Veryfew attempts have been made in the past to develop instruments to measure pragmatic knowledge of second language (L2) learners. The absence of such instruments in the literature of English language teaching (ELT) underscores the need for the researchers to develop new tests that are specifically designed to assess this crucial but less explored aspect of language learners’ (LLs) knowledge. In line with this objective, the present study was conducted to develop and validate four tests of pragmatic knowledge that measured LLs’ knowledge of speech acts. The following steps were taken in this study to develop the written discourse completion tests (WDCTs) and the multiple-choice discourse completion tests (MCDCTs) that respectively measured the test takers’ ability to produce and comprehend request speech act. During the “prototype step” the researchers identified the content and the number of items for each designated test battery. At the “test construction step” the sociolinguistic variables of power (P), social distance (D), and absolute rank of imposition (R) were inserted into the content of the test items. Finally, at the “validation step” the reliability of the tests was examined. The finding of the study showed that the constructed test batteries were sufficiently reliable and valid for measuring pragmatic knowledge of L2 learners.
On the Relationship between Iranian EFL Teachers’ Efficacy of Classroom Management, Reflective Thinking, and Transformational Leadership Style: A Structural Equation Modeling
In spite of the significant role of teachers in the efficacy of classroom management particularly in teaching English as a Foreign Language, the issue has not been addressed sufficiently especially in relation with other individual variables. Hence, this study made an attempt to investigate the association between Iranian EFL teachers’ classroom management, reflective thinking and transformational leadership style. 247 English Foreign Language teachers took part in the study. To measure the variables of the study, Teachers Sense of Efficacy Scale (Tschannen-Moran & Woolfolk Hoy, 2001), Reflective Thinking Scale (Choy & Oo, 2012) and Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire(Avolio, Bass & Jung, 1995) were used. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) was applied to test the hypothesized model of associations. After confirming the hypothesized model (= 1.275; RMSEA=.02; RMR =.03; GFI =.97; AGFI =.93; NFI =.97; CFI =.99; IFI =.99), the results revealed significant internal correlations among the main as well as the sub-scales of the study. Multiple regression analysis further confirmed the direction of the path model proposed for the study. Generally, it was concluded that reflective thinking and transformational leadership improve teachers' efficacy of classroom management which, in turn, facilitates teaching processes. Implications are discussed.
Critical pedagogy (CP), as a poststructuralist educational movement, challenges the asymmetrical, power-over nature of classroom discourse and seeks to accommodate multivocality in the classroom and in the society. This study probed the discourse architecture of EFL classrooms in Iran. Specifically, it aimed to explore to what extent Iranian EFL classrooms have stepped away from the teacher-dominant initiation-response-follow-up (IRF) discourse structure and welcomed CP-oriented dialogism and multivocality. To this end, a number of EFL classrooms in Isfahan and Shahrekord (Iran) were observed, and the running classroom discourse was audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed. The results showed that discourse-construction opportunities were distributed unevenly in favor of teachers regarded as the sole authority in the classroom. Student-regulated symmetrical talks were seldom evidenced in the classrooms. The findings further demonstrated that the power-over IRF discourse architecture, despite its communicative inadequacies, still seems to be dominant in EFL classrooms in Iran. Finally, it is suggested that L2 practitioners should move towards transforming the status quo, include more elements of CP into L2 classrooms, and invest in dialogism and multivocality as essential mechanisms to de-silence the students.
Although Gardner and his associates’ work was most influential in the field of L2 motivation, from the early 1990s onwards, their work has been criticized for several reasons. Some researchers claimed that integrative and instrumental orientations were no longer able to convey the complexity of the L2 motivation construct. To examine this complexity, the present study attempted to investigate the discursive construction of four (two males and two females) Iranian EFL learners’ motivation at Shiraz University, Iran. Employing van Leeuwen’s (2008) legitimation construction framework, the study revealed that depending on their future selves, each participant employed certain discursive strategies unique to him/her to (de)legitimize his/her future self. Therefore, what was observed was the use of strategies which were idiosyncratic to that particular person, in that particular context, for a specific purpose, and for that particular moment. Additionally, given the unique political conditions of Iran in the world, it was found that integrative and instrumental orientations can be best replaced by ideal and ought-to selves in this context. The study has some implications. Motivation researchers need to broaden the unit of analysis beyond the individual learner to the interaction between the individual and the multitude of factors in diverse social settings.
Although filling the gap in reading comprehension gained momentum with the rise of the top-down approach, Vygotsky’ concept of scaffolding and the dual code theory provided a strong support for the use of paratext to enhance comprehension. Scaffolding is dependent on other-regulation, one type of which is object-regulation. From this vantage-point, various types of paratext can function as sources of object-regulation to scaffold the interaction between the reader and the text. Hence, the purpose of this study was to explore the effect of three types of paratext (the picture, preface, and title) on the reading comprehension and recall of less proficient and more proficient EFL learners. The control groups in the two proficiency levels read a text with no paratext, whereas participants in the experimental groups read the same text accompanied by the three types of scaffolding paratext. Both groups were also given a recall test which required the recall of propositions from the original texts. The results showed the beneficial effect of paratext on reading comprehension among the more proficient experimental group. As to reading recall, neither less proficient nor more proficient group succeeded in manifesting better recall than the control groups. These findings have two implications. First, there is proficiency “short-circuit” for the scaffolding effect of paratext on reading comprehension. Second, short-circuit has a task-bound nature. As the results of this study show, the proficiency ceiling needed to move beyond the short-circuit effect of comprehension is different from that of recall because recall is a comparatively more demanding task.