Research has shown that writing skill of Iranian learners is not at a satisfactory level. One of the ways to develop writing ability is improving strategic behavior of learners. The current study set out to compare writing performances and patterns of using metacognitive strategies in bilinguals and monolinguals as well as senior and freshmen students. A total of 176 English major university students took part in the study (88 bilinguals and 88 monolinguals). Data were collected through three instruments: a background questionnaire, a writing metacognitive strategy questionnaire, and participants’ compositions. A two-way factorial ANOVA was used to analyze the data obtained through the strategy questionnaire. Since the composition data were not parametric two Kruskall-Wallis tests were employed for data analysis. The results revealed that bilinguals used more metacognitive strategies and had higher writing scores than monolinguals. In addition, seniors had better writing performance than freshmen while the difference between them in using strategies was not significant. Based on the results it can be concluded that teaching writing metacognitive strategies may result in better writing performance.
The interface between linguistic noticing and fossilization of grammatical, lexical, and cohesive features among advanced EFL learners
Fossilization has become the focus of many L2 studies since its introduction in 1972 as many learners fail to achieve native-speaker competence. Researchers have tried to unravel the causes of fossilization, among which noticing has been claimed to be of great importance. This study aimed to explore the effect of noticing on fossilization. To achieve this aim, a mixed methods approach was utilized. Sixty advanced L1 Persian learners of English studying in Iran were chosen to perform two written and three spoken tasks twice. Qualitative data included the content analysis of the participants’ performance on the written and spoken tasks while the quantitative data included percentages of noticed errors and recurrent erroneous forms. The errors observed in both performances were counted and classified. Six main categories named Grammatical Errors, Lexical Errors, and Cohesive Errors were identified. The observed errors were further classified into 61 subcategories. When learners’ ability in noticing their errors was investigated, it was found that they could notice 37.4% of the 3,796 fossilized forms they had produced. Most of the errors observed were categorized in the category of grammatical errors. Noticing affected the number of errors produced. It can be concluded that becoming aware of ones fossilized forms, one will produce fewer fossilized forms. The results of the current study have implications for English language teachers and learners. By being informed of the errors learners make while learning a language and how their noticing affects fossilization, teachers can improve their teaching practice which in turn enhances learning.
Abstract: This study explores emotive language in lyrical nature writing from the perspective of ecolinguistics in four nature textbooks. In fact, embodied mind style is explored by considering emotive language as a linguistic phenomenon that can inject into the readers' minds the sensorial, emotional, and psychological experiences of the lyricist. The interrogation of emotive language is based on Attitude subsystem of Appraisal Analysis, which consists of Affect, Judgment, and Appreciation (Martin & White, 2005). The analyses of the linguistic portrayal of Affect -based on the modified Affect system sub-categories, including Un/Happiness, Dis/Satisfaction, In/Security, Dis/Inclination, and Surprise -revealed the prevalence of Insecurity in the textbooks by contemporary nature writers and Happiness in the textbooks by their predecessors. Moreover, the Judgement and Appreciation analyses suggest that moral sentiment and aesthetic emotion are indispensable parts of lyrical nature writing that can awaken humility and sympathy in the minds and hearts of the readers.
Native and Non-native Teachers’ Pragmatic Criteria for Rating Request Speech Act: The Case of American and Iranian EFL Teachers
Abstract: Over the last few decades, several aspects of pragmatic knowledge and its effects on teaching and learning a second language (L2) have been explored in many studies. However, among various studies, the area of interlanguage pragmatic (ILP) assessment is quite novel issue and many features of it have remained unnoticed. As ILP assessment has received more attention recently, the necessity of investigation on the EFL teachers’ rating criteria for rating various speech acts has become important. In this respect, the present study aimed to investigate the native and non-native EFL teachers’ rating scores and criteria regarding the speech act of request. To this end, 50 American ESL teachers and 50 Iranian EFL teachers participated to rate the EFL learners’ responses to video-prompted Discourse Completion Tests (DCTs) regarding the speech act of request. Raters were supposed to rate the EFL learners’ responses and mention their criteria for assessment. The results of the content analysis of raters’ comments revealed nine criteria that they considered in their assessment. Moreover, the result of the t-test and chi-square analyses of raters’ rating scores and criteria proved that there are significant differences between native and non-native EFL teachers’ rating pattern. The results of this study also shed light on importance of sociopragmatic and pragmalinguistic features in native and non-native teachers’ pragmatics rating, which can have several implications for L2 teachers, learners, and material developers.
Examining University Students' Scholarly Publication in English Journals: A Case for Postgraduate Students' Written Literacy Practices
This research aimed to screen 'essay writing' difficulties that non-native university students at postgraduate levels usually experience regarding scholarly publication in mainstream, English journals. Two sets of variables including written literacy competencies in Persian and English languages were mapped over language uses (General vs. Academic). Initial screenings from one hundred Iranian students at PhD and MA levels with publication experiences in both Persian and English languages gave rise to some fifty-five participants randomly selected from different university disciplines (Humanities, Engineering, Medicine and Basic Sciences) and diverse university settings (Public and Private) across the country and classified via stratified sampling. A validated questionnaire from a large-scale project called ENEIDA (Moreno, 2011) was used for collecting the required data. Two measures were used to assess written literacy competencies across language uses: 1) participants' assumed, self-reported written literacy competencies in using English and Persian languages for General and Academic purposes were denoted as 'perceived' measures and 2) further supported by actual measures: mostly received comments from reviewers in the mainstream, English journals by the target group above. Findings were discussed in the light of recent lines of enquiries in Academic Literacy (AL) trends.
Avoiding the current terminology debates in the literature on politeness research and following a variational pragmatics approach, this study attempted to illuminate how appropriacy/ inappropriacy is realized in Persian language in light of five speech acts of introduction, apology, refusal, congratulation, and condolence. Additionally, it was aimed to see to what extent appropriacy/ inappropriacy is a function of variables such as age, gender, job, and level of education. In order to achieve this aim, 300 participants (m=150, f=150) completed an Open-ended Production Test (OPT) consisting of twenty situations. Analyzed within a two-component part variational pragmatics framework; namely pragmatic level and social factors, the data revealed that the variables in the study in quite different forms guide the expectations, perception and performance of the participants in the study. Giving an appropriacy (Marked/unmarked) taxonomy of the study speech acts in Persian, it is illustrated how, in most cases, the norms of appropriate verbal behavior seem to be subject to the variables of the study. It was further shown that talk and acts between speakers at a social situation are governed by converging and diverging norms in different communities of practice in Persian. Thereupon, the study can highlight the significance of including variational perspective on conventions of language use for language teaching.