First Advisor

Robert L. Casteel

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Speech: Emphasis in Speech Pathology/Audiology






Listening, Speech--Study and Teaching



Physical Description

1 online resource (96 p.)


The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of college speech classes upon developing improved listening skills. More specifically it sought to determine the extent to which the students who took Speech 100 or 111 have acquired listening skills.

There has been considerable theorizing concerning listening and auding [sic] with only a scattering of experimentation. According to existing data, listening would appear to be a complex human behavior that is only partially understood. There are, however definite listener functions, listening conditions and variables that affect listening. Aspects of attention are also important when considering the occurrence on unoccurrence [sic] of listening.

Initially, the Listening Attitude Test (LAT) was developed in order to measure conceptual changes in listening skills. The LAT was statistically analyzed to determine it validity. This test was then presented to three different student populations: 1) students who had just completed Speech 100 or 111; 2) students who were at least one academic year removed from Speech 100 or 111; and 3) students who never had Speech 100 or 111. All of the students from these three populations were selected from Speech 100, Speech 111 or English Composition classes at Portland State University. The performance of the three populations were statistically compared using the t test to determine the significance of differences between means.

The following is a summary of the findings. The LAT was correlated with the Brown-Carlsen Listening Comprehension Test Parts A, E and A and E combined. The results indicated that the LAT was testing what it purported to test, i.e., listening attitude. The t test was applied to the data from three different student populations that took the LAT. The results indicated that there was no statistically significant difference between students who have not had Speech 100 or 111 and those who have just completed Speech 100 or 111. There was a significant difference between students who have just completed Speech 100 or 111 and those who have completed Speech 100 or 111 but are at least one academic year removed from it. In addition, a significant difference was revealed between students who have not had Speech 100 or 111 and those who completed Speech 100 or 111 but are at least one academic year removed from it.

It is clear that the findings support those contending that exposure to speech improve listening skills. The claim made by Nichols and Lewis (1954) that instruction in listening skills would improve listening was not supported by the “just completed group” data and no single overriding hypothesis seems to account for this discrepancy. Nichols and Lewis (1954), however, were dealing with college speech courses which were heavily loaded with training techniques for improving listening ability, which was not the case in Speech 100 or 111 courses at Portland State University.


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