Issues in Language Teaching

Issues in Language Teaching

Issues in Language Teaching (ILT), Vol. 1, No. 1, June 2012



Life-wise Language Learning Textbooks: Construction and Validation of an Emotional Abilities Scale through Rasch Modeling

کلید واژه ها: life syllabus life skills education emotional abilities (EA) scale Rasch rating scale model teachers’ perceptions applied ELT

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Underlying the recently developed notions of applied ELT and life syllabus is the idea that language classes should give precedence to learners’ life qualities, for instance emotional intelligence (EI), over and above their language skills. By so doing, ELT is ascribed an autonomous status and ELT classes can lavish their full potentials to the learners. With that in mind, this study aimed to design and validate a scale for appraising the current English language learning textbooks with respect to EI competencies. Having used several psychological models of EI, the authors developed a 44-item scale. The scale was then disseminated to in-service EFL teachers at non-profit language institutes in Iran. Rasch rating scale model was utilized to substantiate the construct validity of the scale. Three items, two representing impulse control and one pertaining to adaptability, misfitted the model, requiring to be pruned. The results also showed that the 6-point Likert scale functioned effectively. The scale is therefore a unidimensional and valid instrument with considerable implications for language teachers, syllabus designers, and materials developers.

Core Units of Spoken Grammar in Global ELT Textbooks واحدهای اصلی دستور زبان محاوره ای در کتاب های جهانی آموزش زبان انگلیسی

کلید واژه ها: Textbook Evaluation ارزیابی کتاب دستور زبان محاوره ای کتاب های آموزش زبان انگلیسی طرح کدگذاری spoken grammar ELT textbooks coding scheme

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Materials evaluation studies have constantly demonstrated that there is no one fixed procedure for conducting textbook evaluation studies. Instead, the criteria must be selected according to the needs and objectives of the context in which evaluation takes place. The speaking skill as part of the communicative competence has been emphasized as an important objective in language teaching. The present study explored the core units of spoken grammar inherent in four widely-used ELT textbooks following McCarthy and Carter’s (2002) classification. A coding scheme was developed to make it possible for the researchers to use the classification in codifying the data. The data were then analyzed to detect the units of spoken grammar inherent in the target textbooks. Results from codification of dialogues and transcripts of audio recordings showed that the units of spoken grammar are not evenly distributed in these ELT textbooks. In addition, a significant difference was found between the textbooks in their inclusion of different categories of the spoken grammar.

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Explicit and Implicit Form-Focused Instruction on Explicit and Implicit Knowledge of EFL Learners بررسی تأثیر آموزش شکل محور صریح و ضمنی بر دانش صریح و ضمنی زبان آموزان ایرانی به عنوان زبان خارجی

کلید واژه ها: یادگیری زبان دوم از طریق آموزش آموزش شکل محور صریح و ضمنی دانش زبانی صریح و ضمنی instructed SLA explicit/implicit FFI explicit/implicit knowledge

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Although explicit and implicit knowledge of language learners are essential to theoretical and pedagogical debates in second language acquisition (SLA), little research has addressed the effects of instructional interventions on the two knowledge types (R. Ellis, 2005).This study examined the relative effectiveness of explicit and implicit types of form-focused instruction (FFI) on the acquisition of four morphosyntactic features by four measures of explicit and implicit language knowledge. The measures included: oral elicited imitation, timed and untimed grammaticality judgment, and metalinguistic knowledge tests. A pretest and two posttests were conducted immediately and three weeks after the instructional interventions. Durable effects of FFI on low intermediate Iranian learners were found for the target language forms.In particular, explicit and implicit FFI positively facilitated the development of explicit and implicit knowledge of the target features, both immediately after the instructional interventions and, marginally decreasing, over time. Also, explicit FFI was more effective than implicit FFI as measured by both explicit and implicit knowledge tests. The findings may contribute to understanding of the efficacy of explicit and implicit FFI on L2 learners’ controlled (explicit) and spontaneous (implicit) use of morphosyntactic forms at relatively early stages of L2 acquisition.

L2 Learners’ Use of Metadiscourse Markers in Online Discussion Forums استفاده زبان آموزان انگلیسی از نشانه های فراکلامی در جلسات بحث بر خط

کلید واژه ها: جنسیت Discourse Markers Gender نشانه های کلامی فراکلام تعاملی نشانه های تعدیلی نشانه های تقویت کننده interactional metadiscourse interactive metadiscourse hedges boosters

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This study aimed to investigate the use of interactional metadiscourse markers in 168 comments made by 28 university students of engineering via an educational forum held as part of a general English course. The students wrote their comments on six topics, with a total of 19,671 words. Their comments during educational discussions were analyzed to determine their use of five metadiscourse categories (hedges, boosters, attitude markers, engagement markers, and self-mentions), making up interactional metadiscourse in Hyland’s (2004) model. Following descriptive analysis of the use of metadiscourse categories, chi-square tests were used to investigate the possible differences in the whole sample as well as gender-based differences. The findings showed that although female EFL learners used more metadiscourse markers than males did, the differences were minor and hence gender did not significantly influence the use of interactional metadiscourse markers. However, while male and female participants used all types of interactional metadiscourse, how they used them varied. They used engagement markers and self-mentions more frequently than boosters, hedges, and attitude markers. Since metadiscourse markers play crucial roles in mediating the relationship between what writers intend to argue and their discourse communities, the results of the present study have obvious importance in increasing students’ awareness of the way they organize their writings.

Evaluating an Instructional Textbook: A Critical Discourse Perspective ارزیابی یک کتاب آموزشی از دیدگاه گفتمان انتقادی

کلید واژه ها: ارزیابی کتاب درسی evaluation Critical discourse analysis Gender Textbooks Social Actors تجزیه و تحلیل گفتمان انتقادی بازیگر اجتماعی کتاب summit Summit

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A critical discourse analysis (CDA) of English language teaching (ELT) textbooks can provide a theoretical description of existing ideological effects in the texts and a means to link linguistic and social practices. This study, thus, seeks to evaluate Summit 2B (i.e., the advanced book of Top Notch series) with a focus on the representation of male and female social actors. In so doing, this study drew on van Leeuwen’s (1996) social actor framework and Halliday’s (2004) transitivity model. To achieve the purpose of this study, content analysis was first carried out in the corpora obtained from the aforementioned textbook to find out the frequency and proportion of various social actors. The results obtained from the tests of significance (i.e., chi-square tests) and the qualitative data analyses revealed that there were some significant differences between males and females concerning role allocation (i.e., activation, subjection, and beneficialization), substitution (personalization/impersonalizaton), and personal pronouns. Compared with females, males were represented as more active, energetic, independent, and assertive forces; males were represented more frequently and placed in high-status positions; they were also individualized more frequently. The results indicated that though females and males were almost equally informalized and indetermined, there was not much serious attempt to eliminate the gender bias in Summit, used as a substitute for other ELT textbooks used in private language institutes in Iran. The findings suggest that textbook writers and publishers should be more cautious about the gender discourse, along with other criteria making ELT textbooks work, because gender bias can affect language learners’ perception and preference for the choice of language in second or foreign (L2) communication.

The Effect of Gloss Type and Mode on Iranian EFL Learners’ Vocabulary Acquisition تأثیر انواع مختلف فهرست معانی در یادگیری لغات زبان آموزان انگلیسی در ایران

کلید واژه ها: vocabulary acquisition فهرست معانی شنیداری فهرست معانی شنیداری مبسوط انواع فهرست معانی فهرست معانی چند رسانه ای یادگیری لغات audio gloss extended audio gloss gloss types multimedia gloss

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Vocabulary is an important component of language proficiency which provides the basis for learners’ performance in other skills. But, since vocabulary learning seems to be so demanding, learners tend to forget newly-learnt words quite soon. In order to identify vocabulary learning conditions which can produce a more lasting effect, this study investigated the effect of three kinds of gloss conditions, that is traditional non-CALL marginal gloss, audio gloss, and extended audio gloss, on vocabulary gain of EFL learners. To this end, three experimental and one control groups, each comprising 15 participants, took part in the current study. In order to ensure that the participants were from the right proficiency level, KET (Key English Test) was used as the homogenizing tool. Participants in each group read two unseen passages under one of the three mentioned conditions for experimental groups, with no gloss offered for control group. They all completed one pre-test, one reading session, one post-test, and one delayed post-test of vocabulary. The data were analyzed using t-tests and one-way ANOVAs for both immediate and delayed post-tests. Statistical analyses of the results revealed that the audio gloss group, who were provided with the voice of a speaker to read the meaning of the target word, and extended audio gloss group, who had access to audio gloss as well as L2 English example, both significantly outperformed the other groups in terms of vocabulary acquisition in both the immediate retention and in the delayed retention of key words. Further results and implications are discussed in the paper.

How Attitude, Self-efficacy, and Job Satisfaction Relate with Teaching Strategies? رابطه نگرش، خودکارآمدی و رضایت شغلی با راهکارهای تدریس معلمان شهر تهران

کلید واژه ها: رضایت شغلی نگرش خود کارآمدی attitude Job satisfaction معلمان زبان انگلیسی Iranian EFL Teachers راهکارهای تدریس Self-Efficacy strategy use

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The primary purpose of the present study was to explore whether there was any significant relationship between attitude, self-efficacy, and job satisfaction of Iranian EFL teachers on the one hand, and their choice of teaching strategies. Strategies mostly used by participants of the study with low, mid, and high levels of self-efficacy comprised another purpose of the study. To this end, a questionnaire was developed, piloted, validated, and its reliability was estimated for collecting the required data. Subsequently, based on cluster sampling, 420 male and female teachers from three different educational districts of Tehran responded to the questionnaire. Three separate MANOVAs were run to investigate the effect of teachers’ attitudes on strategies they employed for teaching grammar, vocabulary, and reading. This was followed by the same approach to study the effect of teachers’ self-efficacy and job-satisfaction levels, as well. The results revealed a significant relationship between three factors (attitude, self-efficacy, and job satisfaction) and teachers’ choice of teaching strategies. Moreover, based on the scores obtained from the answers to the questionnaire, participants were classified into three levels of low, mid, and high which corresponded with their degrees of attitude, self-efficacy, and job satisfaction. Accordingly, it was shown that high level of attitude, self-efficacy, and job satisfaction strongly affected teachers’ use of vocabulary teaching strategies; mid to high level of attitude and efficacy affected use of reading and grammar strategies. Also, it appeared that strategies for teaching vocabulary are used more frequently among teachers than grammar and reading.