Exploring the Relationship Between L2 Listening and Metacognition after Controlling for Vocabulary Knowledge

Keywords: second language listening comprehension, metacognition, vocabulary knowledge, individual differences, hierarchical regression


Metacognition is known to be important for L2 listening comprehension. However, it is unclear how much variance in listening performance it can explain after controlling for vocabulary knowledge. To examine this, data from the listening section of the TOEFL Junior test, the Metacognitive Awareness Listening Questionnaire (MALQ), and the Listening Vocabulary Levels Test were collected from 76 high school EFL learners in Japan. The MALQ measured five subscales of metacognition representing metacognitive skills and metacognitive knowledge. Representing skills, the MALQ measured perceptions of the ability to (1) plan and evaluate performance, (2) direct attention, and (3) overcome listening problems. Representing knowledge, it measured strategic knowledge of (4) avoiding mentally translating speech and person knowledge of (5) maintaining positive attitudes about listening. The descriptive results showed that participants used their metacognition moderately. Of the subscales, they directed attention the most, planned and evaluated performance least, and perceived their ability to avoid mental translation, solve problems, and maintain optimism equivalently. The results from the hierarchical regression analysis further showed that vocabulary knowledge and metacognition overall predicted listening performance. Of the MALQ subscales, only person knowledge predicted comprehension. These findings indicate that, contrary to earlier findings, metacognition was important for listening comprehension after accounting for vocabulary knowledge.


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How to Cite
Wallace, M. P. (2021). Exploring the Relationship Between L2 Listening and Metacognition after Controlling for Vocabulary Knowledge. Journal of Language and Education, 7(3), 187-200. https://doi.org/10.17323/jle.2021.12685