Arab World English Journal
AWEJ Volume.3 Number 2. June 2012                                                                                            pp.31 – 47

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Academic Listening Tasks for ESL Students: Difficulties and Implications

Dr. Manal Qutub
English Language Institute
King Abdulaziz University Jeddah,
Saudi Arabia

The spread of English as a world language has been accompanied by ever-growing numbers of people studying at university level through the medium of English as a second language, whether in their own country or in English-speaking countries as overseas students. A major part of university study remains the lecture (Johns, 1981). Academic listening skills are thus an essential component of communicative competence in a university setting. And yet, although “academic listening” has its own distinctive features, there has been relatively little research in this specific area. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of ESL students’ difficulties with listening tasks, and suggests pedagogical implications to deal with those difficulties.

Keywords: academic listening tasks, lecturing styles, lecture structure, note-taking, difficulties and implications.


Manal Mohammad Tahir Qutub holds a PhD. in Curriculum and Methods of Teaching
English from Umm Al-Qura University, KSA. Currently she works at the English
Language Institute, King Abdulaziz University, KSA. Her research interests include
teaching English for academic purposes (EAP), L2 motivation, second language