Wednesday, May 25, 2016

What makes listening difficult

Technical Report
Research Area: 
Stress and Performance

The U.S. Government administers the Defense Language ProficiencyTest (DLPT) to military linguists and other government personnel to assess their listening and reading comprehension in a number of foreign languages, includ-ing critical languages such as Manda-rin, Modern Standard Arabic, Egyptian Arabic, and Persian Farsi.

The DLPT is updated every 10 to 15 years, and the most recent transition—from DLPT IV to DLPT5—included a greater empha-sis on testing listening comprehension with authentic materials. In turn, this has led to a growing interest in the factors that make second language (L2) listening difficult.

To examine these factors, CASL reviewed the current scientific li-erature and summarized the charac-teristics of listeners, passages, and testing conditions and their impact on L2 listening comprehension. The review targeted features of particular interest to stakeholders at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC). The long-term goal of the project is to support the creation of test passages as well as the selection of authentic listening passages that re-flect diferent proficiency levels