Analysis of Factors Affecting the Auditory Attention of Non-native Speakers in e-Learning Environments


  • Nikesh Bajaj
  • Jesús Requena Carrión
  • Francesco Bellotti
  • Riccardo Berta
  • Alessandro De Gloria



Auditory attention, e-Learning environment, non-native speakers, cognitive psychology, listening task


: One of the most striking characteristics of e-Learning audiences is their diversity. Native and non-native learners can be expected among such audiences and therefore, when developing e-Learning courses it is important to consider the impact of the language level on learning. Specifically, non-native learners are expected to have a diminished auditory perception compared to native ones and hence reduced attention capabilities that could result in a poorer performance. In this study, we assess the impact of linguistic and auditory factors on the attention of non-native learners, namely semanticity, sentence length and noise level. An English language platform mimicking real e-Learning environments is used and attention is quantified by measuring the number of English words correctly identified during a listening task. Our results show that changes in each factor affect the attention score significantly. Interestingly, the effects of semanticity are apparent in noiseless environment, but vanish in noisy ones.  Results also show that in noiseless environments, a change in the length of semantic sentences from small or medium to long causes a significant drop in the attention score. Our results demonstrate the importance of carefully accounting for linguistic and auditory factors when designing effective e-Learning courses, especially when they target global audiences and learners with different language abilities are expected.



6 Jul 2021