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Auteur: Faizah AL-HAMMADI

The Relationship Between Saudi EFL Learners Strategies of Organizing the ' Mental Lexicon and the Quality of Listening and Reading Comprehension

Abstract/Résumé: The present study attempts to explore the lexical organization strategies employed by Saudi female students learning English as a Foreign Language, and how the various organization strategies relate to the process and the product of listening and reading comprehension. The lexical level was particularly chosen for the study on the basis of the importance of vocabulary acquisition and utilization in the process of language performance in general, and in the processes of listening and reading comprehension in particular. Two proficiency levels were investigated - low-proficient (represented by first year students), and high-proficient (represented by fourth year students). This was intended to investigate the variance in organization strategies in relation to EFL proficiency level. Ninety (90) students were randomly selected from the class roster to participate in the experiment, 45 from the first year, and 45 from the fourth year. The study employs an experimental methodology in which the Learners' scores in the various lexical organization strategies are first characterized , then they are correlated with the learner’s speed and accuracy in TL listening and reading comprehension. In other words, three experimental tasks were designed for the purposes of the present study; a lexical decision task to probe the lexical organization strategies, a reading comprehension task, and a listening comprehension task. Four lexical organization strategies were investigated through word recognition latencies: interlingual semantic, interlingual phonetic, intralingualsemantic, and intralingual phonetic strategies. The speed and accuracy (depth) of listening and reading comprehension were investigated through objective validated tests, and the scores were correlated to the various lexical organization strategies. It was found that the sample’s reading and listening speed is much lower than that of the average native speaker of English. It was also found that interlingual organization strategies were more dominant in low-proficient learners than in high-proficient learners who mainly adopted intralingual organization strategies. Experimental results revealed that the various organization strategies are not mutually exclusive, and that intralingual strategies yield faster and better comprehension compared with interlingual strategies.