Lexical bundles, as building blocks of coherent discourse, have been the subject of much research in the last two decades. While many of such studies have been mainly concerned with exploring variations in the use of these word sequences across different registers and disciplines, very few have addressed the use of some particular groups of lexical bundles within some genres of academy. To address generic variations, this research focused on anticipatory it bundles as a particular structural group of bundles. More specifically, this study chose to investigate range, frequency, and function of these word clusters in applied linguistics research articles and postgraduate writing. Through the use of two big corpora of research articles and postgraduate theses, two text analysis programs, and a functional taxonomy of it bundles, this study found that it bundles were used relatively frequently in both published and postgraduate writing. Functional analysis showed that anticipatory it lexical bundles served a wide variety of functions in both genres investigated. This study also revealed that some anticipatory it lexical bundles commonly used by students in their postgraduate writing did not count as bundles in research articles, both in terms of variety and frequency. As for implications, the study calls for the incorporation of such clusters in L2 and/or EAP (English for Academic Purposes).
The present study investigated the effects of selected presentation techniques including the keyword method, the peg word method, the loci method, argument mapping, concept mapping and mind mapping on L2 vocabulary comprehension and production. To this end, a sample of 151 Iranian female students from a public pre-university school in Islam Shahr was selected. They were assigned to six groups. Each group was randomly assigned to one of the afore-mentioned treatment conditions. After the experimental period, two post-tests in multiple choice and fill-in-the-blanks formats were administered to assess the participants’ vocabulary comprehension and production. Two independent One-Way ANOVA procedures were used to analyze the obtained data. The results showed that the differences among the effects of the above-mentioned techniques were statistically significant in both vocabulary comprehension and production. These findings can have implications for learners, teachers, and materials’ developers.
An Investigation into the Socio-Cultural Strategy Use and the Writing Competence of Iranian EFL Learners
The sociocultural approach to writing strategy use emphasizes the importance of context and the mediating resources that learners can use to enhance the quality of their performance in writing (Lei, 2008). Accordingly, the present study explored the sociocultural strategy use of a convenient sample of 105 BA level students of English Language and Literature who had passed essay-writing courses in a state university in Iran by analyzing their responses to the items of a newly-developed sociocultural strategy use questionnaire consisting of different sub-scales, namely, artifact-mediated, rule-mediated, community-mediated and role-mediated strategies. The results of the descriptive statistics revealed that the tool-mediated strategies, which are the subcategory of artifact-mediated strategies, had the highest frequency of use which is rather justified in the context of Iran. In addition, the students’ overall strategy use and their writing ability were correlated and a statistically significant relationship was found between these two variables. However, the results of the multiple regression analysis indicated that none of the sub-scales had a unique predicting power in accounting for the learners’ writing ability. The researchers also compared the sociocultural strategy use of more- and less-skilled student writers and found a significant difference in the strategy use of different individuals.
Complimenting Functions by Native English Speakers and Iranian EFL Learners: A Divergence or Convergence
The study of compliment speech act has been under investigation on many occasions in recent years. In this study, an attempt is made to explore appraisals performed by native English speakers and Iranian EFL learners to find out how these two groups diverge or converge from each other with regard to complimenting patterns and norms. The participants of the study were 60 advanced Iranian EFL learners who were speaking Persian as their first language and 60 native English speakers. Through a written Discourse Completion Task comprised of eight different scenarios, compliments were analyzed with regard to topics (performance, personality, possession, and skill), functions (explicit, implicit, and opt-out), gender differences and the common positive adjectives used by two groups of native and nonnative participants. The findings suggested that native English speakers praised individuals more implicitly in comparison with Iranian EFL learners and native speakers provided opt-outs more frequently than Iranian EFL learners did. The analysis of data by Chi-square showed that gender and macro functions are independent of each other among Iranian EFL learners’ compliments while for native speakers, gender played a significant role in the distribution of appraisals. Iranian EFL learners’ complimenting patterns converge more towards those of native English speakers. Moreover, both groups favored explicit compliments. However, Iranian EFL learners were more inclined to provide explicit compliments. It can be concluded that there were more similarities rather than differences between Iranian EFL learners and native English speakers regarding compliment speech act. The results of this study can benefit researchers, teachers, material developers, and EFL learners.
The Washback Effects of High School Third Grade Exam on EFL Teachersâ Methodology, Evaluation and Attitude
Abstract: The widespread use of test scores for different educational and social decision making purposes has made the washback effect of tests a distinct educational phenomenon (Cheng, 1997).The high school third grade final exam in the general educational system of Iran has for long been a high stake test designed to assess the achievement of high school graduates in different school subjects. The present study aimed to investigate the washback effect of this nation-wide exam on EFL teachers’ teaching methodology, assessment procedures, and attitudes towards different aspects of the educational system. For this purpose, a researcher made, validated questionnaire was administered to 160 EFL teachers. The results indicated that the third grade nation-wide final exam adversely affects EFL teachers’ teaching methodology and increases teaching to the test effect quite noticeably as they try to teach according to the content and format of the test. The results further showed an even stronger negative effect of the exam on EFL teachers’ assessment procedures. However, the teachers’ attitude towards different aspects of the educational system was not found to be as strongly affected as the other two variables. The findings of the study are of importance for testing and assessment bureaus in charge of extensive high stake tests development. Moreover, raising teachers’ awareness of the drawback of teaching-to-the test effect of such a high stake test might help them improve their teaching and evaluation practices.
The bulk of research within the interactionist framework seems to be consensually pointing to the beneficial effects of interaction in SLA. However, few studies have investigated the role of training in providing and perceiving interactional feedback, especially among young learners. This study probed the effects of training prior to engagement in interaction in case of young learners acquiring polar questions in an EFL context. Sixty learners aged 9-14 in three intact groups were exposed to instruction followed by peer interaction in case of the experimental groups while the control group simply received traditional teacher-fronted practice. Also, while one treatment group received prior training in interactional feedback strategies, the other group did not. The pre-test, immediate post-test, and delayed post-test were administered. The results of mixed between-within subjects ANOVA (SPANOVA) showed that engaging in interaction, regardless of any prior training, could significantly improve learners’ immediate mastery over the target form. However, in the long run, only the group trained in feedback strategies could maintain its superiority over the control group. The findings suggest that although engaging in peer interaction can be beneficial for young learners, sustained interlanguage development can result only if learners are trained in feedback strategies.