Measuring EFL Learners' Ability to Recover and Reconstruct Missing Information in Spoken English Discourse

Khalid Sabie Khamees


This study was set up to experimentally investigate the extent of EFL learners' ability to locate, decode, recover and reconstruct unstated information presented in discursive conversation. Specifically, the study examines the learners' ability to recover ellipted words, substituted forms and fully deleted sentences. It also sheds light on the techniques used and the obstacles they encounter in this respect. Thirty- five Iraqi sophomores majoring in English took three listening tests consisting of 27 items. The participants were asked to put the heard dialogues or single utterances with omitted information into their original complete and coherent forms. The overall result indicated that EFL learners were poor at identifying and recovering missing information. Data analysis showed that although the participants were able, to some extent, to identify and recover ellipted elements, their performance in recovering substituted element and unstated sentences was quite limited. It was also found that the more cognitively complicated the task is, the harder it will be to recover missing information. 

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