The relationship of teaching listening skills to improved reading comprehension in secondary students

While researchers agree that reading and listening are similar, research to determine whether instruction in listening skills would lead to improved reading comprehension is inconclusive. P. Cunningham asserted that a listening skill should be taught and then applied to a reading situation during the same session in order for a positive transfer of learning to take place. This research was conducted to test the hypothesis that there is no relationship between training in listening skills and significant improvement in reading comprehension at the .05 level of significance. The Reading Comprehension sub-test of the Stanford Diagnostic Reading Test, Form W, was administered to 205 students at one high school in Shafter, California. Fifty-eight (58} students reading between 3.9 and 4.9 grade level were selected to participate in the Experimental group or to provide a Control group. An Experimental group consisting of 29 students was exposed to ten training sessions in which a different listening/reading comprehension concept was introduced each week. The training sessions were in addition to the usual reading comprehension and vocabulary skills work that the 29 students in the Control group received. After ten weeks, the Experimental and Control groups were given the Reading Comprehension sub-test of the Stanford Diagnostic Reading Test, Form X, as a posttest. The tests were scored, and the data was analyzed. A t test difference of the means was used to test the hypothesis, and the hypothesis was accepted. However, reading comprehension growth significant at the .05 level did occur within groups.