This study examines the ideological content of six internationally-used ELT textbooks, three British and three American. Applying the theory and procedures of critical discourse analysis (CDA), three aspects of the conversations in the textbooks, i.e. content, relations, and positions were examined. Results suggest that in terms of content, British textbooks tend to entertain the students while American textbooks include more occupational and business-related issues. Regarding relations, characters in the conversations were placed in socially equal roles. Moreover, inequalities were rarely addressed in the interactions and there was little attempt to make learners aware of issues such as dialogue management strategies. Finally, characters in the conversations took mostly societal positions.
The present study aimed to investigate the generic organization of research article introductions in local Iranian and international journals in English for Specific Purposes, English for General Purposes, and Discourse Analysis. Overall, 120 published articles were selected from the established journals representing the above subdisciplines. Each subdiscipline was represented by 20 local and 20 international articles. Following Swales’ (2004) new Create A Research Space (CARS) model, the researcher analyzed the articles for their specific generic patterns. Findings demonstrated that despite some consistency in the international corpus, there emerged marked differences in utilizing second and third moves in international articles. Also, intra-subdisciplinary analysis revealed divergent generic organization in EGP and DA in local and international data. Results suggested insufficient awareness of some Iranian RA writers regarding the generic structure of introduction. The findings of the study have implications for RA writers to improve their RA introductions.
George Bernard Shaw's masterpiece Pygmalion deals with the social function of language and reveals that Linguistic Competence is one of the markers of social status. It presents the story of the social transformation of a flower girl into a ‘lady’ through linguistic retraining. This work has been analyzed from a variety of perspectives such as Freudian psychology and sociolinguistic perspectives. With regard to the social function of language we can offer two interpretations of the play: a story of successful education and social self transformation, or a failed dream of education in which education not only does not promote the social status of the main character but also results in a crisis of identity for her.
This article aims at exploring the process of acculturation in terms of the sociological theories of Pierre Bourdieu whose concepts of habitus, field, and capital are considered as a significant contribution to the disciplines of cultural studies, anthropology and sociology. In Shaw’s play the social positions of different characters change in different ways: through accumulation of cultural capital, especially language retraining, or through gaining economic and symbolic capital. Bourdieu’s insights, the writers maintain, can shed some light on the significance and modality of these changes. As such, the paper makes a case for the relevance of Bourdieu in studying Shaw’s work.
The present study-both qualitative and quantitative--explored fifty EFL learners’ preferences for receiving error feedback on different grammatical units as well as their beliefs about teacher feedback strategies. The study also examined the effect of the students’ level of writing ability on their views about the importance of teacher feedback on different error types. Data was gathered through the administration of a questionnaire, verbal protocol analysis, and students’ writing scores. The results of repeated measures, multivariate analysis of variance, and frequency counts revealed that the majority of the students expect and value teachers’ written feedback on the following surface-level errors: transitional words, sentence structure, verb tenses, adverbs, punctuation, prepositions, and spelling, respectively. The results of think-aloud protocol analysis indicated that students’ beliefs about the importance of feedback on different grammatical units are formed as a result of the teacher’s practice and his emphasis on certain types of feedback and feedback strategies. Finally, the findings of thestudy showed that the L2 learners’ level of writing ability influences their views about the importance of feedback on errors pertinent to particular grammatical units.
Identity orientations refer to the relative importance that individuals place on various identity attributes or characteristics such as race, religion, culture and language when constructing their self-definitions (Chew, 2007; Cheek, 1989). Accordingly, the present study aims at identifying the impact of identity aspects on the Iranian learners' English language achievements at Shiraz University Language Center (SULC). Moreover, the study seeks for finding the impact of demographic factors on language achievement and aspects of identity among the Iranian EFL learners. To fulfill the objectives and find answers to the posed questions, a questionnaire representing aspects of identity and consisting of 45 items in the form of Likert Scale (personal: 10 items + social: 7 items + collective: 8 items + relational: 10 items + special: 10 items) was distributed among 180 language learners attending at SULC. Both descriptive statistics (Mean + SD) and inferential statistics (t-test + ANOVA+ Correlation + Multiple Regressions) were run on the data. The results demonstrated no significant relationship between language achievement and the aspects of identity; that is, none of the identity aspects is a predicting variable for language achievement in the Iranian context. Among the demographic factors, only gender can account for two aspects of identity, namely, personal and relational identities. Apparently, the results are local not universal.
The definiteness feature in English is both LF and PF interpretable while Persian is a language in which this feature is LF-interpretable but PF-uninterpretable. Hence, there is no overt article or morphological inflection in Persian denoting a definite context. Furthermore, Persian partially encodes specificity not definiteness. In definiteness both the speaker and hearer are involved while in specificity just the speaker may be taken into consideration. The associated indefinite article identifies an individual from a set but lacks the uniqueness feature. Specificity, on the other hand, may be defined in relation to the speaker. It signals the speaker’s intention to refer to some individual with a noteworthy property. Based on the predictions made by the interpretability hypothesis, it is predicted that Persian learners of English should be able to acquire the English definiteness feature lacking in their L1. To test the hypothesis, fifty L2 learners at intermediate and advanced levels were selected. To test their comprehension as well as production, they were given forced-choice elicitation and translation tasks.
The results of the study showed that the L2 learners acquired the definiteness feature giving credence to the interpretability hypothesis in which the acquisition of LF-interpretable but PF-uninterpretable features does not pose a persistent problem. In the oral production task, the results show that the L2 learners use some compensating mechanisms such as demonstrative and possessive adjectives to encode definiteness. The results further indicate that the Persian learners of English experience some fluctuations in teasing apart the definiteness and specificity in indefinite referential singular contexts.
The current study is an attempt to investigate the impact of explicit instruction of metadiscourse markers on advanced, intermediate, and elementary EFL learners’ writing performance. The participants of the study were 94 undergraduate students majoring in English Literature at the University of Isfahan. To elicit the relevant data, participants were given a pretest of writing ability to check their initial knowledge and unprompted use of metadiscourse markers. All the three groups were then exposed to explicit instruction of metadiscourse markers for six successive sessions. Finally, a post test measuring their writing ability with metadiscourse markers in focus was administered. The findings indicated generally that explicit instruction of metadiscourse markers significantly improves EFL learners’ writing ability. It was however unpredictably revealed that learners at the intermediate level improved significantly greater than those at the advanced and elementary levels. These findings firstly call practitioners to pay more serious attention to metadiscourse markers in making EFL curricula. Secondly, they ask for the reinforcement of metadiscourse markers through explicit instruction in EFL courses for the improvement of the learners' writing ability.