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ISRN Education
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 810129, 10 pages
Research Article

Listening Skill Requires a Further Look into Second/Foreign Language Learning

Faculty of Education, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD 4059, Australia

Received 18 April 2012; Accepted 10 July 2012

Academic Editors: N. Dumais and R. D. Tennyson

Copyright © 2012 Hossein Bozorgian. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Current English-as-a-second and foreign-language (ESL/EFL) research has encouraged to treat each communicative macroskill separately due to space constraint, but the interrelationship among these skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) is not paid due attention. This study attempts to examine first the existing relationship among the four dominant skills, second the potential impact of reading background on the overall language proficiency, and finally the relationship between listening and overall language proficiency as listening is considered an overlooked/passive skill in the pedagogy of the second/foreign language classroom. However, the literature in language learning has revealed that listening skill has salient importance in both first and second language learning. The purpose of this study is to investigate the role of each of four skills in EFL learning and their existing interrelationships in an EFL setting. The outcome of 701 Iranian applicants undertaking International English Language Testing System (IELTS) in Tehran demonstrates that all communicative macroskills have varied correlations from moderate (reading and writing) to high (listening and reading). The findings also show that the applicants’ reading history assisted them in better performing at high stakes tests, and what is more, listening skill was strongly correlated with the overall language proficiency.