Mackey & Gass, 2006). The
design of the present study has been illustrated diagrammatically in figure 3.1
below:

 

 

                                        Figure
3.1. The design of the present study

3.4. Participants

The target population of the study consisted of EFL
students at Shokouh Institute in Lahijan who have been studying
English there for at least two years. The original population who had the
chance to take part in the study consisted of 110 EFL learners at the
intermediate levels, 15-18 year-old (Age Mean= 16.30) students. To achieve the
required number of the participants for undertaking the current study, the
students sat on a language proficiency test called Oxford Placement Test OPT,
and based on their performance on the test, two more homogeneous intact classes
were selected to take part in the current study, one of which was randomly
selected as the first experimental group which received speaking instruction
through CLT method and the other group entitled as the second experimental
group which instructed via ALM method. Thus, both groups were at the intermediate
proficiency level. To conduct the study, the total sample which participated in
the experimental study was 60 participants who were in two intact classes of
thirty students, the first Experimental group (EX1, Female: 30 and the second
experimental group (EX2, Female: 30). All of them were of Iranian nationality
whose religion was Islam and they were learning English as a foreign
language.  

 

 

3.5. Materials

In fact, there are four types of research
material in the present study, each materials have their own specific
characteristics, includes in the following parts:

3.5.1. Material for the Proficiency Test

To be
sure of the homogeneity in two groups, proficiency test was administrated to
establish of participants’ homogeneity. Oxford Placement Test (OPT) was
administered to make sure the participants were homogenous in terms of
their language proficiency. This enables teachers to have a great understanding
of what level their students are at. The test contains 50 multiple choice
questions which assess student’s knowledge of key grammar and
vocabulary, a reading text with 10 graded comprehension questions, and a
writing task for assessing student’s ability to produce the language.

3.5.2. Material for Pretest and Posttest

A pretest was administrated to assess
participants listening comprehension ability. After the treatment of the study,
a posttest was administrated. The tests were taken from the book ‘Four Corners’
by Jack C. Richard and David Bolkh .The audio used for listening comprehension
test comprised personal stories told by different people in a conversation form
and participants were supposed to listen to the audio tracks
and answer the questions provided for each conversation. Each conversation was
about 5 minutes and the participants were supposed to answer the related
questions.

3.5.3. Material for Treatment of the Study

The material for the treatment of this study
included 8listening passages together with their related audio tracks used for
listening talk. Listening texts were selected from the book ‘Four Corners’
series approved by the “Cambridge University Press Staff.” The volume used in
this study was the second book of the Four Corners series suitable for
intermediate level.

3.6. Procedure

As it
was mentioned before, the first step in this process of conducting the research
was the administration of OPT as the homogenizing tool. It was administered to
62 intermediate EFL learners. After analyzing the results, subjects were
randomly assigned into two groups. Prior to the study, a pre-test was administrated to assess
participants listening comprehension ability. The allotted time to test. The obtained
scores from the two classes were statistically analyzed and compared to figure
out whether there was any significant difference between the experimental
groups in terms of their listening comprehension ability. All selected 62 participants were randomly
divided into two groups with 31 participants for each one.  However, 2 participants left the institute
and the researcher had to continue the research with 60 participants who
divided into two groups each consisted of 30 participants. One group as first
experimental group, received listening via CLT techniques. It took for five
sessions. While the other group as the second experimental group received
listening via ALM. The treatment took for five sessions too.  The participants were taught differently in
two experimental groups.

      To ensure that there was no environmental noise
the participants were allowed to wear headphones so that they could concentrate
on the listening tasks. The time allocated to the tests was 40 minutes.

 

3.7. Method of Analyzing Data

The numerical data were analyzed through SPSS,
using an independent samples T-test between Post test score of the two groups
of the study and paired samples T-test between pretest and post-test score of
each group.

 

 

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