Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 Department of English, Faculty of Humanities, Shahrekord Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shahrekord, Iran

2 Department of English, Faculty of Humanities, Ahvaz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ahvaz, Iran

Abstract

The actual classroom implementation and the possible final outcomes of the genre-based approach to listening instruction have not been completely discovered yet. Therefore, this study investigated the impact(s) of genre-based teaching (GBT) on Iranian EFL learners’ listening proficiency across different proficiency levels. For this aim, 84 EFL learners were chosen. Group A (Experimental and Control Groups) included 40 participants and Group B (Proficient and Less-proficient Groups) consisted of 44 participants. Then the experimental group received the treatment which was teaching listening skill through GBT and the control group received a placebo. In the end, the researcher administered the posttest. Regarding Group A, results of one-way ANCOVA showed that the experimental group outperformed the control group indicating that GBT is a pivotal and fundamental factor for improving listening comprehension. Moreover, in Group B, the findings showed that the proficient group performed outstandingly better than the less-proficient group. The findings may denote implications for EFL listening syllabuses and provide guidelines to designers to accommodate the insights derived from the GBT viewpoint.

Keywords

1. Introduction

  Teaching listening comprehension is one of the most vital and difficult tasks for Foreign Language learners. Therefore, it requires much attention and concentration. Listening to foreign language speakers through authentic materials might cause a lot of problems for language learners (Sadeghi, Hassani, & Noory, 2014). It does not mean to say that reading comprehension and writing skills are less important, but listening is the skill which is used as a gate to speaking. If someone is able to listen successfully, he will speak very well. However, for most students, listening compared to other English skills is the most difficult subject the students learned because it requires a lot of effort and may involve concentration, vocabulary understanding, recognizing main points, making prediction and guessing unknown words or phrases (Azmi, Celik, Yidliz, & Tugrul, 2014). Many students fail to do so because they have difficulties in catching the idea of the speakers’ talk since the speakers speak too fast. Otherwise, these problems become the researcher awareness to be more creative and assertive in conducting teaching and learning process of listening.

In listening instruction, researchers have always been on the go to discover the most effective way to enhance students’ ability in listening. In this case, the researchers have been applying an approach which is always used in teaching writing namely Genre Based Teaching, herewith, GBT. Genre based approach has been widely used as one of the approaches to teaching writing. In writing instruction, frequently teachers execute it as its approach since it provides phases of learning cycles. GBT has been defined by numerous authors. Christie and Derewianka (2008) stated that “Genre is a technical term for a specific example of a text type.” Furthermore, Hyland (2015) defines, “Genre is a term for grouping texts together, representing how writers typically use language to respond to recurring situations.”

     Generally speaking, it has been a cliché among second and foreign language researchers to restrain genre studies primarily to written texts. Because of such a constrained view, studies on genre-based teaching is still inadequately represented (Dong, 2016). However, there is no reason to restrict GBI to writing instruction and written discourse. To researchers’ best knowledge, rare study, if any, investigated the impact of GBT on listening achievement. Therefore, as familiarizing language learners with the moves followed in different genres may facilitate their listening ability, the researchers attempted to extend this approach into an extensive context of teaching English Listening skill.

  Genre-based instruction (GBI) is overwhelmingly identified with second language writing pedagogy and originates from genre researches. It is established on the thought that every writer creates their texts in a peculiar and unique way, but in connection to social setting and to different writings (Khatibi, 2014). Looking from a similar point of view, Hyland (2004) portrays GBI as "being worried about what students do when they compose'' (p.5), not a mechanical procedure of fastening words together. Along these lines, GBI considers writing as a social correspondence which is described by its emphasis on language structures, subject substance, composing procedures, and textual forms. It manages training students how to utilize language to deliver a coherent discourse. As Nagao (2019) expressed students in GBI are trained in "the ways by which the 'hows' of content structure produce the whys of social impact" (p. 4).

  Luu (2011) defines genre as alluding to " recognizable classification of discourse of any sort, spoken or written, with or without literary aspirations"(p.33). A few researches revealed positive relationship among GBI and improvement in students' attitude towards language learning (Rezvani, Khalil Aqdam, & Saeidi, 2014). In addition, these researches have assessed the adequacy the genre-based instruction in enhancing learners’ linguistic skills (Atai & Khatibi, 2010). As a paramount linguistic skill, listening is commonly viewed as a region in language acquisition where learner picks up authority sooner and with more prominent speed than other language abilities. It likewise vitally affects the exodus and improvement of language abilities, particularly reading and composing (Namaziandost, Rahimi Esfahani, & Ahmadi, 2019). Brown (2001, p.248) depicts the noteworthiness of listening in the way that it is "a significant ability through which students disguise linguistic data without which they can't create language". In any case, as Brown (2001) believed that listening is a problematic and hard skill to progress since it requests large amounts of psychological processing. To mention a couple of other different reasons, Underwood (1989) makes reference to small size of students' vocabulary information as well as deficiency of contextual cues in the spoken language. Chiang and Dunkel (1992) presume listeners’ lack of adequate background knowledge to be of obstructions before enhancing listening. Despite wide and comprehensive possibilities of genre theory and genre-based instruction, researchers often concentrated on their attention on writing teaching (Manzouri & Shahraki, 2014; Nasri, Namaziandost, & Akbari, 2019). Obviously, such a pattern doesn't appear to be strange, because for the first time the concept of genre emerged from writing teaching method. As Bhatia (1993) contended, students for active involvement in a specific communicative event, are needed to learn generic competence and genre knowledge in the profession. Under such a specialty-based teaching, students will ultimately attract the specialist culture and arrive their membership in the target discourse community. Moreover, since the current level of the participants in this study is intermediate, GBT gives students the opportunity to become versed in the nitty gritty of that particular genre and get the grip of the materials related to that genre better. To fill the gap of study in the field, this study aimed at pushing the borders of applications of GBT further to one of the crucial language skills; listening.

  Moreover, the role of different types of various kinds listening genres and their profound impact on listening comprehension has been ignored throughout the years of teaching listening in listening classes. Learners with different interests, backgrounds, talents and expectations might benefit from a specific kind of listening genres. On the other hand, To the best of the authors' knowledge, genre studies  have predominantly addressed writing instruction (Rezvani, Khalil Aqdam, & Saeidi, 2014) and very few empirical studies, like Ataia nd Khatibi  (2010),  have  ever  worked  on the impact of GBT on oral skills including   listening comprehension performance  and  speaking fluency of EFL learners. Hence, there is a gap in our current empirical literature concerning the GBT and listening skill specially in Iranian educational contexts, preoccupied with an overemphasis on low and high proficiency levels with little or no systematic endeavor to elevate the learners’ awareness of genre integrity and text as a complete unit. Due to the mentioned gaps, this study aimed at exploring the impact of GBT on listening comprehension of EFL students. Consequently, the following research questions and null hypotheses were raised in the present study:

RQ 1. Does GBT significantly affect Iranian EFL learners’ listening proficiency?

RQ 2. Does GBT equally affect the listening proficiency of EFL learners at different proficiency levels?

H0 1. GBT does not significantly affect Iranian EFL learners’ listening proficiency.

H0 2. GBT does not equally affect the listening proficiency of EFL learners at different proficiency levels

2. Literature Review

  Genre pedagogy is firmly grounded in theories inspired by Vygotsky (Vygotsky & Rieber, 1988) and Syarifah (e.g., Syarifah & Gunawan, 2015), both of whom foreground the social, contingent supporting role of expert others in the learning process. Often labelled a sociocultural approach, this view of learning privileges the meaningful interactions that learners and teachers have in learning activity. Sociocultural approaches can be contrasted with curriculum-centered approaches, which view learning as either (i) the successful transmission, or passing on of knowledge from an expert other, or (ii) student-centered approaches, which conceive of learning as the successful acquisition, or taking of knowledge from an expert other. Both these approaches differ fundamentally from a sociocultural approach, which is a teaching/learning-centered approach.

  When it comes to genres, it is common to differentiate three various approaches: the ESP approach, Systemic Functional Linguistics, and the New Rhetoric approach (Hyland, 2004). The term genre was defined by the ESP school as “a class of communicative events such as a seminar presentation, a university lecture or an academic essay” (Paltridge, 2001, p. 69). They additionally add that the events are connected by shared objectives perceived by the individuals from a specific network and that the objectives are the rationale of the genre. The properties of the genre assist to shape the ways it is organized and the selections of content and style it makes accessible (Hyland, 2015). The ESP school depends to a great extent on John Swales' work on the discourse structure and phonetic highlights of logical reports. In Systemic genre work, a genre is mostly alluded to as a kind of content with relating structure, capacity and setting, for example, a depiction, methodology, or composition (Paltridge, 2001; Etemadfar, Namaziandost, & Banari, 2019; Rashidi & Mazdayasna, 2016). In this approach, a genre is characterized as an arranged, objective situated social procedure, which includes the collaborations of learners utilizing language in a customary, step-wise structure (Hyland, 2015). In Australia, based on Halliday's work and ESP effect, genre researches have been reconciled to the ESP instruction and the instruction of academic writing to ESL graduate students (Paltridge, 2001). In addition, In New Rhetoric work, genres are regularly clarified as occasions or social activities that help learners elucidate and make specific texts (Gilakjani & Ahmadi, 2011; Paltridge, 2001). New Rhetoricians consider less accentuation on the form of discourse and more to the activity it is utilized to achieve, trying to build up the associations among class and genre and repeated circumstances and to distinguish the manner by which genres are viewed as repetitive rhetorical activities (Hyland, 2015).

  Furthermore, according to Jalilifar and Beitsayyah, (2011), genre is related to "ancient Greeks and their study of rhetorical structure in various categories of the epic, lyric and dramatic" (p.69). Johns (2003) condemns the traditional understanding of genre and expressed that traditional genre researches were exceedingly centered around characterization of literary studies. Modern readings of the term, nonetheless, presume a social nature for it. To highlight social properties of genre, Hyland (2004) characterizes genre as "abstract, socially recognized ways of using language" (p.21). Genre-based teaching which is based on the modern definitions of the term is viewed as a progressive development in language instruction, particularly in the field of second language writing.

  Before modern notion of genre and its usage for language teaching were explored, writing classes was commanded primarily by product and process approach. From 1940s to 1960s, and under impact of the product approach, pedagogy focused predominantly on linguistic accuracy and structural well-formedness of the final product. For the role of teacher, product approach focused on instructing grammatical rules which could ideally prompt empowering learners to create linguistically and grammatically right sentences (Tuan, 2011). Because of various weaknesses of the product approach, it was supplanted by its modern counterpart; the process approach. Kern (2000) contends that in the process approach, attention is occupied from language structure, spelling and phonetic precision to empowering learner to communicate unreservedly and freely. Consequently, in opposition to the product approach in which etymological structures were demonstrated, in the process approach, "authors' procedures" were displayed (p. 182).

  Moreover, according to Hyland (2004) genre pedagogy can introduce writing "as an endeavor to communicate with readers, to better comprehend the ways that language patterns are utilized, and to do coherent, deliberate prose" (p.5) because “GBI is empowering, critical, consciousness raising, explicit, systematic, needs-based, and supportive” (Safranj, 2015, p. 6). In other words, GBI prioritize how learners write not what they write (Hosseini, Nasri, & Afghari, 2017; Hyland, 2004). As Paltridge (2001) argues, genre-based teaching can help learners to be successful in linguistic communication and provide them with socially deliberate forms of language through giving generic knowledge and skills.

  To underline the potential of genre as a strong instruction tools, numerous researches have been performed in the field of language teaching (Bhatia, 1993; Hyland, 2015; Manzouri & Shahraki, 2014; Swales, 1990). These researches have commonly corroborated that as the consequence of GBI learners’ writing remarkably developed and they are willing to utilize communicative moves in their writing more recurrently. Furthermore, GBI indicated a high correlation with active attendance of learners in the class activities. Other researchers understood that progresses made through GBI assisted participants to shape a positive attitude towards language learning (Namaziandost, Hafezian, & Shafiee, 2018).

  As a fundamental language skill, listening is the most extensively utilized language skill in our daily life (Namaziandost, Sabzevari, & Hashemifardnia, 2018). It is generally considered as an active and conscious process in which listeners concentrate on evoking the vital information from the spoken linguistic input, understood its meaning and understand its function, and make linguistically suitable output through mixing them with the contextual clues and their background knowledge (Safranj, 2015). However, listening is also regarded a tough skill to learn because it demands that listeners derive meaning from the spoken linguistic input. Goss (1982) discusses that listening comprehension is an intricate mental process in which the listeners attempt to rebuild the meaning out of what they obtained from the speakers. This cognitively complex process is run when listeners rely on their background knowledge of the language as well as their world knowledge (Manzouri & Shahraki, 2014; Sajedi, 2016) and recombine information in their long-term memory to expound and elucidate the spoken language (Khatibi, 2014; Namaziandost, & Çakmak, 2020). GBI can help language learners in the sophisticated process of enhancement of listening skill through acquainting them with the principles of language use and providing them with background knowledge in the particular genres of spoken language.

  In another study, Cahyono (2016) examined the implementation of Genre Based Approach in teaching narrative listening as an approach to motivate the students to learn listening. Using a case study and 32 of the third semester students, the data were obtained from the learners’ narrative writings and listening response sheets as the consequence of the teaching and learning process and took 5 data purposively as the samples of this research. The results showed that that lecturer was successfully applied GBA in the process of teaching and learning narrative listening. Moreover, it also indicated that the implementation of GBA develops students’ ability in listening comprehension and it can be shown through students’ listening response sheets and writings.

 

3. Methodology

3.1. Design of the Study

  The current study is a quasi-experimental research with a pretest-posttest design. GBT is the independent variable and that listening comprehension is the dependent variable of the study. The learners in General Group A (i.e., Experimental Group (EG) and Control Group (CG)) were compared to clarify the effect of GBT on listening improvement. Moreover, the participants in General group B (i.e., the Proficient and Less-Proficient groups) were compared to see if the effect of GBT on listening skill varied across different proficiency levels. It should be noted that the level of Group B was identified through Oxford Quick Placement Test (OQPT).

 

3.2 Participants

  The participants of this study were 84 Iranian intermediate EFL learners who were selected through the availability sampling procedure among 120 students from two private language institutes. Participants were all male and their age range was from 16 to 17. They participated in a proficiency test called Oxford Quick Placement Test (OQPT) which was utilized as a homogeneity test and 84 students whose scores were between 38 and 47 out of 60 were chosen as intermediate level for the goal of the study. The selected participants were randomly divided into two general groups, namely Group A, and Group B. General Group A was consisted of 40 EFL learners and was randomly divided into two specific groups; Experimental Group (n=20) and Control Group (n=20). On the other hand, General Group B composed of 44 EFL learners. Regarding the Listening proficiency test, respondents in Group B were divided into two specific groups; Proficient group (n=22) and Less-Proficient group (n=22). All participants were learning English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) at a private language institute. Learners of Group A were studying at their 3th semester, while the Group B students were matriculated in their 2rd and 4th semester. It should be mentioned that the participants were all male and their age range was 16 to 17. For more details about participants, the following table (Table 1) should be consulted:

Table 1.

Descriptive Statistics of the Participants with Regard to Their Type of Participation

General Groups

Sub-groups

Number of Participants

Age

Group A

Experimental Group (EG)

20

16-17

Control Group (CG)

20

16-17

Group B

Proficient

22

16-17

Less-Proficient

22

16-17

Total

 

84

 

 

3.3 Instruments

  In addition to the Oxford Quick Placement Test (OQPT) which was administered to measure the level of the participants’ general English knowledge and examine the homogeneity between the EG and CG, the researcher-devised pretest and posttest which were based on the materials implemented in the classroom were used to evaluate their listening comprehension.

  The researchers employed the Oxford Quick Placement Test as the first instrument of the study to homogenize the learners. The first test was the OQPT to assess the participants’ degree of homogeneity prior to the study. OQPT could aid the researchers to have a greater understanding of what level of proficiency the participants were at.

  The second test was the researcher-made pretest, contrived especially to evaluate the participants’ listening comprehension. It should be mentioned that the test was based on the content of the materials students were studying. It was actually a multiple-choice test. The test was piloted with a smaller sample of learners. The overall item difficulty indexed of the pretest and posttest were roughly similar. The total reliability of the pretest was calculated through the use of Cronbach’s alpha formula to be 0.89. To calculate reliability, the pretest was administered to 10 participants, as a pilot group. Additionally, the face and content validity of the pretest was confirmed by 5 English professors who taught English for more than 15 years and were familiar with GBT. taken the time. The time allocated for each multiple-choice and fill-in-the-blank item was 90 seconds after the listening practices were played as proposed in the guidelines of the book for listening comprehension items so that all participants could try all the items, as a power test. The scoring procedure was an objective type, that is, the rater’s own judgment did not have any effect on the score. It should be reminded that the pretest was a discrete-point test, an ideal form of test for diagnostic purposes. The listening comprehension exercises which were used in the pretest were “documentary” genre and belonged to BBC Planet Earth Series. All of them in the pretest were similar in terms of topic, pace of delivery, and level of difficulty. The pretest included six listening comprehension exercises followed by some items each of which was of varying points. The total number of items was 40 and the total score for pretest was 30. It should be mentioned that the validity of the pre-test was confirmed by three TEFL university professors and five specialists in measurement and assessment.

  The third test, the posttest, was an achievement test devised by the researchers and was administered after giving the treatment to the groups in order to measure the participants’ listening comprehension in the two groups, EG and CG. The total reliability of the posttest was calculated through the use of Cronbach’s alpha formula to be 0.91, in the same way applied to the pretest. To calculate reliability, the posttest was also administered to 10 participants, the same students to whom the pretest was administered, as a pilot group. The total number of items was 40 and validity of the posttest was also confirmed by those experts who validated the pretest. That is, to get sure about the Content Validity Index (CVI) of the test items, three professors who also taught English for more than 10 years read through the tests and made some changes (if necessary) regarding the clarity, simplicity and the representativeness of items. Subsequently, the test was modified and then piloted on a similar group in another institute whose course book and level were the same. After applying validation and piloting, the necessary changes and modifications to achieve item characteristics, (i.e., item facility, item discrimination, and choice distribution) were made to the test. Actually, this step helps the researcher make sure that the level of the post test is similar to that of the pretest.

     

3.4 Data Collection Procedure

  Group A was executed a pretest in listening and then half of them (the experimental group) took part in a 10- session GBT listening class. The class took 5 weeks and, in every session, they worked on the listening comprehension by responding to comprehension questions and transcribing the audio file. The listening file categorized into “documentary” genre and belonged to BBC Planet Earth Series. They could communicate and discuss with each other and their instructor to investigate their comprehension. It should be noted that the participants did not look at the script while listening; they were asked to write the script while listening to the recording. Simultaneously, control group received a placebo. They were asked to take part in a 10-session listening comprehension class on English short stories. After complementing four weeks of listening class, all respondents (both experimental and control groups) were executed a posttest in the form of another listening comprehension test. Group B learners, on the other hand, first took a listening proficiency test and then were designated to Proficient (those who scored 80-90 out of 100) and Less Proficient groups (those who scored 40-60 out of 100). These two groups were requested to participate in listening comprehension classes for four weeks and 10 sessions. The material of the class was the documentary files adopted from BBC Planet Earth. After completing the instruction, both groups took a listening comprehension posttest.

 

3.5 Data Analysis Procedure

  The collected data through the aforesaid procedures were analyzed and interpreted according to the objective of the study. Firstly, the descriptive statistics were calculated and reported. Then, one-way ANCOVA and independent samples t-tests were run to determine the effectiveness of treatment on Iranian EFL learners' listening comprehension.

 

4. Results  

  To compare the posttest scores of the learners in the EG and CG (and to see if GBT was effective so far as the listening proficiency of EFL learners was concerned), one-way ANCOVA was conducted. The scores in posttest for these two groups (i.e., EG & CG) was out of 30. This statistical procedure was utilized particularly because it could control for any possible pre-existing differences between the EG and CG learners on the pretest, and make adjustments accordingly, and then compare their posttest scores. The results of descriptive statistics for comparing the listening posttest scores of the EG and CG learners are presented in Table 2:  

 

Table 2.

Descriptive Statistics Comparing the Listening Posttest Scores of EG and CG Learners

Groups

M

SD

N

EG

26.45

5.42

20

CG

20.45

3.95

20

Total

23.45

5.58

40

 

As Table 2 shows, on the listening posttest, the EG learners outperformed their CG counterparts. To see whether this difference between the listening posttest scores of the EG and CG learners was of statistical significance or not, in Table 3, the p value under the Sig. column in the row labeled Groups should be consulted:

 

Table 3.

ANCOVA Results Comparing the Listening Posttest Scores of EG and CG Learners

Source

Type III Sum of Squares

df

Mean Square

F

Sig.

Partial Eta Squared

Corrected Model

700.81

2

350.40

25.19

.00

.57

Intercept

43.71

1

43.71

3.14

.08

.07

Pretest

340.81

1

340.81

24.50

.00

.39

Groups

269.91

1

269.91

19.40

.00

.34

Error

514.58

37

13.90

 

 

 

Total

23211.50

40

 

 

 

 

Corrected Total

1215.40

39

 

 

 

 

 

  The p value under the Sig. column, across from the Groups row, was smaller than the significance level, indicating that the difference between the two groups of EG and CG on the listening posttest reached statistical significance. It could, thus, be concluded that GBT helped the EG learners improve their listening proficiency and significantly excel their CG counterparts on the listening posttest. The effect size under the Partial Eta Squared column in Table 2 shows the value of .34, which based on Cohen (1988, as cited in Pallant, 2010) represents a large effect size.  This means that 34 percent of variance in the participants’ listening proficiency scores may be accounted by the treatment.

  To find a reasonable answer to the second research question of this study, Group B learners, first took a listening proficiency test. Then, they were assigned into Proficient and Less-Proficient groups. Based on the information presented in Table 4., there was a statistically significant difference in the pretest scores for Proficient and Less-Proficient groups p < .05. This conclusion was made since the p value was smaller than the significance level (p < .05).

 

Table 4.

Independent Samples Test for Pretest of Group B

t-test for Equality of Means

95% Confidence Interval of the Difference

Upper

18.82

Lower

12.53

Std. Error Difference

1.55

Mean Difference

15.68

Sig. (2-tailed)

.00

df

42

T

10.05

Levene's Test for Equality of Variances

Sig.

.000

F

41.80

 

Equal variances assumed

 

Pretest

 

 

  As the second research question of the study was intended to figure out whether using GBT equally affect the listening proficiency of EFL learners at different proficiency levels, the posttest scores of the Proficient and Less-Proficient groups had to be compared. The score of posttests for this two groups was out of 60. To attain this objective, the researcher could run an independent-samples t test, but to control for any possible pre-existing differences between these two subgroups, and compare their posttest scores accordingly, one-way ANCOVA was chosen to be conducted:

 

Table 5.

Descriptive Statistics Comparing the Listening Posttest Scores of Learners with Differing Proficiency Levels

Proficiency Levels

Mean

Std. Deviation

N

Proficient

52.09

6.60

22

Less Proficient

34.59

2.42

22

Total

43.34

10.12

44

    

In Table 5, it could be found that the post-test mean score of the Proficient learners was higher than the post-test mean score of the Less Proficient learners. To find out whether this difference was a statistically significant one or not, the researchers had to look down the Sig. column and in front of the Proficiency Level row in Table 6:

 

Table 6.

ANCOVA Results Comparing the Listening Posttest Scores of Learners with Differing Proficiency Levels

Source

Type III Sum of Squares

df

Mean Square

F

Sig.

Partial Eta Squared

Corrected Model

3841.14

2

1920.57

138.94

.00

.87

Intercept

255.02

1

255.02

18.44

.00

.31

Pretest

472.39

1

472.39

34.17

.00

.45

Proficiency Level

173.44

1

173.44

12.54

.00

.23

Error

566.74

41

13.823

 

 

 

Total

87059.00

44

 

 

 

 

Corrected Total

4407.88

43

 

 

 

 

 

  In Table 6, the p value was lower than the alpha level of significance (.00  .05), which indicates that the difference between the two groups of Proficient and Less Proficient learners on the listening post-test was statistically significant. This means that using GBT significantly affected Proficient groups more than their counterparts, i.e., Less Proficient group.

 

5. Discussion

  Based on the data obtained from this study and the statistics illustrated in the previous section, it is totally obvious that utilizing such strategies as genre-based can be efficient in comparison to conventional methods of teaching listening. Indeed, the observed difference between experimental and control group posttest scores was significant. Thus, given its many benefits and advantages, an integration of genre-based teaching instruction is considered among the best methods of instructing listening to EFL learners. The reason can be found in the merits proposed by Hyland (2004) who believes that genre-based teaching clarifies to learn in order to facilitate the process of listening comprehension. Moreover, Hyland (2004) believes that a coherent framework for concentrating on both language and contexts is provided by GBT. In addition, genre-based guarantees particular course purposes and content. Another reason for that may be due to the fact that genre-based provides a primary role for the teacher as motivator of student learning and creativity, and this approach makes patterns and possibilities of variation in valued texts available.

  In this study, genres were introduced in listening format and positive effects were also observed in this research. The findings of this study easily are in agreement with the findings of previous research on genre and its effect on language learning/acquisition with the exception that previous research was almost conducted on reading and writing process (Khatibi, 2014; Luu, 2011; Manzouri & Shahraki, 2014; Rezvani, Khalil Aqdam, & Saeidi, 2014; Rashidi & Mazdayasna, 2016). Based on the results of this study it can be stated that genres have significant effects on listening comprehension of EFL students and including the genre could be as beneficial and helpful in listening as it is in reading and writing.  By defining the genre of the listening input and its features and functions, we can make the process of listening comprehension more meaningful for the language learners. Also introducing genres could be a good warm up exercise for starting the listening comprehension classroom. This study can confirm that a genre-based approach could provide a holistic approach for teaching and learning English. It could address the concerns of the government policy in promoting communicative English language teaching, in which integrated skills need to be emphasized.

  Moreover, the potential of a genre-based approach for supporting English language listening is very significant, as evident in this study. It helps develop students’ listening skills in that it enables them to progress a better comprehending of a text. Within this approach, students have a more analytical approach to texts. It helps them understand how a text is constructed at both a macro and a micro level to construe particular meanings. It can be said that a genre-based approach helps students develop listening for meaning skills.   They can understand the text in terms of both its structure and its meaning. This approach results in an understanding and appreciation of the text as a whole.

  The noted discussion investigates the impact of genre-based teaching listening from various aspects. To sum up, if we consider doing something with the information as the purpose of listening a text, the findings of the current study revealed that genre-based teaching listening has a significant and positive effect on enhancing EFL learners’ listening comprehension ability.

Findings of this study generally corroborate what was presented in antecedent studies by other researchers on the usefulness of GBT in language teaching (Bhatia, 1993; Hyland, 2015; Manzouri & Shahraki, 2014; Sajedi, 2016; Rashidi & Mazdayasna, 2016; Swales, 1990). While these researches concentrated primarily on writing, consequences of the present study corroborated GBT efficiency in language skills other than writing. Such researches can indicate the extensive impacts of GBT in helping language students to confront turbulences they encounter in the process of learning language skills. Other studies, meantime, can concentrate on the usefulness of GBT on improvement of reading and speaking.

  In addition, the findings of this study confirm the study by Rozimela (2014) who found a significant relationship between genre awareness and reading comprehension of EFL students. Moreover, the outcomes of his study indicated that the students with higher genre awareness significantly outperformed on reading comprehension.

  Furthermore, this study is in line with the study by Sadeghi, Taghi Hassani and Hemmati (2013) who investigated the impact of genre-based instruction on ESP learners' reading comprehension. The results of the reading comprehension test, analyzed by a t-test and independent-samples t-test showed that genre-based teaching significantly enhance EFL learners' reading comprehension ability. The descriptive and inferential statistics showed that learners’ reading comprehension improved significantly compared to non-genre-group.

  Furthermore, according to Tuan (2011), “genre-based instruction teaches “language facts” similar to the old authoritarian classrooms where students’ improvements depend on how successfully the “rules‟ can be utilized” (p. 5).

  Generally speaking, the results of this study revealed that a genre-based approach is a beneficial approach for helping students’ listening improvement. Iranian students in this paper were able to enhance their listening skill, as a result of using approach.  They could comprehend and use the information they learnt to develop their listening. With explicit instruction utilizing a genre-based approach, learners could perceive the generic structure and specific language characteristics of a special genre. Learners could rely on this knowledge in assisting them build and develop their own information as apparent in this research.

  Regarding the outcomes of this study it can be said that genres have important impacts on listening comprehension of EFL students and it could be effective and useful in listening as it is in reading and writing.  Considering the genre of the listening input and its properties and functions, the researchers can make the process of listening comprehension more meaningful for students. It is needed to state that what this study adds to the body of literature is that most scholars dealt with writing and GBT, while this study enjoyed novelty by addressing the same topic in the area of listening.

  Regarding pedagogical implication, it should be noted that the results of this study could enrich the literature in the field of foreign language learning particularly teaching listening to Iranian EFL learners. Furthermore, the outcomes of the study can be applied by language practitioners and curriculum developer to take into account students' need of genres in the process of need analysis. For selecting the instructional material again those which are more genre-based can be utilized to have a better educational context in which EFL learners' listening comprehension can be enhanced. Finally, teachers as the most paramount stakeholders can take advantage from the findings of the current study to progress the EFL learners' listening comprehension. The current study and studies like this which support the opinion of effectiveness of genre-based teaching on developing listening can assist teacher trainers, English teachers, course book writers and curriculum designers to be more aware of the advantages of genre-based teaching and to incorporate the principles of genre-based into their lessons, course books and curricula to assist learners be aware of the positive and beneficial properties of listening classes.

 

6. Conclusion

  Traditionally, genre-based teaching was more related to writing training both in second and foreign language learning (Rashidi & Mazdayasna, 2016; Swales, 1990). Notwithstanding, it has been argued that genre theory can be utilized to other language skills as well. This study, as an endeavor to show the domains of genre theory, tried to discover impacts(s) of genre-based teaching (GBT) on Iranian EFL learners’ listening proficiency. Consequences of data analysis on all groups indicated that GBT had a remarkable impact in enhancing Iranian EFL learners’ listening proficiency. Furthermore, the findings revealed that GBT can be more efficient for proficient listeners but this cannot always be true because of factors such as the ceiling effect, it is possible for intermediate learners to improve more than their more proficient peers because there is room for improvement for the former, but not the latter. Hence, proficiency is a substantial agent in efficiency of genre-based teaching. Outcomes of the present study can assist language teachers to take advantage of the potentials of genre theory for instructing language skills, particularly listening. Furthermore, the study can help instructors to have an extensive viewpoint on the factors applied in listening.

  For the completion of the findings of the current study, the topic requires to be discovered more in some other studies. Regarding the current study, further research may be essential in the following areas: The primary concern of the current study was to investigate the impact of genre-based teaching on Iranian EFL learners’ listening ability. Analogous studies can be carried out on other language skills such as speaking, writing, and reading comprehension of Iranian EFL learners. The participants in the current study were male EFL learners. If the same study can be administered on co-educational classes, the outcomes may be quite different. This study made use of experimental design; accordingly, other designs may be utilized to further our comprehension of the concept under question. EFL students of various fields may act diversely in listening classes utilizing this strategy. Regarding the materials utilized in this study, different kinds of audio files and texts can be examined to check if the similar findings will be obtained.

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