Creative Education, 2010, 2, 107-114
doi:10.4236/ce.2010.12016 Published Online September 2010 (
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. CE
The Effect of Speech Rate on Listening
Comprehension of EFL learners
Abdolmajid Hayati
Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran.
Received August 2nd, 2010; revised August 21st, 2010; accepted August 27th, 2010.
The present research examined the effect of speech rate on listening comprehension of Iranian EFL learners. Initially, a
sample of 108 sophomore EFL learners majoring in English translation was selected based on systematic random sam-
pling from Abadan Islamic Azad University. Then, based on an ECCE proficiency test, 62 participants were chosen and
divided into two homogeneous groups of 31. One group had exposure to natural speech rate and the other to slow
speech rate of listening materials. After thirteen academic sessions, the results o the paired t-test regarding the pre-tests
and post-tests of the two group means showed that both differences (group one: –2.83 and group two: –1.22) were sig-
nificant at 0.05 levels (P < 0.05). These findings suggest that each speech rate, whether natural or slow, could improve
EFL learners listening comprehension; however, natural speech rate could demonstrate greater improvements than
slow speech rate in EFL learners listening comprehension.
Keywords: Listening Comprehension, Speech Rate, EFL
1. Preliminaries
Numerous scholars [1-5] have stated that one of the ma-
jor aspects of listening comprehension and speaking flu-
ency is speech rate which has also been the focus of re-
cent English as a Foreign / Second Language research.
Some researchers [6-9] contend that listening compre-
hension is affected by many factors like unfamiliar lexis,
speech rate, and background knowledge. Learners have
been observed to demonstrate a listening problem mainly
because of speech rate. Zhao (1997) [5] states that the
conflicting findings of the previous studies suggest that
the issue with speech rate is far from settled and needs
more productive investigation.
Basically, speech rate, as one of the main factors, has
caused one of the major difficulties in evaluating listening
comprehension. This controversy over what level of
speech rate best serves the learners has not yet been re-
solved. Some methodologists [10,11] believe that speech
rate should go up as the students make progress. Their
assumption is that listening comprehension and speech
rate are inter-related and as speech rate goes up listening
comprehension goes down. Others [1-3,12,13] contend
that students should be exposed to listening materials
with normal speech rate right from the start.
Slow rate of speech is generally believed to be usually
easier to comprehend than natural speech rate; this gives
the students enough time to process the stream of infor-
mation at a slower rate of delivery. But does it count for
listening comprehension in the long run? In other words,
because comprehension is increased in slow speech rate,
students should be exposed to slow rate. However; the
question that remains to be answered is how students will
perform in listening comprehension if exposed to moder-
ate speech rate. Note that there are many factors such as
length of passage, syntactic complexity, vocabulary,
discourse structure, noise level, accent, register, proposi-
tional density, amount of redundancy, socio-cultural
knowledge, pragmalinguistic knowledge, contextual
knowledge, world knowledge, background knowledge,
cognitive and affective factors that affect listening com-
prehension [4,14]. At the same time, speech rate varies
from speaker to speaker, age to age, dialect to dialect, con-
text to context, and occasion to occasion. Although speech
rate can cover only a small proportion among the
above-mentioned variables, it seems to play one of the ma-
jor controlling roles in listening comprehension that has
formed the main initiative for the development of this re-
The Effect of Speech Rate on Listening Comprehension of EFL learners
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. CE
1.1. Statement of the Problem
One of the major problems most Iranian EFL listeners
complain about is speech rate that seems to have exerted
an influential effect on their listening comprehension.
Speech rate as one of the main variables and factors in
listening comprehension has been the main subject of
research lately [5,14-16]. For Iranian EFL learners, ap-
proaching L2 listening based on spoken, non- reduced
input can be overwhelming. Not only must they cope
with linguistic input beyond their actual level of profi-
ciency, the time available is also often too short to pay
attention to input form [4]. Limitations in L2 learners’
working memory and time do not always permit them to
process natural listening input (normal speech rate). In
non-interactional listening where EFL listeners have no
control over the stream of speech rate they are exposed to,
it has been observed that listeners are encountered with
some listening comprehension problems mostly related
to speech rate [6,8,9]. But how students will be trained to
deal with speech rate in listening comprehension is still a
controversial issue that needs more investigation [5].
Most studies conducted on speech rate in foreign con-
texts deal with appropriate tendencies of speech rate or
Word per Minute (WPM) for certain levels, but rarely
has any one touched on the issue of how to practice im-
proving our listening comprehension by speech rate.
There is also a lack of research on this issue in our con-
text Iran. Therefore, the main objective that has promp-
ted the development of this research is the question of
how to overcome the problem of speech rate in listening
comprehension by being exposed to natural or slow
speech rate.
1.2. Research Questions
The main questions to be perused in this study are as
1) If sophomore EFL learners are exposed to natural
speech rate for a certain period of time, how well
will they perform in listening comprehension?
2) If sophomore EFL learners are exposed to slow
(VOA special English) speech rate for a certain pe-
riod of time, how well will they perform in listening
1.3. Research Hypotheses
H01: Listening to natural speech rate has no significant
effect on sophomore EFL students’ listening compre-
H02: Listening to slow speech rate has no significant
effect on sophomore EFL students’ listening compre-
2. Review of Literature
Zhao (1997) [5] found some valuable results about
speech rates. He pointed out that speech rate is some-
thing controlled individually rather than by groups. What
is new about his study is that past research looked at
speech holistically while Zhao viewed it individually. He
designed an experiment with four conditions in which
participants have control over speech rate in conditions
two and three while no control in conditions one and four.
Note that not every subject listens to the same passage in
conditions 2, 3, and 4. This was controlled by a computer
program. In condition one, the participants listen to 20
sentences while in the other three conditions they listen
to passages. Sentences in the first condition were pre-
sented at a speed of 180 wpm. Conditions 2 and 3 dif-
fered in the way that once participants in condition 2
choose their ideal speed rate they cannot change it during
listening but in condition 3, the participants had the
chance to choose their desired speed rate while listening.
In condition 4, the passage is delivered at the speed of
194 wpm and the participants have no control over the
speed of the speech. In each condition subjects are asked
to complete multiple-choice questions after listening.
The participants in Zhao’s study were 15 non-native
speakers of English from China, Colombia, Venezuela,
Turkey, Taiwan, and Korea. His results show that the
participants comprehended better when they had control
of speech rate. At the end, he concludes that by giving
the control of speech rate to the students and by attend-
ing to individuals instead of groups, a) when given con-
trol, students’ listening comprehension improved and b)
improved listening comprehension was achieved by
slowing down the speech rate.
Cauldwell (1996) [15] introduced some specific soft-
ware to remedy the problem of comprehending fast
speech rate. He states that the capability of his au-
dio-stack software - access, editing, and zooming – made
it possible to be more optimistic about the possibility of
teaching and learning “fast speech rules” in the class-
room or language laboratory. His software, as he points
out, can present fast speech in such a way that learners
can have direct encounters with the phenomena of nor-
mal speech and thus be in a better position to learn both
to perceive and comprehend fast speech in the classroom.
Griffiths (1990) [1] studied the effect of speech rate on
comprehension of a semi-scientific text that was read
aloud at three different speech rate levels and found that
moderately fast (200 wpm) speech rates reduced com-
prehension, but a slow rate of delivery did not increase
comprehension significantly as compared to speech de-
livered at a normal rate. In another descriptive study,
Griffiths (1991) [2] stated that language learners are
The Effect of Speech Rate on Listening Comprehension of EFL learners
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. CE
likely to meet a far greater speed of rates than the rates
investigated in the earlier study. In a similar study but
with different materials (stories rather than
semi-scientific texts), Griffiths (1992) [3] conducted an
experiment on 24 Omani elementary school teachers for
a five-week course. He provided three story passages
with three different speech rates: slow speech rates (127
wpm), average speech rates (188), and fast speech rates.
Based on the participants’ scores in listening compre-
hension, he concluded that a slower rate of delivery re-
sulted in better comprehension scores than fast and av-
erage rates (although average rates did not lead to better
results than fast rates).
Most researchers agree that speech rate has created a
problem in listening comprehension and may be a key
and controlling factor too. The above studies largely deal
with or are generalized around: whether fast speech rate
increases or decreases comprehension, if slow speech
increases or decreases comprehension, or what speech
rate is the ideal one [1-3,17], how to control speech rate,
giving control of speech rate to the learners or control-
ling speech rate by devices [5,15], the effect of native
speakers or nonnative speakers’ speech rate on listening
comprehension [18], or whether speeding up or slowing
down of the speech rate correlate with the ease or diffi-
culty level of listening items / tasks [14]. They mostly
deal with how learners performed on fast speech rate or
slow speech rate and conclusions are mostly contradic-
tory from one researcher to the other [4,5,14,17].
2.1. The Rationale for the Present Study
The present study has viewed speech rate from another
perspective to provide some novelty. While most re-
searchers test the effect of fast or slow speech rate on
listening comprehension, this research tries to give
speech rate another perspective and examines learners’
performance on two types of natural speech and slow
speech rate. In the above research slow speech was me-
chanically modified by inserting long pauses [17] or
prolonging the time to make it slow.
Blau (1999) [17] felt that reduced velocity and in-
serted pauses, although usually yielding slightly higher
comprehension scores, are not a significant aid. However
our sample of VOA special English (slow speech rate)
did not have these characteristics and slowness did not
remove so much of its naturality. There were not long
pauses or prolonged sentences but rather the slow speech
was presented just as natural as possible word by word.
This slow speech rate is not mechanically slowed down
by devices, but rather the newscaster reads the news in a
slow way word by word or chunk by chunk while the
phonetic features and intonation patterns of the speech
are preserved and are not broken down. None of the
above studies tested the learners’ performance on another
type of speech rate after exposure to one type of speech
(exposure). It means how learners would react to moder-
ate speech rate if they had only exposure to natural
speech rate. Or what is the learners’ reaction to moderate
speech rate after having exposure to slow speech rate
after almost three month.
Most of the above literature fails to have an obvious
definition of slow or fast speech rate and most research-
ers do not agree on one definition. One of the main
problems they encountered in their research was in
operationalizing the speech rate variable. In this context,
research has identified the difficulties involved in defin-
ing speech rate and especially in deciding what consti-
tutes a ‘fast’ as opposed to a ‘slow’ rate [4,5,14]. These
difficulties are further compounded by the fact that
speech rates may vary throughout a text. An average
wpm count will not reflect these differences and there-
fore cannot provide any information that will help the
researcher to understand the effect of speech rate at the
level of the individual item. The moderate version that is
used for pretest and posttest is neither slow nor a fast
speech rate. But rather a version of speech rate designed
for testing listening comprehension for pedagogical pur-
pose. Therefore, it is not a natural speech rate as defined
earlier. Because of the difficulty existing in defining fast,
moderate, or slow speech rate in the field of speech rate
and listening comprehension research, moderate speech
rate has been labeled by the researcher’s to be neither
slow as VOA nor natural speech rate, but something in
between them depicting his own perception.
3. Methodology
3.1. Participants
In the present research, the participants were chosen
from BA students of Islamic Azad University of Abadan.
They were studying English translation in their fourth
semester. The population was 108 male and female stu-
dents. The 62 homogeneous participants drawn from this
sample were randomly divided into two experimental
groups of 31. There were 27 females and 4 males in
group one who had exposure to natural speech rate; and
there were 26 females and 5 males in group two who had
exposure to slow speech rate. In group one, the average
age was 25.29 ranging from 19 to 46. There were 17 bi-
linguals with Arabic-Persian backgrounds, 1 Turkish-
Persian bilingual, 3 Kurdish-Persian bilingual, and the
rest were Persian monolinguals. In Group two, the aver-
age age was 24.61 ranging from 19 to 39. There were 12
The Effect of Speech Rate on Listening Comprehension of EFL learners
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. CE
bilinguals with Arabic-Persian backgrounds, 1 Kurdish-
Persian bilingual, and the rest were Persian monolinguals.
Note that learners’ bilingualism, age, and gender were
not considered as variables and are presented here only
to describe the participants.
3.2. Instrumentation
A proficiency Michigan Examination for the Certificate
of Competency in English (ECCE) [19], multiple-choice
test of 60 items was first administered to 10 fourth se-
mester EFL subjects from Islamic Azad University of
Abadan and after an interval of two weeks the same test
was administered to the same 10 subjects and the reli-
ability of the test and the retest was calculated as r = 0.83.
When the reliability was assured, this test was adminis-
tered to 108 EFL populations in order to select the ho-
mogeneous subjects. The other instrument was a 20-item
multiple-choice listening comprehension Examination
for the Certificate of Competency in English (ECCE) test
that served as pre-test and post-test for both experimental
groups. The reliability of the test before administration of
the pretest was calculated by the correlation between the
means of test and retest by two weeks interval between
the test and retest. The reliability coefficients was calcu-
lated based on correlation coefficient and it was met as r
= 0.87.
It is worth noting that group one was exposed to natu-
ral speech rate such as audio and video news, interviews,
political speeches, and lectures; and group two was ex-
posed to slow speech rate materials such as VOA special
English news, interviews, political speeches, and lectures.
Assignments given to both groups also included out of
class activities alongside class activities. Participants
were permitted to work in groups to check the video or
audio scripts.
3.3. Procedures
A 60-item language proficiency test of ECCE Michigan
[19] whose reliability coefficient was met, was prepared
and administered to 108 EFL subjects. Then, for the
purpose of selecting the homogeneous participants, those
who scored one standard deviation below and above the
mean were called for the next phase of the study. After
that, they were randomly divided into two experimental
groups of 31 participants. Their classes were held once a
week for 90 minutes for thirteen sessions.
Before any treatment, a different listening test of
ECCE was administered to measure the participants’
listening comprehension; in fact, this listening test of 20
multiple choice items designed for pre-intermediate to
intermediate EFL level functioned as both pre-test and
post-test for both groups. It is a listening test. In order to
make sure of the reliability of the pre-test, it was admin-
istered to 10 fourth semester EFL majoring BA transla-
tion students twice within two weeks intervals. The reli-
ability of the pre-test obtained by the coefficient correla-
tion between the test and retest was r = 0.87. After the
reliability of the pretest was assured, it was administered
to both experimental groups to measure their listening
comprehension knowledge.
Based on the video or audio materials, learners some-
times had to listen to a clip of 3-5 minutes listening text
to answer some listening comprehension questions.
Sometimes they had to transcribe the listening materials.
Other activities included video clips with covered subti-
tle at first and after working out the text, the uncovered
subtitle, followed by some listening comprehension
It is important to note that some in-class and out-
of-class listening activities were worked out in groups.
Sometimes assignments included transcription of an au-
dio or video clip of their own materials. However, in
order to avoid taboos in video clips, the socio-cultural
appropriateness of materials was checked with the sub-
jects before they were brought into the classroom.
4. Results
The performance of group one (natural speech rate) on
pretest and posttest produced a difference between their
scores. Table 1 below shows the participants’ perform-
ance on the 20 item multiple-choice listening compre-
hension pre- and posttest.
This was followed by paired t-test as depicted in
Table 2.
The significance value for the t test indicates that there
is a significant difference between the pretest and post-
test. The difference was also significant even at 0.001
level. Performance of the participants in group two, who
had exposure to VOA slow speech rate, on multiple-choice
listening comprehension test also revealed that there
existed a difference between the means of pretest and
posttest (see Table 3).
Once the raw scores were obtained, paired t-test was
calculated. Table 4 illustrates the comparison of these
two means.
Comparison of the pre-test and post-test means indi-
cated a significant improvement over learners’ listening
A comparison between means and t-observed of the
two groups showed that the mean difference between
The Effect of Speech Rate on Listening Comprehension of EFL learners
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. CE
Table 1. Descriptive statistics of group one’s pretest and posttest.
N Mean Std. Deviation
Group 1 pre-test 31 10.74194 3.306234
Group 1 post-test 31 13.58065 2.486955
Table 2. Group 1 paired t-test.
Paired differences
95% confidence interval of
the difference
mean Std. Deviation Std. error mean
Lower upper
t df
pair 1 pre-post test –2.838710 2.517893 0.452227 –3.762280 –1.915139 –6.277 30 0.000
Level of significance = 0.05 Sig = 0.000 t observed = 6.277 t critical = 2.000
Table 3. Descriptive statistics: pre-test and post-test results of group two.
N Mean Std. Deviation
Group2 pre-test 31 11.35484 2.763432
Group 2 post-test 31 12.58065 2.202638
Table 4. Group 2 paired t-tes.t.
Paired differences
95% confidence interval of the
mean Std.
Std. error
mean lower upper
t df
Pair 2 pre-post test –1.22581 3.007875 0.540230 –2.32910 –1.22509 –2.269 30 0.031
t observed = –2.269 level of significance = 0.031 at 0.05
Table 5. Paired t-test of G1 & G2 pre-and posttests.
Paired differences
95% confidence interval of
the difference
mean Std.
Deviation Std. error mean
lower upper
t df
Pair 1 pre-post test
Pair 2 pre-post test
pretest and posttest of group one was higher compared to
that of group two. Statistically, differences found in
group one are simply more significant than those of
group two (See Table 5).
As indicated in Table 5, there is enough significant
difference in t-observed and t-critical as well as level of
significance of group one to reject H01 not only at 0.05
level but also at 0.001 level. It is worth mentioning that
the level of significance for rejecting the null hypothesis
was set at the 0.05 level of significance for both hy-
potheses (H01 and H02).
5. Discussion
In the following, research questions are respectively dis-
cussed and answered.
1) If sophomore EFL learners are exposed to natural
speech rate for a certain period of time, how well
will they perform in listening comprehension?
Table 5 shows that participants’ performance on pre-
test is much different from their performance on posttest.
Results suggest that participants’ exposure to natural
speech rate had a significant effect on the improvement
of their listening comprehension. The results related to
the first hypothesis are in agreement with Rivers (1981)
[11], Chastain (1988) [10], and Brindley and Slayer’s
(2002) [14] ideas on natural speech. In the same line,
Rivers (1981) [11] believes that learners should be ex-
posed to natural speech and when speech is mechanically
slowed it is not desirable; and learners can understand
natural speech even in the early stages of language
2) If sophomore EFL learners are exposed to slow
The Effect of Speech Rate on Listening Comprehension of EFL learners
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. CE
(VOA special English) speech rate for a certain
period of time, how well will they perform in lis-
tening comprehension?
A comparison between the means of pretest (11.35)
and posttest (12.58) of group two showed a difference.
Group two performances on listening comprehension
posttest showed that although they had only exposure to
slow speech rate, their performance had an improvement
which was not comparable to that of group one. However,
the difference (0.031) was large enough at 0.05 level of
significance to reject the null hypothesis. It implies that
listening comprehension is affected by fast or slow
speech but exposure to slow speech rate is constructive
and formative as well. Although the degree of its forma-
tiveness and construction is not obviously so clear, it
demonstrated a degree of improvement.
There are a lot of intervening factors that might
change the results of research or the results one gains
might not be because of the treatment. Speech rate in
listening comprehension cannot be easily studied if other
factors are not taken into account. Speech rate whether
slow or fast is strongly affected by other factors such as
formality and informality of the speech, the situation
type, the relationship between speaker and listener, level
of technicality of that speech or its jargon, learners back-
ground and world knowledge and many other factors
[14]. However, this research could somehow imply that
participants’ exposure to natural speech rate made a bet-
ter improvement over those exposed to slow speech rate.
What is important to note is that this research can par-
tially imply that in designing any listening material,
fastness or slowness of speech rate do make a difference
but what makes the biggest difference is the naturalness
of both material and speech rate. Slow speech rate or fast
speech rate are only a short path practice for compre-
hending natural speech rate. Therefore, mechanical
slowing down and speeding up the speech rate is not a
long term objective in teaching and learning listening
Now compare slow speech rate with slow motion vid-
eo. Slow motion in video can give a clearer picture of
what eyes may skip or miss in natural motions. Although
slow audio may not be well compared with video motion,
it can be noticed that video slow motions are usually
used only for special purposes by detectives, scientists,
sports professionals, etc; on the other hand, slow audio
might be used for the same purpose but in EFL / ESL
listening comprehension in general and speech rate in
particular that may suggest a different sense. As slow
motion videos can give a better visual picture, slow au-
dio or slow speech rate can give not only a good phono-
logical fracture of speech rate but also a good practice to
listening comprehension.
Researchers have to guard against the idea that com-
prehending slow speech rate is not an end but rather a
short path practice to comprehend natural speech. The
reason might be that when speech rate is mechanically
slowed down some critical features of naturalness are
potentially removed from the speech. EFL / ESL listen-
ers do not usually go around asking their interlocutors to
slow down their speech, rather slowing down in speech
may happen rarely when the global features of commu-
nication are broken down. It means, in real life experi-
ence in L1 as well as L2, naturalness is more marked or
prominent than unnaturalness. It might also be true about
EFL / ESL speech rate in listening comprehension. Stu-
dents had better practice to deal with natural speech rate,
although they might have started with slow speech rate.
Sometimes learners’ capability and flexibility in EFL /
ESL listening comprehension research is underestimated.
As Chastain (1988) [10] has indicated, first language
learners can comprehend speech rate even over 400
words per minute and learners’ ears can be attuned or
accustomed to different speech rates. What is more, the
reason we raised the issue of cognition and metacogni-
tion in review of literature was that to support the idea
that speech rate in listening comprehension is a process
happening in the mind of learners and we have no con-
trol over that. That means, what is slow to one student
might be fast to the other. So these are the students who
decide on fastness and slowness of speech rate in listen-
ing comprehension and it is a phenomenon controlled
individually. Therefore, metacognition is more mani-
fested than cognition or we can observe and, to some
extent, have a control over students’ metacognitive
learning strategy than cognition [20]. The results of
Goh’s [7,8,21,22] and Vandergrift’s [23-25] research on
cognition and metacognition in EFL / ESL listening
comprehension when accompanied by Zhao’s (1997) [5]
research on speech rate as an individual factor are some-
how the manifestation of the relationship between speech
rate and cognition and metacognition in listening com-
Comprehending natural speech is the optimal objec-
tive in EFL / ESL listening comprehension; however,
problems or obstacles that make this input overwhelming
to learners might be related to the limitation of working
memory. Jensen and Vinther (2003) [4] state that an ut-
terance should linger in the listener’s working memory
long enough to be processed, not only for meaning, but
also, subsequently, for form. The time constraint on
working memory is an obstacle to this process of natural
speech rate. They state that natural speech does not give
learners enough time to pay attention to the form and
meaning of speech, and as a result, noticing hypothesis [4]
is not observed. According to the noticing hypothesis, it
The Effect of Speech Rate on Listening Comprehension of EFL learners
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. CE
is crucial for the development of learners’ interlanguage
(IL) to have plenty of opportunity to pay attention to the
formal features of the input they receive. Their solution
for this shortcoming was to use exact repetition and re-
duced speech rate. This solution may provide good
grounds to advocate slow speech rate in listening com-
prehension. Some researchers also used some similar
approaches to make up for this shortcoming [1-3,14,
17,18] and mostly used speech rate reduction. Others
[5,15] used devices to slow down speech rate and gave
the control of speech rate to the listeners. These alterna-
tives might partially have some potentialities for control-
ling fast speech rate but the controversy of fast (natural)
or slow speech rate is not settled down yet and needs
more comprehensive research.
6. Conclusions and Implications
The results of the two experiments presented in this
research focused on the effect of natural and slow speech
rate on Iranian EFL learners’ listening comprehension.
The assumption to use natural speech rate was motivated
by the fact that natural spoken language constitutes a
large input in listening comprehension, and on the other
hand, there are limitations for learners to comprehend
this natural input in EFL / ESL context; therefore, slow
speech rate (VOA) has been another compensation for
the learners’ limitations to be investigated. The results of
the two experiments conducted in the present study pro-
vided positive answers to our hypotheses and research
questions. That is, listening or exposure to natural speech
rate made a significant improvement in learners’ listen-
ing comprehension. This improvement was manifested in
their post test compared to their pretest. On the other
hand, learners’ exposure to slow (VOA) speech rate also
demonstrated an improvement. However, the signifi-
cance of the improvement in exposure to natural speech
rate was greater than exposure to slow speech rate. What
is clear in this research is that natural and slow speech
rates both have some features that can be beneficial to
the listeners. That is, it is difficult to include one to the
exclusion of the other. But the degree of benefit learners
gained in natural speech rate drove us to the point to in-
dicate for now that naturalness counts better for listening
comprehension, although slow speech rate suggested an
improvement in listeners’ comprehension. Although oth-
ers [1-3,17] might have come to different conclusions on
the issue of slow or fast speech rate in listening compre-
hension, the naturalness of speech counted better in this
In teaching and learning listening comprehension,
speech rate cannot be overlooked. But the decision to use
what materials is vital to the whole concept of teaching
and learning listening comprehension. Although the re-
sults of this research implied that natural speech rate
made improvement in listening comprehension, it does
not mean slow speech rate should be excluded. Teachers
and learners should take into account features of slow
and natural speech rate and know that both have some
advantages and disadvantages. But if comprehending
natural speech rate is the optimal objective, therefore, the
attention and focus should be given to natural speech rate
rather than to slow speech rate. Slow speech rate may be
used as a short path practice for comprehending natural
speech rate.
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