Effects of Listening Comprehension and Decoding Skills on Spelling Achievement

Thirty six EFL freshman students at the College of Languages and Translation, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia were given a dictation, a listening comprehension test and a decoding test. The purpose of the study was to find out whether EFL freshmen students' spelling ability correlates with their listening comprehension and decoding skills. Data analysis showed that the typical EFL freshman student misspelled 41.5% of the words on the dictation, gave 49.5% correct responses on the listening comprehension test, and 52% correct responses on the decoding test. The median and mean scores showed that the subjects’ spelling, listening and decoding achievement is low, which implied that the subjects were having spelling, listening comprehension and decoding difficulties. The students’ spelling errors and correct listening comprehension and decoding responses revealed strong correlations among spelling ability, listening comprehension and decoding skills. This means that good spelling ability in EFL is related to good listening comprehension and good decoding skills. The better the listening comprehension and decoding abilities, the fewer the spelling errors. When listening comprehension and decoding skills are poor, spelling ability is also poor. Recommendations for spelling, listening and decoding instruction are given (191 words).

Prof. Reima Al-jarf
King Saud University
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

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