. (Azmi et al., 2014). There are culture

. According to Goh (1999), 66% of learners stated that
speaker’s accent is a major difficulty. (Munro & Derwing, 1999)
listening comprehensioncan
lead to an important reduction in In
addition, accent is another difficulty that that many
difficulties face learners in the listening comprehension process;
consequently, listening remains the most neglected element of language. Some of
the difficulties could be summarized as the following: While listening,
learners’ hear a lot of unfamiliar vocabulary or polysemous words, causing
confusion and leading to unmotivated learners. Moreover, cultural differences
might be another major obstacle that faces learners. Learners should be
familiar with the cultural knowledge of language that has an important effect
on the learners’ understanding (Azmi et al., 2014). There are culture specific
ideas and folklore that language hold. In some contexts the listener might not
grasp what the speaker means. For instance, a story that has an owl as adviser
character would be something odd to Saudi learner. Owls represent wisdom and
helpfulness in Western cultures, while Arab culture see owl as a harbinger of
death. These cultural differences confuse the learner’s understanding of the
real meaning of the text.raised this issue concluding ) Goh,
1999
Munro & Derwing, 1999; (Azmi et al., 2014;
learners’ perceptions had been mostly ignored. That was due to the belief that
learners cannot know exactly what they need. However, students’ perceptions
play a significant role in acquiring different language skills. Limited numbers
of studies listening
comprehension skill,In many studies conducted on

          Learners’
perception towards listening comprehension skill

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Furthermore, listening might develop other
interpersonal and intrapersonal skills. Wilson (2008) stated some other
advantages such as information gathering, enjoyment, consensus, evaluation, and
criticism (Gilakjani & Sabouri, 2016).

According to Krashen, Terrell, Ehrman, and
Herzog (1984), learners acquire language when they have sufficient
comprehensible input. Rost (2001) and Kurita (2012) claimed that the more the
learner is using listening as a tool for learning a foreign language the more
successful he/she is in mastering the language. Doff (1995) and Ziane (2011)
stated that listening has an important effect on improving speaking. In other
words, speaking skill cannot be developed unless listening skill is developed. A
lot of exposure to spoken English improves learners’ pronunciation and develops
its pitch, intonation, stress and clusters (Bouchareb, 2010). Listening
involves understanding the speaker’s pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, and
meaning (Thomlison, 1984). Listening comprehension is also related to the other
skills, i.e. writing and reading (Hasan, 2000; Hamouda, 2013). Moreover, it is
the most important skill in language learning because it is widely used in
every daily situation (Rost, 2002).

                  

The effect of listening on the other
aspects of language

Listening and reading are considered receptive
skills (passive) whereas speaking and writing are productive skills (active).
Thus, most of the language educators’ and material designers’ attention is
focused on how to produce a language (the active skills), although receiving
the input (passive skill) is the first step towards the production of language.
Also, what they called passive skills are not exactly ‘passive’ because these
skills include mental processes such as comprehension, memory, analysis…etc.
Ulum (2015) had a study titled ‘Listening: The Ignored Skill in EFL Context’
mentioning how this skill had been ignored by educators. Listening is rarely
taught in schools because teachers have assumed that listening is automatic,
and it develops naturally and over time (Hyslop & Tone, 1988; Rost , 2002;
Ulum 2015). Moreover, learners and teachers in Arab countries are
exam-oriented, and as long as listening is not tested it is not given the
attention it deserves (Hamada, 1990). The underestimation and inattention,
unfortunately, is causing abandonment in listening comprehension and leading to
weakness in speaking among students of Arab countries especially Saudi students
(Hamouda, 2013).

 

II. Literature review

The aim of this
research paper was to present the Saudi EFL learners’ realization and
perception towards the importance of listening comprehension in acquiring language
and what are the problems that hinder their improvement, in their opinion.
Thus, two questions were posed: (1) Do learners realize the importance of listening comprehension in
order to learn the language, and does this realization affect their courses grades? (2) What are the
problems that hinder the improvement of listening skill? The
importance of this study was that the results can serve as a resource for
studies on listening comprehension instruction and give teachers a systematic
demonstration of developing a better pedagogical methodology for listening
comprehension teaching and developing the curriculum based on students’
requirements and expectations.

Human interaction and communication is the
core of language use. Communication involves two processes between
interlocutors: listening and speaking. According to Hedge (2000), when people
communicate, nine percent is dedicated to writing, 16 percent to reading, 30
percent to speaking, and 45 percent to listening which shows the importance of
listening in the communication process. Even in early stages, children listen
before speaking. In general, listening could be defined as the ability to
recognize and understand what others are saying. This involves understanding the
speaker’s pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, and meaning (Thomlison,1984).
Rost (2002) and Hamouda (2013) defined listening comprehension as “an
interactive process in which listeners are involved in constructing meaning”.
Listeners understand the “oral input through sound discrimination, previous
knowledge, grammatical structures, stress and intonation, and the other
linguistic or non-linguistic clues” (Gilakjani & Sabouri, 2016). Listening
is one of the most important skills in English language learning, and it
facilitates learning the other linguistic aspects.  However, the most important thing is that the
learner himself realized the importance, because listening comprehension had
been ignored; thus, the learners’ language acquisition had been affected. Unfortunately,
there were very limited number of studies regarding learners’ perception and
realization of the importance of listening comprehension in acquiring language especially
in Saudi Arabia (Yousif, 2006; Hamouda, 2013; Hamdan,
2015). Most of the studies were conducted to examine the effects of certain
strategies on teaching listening, or the scholars and teachers’ perception
towards the importance of listening comprehensions, and ignoring the learner
perception; thus, this research tried to address the gap.