The present study chiefly aimed to compare two forms of dynamic assessment and standard assessment of EFL learners’ listening comprehension. 59 Iranian EFL learners were randomly assigned to three test administration groups and assessed on listening for main and supporting information in listening tasks. In the first group, dynamic assessment in a form of scaffolding in which for any incorrect answer graded prompts were progressively presented to learners until they answered correctly was implemented. In the second group, dynamic assessment in a form of direct instruction of listening tasks was implemented. The third group was in a form of standard assessment; learners completed the task independently without mediation. The results revealed statistically significant listening improvement in favor of dynamic-supported and dynamicinstructed assessment groups rather than standard assessment one. The findings of the study indicate that dynamic assessment can gain better insights into learners’ level of comprehension and their potential for future development and provide better learning effectiveness than those in statistic assessment group.
Developing a profile of learning needs of Iranian undergraduate students of English Language and Literature
The current study aimed at investigating the academic learning needs of Iranian undergraduate students of English Language and Literature from the perspective of 320 stakeholders including undergraduate students (n=252), graduates (n=51), English literature instructors (n=7), and language instructors (n=10). To this aim, atriangulation of the most important data collection instruments of needs analysis (i.e., questionnaires, class observations, and semistructured interviews) was adopted for data collection at eight different Iranian state universities. The results of data analysis revealed that the above-mentioned students are not adequately equipped with learning and communication strategies during their academic and preacademic studies. The results of the current study may promise implications for the provision of some extracurricular EFL courses at the tertiary and senior high school levels in order to enhance students’ sociocultural and strategic competence based on the shared decision-making process among different stakeholders in the course design community
Testing pragmatic competence has always posed daunting challenges to researchers and practitioners. As a step to address the gap in pragmatic testing, this paper delineates the procedural stages of developing and validating a context-sensitive Multiple Choice Discourse Completion Test (MDCT). Following a unitary view of validity, tenable argument and empirical evidence was accumulated to support the construct validity of the test. While 136 advanced learners of English took the developed test, it exhibited reasonable internal consistency (α= .72). Furthermore, the results of correlational studies revealed acceptable association between the scores of this MDCT with both a written version of the same test and a previously validated test of pragmatics from the literature endorsing its concurrent validity. Also, the MDCT proved efficient in differentiating between native speakers and EFL learners as suggested by the results of an independent samples t-test. Finally, a pretest-posttest experimental study with 26 intermediate EFL learners was designed to check the sensitivity of the test towards developments in learners’ interlanguage after which a t-test analysis corroborated the construct validity of the test. This array of evidence denotes that the suggested MDCT can be reliably used in EFL contexts as a valid measure of pragmatic competence.
Assessing Task- based English Language Needs of Medicine Students: Are They Aligned with Pedagogical Tasks in EMS Courses?
Assessing learners’ present and real life language needs can contribute to learners’ active participation in learning processes. Assessing learners’ taskbased needs and aligning them with pedagogical tasks are significant in English for medical purpose (EMS) courses. The main objectives of the present study were to assess learners’ needs and to determine whether they are practiced in EMS courses. In this study, pedagogical tasks practiced in EMS courses at universities of medical sciences in Iran were identified and the taskbased language learners practiced by stakeholders in real life situations were assessed. The results showed that some of the pedagogical tasks were not aligned with the real life task-based needs. Moreover, the pedagogical tasks and task-based needs were not aligned in terms of mode, channel, and degree of interaction. The results can be applied by EMS teachers and material developers for meeting the learners’ specific needs.
Unpeeling the Onion: On the Relationship among Iranian EFL Teachers’ Home-culture Attachment and Its Underlying Components with Their Emotional Intelligence
An understanding of language as ‘open, dynamic, constantly evolving and personal encompasses the rich complexities of communication (Shohamy, 2007, p.5). Knowing about the important role of culture as well as psychological aspects of language can give us a broader view of languageteaching and learning. In order to obtain a better understanding of different aspects of language teaching, the present study aims to investigate the possible relationship between Iranian EFL teachers’home-culture attachment and its underlying components, with their emotional intelligence. To this aim two questionnaires namely: Home culture Attachment/dependency and Bar-On EI test were distributed among 80 EFL teachers, both men and women who taught at different levels in state schools in Birjand, Kermanshah and Zabol. Data were analyzed using Pearson’s correlation coefficient and multiple regressions. Finally results of the study revealed no significant relationship between Iranian EFL teachers’ home culture attachment and its underlying components, with their emotional intelligence. The most important result of this study is bringing about awareness for EFL teachers, EFL syllabus designers, teacher educators and policy makers about the important factors in cultural attachment or detachment of Iranian EFL teachers that consequently affects their teaching and transfer of cultural values into their students.
Almost little is known about creative writing. In this research, creative writing has been introduced as an alternative to academic writing. The aims were to introduce creative writing as an alternative to academic writing to boost the participants’ attitude towards writing in general. The participants were 32 senior university students studying English Translation at Islamic Azad University, Tehran. The study includes two phases: quantitative and qualitative. For the quantitative phase, the participants were given a questionnaire so that the researchers could measure their attitudes about writing. Then, a creative writing pretest was administered, followed by a posttest to see to what extent the treatment could help the participants improve their writing skill. For the qualitative phase, a videotaped oral interview with the participants was closely examined to find out about the participants’ attitudes towards writing. The means of the pretest and posttest indicated a three-fold increase in the scores after the treatment was over. The oral interview, furthermore, showed that most participants had a negative attitude towards creative writing. It was finally concluded that creative writing might be considered as a useful asset in academic contexts, expected to alleviate the negative attitude of learners towards writing to feel more confident.
This study aimed to explore the relationships between foreign language learners’ self-identity changes, motivation types, and Foreign Language proficiency associated with learning English in private language schools in Iranian context. Based on a stratified sampling, 204 English as a foreign language learners from three language schools in Tehran were selected to participate in the study. The instruments were a 30-item Likert-scale questionnaire on motivation types in seven categories: intrinsic interest, immediate achievement, learning situation, going aboard, social responsibility, individual development, and information medium; a 24-item Likert-scale questionnaire on self-identity changes in six categories: self-confidence change, additive change, subtractive change, productive change, split change, and zero change. Results revealed that self-confidence change was the prominent change common among foreign language learners. Canonical correlation analysis revealed that motivation types and self-identity changes were related through three pairs of canonical variables: intrinsic orientations related with personal identity changes, instrumental orientations related with cultural changes, and instrumental orientations related learners’ self-confidence change. Theoretical and pedagogical implications for foreign language learning and teaching are also discussed.
To investigate the effects of etymological elaboration, contextual pragmatic clues, and lexical knowledge on L2 idioms comprehension and production, 60 male intermediate level EFL students in three groups were selected. Each group was randomly assigned to one treatment condition. Group one participants were presented with the etymological explanation of idioms. In group two, the same idioms were presented in short, familiar contexts, and in the third group, the participants focused on the exact meaning of the constituent parts of each idiom. At the end of the experimental period, comprehension and production posttests of idioms were administered. Two one–way ANOVA procedures were used to analyze data. Results showed that the participants of the etymological elaboration group performed significantly better than the participants of the lexical knowledge group on idiom production. The differences between the means in all other comparisons were not statistically significant. These findings may have implications for teachers, learners, and syllabus designers.