Field-Dependence/Independence Cognitive Style and Performance on the IELTS Listening Comprehension

Ebrahim Khodadady, Shiva Zeynali


The present study explores the relationship between field-dependence/independence cognitive style and listening comprehension ability. Participants were 200 (152 female and 48 male) English students enrolled in universities and language institutes in Mashhad, Iran, who responded to the Group Embedded Figures Test (GEFT) and the IELTS listening comprehension. They were divided into field-dependent and field-independent groups according to the scores gained in the GEFT. The result of the study suggests that test-takers’ cognitive styles influences on their listening and task performance. Field-independent participants outperformed field-dependent participants in IELTS listening comprehension and all of the listening tasks. The finding also indicates that field-independency correlates more positively with test-takers successes in IELTS listening comprehension compared to field-dependent ones. More specifically, field-independency correlates more significantly with fill-in-the-gap questions, i.e., form-completion, note-completion and sentence-completion tasks compared to field-dependent test-takers. Field-dependency cognitive style, however, correlates more significantly with multiple choice and matching questions compared to field-independency cognitive style.

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International Journal of Linguistics  ISSN 1948-5425  Email:

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