Exploring EFL learners’ beliefs about listening comprehension difficulties: A qualitative approach

Document Type : Original Article


Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University



This study presents an investigation into Iranian EFL learners’ beliefs about listening comprehension difficulties they experience while listening to English aural texts in a non-collaborative setting like that of a classroom lecture. The data were elicited from learners’ self report through the procedures of semi-structured interviews (N=86). The collected data were qualitatively content analyzed. The learners’ beliefs about their listening comprehension problems were categorized under the four major characteristics of input, listener, task, and learning context. Multiple factors within these categories were identified by learners to influence their listening comprehension. Many of the factors identified were related to input and listener characteristic. To find out whether learners’ beliefs about listening comprehension difficulties were related to levels of language proficiency, learners were divided into two language proficiency groups of pre-intermediate and intermediate. The two groups were found to share similar beliefs regarding the listening problems they had and their underlying contributing factors. The findings of the study indicate that learners are aware of range of factors influencing their listening comprehension even though they are not equipped with the necessary strategies to tackle their listening problems. Possible implications for EFL listening instruction are discussed.