Memorial University, Canada
Due to the difficulty that Japanese learners may face in understanding the gist of authentic British and American TV broadcasts, their instructors often believe that transcripts from the listening content should be available beforehand. However, there is reason to believe that such assistance does not challenge learners sufficiently to exercise their listening ability for ultimately understanding the gist of a passage. On the other hand, offering no support at all during especially authentic listening tasks could drain learner confidence and motivation. With these assumptions in mind, an experiment was conducted to see if a wordlist given to students would be a more effective alternative that aids learner comprehension without reducing the need to utilize aural skills. The results indicate that this pre-listening activity is inadequate for learners who are required to actively show how well they understand the main idea from authentic listening input. The author suggests that they are often not capable of digesting and making good use of the vocabulary they are given without more extensive practice and constructive exposure.
Key Words: wordlist, listening, gist, authentic