Three decades ago, the theory of education took a critical turn. From this perspective, classroom is no longer a public sphere of cultural assimilation but a site for identity struggle. The basic argument underlying such an approach is that education cannot be studied in isolation from an analysis of wider social and cultural influences. In such a context, this study investigated Iranian EFL teachers’ perceptions of the basic tenets of critical pedagogy. To this end, a mixed method approach was adopted and the data were gathered through in–depth interviews and questionnaires developed by the researchers. The participants of this study included 21 Iranian EFL teachers at the qualitative phase and 127 teachers at the quantitative phase. Qualitative data analysis included in-depth content analysis of oral data obtained from semi-structured interviews. Quantitative data analysis involved descriptive statistics and independent sample t-tests. The results indicated that Iranian EFL teachers were supportive of the basic tenets of critical pedagogy altogether. Also, mixed findings were obtained concerning their views according to their level of education and field of expertise. Based on the findings, several suggestions are made for classroom management, materials development, and teacher training programs.
This experimental study attempts to see whether incorporating supplemental podcasts into the blended module of second language (L2) vocabulary teaching and learning leads to better learning outcomes in comparison with other common teaching and learning methods as self-study and conventional. To that end, undergraduate students from Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences were summoned up via an announcement to take part in the study. Volunteers were homogenized via Vocabulary Levels Test (VLT) and were then randomly divided into three groups to learn English vocabulary items via three different scenarios during 32 sessions. The collected data from the participants’ answers to the attitude questionnaire and interview as well as the data from assessing their performance throughout the course were analyzed both descriptively and inferentially. The analysis of the data revealed that the podcast-mediated blended L2 learning scenario appeared as the most successful scenario in L2 vocabulary learning. Consequently, it could be concluded that providing miscellaneous practicing opportunities for students would facilitate learning process and contribute to learning improvement.
The Interplay of Emotional Intelligence, EFL Students’ Gender, and their Writing Performance: A Correlational Study of Iranian University Students
This study was an attempt to examine the relationship between EFL students’ EI, their gender, and writing performance. To this end, 30 female and 27 male English B.A. students, studying at Allameh Tabataba’i University, participated in this study. After checking the homogeneity of the participants through a TOEFL test, Bar-On EQ-i questionnaire (Bar-On, 1997) was administered in order to measure the participants’ emotional intelligence. Besides, their writing performance was measured by their writing course final grades. Three Pearson product moment correlation coefficients and a Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) were run to analyze the relationships and interactions among the variables of emotional intelligence, gender, and writing performance. The findings revealed that there was a positive relationship between the participants’ EI and their writing performance. Furthermore, the female participants had a higher emotional intelligence compared to the male participants. However, no difference was found between the male and female participants’ writing performance. The obtained results of this study have had several implications in the fields of English teaching, language testing, and syllabus design and materials development.
Factors Influencing Iranian Untrained EFL Raters' Rating Group Oral Discussion Tasks: A Mixed Methods Design
Using a mixed methods design, the present study attempted to identify the factors influencing Iranian untrained EFL raters in rating group oral discussion tasks. To fulfil this aim, 16 language learners of varying proficiency levels were selected and randomly assigned to groups of four and performed a group discussion task. Thirty two untrained raters were also selected based on their volunteer participations. They listened to the audio files of the group discussions and assigned a score of one to six to each language learners based on their own judgments. They also provided comments on each language learners’ performance pointing to why they assigned such scores. The researchers had an interview with the raters after the rating session as well. The quantitative phase investigated whether linguistic features of accuracy, fluency, complexity and amount of talk were attended to by the raters in terms of having any relationship to the scores the raters assigned. Speech rate as an index of fluency and amount of talk turned out to be significantly correlated with the scores. Of more importance was the qualitative phase with the aim of identifying other factors that may account for the scores. The comments provided by the raters on each score and the interviews were codified based on Content Analysis (CA) approach. It was found that the raters attend not only to the linguistic features in rating oral group discussions, but they are also sensitive to the interactional features like the roles the participants take in groups tasks and the overall interaction patterns of the groups. The findings of this study may shed light on group oral assessment in terms of training the raters rating group oral tests and developing rating scales specific for group oral assessment.
Oral Presentation vs. Free Discussion: Iranian Intermediate EFL Learners’ Speaking Proficiency and Perception
Speaking is a significant skill that many foreign language learners are trying to master. In this study, the effectiveness of two different speaking activities, i.e. oral presentation vs. free discussion, was investigated from quantitative and qualitative points of view. To achieve this purpose, 44 intermediate learners from a language institute in Tehran participated in the study. Half of the participants experienced oral presentation while the other half (22 in two other classes) experienced free discussion for eight sessions. The two activities were exchanged between the two groups after the end of the quantitative phase of the study for eight more sessions. The results of an independent samples t-test performed on the scores ofthe speaking section of a sample Preliminary English Test (PET, 2012 ) after the first phase of the study (the first 8 sessions) indicated that the learners who experienced oral presentation significantly outperformed the learners who experienced free discussion though both activities proved to be significantly useful. Furthermore, the results of the interview with 10 participants from each activity through purposeful sampling, after the second phase of the study (the second 8 sessions) through thematic analysis indicated that both free discussion and oral presentation activities had some merits and demerits. Based on the results it can be advisable to include the two activities as complementary.
The use of effective multimedia instructions such as mobiles, computers, and the internet in language learning has turned out to be useful since the last decades. The impact of multimedia and synchronous approaches of computer-assisted language learning (CALL) on English as a foreign language (EFL) learners' learning of language skills and components has been studied to some extent. However, the impact of computerized mediated instruction through multimedia (text and graphics) on learning collocations requires further investigations. This study aimed at investigating whether synchronous and asynchronous multimedia components: text and text with added graphics had any effects on EFL learners' learning of collocations. In doing so, 150 male EFL learners at pre-intermediate proficiency level were selected through convenience sampling. They were divided into six groups. The results of the study showed that computerized mediated instruction was more effective than non-computerized instruction. Also, synchronous computerized instruction was more effective than asynchronous computerized instruction. The results also showed that presentation through text with added graphics was more effective than presentation through simple text. The results are discussed and some pedagogical implications are presented.