2016 Volume 18 Issue 1 Pages 39-52
The aim of the present study is to examine the effects of fortified top-down processing on the identification of words by the listeners of elementary and intermediate levels of proficiency. Listening is a combination of top-down and bottom-up strategies. In order to fortify the top-down strategies, grammatical and phrasal knowledge was provided in the form of 93 short sentences as treatment only to the two experimental groups, who listened in the pre-test and the post-test at two different listening speeds. The other two groups were control groups, without any treatment, who also listened in the two tests at the two different speeds. In order to thoroughly examine the perception of stress-timed English speech, in which stressed syllables are pronounced clearly and unstressed ones weak, identification of content words, which usually contain stressed syllables, and that of function words, which mainly consist of unstressed ones, were separately examined. The results show that the effects of treatment were found only for the experimental group at the slower listening speed. Furthermore, effects on the identification of function words were significantly limited. Following discussion, future implications will be referred to.