Background: Studies indicate that difficulties English second language (ESL) learners experience in the classroom may not only be attributed to listening comprehension of the language of learning and teaching (LoLT). Limited research is available on the auditory skills and listening comprehension in ESL learners younger than 12 years. Aim: To determine which areas of auditory skills and listening comprehension Grade 1 ESL learners experienced most difficulty with. Method: A static two-group comparison design was used. Data were collected at two similar independent urban schools from learners between the ages of 72-90 months. The research group were ESL learners (n=15) exposed to English for 12-18 months. The control group were English first language (EFL) learners (n=15). The Digits-in-noise (DIN), Children’s Auditory Processing Performance Scale (CHAPPS), and Listening Comprehension Test 2 (LCT-2) were used. Six Grade 1 teachers participated in the study. Results: Majority of the participants (n=25) passed the DIN, however, despite having normal hearing some EFL (n=1) and ESL (n=4) participants failed the test. In the overall scores for the CHAPPS and LCT-2, significant differences were found between the two groups (p= 0.024; p=0.001). Strong agreements were found between the ESL participants’ test results for the CHAPPS and LCT-2, indicating that they experience significant difficulties with higher linguistically dependent auditory skills and listening comprehension tasks. Conclusion: ESL participants achieved poorer scores as the listening tasks became more linguistically demanding. Specific layers of auditory skill and listening comprehension difficulties when listening in their LoLT were identified in the ESL learners. Targeted intervention and curriculum support with a speech-language therapist can be given.
Dissertation (MCommunication Pathology)--University of Pretoria, 2018.