Multilinguals’ and monolinguals’ use of awareness-raising activities: A study on reflective/impulsive learners (2023)


  • Amir RezaeiYork University, Toronto
  • Fatimah HashimUniversity of Malaya



awareness raising, listening micro-skills, metalinguistic awareness, multilinguals’ awareness, reflectivity/impulsivity


Research findings have confirmed that multilingual acquisition differs essentially from second language acquisition, and that multilingual learners have advantages over monolingual learners when learning a new language. These advantages are attributed to metalinguistic awareness, highly developed learning strategies and communicative sensitivity. This paper reports on research examining the extent to which multilingual and monolingual participants benefit from awareness-raising activities on listening skills, based on 252 female participants. Additionally, participants with two different learning styles – reflective/impulsive – are compared. For data analysis, a three-way ANOVA analysis with post hoc test was conducted. Results showed that being multilingual has significant effects on the use of awareness-raising activities. Similarly, it was revealed that being reflective/impulsive has a significant effect on multilingual speakers’ listening enhancement. Results also indicated that the interaction between being multilingual/monolingual and being reflective/impulsive is statistically significant. The results obtained give some insights on the effect of individual factors, especially cognitive styles, on the language development of multilinguals, and shed some light on models developed for multilingualism, especially the Dynamic Multilingual Model. The theoretical and practical implications of the study are discussed in detail.

Author Biographies

Amir Rezaei, York University, Toronto

Amir Rezaei, PhD, is currently doing research on assessment literacy and teachers’ beliefs and practices in ESL classes at York University in Canada. His main research interests are language awareness, multilingualism, TBLT, individual differences, language testing and listening skills. He has published his work in the Australian Journal of Teacher Education, ELT, Educational and Child Psychology Journal, Australian Journal of Linguistics and many other journals.

Fatimah Hashim, University of Malaya

Fatimah Hashim, PhD, has been teaching at the University of Malaya for more than ten years as a faculty member. Her research interests are second-language reading and literacy development, qualitative research methodology and curriculum design and development. She has published in a range of language and education journals and is the author of several academic books. She has published her work in journals such as System, ELT and Foreign Language Teaching Journal.


Aitken, K. G. (1978) Measuring Listening Comprehension in English as a Second Language. TEAL Occasional Papers 2. Vancouver: British Columbia Association of Teachers of English as an Additional Language.

Barac, R. and Bialystok, E. (2012) Bilingual effects on cognitive and linguistic development: The role of language, cultural background, and education. Child Development 83 (2): 413–422.

Bialystok, E., Luk, G. and Kwan, E. (2005) Bilingualism, biliteracy, and learning to read: Interactions among languages and writing systems. Scientific Studies of Reading 9 (1): 43–61.

Brown, D. H. (2000) Principles of Language Learning and Teaching. New York: Pearson Education.

Buck, G. and Tatsuoka, K. (1998) Application of the rule-space procedure to language testing: Examining attributes of a free response listening test. Language Testing 15 (2): 119–157.

Cenoz, J. (2003) The additive effect of bilingualism on third language acquisition: A review. International Journal of Bilingualism 7 (1): 71–88.

Cenoz, J. and Genesee, F. (1998) Beyond Bilingualism: Multilingualism and Multilingual Education. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Cenoz, J. and Gorter, D. (2011) Focus on multilingualism: A study of trilingual writing. Modern Language Journal 95 (3): 356–369.

Cenoz, J., Hufeisen, B. and Jessner, U. (2001) Cross-linguistic Influence in Third Language Acquisition: Psycholinguistic Perspectives. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Cenoz, J. and Valencia, J. (1994) Additive trilingualism: Evidence from the Basque Country. Applied Psycholinguistics 15 (1): 157–209.

Cook, V. (1992) Evidence for multi-competence. Language Learning 42 (4): 557–591.

Cook, V. (1995) Multi-competence and the learning of many languages. Language, Culture and Curriculum 8 (2): 93–98.

De Bot, K. (2008) Second language development as a dynamic process. Modern Language Journal 92 (2): 166–178.

De Bot, K., Lowie, W. and Verspoor, M. (2007) A dynamic systems theory approach to second language acquisition. Bilingualism, Language and Cognition 10 (1): 7–21.

Dewaele, J. M. (2005) Investigating the psychological and emotional dimensions in instructed language learning: Obstacles and possibilities. Modern Language Journal 89 (3): 367–380.

Ecke, P. (2003) Review of P. Herdina and U. Jessner, A Dynamic Model of Multilingualism. Applied Linguistics 24 (1): 125–129.

Edwards, M. and Dewaele, J. M. (2007) Trilingual conversations: A window into multicompetence. International Journal of Bilingualism 11 (2): 221–242.

Eysenck, S. B. G., Pearson, P. R., Easting, G. and Allsopp, J. F. (1985) Age norms for impulsiveness, venturesomeness, and empathy in adults. Personality and Individual Differences 6 (5): 613–619.

Field, J. (1998) Skills and strategies: Toward a new methodology for listening. ELT Journal 52 (2): 110–118.

Field, J. (2008) Listening in a Language Classroom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Field, J. (2010) Listening in the language classroom. ELT Journal 64 (3): 331–333.

Franceschini, R. (2011) Multilingualism and multicompetence: A conceptual view. The Modern Language Journal 95 (3): 344–355.

Freday, M. E. (2011) Strategic Listening: Examining the Efficacy of a Pedagogical Cycle Intended to Teach the Listening Process, Increase Metacognitive Awareness and Improve Comprehension. Unpublished Masters Dissertation, Ohio University.

Goh, C. (2000) A cognitive perspective on language learners’ listening comprehension problems. System 28 (1): 55–75.

Goh, C. (2008) Metacognitive instruction for second language listening development: Theory, practice and research implications. RELC Journal 39 (2): 188–213.

Grosjean, F. (1992) Another view of bilingualism. In R. Harris (ed.) Cognitive Processing in Bilinguals, 51–62. Amsterdam: North-Holland.

Grosjean, F. (2000) The bilingual’s language modes. In J. L. Nichol (ed.) Language Processing in the Bilingual, 9–30. Oxford: Blackwell.

Herdina, P. and Jessner, U. (2002) A Dynamic Model of Multilingualism: Perspectives of Change in Psycholinguistics. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Hoffmann, C. (2001) Towards a description of trilingual competence. International Journal of Bilingualism 5 (1): 1–17.

James, C. and Garrett, P. (1991) The scope of language awareness. In C. James and P. Garrett (eds) Language Awareness in the Classroom, 3–20. London: Longman.

Jamieson, J. (1992) Cognitive style of reflection/impulsivity and field independence/dependence and ESL success. Modern Language Journal 76 (4): 791–501.

Jessner, U. (1999) Metalinguistic awareness in multilinguals: Cognitive aspects of third language learning. Language Awareness 8 (3): 201–209.

Jessner, U. (2006) Linguistic Awareness in Multilinguals: English as a Third Language. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Jessner, U. (2008) A DST model of multilingualism and the role of metalinguistic awareness. Modern Language Journal 92 (2): 270–283.

Kagan, J. (1965) Reflection/impulsivity and reading ability in primary grade children. Child Development 36 (3): 609–628.

Larsen-Freeman, D. and Cameron, L. (2008) Complex Systems and Applied Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Lasagabaster, D. (1997) Creatividad y Conciencia Metalingüística: Incidencia en el Apprendizaje del Inglés Como L3. Unpublished PhD Dissertation, University of the Basque Country, Vitoria-Gasteiz.

Mendelsohn, D. J. (1994) Learning to Listen: A Strategy-Based Approach for the Second Language Learner. San Diego, CA: Dominie Press.

Modirkhamene, S. (2006) Reading achievement of third language vs. second language learners of English in relation to interdependence hypothesis. International Journal of Multilingualism 3 (4): 280–295.

Moran, D. (2005) Teaching listening to lower level learners. Paper presented at the 18th Annual EA Education Conference. Available online:

Nunan, D. (1999) Second Language Teaching and Learning. Boston, MA: Heinle & Heinle.

O’Malley, J. and Chamot, A. (1990) Learning Strategies in Language Acquisition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Oxford, R. L. (1990) Language Learning Strategies: What Every Teacher Should Know. Boston, MA: Heinle & Heinle.

Peterson, P. W. (2001) Skills and strategies for proficient listening. In M. Celce-Murcia (ed.) Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language, 87–101. Boston, MA: Heinle & Heinle.

Pirouznia, M. (1994) The Impact of Impulsivity/Reflectivity on EFL Reading Comprehension. Unpublished Masters Dissertation, University of Tehran.

Richards, J. (1983) Listening comprehension: Approach, design and procedure. TESOL Quarterly 17 (2): 219–240.

Robinson, P. (1995) Attention, memory and noticing hypothesis. Language Learning 45 (2): 283–331.

Rost, M. (1994) Introducing Listening. London: Penguin.

Salimi, A. (2001) The Relationship between Impulsivity/Reflectivity Cognitive Style and Performance on Tarbiat Modarres University English Exam. Unpublished Masters Dissertation. Tarbiat Modarres University, Tehran.

Sedarat, P. (1996) Impulsivity/Reflectivity and EFL Listening Comprehension. Unpublished Masters Dissertation. University of Tehran.

Vandergrift, L. (2003) Orchestrating strategy use: Toward a model of the skilled second language listener. Language Learning 53 (3): 463–496.

Vandergrift, L. and Tafaghodtari, M. (2010) Teaching L2 learners how to listen does make a difference: An empirical study. Language Learning 60 (2): 470–497.

Weir, C. (1993) Understanding and Developing Language Tests. Hemel Hempstead, UK: Prentice Hall.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Tyson Zemlak

Last Updated: 02/17/2023

Views: 5608

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (43 voted)

Reviews: 82% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Tyson Zemlak

Birthday: 1992-03-17

Address: Apt. 662 96191 Quigley Dam, Kubview, MA 42013

Phone: +441678032891

Job: Community-Services Orchestrator

Hobby: Coffee roasting, Calligraphy, Metalworking, Fashion, Vehicle restoration, Shopping, Photography

Introduction: My name is Tyson Zemlak, I am a excited, light, sparkling, super, open, fair, magnificent person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.