Study abroad experiences count: Motivational profile of EFL listeners and its impact on top-down and bottom-up processing

Jian Xu, Xuyan Qiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Effective listening strategy use is crucial for second language (L2) learners as it facilitates listening comprehension. Although strategy use can be boosted from various ways (e.g. explicit instruction), we are uncertain whether L2 listening motivation can affect learners' listening strategy use. The present study aims at examining the relationship between L2 listening motivation and L2 listening strategy use of learners with and without overseas study experience. We administered a L2 listening motivation questionnaire, measuring expectancy, importance and interest, and an English as a foreign language listening strategy inventory, focusing on top-down and bottom-up strategy use, with 465 Chinese undergraduate students. To supplement the quantitative results, a semi-structured interview was conducted with four participants to explore their L2 listening motivational profiles. The findings suggest that L2 listening motivation was positively correlated with bottom-up and top-down processing, except the relationship between importance and top-down processing. Learners with study abroad experience, who immersed themselves into real-time communication, were more aware of the importance of L2 listening thus employed more top-down strategies, whilst those without overseas experience, though acknowledged the cruciality of L2 listening, adopted fewer top-down strategies and were more examination driven. The findings shed light on L2 listening teaching and learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-172
Number of pages28
JournalApplied Linguistics Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023


  • L2 listening motivation
  • bottom-up processing
  • listening strategy use
  • study abroad experience
  • top-down processing


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