The Effects of Audio-Only and Audio-Video Materials on Listening Comprehension and Critical Thinking among Dental Students: A Focus Group Analysis

Document Type : Original Article


Department of English Language Teaching and Literature, Faculty of Humanities, University of Mazandaran, Babolsar, Iran


Background: Listening is a fundamental skill in learning a second language and improving speaking proficiency. Despite the growing tendency among EFL teachers to test listening comprehension using computer-based audiovisual materials, the reported effects have been contradictory. This study aimed to compare students’ comprehension levels in audio-only and audio-video listening tests and their correlation with critical thinking abilities. Methods: This was a quasi-experimental study. Participants included 53 second and third year students at the Dental School of Babol University of Medical Sciences in 2018-2019 academic year. They were selected using convenience sampling, and answered 20 multiple-choice test items after listening to three different passages. The test was repeated in audio-video format after a two-week interval. In addition, the participants were administered a California Critical Thinking Skills test following the listening test. Results: The t-test results indicated that the students’ level of comprehension was significantly higher in the audio-video listening test compared to the audio-only test (t=-9.030, df=52, P<0.05). A notable relationship was also observed between students’ performance in listening tests and their level of critical thinking. Given the results of the two tests, this relationship was found to be stronger in the audio-video test (r=0.353) than in the audio-only listening test (r=0.313). Conclusion: Audio-video materials in listening tests appear to be more conducive to student comprehension, especially among those with higher critical thinking abilities. The findings in this study necessitate further assessment of the factors contributing to the learning process.


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