Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of English Language, Yadegar- e- Imam Khomeini (RAH) Shahre Rey Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of English Language, Yadegar-e- Imam Khomeini (RAH) Shahre Rey Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran


Languaging is considered as the process of making knowledge through the use of language for explaining the concepts. Teaching listening strategies in this study provided students with moments of languaging in L1 that subsequently allowed them to transfer certain strategies to listening comprehension. This study investigated the effects of different modes of languaging on the listening performance of EFL learners. It draws on sociocultural theories and languaging. Initially, an Oxford Placement Test was administered to 62 EFL intermediate learners to ensure homogeneity. Then, the participants were assigned to two groups, collaborative and private mode of languaging. Before applying treatment, the participants were also given a sample of (PET) listening test as a pre-test. During treatment sessions, the listening tasks were practiced by collaborative mode of languaging in one group, while in the second group tasks were accomplished by private form within 10 sessions. At the end of treatment, a post-test (PET) was administered. Consequently, the mean scores of both groups on the post-test led to the rejection of the null hypothesis implying that the learners in the collaborative languaging group and private languaging group significantly improved in terms of listening performance. However, the private form of languaging outperformed the collaborative one.



During the last decades of the 20th century, the paramount role of listening skill has become clear to the practitioners and scholars in the field. This idea is also highlighted by the emergence of Communicative Language Teaching (CLT). A type of strategy-based approach to listening instruction has been widely promoted (Macaro et al., 2007) in this approach of teaching. Strategy training can support listening comprehension (Field, 2008), however, learners’ decoding ability and L2 knowledge are not sufficient to comprehend the message.

As it is recorded in the literature, there are ample studies on the efficiency of strategy training in general and in listening skill training in particular.  For instance, the findings of Al-Azzemy and Al-jamal (2019) indicated the efficiency of that cognitive, metacognitive, and socio-affective strategies on improving learners’ listening comprehension. In addition, in one study conducted by Cao and Lin (2020), the role of applying metacognitive strategies was examined among vocational college students. The result confirmed that high achiever students used the strategies especially monitoring more often than low achiever learners. Additionally, the result of the analysis showed a positive relationship between metacognitive strategies and listening ability. 

The concept of language use and languaging is derived from Vygotsky’s (1978) work. He argued that language connects humans together and with the world as a mediational tool. It helps people to communicate and allows them to share the experiences and make them visible. In addition, language can mediate cognitive processes. To Swain (2006), a student’s oral explanation and verbalization are referred to as ‘languaging’. ‘Languaging’ is the act of producing language to mediate cognitive activity (Swain, 2006). An oral or written explanation of the concepts in order that learners monitor and evaluate their action is considered as languaging. It can be a helpful tool in learning foreign languages. Neguerula (2003) believes that languaging is not only reporting the reasons, while it is considered as a tool for understanding the meaning or idea. Swain (2006) emphasizes the point that languaging might be understood as a synonym of speaking. However, languaging is producing language (both written or oral) in an attempt to understand or to solve a problem. One of the significant tools in languaging is the use of L1.

According to Vygotskian SCT (Sociocultural theory), the use of language (L1) provides additional cognitive support for learners to overcome their L2 learning challenges. The important role of L1 as a mediational tool for regulating behavior in the context of L2 has been evidenced in the research (Centeno-Cortes & Jimenez Jimenez, 2004; Harun, et al., 2014; Swain &Lapkin, 2000).  For instance, Harun et al. (2014) reported that L1 acts as a mediational tool to construct and organize thought in helping learners gain a deeper understanding of the target English grammatical concept. In addition, Centeno-Cortes and Jimenez Jimenez’s (2004) have shown that L1 conceptual elaboration and organization for solving L2 language tasks play a significant role in L2 acquisition and encourage learners to make hypotheses in L1 under certain condi­tions. Hence, languaging in L1 can be influential in the process of L2 learning. Swain and Lapkin (2000) also identified similar functions of L1 deployed by 22 French immersion students while attempting to complete the assigned language tasks in pairs. Accordingly, these researchers concluded that the employment of L1 serves not only as a tool to focus learners’ attention on the target language, but also as a tool for moving the task along, and an interpersonal interaction.

Despite the fact that listening plays an important role in language learning, in many English language classes still, it has not been attended significantly. It seems that most tasks and instructional materials in English classes are related to the other skills, and listening tasks are considered as a complementary activity (Field, 2008). As practicing listening skills in the classroom need some equipment such as the speaker, computer, headphones, etc. always the least amount of time is allocated to this skill by teachers and also some of them are really reluctant to work on this skill, so listening skill has not found its real place in Iranian pedagogy of English and is considered as a skill for teachers to teach other skills or subskills such as vocabulary or grammar.

Teaching listening strategies with the aid of different modes of languaging might encourage the learners how to listen effectively and to have a better ear for listening to native speakers. In addition, using different modes of languaging practice could lead students to have a self-evaluation and at the same time a teacher can monitor and find out their problems while they are attempting to do the listening tasks. When learners verbalize and explain the taught strategies for themselves or for their partners, the process of their understanding would be stimulated. A number of studies have explored how teachers activate students’ strategy use in the classroom. In a few cases, the effective strategies and concepts for better listening were taught by applying language. Listening Strategy Training whilst or after a listening task in L1 would allow learners to transfer certain strategies to the target language instruction process and consequently would help them develop target skills (listening).

The present study attempted to investigate the significant effect of different modes of explicit languaging in L1about listening strategies on teaching listening and also it compared the private and collaborative forms of languaging. To this end, adopting different modes of languaging in teaching listening strategies would help the teacher to monitor and evaluate learners ‘understanding of related concepts and applying effective strategies in listening.


  2.Literature Review

2.1. Listening Comprehension: A Cognitive Skill

 Since listening is called as a sophisticated cognitive skill by some scholars. It can be explained and discussed within the context of cognitivism. Accordingly, listening can be considered as a cognitive activity including mental processes which entails information and thought processing activities (O’Malley & Chamot, 1990). Listening comprehension strategies play a paramount role in the development of relevant language skills and the process of language acquisition. Saks and Leijen (2018) demonstrated a linear relationship between language learning strategies and language learning outcomes. To improve listening competence and consequently progress to a proficient listener, learners need to be trained by appropriate listening strategies.


2.2. Listening Strategies: Cognitive and Metacognitive

Among three types of listening strategies presented by Flowerdew and Miller (1992), cognitive and metacognitive strategies is the main concern in the present study. Metacognitive strategies entail the manipulating process of adjusting and learning through the following activities; planning, the strategy applied in pre-listening phase; monitoring, the strategy implemented while-listening task; and evaluation, the strategy to evaluate the learners’ performance in listening at the post-listening phase.  

Cognitive strategies, on the other hand, can be classified into inferences, note-taking, summarization, prediction, and elaboration. The inference is a process which efficiently increases comprehension of linguistic material (Chamot, 1990; Rost, 2002). Through making inferences the learner can go beyond the literal meaning of the text to elaborate on what has already been presented or to preserve the coherence of the text. This process can increase comprehension of linguistic material. Through inferencing, the learners can have access to any pieces of available information to foster the guessing process or using unfamiliar language items related to the language task. Another application of inferencing is predicting the outcomes or filling in the missing information (Chamot, 1990).

Another category is note-taking which entails keyword and concept writing in abbreviated verbal, graphic, or numerical forms (Chamot,1990; Oxford, 1990). Note-taking can be conducted in various methods and can take different forms. The basic and casual format is observed in raw drafts. Usually, the first casual drafts, known as ‘raw notes can turn into useful tools to facilitate learning in case the learner immediately refers back to them, organize and revise them applying various methods and systems. This process should take place before the main concepts listened to are forgotten. The other form of note-taking is ‘the shopping list format’ which is extremely simple but constantly requires ordering and organizing the spoken input. The final note taking system is called the ‘semantic map’ which involves demonstrating the keyword or main ideas and associating these with clusters of connected words or ideas by lines or arrows (Oxford, 1990). 

The next category of cognitive strategies is called summarization which builds up a condensed form of the genuine passage or input, either written or spoken (Oxford, 1990). A summary can be presented in two forms; mental or written (Chamot, 1990). It should be mentioned that effective summarization is generative in essence. Listeners or readers employ their own background information to develop novel sentences. This strategy can primarily maximize active listening while minimizing passive listening.

Prediction is another category which refers to the learners’ pre and whilst listening guessing procedures. The application of this strategy includes the prediction of what a piece of spoken context will be about what language information will proceed such as a word or a phrase. It is vital to point out that listeners can anticipate and interpret language via associating the spoken passage to similar experiences in past, that is via analogy. Elaboration is the last category of cognitive strategy. It helps the learners either to associate new information with the knowledge and information that has already been shared in memory, to connect various segments of new information to each other, or to make meaningful personal associations to the new information (Chamot, 1990). This makes particular researchers take into account elaboration to be a super-ordinate category for other strategies such as inferences, transfer, deduction, imagery, and summary.


Languaging refers to "producing language, and in particular, producing language in an attempt to understand – to problem solve –to make meaning"(Swain, 2006, p.96).  To Swain and Watanabe (2013), when people encounter a problem, they might speak with another person or they might speak aloud or whisper to themselves to solve the problem. This situation is an example of collaborative or interpersonal communication and private speech or intrapersonal communication. According to Brooks and Donato (1994), speech in any form between people or to oneself enables one to plan, coordinate, and review action and it is one of the crucial aspects of Sociocultural theory (SCT) to internalize the scientific concepts. Speech is accepted to mediate thought and this may occur in different ways such as collaborative speech among learners (e.g., Swain & Lapkin, 2002), or private speech of individual learners (e.g., DiCamilla& Anton, 2004). Speech in any form, social or individual, serves to facilitate learning and leads learners to gain self-regulation.

Donato’s (1994) study examined the collaborative mode of languaging of three university learners as they construct a scenario to be performed in French. They supported each other to solve the linguistic problems. To Donato, collaborative dialogue can be considered as learners’ interactions when they involve in problem-solving activity and can lead to co-construction and internalization of L2 knowledge. Garcia and Ascencion (2001) conducted an experiment on the effect of interaction and listening development. In their study, there were two experimental and control groups and subjects were beginner Spanish learners. They had to listen to a lecture and after listening had to reconstruct the text of the lecture from their notes. Before listening to the lecture, some target grammar, for better comprehension of the aural text, was instructed for three hours. Learners in the control group had to use their own notes individually, however, the experimental group could share their notes in small groups, and then, again two groups took a listening comprehension test by using their notes. The reconstruction was scored on the grammatical accuracy of the target language. The result indicated that the experimental group which could interact with each significantly outperformed on the listening comprehension test, however, the two groups scored similarly on the text reconstruction.

In another study conducted by Garcia (2012), the Spanish aspect was taught by the aid of languaging. The collected data in this study was learners’ definition of the grammatical concept of

aspect, written performance protocols, and languaging data recorded during two oral interviews. The languaging data of the study was collected during learner oral interviews with the instructor in a Dynamic assessment (DA) format before and after the pedagogical intervention to determine the learner's potential development in regard to the grammatical concept of aspect in Spanish. The findings emphasized on the significant role of languaging in L2 conceptual development. 

Knouzi, et al. (2010) investigated the role of languaging behavior of two learners learning French as a second language. The focus of this study was tracing learners' understanding of the concept of voice in French which is considered as a difficult concept for language learners. The high and low languagers (one who used language more and less) were selected from nine language learners. The selected learners, languaging differed considerably both quantitatively and quantitatively. Researchers tried to distinguish the differences between the two types of languaging behavior of two learners during the verbalization stage. The result confirmed that language is considered a prominent tool for self-mediating of learners. High language users could efficiently use language to overcome their learning problems.


The primary goal of this study was to investigate the role and types of languaging on promoting listening comprehension in a foreign language context.

3.1. Design and Context of Study

A quasi-experimental design was utilized in the current study. The participants from Azad University in Tehran during one educational (Fall) semester were non-randomly assigned into two experimental groups and compared through pre-test and post-test. The independent and dependent variables were different modes of languaging and listening performance respectively. The proficiency level was considered as a control variable. At the end of the treatment, the scores of pretest and posttest of experimental groups were compared to answer the research questions.


The participants of the current study were 62 EFL learners studying at Yadegar-e- Imam University in Tehran within the age range of 18 to 36 years old. They were selected non- randomly from among 19 male and 43 female students of intermediate proficiency level. Oxford Placement Test (OPT) was administered to ensure their homogeneity prior to the experimental phase of the study. The test was administered to 62 intermediate students and all the participants obtained a score of one standard deviation (1SD) above and below the mean. The participants were non-randomly assigned into two experimental groups: collaborative languaging (CL) group consisting of 24 learners and private languaging (PL) group including 38 learners. The number of learners in both groups was not equal since learners had optionally chosen their classes based on their preferred day and time. Nevertheless, some students could not be excluded from the class due to the limitations of the present study. Table 1 shows the detailed information about the participants.

Table 1.

Demographic Background of the Participants

No. of Students

62 (18-36 years old)


43 Females & 19 Males

Native Language




Academic Years



3.3. Instruments

A number of instruments were utilized to carry out the present research. The instruments employed were Oxford Placement Test (OPT), the Preliminary English Test (PET) as the pre-test test and post-test, and selected listening activities for practicing listening strategies. The KR-21 reliability indices were computed for OPT, pretest and posttests of listening. The reliability indices for the OPT, pretest and posttests of listening were 0.57, 0.63, and 0.62 respectively. Consequently, the results reflected the achievement of an acceptable index of reliability.

3.3.1. Oxford Placement Test (OPT) 

Oxford Placement Test was used in this study to ascertain the homogeneity of the participants of the study. This test consists of 60 items in two parts: part one with the first 40 multiple-choice items and part two with 20 multiple-choice items. 

3.3.2. The Preliminary English Test (PET) 

PET is used as the pre-test of the study to assess the listening performance of the participants before applying the treatment. The listening section of the Preliminary English Test (PET), which is designed by Cambridge TESOL was used. It consists of Four parts comprising 25 questions. Part 1 has short recordings and three pictures for each question. Part 2 has a longer recording either in a monologue or interview format. Part 3 has a longer monologue which may be a recorded message with information about places and events. Part 4 has an everyday conversation between people who are discussing topics.  Students had to listen to each part twice and answered the questions in 35 minutes. After the implementation of the treatment, a post-test which was another version of PET was given to determine the significant effect of treatment on the listening performance of the participants.

3.3.3.      Listening Activities 

For this phase of the study, 10 listening audios suited to the proficiency level of the participants were adopted from various ESL books available in the market such as Tactics for listening, Real listening and speaking, Interaction II covered in 10 sessions during the course in each group. The audios ranged from conversations between two or three people to long monologues. The audios used in both groups were the same and related to general topics such as sports, food, diet, health, environment, etc.

3.4.       Data Collection Procedure

The present study aimed to investigate the significant effect of using different modes of languaging on the listening performance of Iranian students at the intermediate level in Tehran, Iran. This study comprised the main phases of, pretesting, treatment, and post-testing.

Initially, OPT was administered to make sure that the participants of the study were homogeneous with respect to language proficiency. After establishing the homogeneity, the participants were divided into two groups collaborative namely languaging and private languaging. In the treatment phase of the study, each group received ten sessions of instruction that took about three months. The class was held once a week for each group and each session took around three hours. The main part of the training was concentrated on the listening strategies. To do so, the teacher worked on listening sections of the coursebook and applied the intended strategies through the listening part. The strategies were explained in order to solve learners’ listening difficulties. To this end, listening strategies were taught in ten sessions as elaborated in Table 2.

At the end of each session, the teacher reviewed the related concepts and strategies and explained fully their assignment. As for the assignment, students were asked to practice the target strategy of each instructional session by languaging in their first language (Persian) as well as recording their oral explanations when they were doing a listening task. They were also expected to explain the role of instructed strategy in helping them to overcome the listening difficulties.  All the recorded audios were collected by the researchers for further analysis in data collection. The difference between the two experimental groups lay in the form of practicing listening strategies and carrying out the intended assignment through collaborative (CL) and private languaging (PL). In the CL group, they performed the tasks collaboratively through selecting peers. Participants were free to choose peers with whom they felt more comfortable and those who were more accessible. However, this task was carried out for the other group individually and they didn’t have any concerns in regard to finding their classmates to run the languaging activity. 

 It should be mentioned that the focus of the class and activity in each session were identical in both instructional groups. Furthermore, the sequence of the listening strategies initiated from understanding the whole picture and later to some strategies for summarizing the long speech. Below, comprehensive detail of the strategies practiced in two groups is explained;

In session 1, metacognitive strategies such as planning and prediction were practiced. The participant learners were encouraged to focus on the listening tasks to grasp the main ideas while attending to the topic and the pictures (if any provided) to anticipate what they would listen to.

Through sessions 2 to 6, different types of inferencing (as a cognitive strategy) were practiced. The types of inferencing activities are (a) Bridging, connect the new information to the background knowledge; (b) Initiating links, allow learners to infer that A is the reason for B Enabling links, allow learners to infer that A makes Y possible; (c) Schematic links, help learners infer that A contains an information framework that is needed to interpret B ; (d) Classification links, allow learners to infer that ‘B expresses something that can be classified in terms of A ;(e) Practical (sequential) links, enable learners to infer that ‘B expresses something that follows A ; (f) Logical links, enable learners to infer that ‘A and B together express a ‘syllogism’ in logic; (g) Reference links, allow learners to make anaphoric links between items across utterances; (h) Elaborative inferences, expands what is in the text with world knowledge. Such inferences are constantly culturally interconnected and constructed based on both individual experiences and values. It should be mentioned that all the tasks were selected as consistent with Rost’s (2002) classifications of inferencing in listening.

In the classroom, throughout sessions 2 to 6, students were assigned to listen and attend to keywords (important words) while inferencing the stressed words. They were asked to inference speakers’ feelings via attending the falling and rising intonation and understand their intentions as they modify the intonation in statements and questions. They were also enquired to focus on connected speech while discovering the linguistic words and conjunctions. Finally, they were instructed to inference the meaning of some words from the context.

Through the last two treatment sessions (9 &10), some demanding strategies such as note-taking and summarizing were practiced-summarizing a lecture and making an outline was the top agenda of the classroom.

In this study, using languaging for practicing the target strategies in order to internalize the concepts and resolving listening difficulties were the main goals.  During each instructional session, the teacher followed these steps: 

1. Teaching the intended topic of teaching (listening strategy) 

2. Drawing the learners’ attention to the facilitative role of listening strategy use in listening tasks

3. Encouraging the students to focus on the target points during the listening section 

4. Giving feedback and comments on the problems and misunderstanding of student’s oral explanation and practice 

5. Reviewing the material and make students ready for the following languaging activity 

Having finished the treatment, a listening post-test based on another version of PET, which was parallel to the pretest, was administered to all the participants and the scores were used to compare the groups’ performance before and after the treatment phase. 


3.5.  Data Analysis Procedure

This study was undertaken in order to explore the effect of private and collaborative modes of languaging on the listening performance of EFL learners. The parametric and non-parametric statistical analyses of paired-samples t-test, Wilcoxon-Signed Rank test, and Mann-Whitney U test were run to analyze the data collected through this study.

Before conducting the main statistical analysis, the normality of the groups distributions was checked. The ratios of skewness and kurtosis over their standard errors were higher than  +/- 1.96 for the Oxford Placement Test (OPT) and posttest of listening of the private form of languaging group. That was why these variables were analyzed through non-parametric tests.

A non-parametric Mann-Whitney U test was run to compare groups’ means on OPT in order to prove that they were homogenous in terms of their general language proficiency prior to the administration of the treatments. The Mann-Whitney U test was run because the distribution of scores violated the assumption of normality on OPT. Based on these results it can be concluded that the CL group (Mdn = 34) and PL group (Mdn = 37) had close median scores on OPT                   (Z = -1.37, p = .168, Glass Rank Biserial Correlation Coefficien1 = .208 representing a weak effect size) indicated that there was not any significant difference between the collaborative and private groups’ median scores on OPT. Thus, it can be concluded that the two groups were homogenous in terms of their general language proficiency prior to the administration of the treatment.


4.  Results

4.1.Research Question 1

The goal of the first research question was to see whether the collaborative form of languaging had any significant effect on the listening performance of EFL learners. A paired-sample t-test was run to compare the collaborative group’s means on the pretest and posttest. Based on the results shown in Table 2, it can be concluded that there was a difference between collaborative group’s mean on the post-test (Mean: 19.17) and pre-test (Mean:14.33).

Table 2.

Pretest and Posttest of Listening Comprehension (Collaborative Form of languaging Group)




Std. Deviation

Std. Error Mean














Table 3 reveals that the collaborative group had a significantly higher mean on the post-test compared to the pretest. Thus, the first null-hypothesis as “practicing a collaborative form of languaging does not have any significant effect on the listening performance of EFL learners was rejected.

Table 3.

Pretest and Posttest of Listening (Collaborative languaging Group)

Paired Differences



Sig. (2-tailed)


Std. Deviation

Std. Error Mean

95% Confidence Interval of the Difference












4.2. Research Question 2

The goal of the second research question was to explore whether the private form of languaging has any significant effect on listening performance of EFL learners. Since assumption of normality was not retained on the private group’s performance on post-test, a non-parametric Wilcoxon-Signed Rank test was run to compare the private group means on the pre-test and post-test. Based on the results displayed in table 4 it can be seen that the private group had a higher median score on the posttest of listening (Mdn = 20) compared to the pretest (Mdn = 12.5).


Table 4

Pretest and Posttest of Listening Comprehension (Private Form of languaging Group)



Mean Rank

Sum of Ranks

Pretest (Median = 12.50)

Posttest (Median = 20.00)

Negative Ranks




Positive Ranks












b. Pretest < Posttest/ c. Pretest > Posttest/ d. Pretest = Posttest


The results of the Wilcoxon-Signed Rank test indicated that the private group had a significantly higher median on the posttest of listening comprehension than the pretest. Thus, the second null-hypothesis as “practicing a private form of languaging does not have any significant effect on listening performance of EFL learners” was rejected.


Table 5.

Pretest and Posttest of Listening Comprehension (Private Form of languaging Group



Pretest – Posttest



Asymp. Sig. (2-tailed)



4.3. Research Question 3

The aim of the third research question was to investigate whether there is any significant difference between the effect of collaborative mode and private mode on the listening performance of EFL learners. An independent-sample t-test was run to compare the two groups’ gain scores on the listening comprehension test. The gain score was computed as the difference between the posttest and pretest for each participant. The distribution of the score on the gain score did not show a severe departure from a normal one. The absolute values of ratios of skewness and kurtosis over their standard errors were lower than 1.96. Table 6 displays that the PL group (M = 7.84, D = 4.02) had higher gain score than CL group (M = 4.83, SD = 4.08).

Table 6.

Gained Score by Groups





Std. Deviation

Std. Error Mean

Gain Score












The results of the independent t-test (Table 7) demonstrated that the PL group significantly outperformed the CL group on the gain score. Thus, the third null-hypothesis as “there is not any significant difference between the effect of collaborative mode and private mode of languaging on the listening comprehension of EFL learners” was rejected.


Table 7.

Gained Score by Groups


Levene's Test for Equality of Variances

t-test for Equality of Means





Sig. (2-tailed)

Mean Difference

Std. Error Difference

95% Confidence Interval of the Difference




Equal variances assumed










Equal variances not assumed











5.  Discussion 

The purpose of the study was to explore the effect of different modes of languaging on the listening comprehension of Iranian EFL learners. The data analysis results confirmed the significant impact of languaging in L1 (in both collaborative and private forms) on the listening performance of EFL learners. Considering the significant role of the first language in the languaging process, the findings of the present study were in line with others which explored such impacts in the language classroom. Cummins reached to the point that “when students’ L1 is invoked as a cognitive and linguistic resource through bilingual instructional strategies, it can function as a steppingstone to scaffold more accomplished performance in the L2” (2007, p. 238). In addition, Navidinian et al. (2020) explored the effectiveness of using L1 in teaching grammar to EFL learners and the findings confirmed the positive effect of using the first language (translation) in teaching grammar.

With respect to the positive effect of different modes of languaging, the findings of this study consistent with the results of the study conducted by Lavasani and Birjandi (2015). In their study, they found the importance of languaging in internalizing listening concepts and consequently learners’ listening performance improvements. Besides, the result of this study corresponds to Ghaedi and Shahrokhi’s study (2016) in which applying languaging promoted EFL learners’ L2 vocabulary knowledge. It seems that languaging can be influential on other sub-skills such as vocabulary. In this study, languaging role as a mediating factor was significant to internalize the instructed strategies and consequently learners’ listening performance.

Moreover, the private languaging group outperformed the collaborative form one in listening performance. In fact, the outcome indicated a significant difference between the scores of the two groups. In fact, the group which practiced the private mode of languaging significantly outperformed the collaborative group. Some scholarly studies attempted to compare the effect of collaborative and private modes of languaging and their results were completely contradicted with this study. As an example, Borer (2007) investigated the effect of languaging in the mode of collaborative and private speech on learning L2 vocabulary. She inspected eight English for academic purposes (EAP) students who were learning five unknown words when working alone and five different unknown words when working in pairs. Borer found that individual and pair conditions of languaging were equally effective. It seems that Borer conducted the study on the same subjects and only compared their performance on two modes of languaging practice.

Other research studies examining the effectiveness of collaborative dialogue as compared to private speech in learning vocabulary (Kim, 2008) and L2 grammar in writing (Storch & Wigglesworth, 2007). The findings concluded that the collaborative mode was more successful than private speech, while in this study private form of practice outperformed the collaborative one. The result of this study is in line with the study conducted by Watanabe (2014). He investigated the impact of languaging in two modes of private and collaborative for individual and pair writing in an academic writing course in a Japanese university.  The result indicated that pairs produce more language-related, text-related and scaffolding episodes while they interacted, whereas independent writing promoted more fluent written texts rather than accurate in comparison to the paired groups. As it was confirmed by Watanabe’s results and this study, both collaborative and private languaging modes have a positive impact on language development, whereas they might play different roles. As an example, in writing (Watabnabe, 2014) private writing led to a more fluent piece of writing.        

It should be mentioned that in this study only the total listening performance of the learners in the pre-test and post-test was considered. In other words, the effective impact of languaging on each strategy (cognitive and metacognitive) is not clear. The totality of a learners’ performance on listening remains unclear when considering which form of languaging was more effective on the type of strategy (cognitive or metacognitive). From a theoretical perspective, the findings are consistent with the claim that “languaging” or dialogue (with peer and self) is a source for L2 learning (Swain, 2006).



With regard to the effect of different modes of languaging on teaching listening skills, it can be concluded that both modes of practice (private and collaborative) led to the improvement of listening proficiency. Moreover, in comparison, the private mode of languaging has distinctively indicated a more effective impact on the learners’ performance.

The findings of the present study can entail pedagogical implications for English language teachers that is the teachers can ask students to practice various modes for languaging (written &oral) in form of practical listening classroom tasks. They can additionally help learners discover their deficiencies in listening skills and strategy use.  The second group who can benefit from the findings are the syllabus designers. They can consider instructional contents and materials which include both private and collaborative modes of languaging to boost learners’ motivation in listening tasks and looking at this skill as a process, not a product. The third group is the learners; they may also become inclined to be more willing to participate in classroom activities. Languaging in different modes help learners to monitor and evaluate their understanding as well as expanding their motivation in the listening tasks.

Finally, the participants of this study were all in the intermediate level of proficiency. A similar study can be carried out at lower or higher levels to check if different levels of proficiency may have more tendency for languaging. In other words, whether advanced learners tend to talk more and solve their problems easier than lower language proficiency learners.  Furthermore, the present research was carried out among the age ranges of 18 to 36, thus a similar study can be run among other age ranges to see whether age plays an important factor in the type and amount of language useed when learners face a challenge or difficulty. The last point can be associated with languaging and gender. Other studies can be conducted whether male or female prefer to talk more in the case of difficulty and which group is more successful.


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