منوچهر جعفری گوهر
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A pivotal issue in research on writing concerns whether the knowledge of how genres are constructed and learned in one discipline/genre can be transferred to other contexts, genres, and disciplines. Yet, studies conducted so far have not presented a unified and complete view of how various writing instructional techniques can result in transferability. This study examined the effect of structuring and problematizing scaffolding mechanisms and the mediating effect of learners’ proficiency level on a cohort of Iranian English learners’ ability to transfer the acquired genre-based knowledge to a new discourse mode. Four groups of thirty pre-intermediate learners chosen from eight intact classes and four groups of advanced learners selected from eight intact classes participated in this study. The performance of the participants in structuring scaffolds, problematizing scaffolds, and combined structuring and problematizing scaffolds conditions were compared to that of the control groups. The results of a two-way ANCOVA revealed that scaffolding mechanisms could significantly result in genre-transferability. The results also suggested that scaffolding mechanisms brought about the best results when offered simultaneously. Besides, the result yielded no significantly moderating effect for learners’ proficiency level. Implications for classrooms are discussed.
Task difficulty across different macro-genres continues to remain among less attended areas in second language development studies. This study examined the correlation between task difficulty across the descriptive, narrative, argumentative, and expository macro-genres. The three components of task difficulty (i.e., code complexity, cognitive complexity, and communicative stress) were also compared in the four macro-genres. The design included the administration of short reading texts with comparable length and readability indices based on the four macro-genres followed by task difficulty questionnaire. The macro-genre-based reading textsalong with the task difficulty questionnaire were administered to 50 EFL students in the University ofLorestan, Iran. Task difficulty questionnaire explored the learners’ perceptions of task difficulty in the code complexity, cognitive complexity, and communicative stress domains. The results revealed that there were no significant differences among the task difficulty components in the four macro-genre-based text types. The findings also showed that there was no significant correlation between task difficulty of each macro-genre with those of the other genres except thoseofthe narrative and expository genres.The findings hold implications for the use of macro-genres with different task difficulty indices in task-oriented programs, teacher training, and testing.
Planning, monitoring, and evaluating one’s performance constitute individuals’ metacognitive strategies. Recently, metacognition has been conceptualized not only at the individual level but also at pair and group levels. The concept of socially-shared metacognition has arisen based on the idea that group members observe, control, evaluate, and regulate each other’s actions to promote the group’s problem-solving. This article investigated the impact of motivational scaffolds on a group of Iranian EFL learners’ individual and socially-shared metacognition. Two groups of 30 female intermediate learners participated in this study. In the experimental group, the participants received the teacher’s motivational scaffolds as she provided instructions and feedback throughout individual and collaborative oral and written tasks. On the other hand, the participants in the control group were asked to take part in the routine oral and written classroom activities. The participants’ think-aloud protocols in individual and pair activities were analyzed, and instances of metacognitive activities were identified. The data were analyzed through two Mann-Whitney U tests, and the results indicated that motivational scaffolds statistically significantly enhanced the use of metacognitive strategies at both inter and intra-individual levels. Implications for classrooms are discussed
The Differential Impact of Focused and Unfocused Oral Scaffolds on EFL Learners' Cognitive Knowledge and Cognitive Regulation
This study investigated the impact of orally presented scaffolds on cognitive knowledge and cognitive regulation among a cohort of female Iranian learners of English.Six intact groups of learners were assigned to five experimental conditions and a control group. All groups were tested on their cognitive knowledge and cognitive regulation through a pretest and two posttests. The results of the statistical analyses (one-way and repeated measures ANOVAs) showed that the participants who had received scaffolds significantly outperformed the control group on the posttests. The results also revealed that unfocused scaffolds functioned more efficiently in promoting the learners' metacognition, particularly regulation of cognition. The study also found that focused metacognitive scaffolds, when compared to other types of focused scaffolds, were more effective in improving the learners' metacognition.
مقاله به زبان انگلیسی: تاثیر آموزش فعالیت محورو سبک یادگیری تجربی روی مهارت شنیداری آکادمیک دانش آموزان دبیرستانی (Effects of Task-based Academic Listening on High School EFL Students' Listening Comprehension: Does Experiential Learning Style Matter?)
آموزش فعالیت محور به عنوان یکی از روشهای موثر آموزش زبان در نظر گرفته شده است. با این وجود هنوز کارایی آن برای نوآموزان در سطوح مقدماتی تر در هاله ای از ابهام قرار دارد. همچنین ، تاثیر سبک یادگیری تجربی روی چنین آموزشی برای مهارت شنیداری آکادمیک مورد مطالعه واقع نشده است. این تحقیق سعی دارد این شکاف را در تاریخچه پر نماید. بدین منظور، 88 نو آموز ایرانی بطور هدفمند از جمعیتی 153 نفری انتخاب شدند و در هر یک از 4 گروه سبک یادگیری تجربی قرار داده شدند.همه شرکت کنندگان به روش فعالیت محورمورد آموزش قرار گرفتند. یک پرسشنامه دیدگاه نیز به آنها داده شد.نتایج نشان داد که این روش، صرف نظرازنوع سبک یادگیری، برای همه شرکت کنندگان موثر بود و آنها نقطه نظر مثبتی در مورد این روش آموزشی نشان دادند. نتایج این تحقیق میتواند کاربرد زیادی در آموزش زبان داشته باشد.
The Effects of Processing Instruction, Consciousness-Raising Tasks, and Textual Input Enhancement on Intake and Acquisition of the English Causative Structures
The importance of input has been a broadly documented concept in the field of second or foreign language acquisition. However, kinds of input and ways of its presentation are among the controversial issues in L2 classroom research. Therefore, this study was designed to compare the effects of three kinds of input-based instruction on intake and acquisition of the English causative structures by Iranian EFL learners. A total of 105 university students in four intact classes were randomly assigned to four different conditions: processing instruction (PI), textual input enhancement (TE), consciousness-raising (C-R), and control (CO). A pretest/posttest (immediate and delayed) design was used, where participants’ ability to interpret and produce the target structure was assessed through administering a multiple choice interpretation test and a sentence-level production test. Moreover, a grammaticality judgment test was run to assess the amount of intake. Results revealed that learners in the PI group significantly outperformed learners in the other groups on both immediate/delayed production posttests. The findings also indicated that, C-R group could not retain the significant effect of instruction on delayed production posttest and TE tasks were not effective in improving the learners’ production of the target structure. Moreover, the PI group outperformed the other groups on grammaticality judgment test too. Based on these findings, we can conclude that PI which encompasses the most outstanding features of both focus on form and meaning instruction might be a more effective approach in helping EFL learners to acquire the target grammatical forms.
مقاله به زبان انگلیسی: تاثیر محیط آموزشی بر باور معلمان زبان انگلیسی به کارآمدیشان در تدریس (The Role of Educational Context in Influencing EFL Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Beliefs)
Teachers’ sense of efficacy belief has been introduced as a context-specific construct, but the related literature is not clear on this specificity. This study was an attempt to show how contextual factors influence efficacy beliefs among English language teachers. To this end, thirty Iranian EFL teachers working in both school and private institute contexts were chosen as the participants to respond to Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Beliefs questionnaire (Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 2001) twice: once based on school context and once based on private institute context. Afterwards, the participants were invited to a brief interview designed to investigate further the reasons for which they had scored higher in either context. The interview findings and the results of a t-test revealed that context really made a difference. It is argued that the proper or improper functioning of efficacy building sources is the cause of the difference
Self-regulation is the ability to regulate one’s cognition, behavior, actions, and motivation strategically and autonomously in order to achieve self-set goals including the learning of academic skills and knowledge. Accordingly, self-regulated learning involves self-generated and systematic thoughts and behaviors with the aim of attaining learning goals. With that in mind, this study aimed to examine the effect of self-regulation instruction to the intermediate EFL readers on their ability to make within-text inferences while reading. Zimmerman’s model of self-regulation with its three cyclic phases of forethought, performance and self-reflection constituted the theoretical basis of this study. Two intact intermediate classes in an English language institute were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. The experimental group was trained in self-regulatory processes which were directed at EFL reading comprehension for ten sessions, while the control group received the routine, traditional reading instruction involving pre-, while-, and post-reading tasks and activities. The results of parametric one-way between-group ANCOVA showed that the experimental group outperformed the control group on the post-test of EFL reading comprehension, particularly in term of within-text inferencing. This finding revealed that self-regulation instruction aimed at EFL reading comprehension significantly contributed to learners’ ability to make correct within-text inferences while reading in English as a foreign language.