This study aimed to examine the effect of two types of collaborative output tasks on Iranian EFL learners’ comparative adjectives with two or more syllables. Thirty Iranian EFL learners participated in this study which were then divided into two experimental and one control groups; one experimental group received dictogloss task in 4-pairs and the other experimental group was given text reconstruction editing task in 6-pairs. Using pretest, posttests and delayed posttests, the data were collected through a grammaticality judgment test (GJT) and audio-recording of the learners’ interaction. Comparing the mean scores of three groups in GJT generally indicated that experimental groups gained more than the control group and text reconstruction editing group outperformed dictogloss group in noticing and learning the English comparative adjectives with two or more syllables. The transcripts of the students' verbal interactions indicated that text reconstruction editing group generated larger number of turns and language related episodes (LREs) in comparison to dictogloss group. Findings of this study also indicated that the majority of problems encountered in all the dyads were correctly solved in both dictogloss and text reconstruction editing groups, while the dictogloss group correctly solved more LREs in comparison to the text reconstruction editing group which showed that the dictogloss group was better regarding the quality of LREs. It can be concluded that the current study found evidence in support of Swain and her colleagues' claims (e.g. Kowal & Swain, 1994) that task implementation required the learners to produce output collaboratively which in turn leads to the internalization of grammatical features.
Directed Motivational Currents: The Implementation of the Dynamic Web-Based Persian Scale among Iranian EFL Learners
Directed motivational current (DMC) ̶ as a novel strand in L2 motivational field ̶ is a robust motivational drive fueled by a highly valued goal and capable of stimulating and sustaining long-term behavior. The present study explored English as a foreign language students’ Directed Motivational Currents by validating the dynamic web-based Persian version of the scale, finding the most crucial motivational currents, and exploring its association with students’ proficiency and educational levels. This is accomplished by translating the DMC Disposition Scale (Muir, 2016) which measures two facets of easy flowand challengethrough twelve items as the first step and utilizing the validated questionnaire to explore the most significant motivational currents of students by analyzing students’ responses on open-ended items of the questionnaire (qualitative phase) and finding the association between DMC and proficiency level as well as DMC and educational level (the quantitative phase) as the second step. The results of reliability estimates and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) demonstrated acceptable reliability and validity indices of the Persian version of DMC Disposition Scale. The results also indicated that most of the DMCs experienced by students were competitively self-referenced experiencesrather than competitively other-referencedobjectives. Moreover, a significant difference was observed between elementary and upper-intermediate proficiency levels of students regarding DMC with upper-intermediate learners experiencing more levels of motivational currents than the elementary counterparts. BA and MA students of English were found to experience more levels of DMCs than diploma learners. The most significant cases in the qualitative phase as well as the discussion on both parts are presented.
This study investigated the impact of oral pushed output on the learning and retention of English perfect tenses. During the study, a pre-test was administered to 22 freshmen majoring in English translation. The participants were randomly assigned to two groups. Then, for six sessions both groups received explicit instructions on English perfect tenses. Every session, the experimental group recorded their oral performances on some picture description and translation tasks whose completion entailed the use of the instructed language form, while the control group merely did some conventional multiple choice tests covering the instructed structures. Following the treatment sessions, a post-test was run. Four weeks later, a delayed post-test was also administrated. Analysis of the data through repeated measures Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) supported the facilitative effects of oral pushed output on the learning and retention of English perfect tenses. The finding of the study can have some implications for English Language Teaching (ELT) materials developers and practitioners.
A Comparative Study of Thematicity in the Argumentative Writing of University EFL Students and the Introduction Section of Research Articles
The present study aimed to find out thematic organization and progression in the argumentative writing of Iranian learners of English, representing two levels of language proficiency, and the introduction section of published Research articles (RAs) of Applied Linguistics. For this aim, 60 articles were downloaded from three journals and also 92 MA and BA students majoring in English Language Teaching and English Literature were selected. Then, three topics were used for gathering data from them. Of the written argumentative compositions, only 67 were chosen for the next phase of the study. These compositions together with the RAs were analyzed based on Halliday’s (1985) model of thematic structure and the revised model of Danes’ (1974) thematic progression patterns. The results of Chi-square suggested that there was a significant difference in the thematic structure of the essays written by MA students and the introduction section of RAs. It was concluded that thematicity can be effectively applied in classrooms to help students in writing. Students will know where they are losing their effectiveness in their arguments due to problems with either thematic progression or thematic selection, or both. The findings of this study can be effectively applied in teaching writing skills.
Accountability concerns in language education call for the development of more valid and authentic measures of assessment. In light of these concerns, performance assessment has received increasing interest in the context of teacher education programs and teacher licensing over the last decade. In Iran, a recent policy adopted by Farhangian University aims at assessing the professional competencies of its ELT graduates by requiring them to go through a performance assessment as part of the licensing requirements. Mounting concerns regarding the validity of traditional tests used for teacher certification (Mitchell, Robinson, Plake, & Knowles, 2001) have motivated Farhangian University to develop its own performance assessment. Therefore, the present study explored the components of the performance assessment through detailed analysis of the Curriculum Document of the English Major, review of literature, and investigation of the stakeholders' perspectives. To this end, in this exploratory study, convenience, purposive, and cluster sampling procedures were used for the selection of the teacher educators, student-teachers, and mentor teachers. Then, in-depth interviews were conducted with the stakeholders. Finally, based on the content analysis of the above-mentioned sources which resulted in a strong agreement, a performance assessment scheme with seventeen items was developed. However, results of the factor analysis yielded a thirteen-factor performance assessment scheme to be used as the criterion for assessing the professional competencies of student-teachers.
Syntactic Structures and Rhetorical Functions of Electrical Engineering, Psychiatry, and Linguistics Research Article Titles in English and Persian: A Cross-linguistic and Cross-disciplinary Study
A research article (RA) title is the first and foremost feature that attracts the reader's attention, the feature from which she/he may decide whether the whole article is worth reading. The present study attempted to investigate syntactic structures and rhetorical functions of RA titles written in English and Persian and published in journals in three disciplines of Electrical Engineering, Psychiatry, and Linguistics. To this end, 750 English and 750 Persian RAs were randomly selected from reputable English and Persian journals in these fields and syntactic structures of their titles were analyzed based on Dietz’s (1995) taxonomy. The results revealed that, despite some similarities, there were some cross-linguistic and cross-disciplinary differences in title structures. The differences were found in title components and title length and style. Generally, English titles were shorter in length than Persian ones. Psychiatry titles were the longest, whereas Linguistics ones were the shortest. Although the majority of titles were single-unit ones, English authors used multiple-unit titles more than Persian ones. Multiple-unit titles were also employed the most in Linguistics RAs. No significant difference was found regarding combinations of multiple-unit titles in the two languages; however, topic-description combinations were the most frequent in Electrical Engineering and Linguistics titles, whereas topic-method ones were the most popular in Psychiatry titles. Moreover, the post-modified nominal group construction was the most frequent syntactic structure across single-unit titles. Such findings can contribute to the developments of English for Specific Purposes and provide some information about Persian and English RA titles structures in different disciplines.