Fauza A. Rahmi, Usman Kasim, Zulfadli A. Aziz


This research investigated the students’ responses to listening difficulties in taking the listening section of the TOEFL test and their efforts made to overcome the difficulties. This study is descriptive qualitative research that used the online questionnaire attached in the google forms to gather data needed. The questionnaire was distributed to 100 medical students at UP3BI class (Unit Pengembangan Program Pendamping Mata Kuliah Bahasa Inggris (UP3BI) of Syiah Kuala Language Center. The questionnaire was divided into two. Part one consisted of students’ personal information on the listening skill questionnaire.  It was found that watching English TV programs or movies (65.10%) and listening to English songs (60%) as the highest rank of students’ efforts made to overcome listening difficulties of the TOEFL test. Section two of the questionnaire consisted of listening difficulties. It was found that most respondents were difficult to understand the native speaker’s pronunciation (64%). In addition, it is suggested that for English lecturers, other researchers, institutions, and testing organizers to contribute a standardized knowledge of the TOEFL test and also to provide a conditioned testing place for a better improvement of listening TOEFL in particular. Besides, the test takers or students should practice and learn more about listening TOEFL as often as possible. Therefore, they will get used to listening and can minimize the difficulties during taking the TOEFL test.


TOEFL; listening; listening difficulties

Full Text:



Anh, K. N. N. (2019). Difficulties and strategies in listening comprehension (trinh vinh hien 03AV4). Retrieved January 18, 2019, from

Arnklint, J. (2012). What are some good tools and methods to analyze data gathered from a Google Form? Retrieved Dec 10, 2019, from

Assaf, A. H. (2015). The difficulties encountered by EFL learners in listening comprehension as perceived by ELC students at the Arab American University-Jenin. (Master’s Thesis). Retrieved August 13, 2019, from sites/default/ files/Ahkam%20Hasan%20Assaf.pdf.

Assessment Capacities Project. (2012). Qualitative and quantitative research techniques for humanitarian needs assessment. Retrieved Dec 12, 2019, from sites/

Berman, M. (2003). Listening strategy guide. Dyed international, Inc. Retrieved August 6, 2019, from DynEdOLD/doc/sgal3e.pdf.

Bingol, M. A., Celik, B., Yildiz, C. N., & Mart, C. T. (2014). Listening comprehension difficulties encountered by students in second language learning class. Journal of Educational and Instructional Studies in the World, 4(4), 2146-7463.

Bowen, J. D., Madsen, H., & Hilferty, A. (1985). TESOL techniques and procedures. Boston, MA: Heinle & Heinle Publishers.

Brown, G. (1994). Dimensions of difficulty in listening comprehension. In D. Mendelsohn and J. Rubin (eds.), A guide for the teaching of second language listening. San Diego, CA: DominiePress.

Buck, G. (2001). Assessing listening. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved March 04, 2019, from 10.1017/ CBO9780511732959.

Crossman, A. (2019). An overview of qualitative research methods. Retrieved Dec 09, 2019, from qualitative-research-methods-3026555.

ETS TOEFL. (2010). TOEFL ITP assessment series practice tests. Jakarta: Erlangga.

Flowerdew, J., & Miller, L. (1996). Lecturer perceptions, problems and strategies in second language lectures. RELC Journal, 27(1), 23-46.

Hasan, A. (2000). Learners’ perceptions of listening comprehension problems. Language, Culture and Curriculum, 13, 137-153. Retrieved January 12, 2019, from 10.1080/07908310008666595.

Hayrapetyan, N. (2016). Teaching listening: Problems and solutions. Retrieved May 12, 2019, from Hayrapetyan.pdf.

Higgins, J. (1997). Students’ listening difficulties: The contribution of speech rate. In Christine Zaher (ed.), Proceedings of the third EFL Skills Conference: New Directions in Listening.

Humphrey, B. (2019). What are some good tools and methods to analyze data gathered from a Google Form? Retrieved Dec 10, 2019, from

Ismalia, W. (2015). Students’ problem in answering TOEFL test. (Unpublished Thesis). State Islamic Institute of Zawiyah Cot Kala, Langsa.

Javid, C. Z. (2011). EMP needs of medical undergraduates in a Saudi context. Kashmir Journal of Language Research, 14(1), 89-110.

Phillips, D. (2001). Longman complete course for the TOEFL test: Preparation for the computer and paper tests. New York: Pearson Education.

Purdy, M. (1997). What is listening? In M. Purdy & D. Borisoff (Eds.), Listening in Everyday Life. A Personaland Professional Approach. Lanham, MD: University Press of America.

Pyle, M. A., & Page, M. A. M. (2001). Cliffs TOEFL preparation guide. Delhi: Nice Printing Press.

Rost, M. (2002). Teaching and researching listening. London: Longman.

Scarcella, R. C., & Oxford, R. L. (1992). The tapestry of language learning: The individual in the communicative classroom. Canada: Nelson Education, Ltd.

Schmidt, R. (2010). Longman dictionary of language teaching & applied linguistics. London: Taylor and Francis Ltd.

Underwood, M. (1989). Teaching listening. New York: Longman.

Watson, K., & Smeltzer, L. (1984). Barriers to listening: Comparison between students and practitioners. Communication Research Reports, 1, 82-87.

Willis, J. (1981). Teaching English through English. London: Longman.

Yagang, F. (1994). Listening: Problems and solutions. In T. Kral (ed.), Teacher development: Making the right moves. Washington, DC: English Language Programs Division, USA.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

E-ISSN: 2085-3750 

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.