The present study sought to investigate the effect of explicit instruction of lexical bundles (LBs) on the development of Iranian English for Academic Purposes (EAP) students’ writing quality and also their receptive and productive knowledge of Lexical Bundles (LB). Assigned to two experimental and control groups, the eighty participants took pre- and post-tests of writing tasks and the receptive knowledge test. Afterwards, the obtained scores were subjected to a series of Analyses of Covariance (ANCOVAs) and paired samples t-tests. Results of the within-group and between-group analyses indicated that explicit instruction of LBs enhanced the participants’ productive and receptive knowledge of LBs and also improved the overall quality of their written productions. Possible explanations are provided and the implications of the findings for the applicability of LBs instruction are discussed.
Nagy (1988) states that vocabulary is a prerequisite factor in comprehension. Drawing upon a reductionist approach and having in mind the prospects for material development, this study aimed at creating an English for Academic Purposes Word List (EAPWL). The corpus of this study was compiled from a corpus containing 6479 pages of texts, 2,081,678 million tokens (running words) and 63825 types (individual words), and 2615 word families from online resources. The created EAPWL included 636 word families, which accounted for 12%of the tokens in the EAPWL under study. The high word frequency and the wide text coverage of this word list confirm that this word list plays an important role in English for Academic Purpose texts and hence can be a justified resource for material development in the field. From these findings, it can be concluded that the EAPWL created in this study can serve as a guide for material developers and syllabus designers especially in designing course-books, in addition learning these words by learners can help them in better understanding of their texts, and development in their writing and reading comprehension.
This study tried to find out what factors underline the characteristics of acquisition of English language in EFL classrooms. To this end, the Characteristics of English Language Acquisition Scale (ELAS) consisting of 41 items was designed by the researchers of this study and administered to 388 pre University Iranian EFL students at various private and public schools in Neyshabour and Zebarkhan. Factor analysis was run to determine the number of factors underlying the scale. The application of Principle Axis Factoring and rotating the extracted factors showed that the characteristics loaded acceptably on twelve factors underlying the learners’ EFL acquisition, i.e., learning boosters, facilitation, determination, voluntary, teaching methodology, affective factors, attitudes toward foreign speakers and their culture, learner engagement, adjustment, enhancement, teachers' output and individual differences. The results are discussed and suggestions are made for future research.
EFL Learners’ Motivation and Attitude toward EIL in the Increasingly Globalized Local Context of Iran: A Structural Equation Modeling Approach
The present study probed 409 Iranian English as foreign language (EFL) learners' motivation and attitude toward English as an International Language (EIL) by investigating the causal relationships of their facets via Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). To do so, the Persian version of the ‘attitudes toward EIL’ scale was designed and validated. It measures five constructs of: cultural realism, linguistic cultural disposition (negative), (dis)ownership of English, EIL posture, and localization. Then, the researchers utilized the validated scale along with the adapted Persian version of motivation scale designed by Taguchi et al. (2009) to explore the causal relationship among their facets. The latter scale measures seven dimensions of instrumentality prevention, instrumentality promotion, ideal L2 self, ought-to l2 self, learning experience, motivational intensity, and integrativeness. The findings of the study revealed that students' motivational intensity positively predicted by other motivational and attitudinal factors with 'ideal self' and 'instrumentality promotion' having the highest influence. It was also found that ‘cultural realism’ was a significant predicator of ‘localisation’, and ‘localisation’ was a significant positive predictor of ‘disownership of English’. ‘EIL posture’ was also in a positive direct relationship with ‘cultural realism’, whereas ‘linguistic cultural disposition’ (negative) was found to negatively influence other aspects including ‘motivational intensity’. This study has some implications for ELT professionals to revisit EFL motivation in light of attitudes toward EIL in expanding circle.
Does number of options in multiple choice tests affect item facility and discrimination? An examination of test-taker preferences
Multiple Choice tests are utilized widely in educational assessment because of their objectivity, ease of scoring, and reliability. This study aimed to compare IF and ID of MC vocabulary test items and attempted to find whether these indices are affected by the number of options. To this end, four 20 item stem equivalent vocabulary tests (3-, 4-, 5-, and 6-option MC) were administered to 194 (106 male and 88 female) pre-intermediate students. Besides, an attitude questionnaire was utilized to examine the attitudes of test takers towards MC test format. Results of one-way ANOVA showed that altering number of options in MC tests does not affect Item Discrimination (ID); however, there were significant differences between Item Facility (IF) of 3-, 5-, and 6-option and 4-, 5-, and 6-option MC test but not between 3- and 4-option MC test, suggesting that 6-option test is the most difficult test. Also, the results of questionnaire revealed test takers’ preference towards the use of 3-option MC. Findings demonstrated that increasing the number of options makes a test more difficult and that choosing the right number of option for MC tests is controversial. Testers are recommended to consider various factors while choosing the right number of options.
This investigation set out to look into the issue of teachers’ exercise of agency in the Iranian EFL context. More specifically, as part of a larger study, it reports on the ways two Iranian Ministry of Education teachers make sense of and operate in the country’s educational setting under the demands of a centralist system of education. Priestley, Biesta, & Robinson’s (2013) framework of teacher agency formed the conceptual backbone of the present study as well as guiding the data collection/analysis of the study. Qualitative data, from semi-structured interviews as well as follow-up data collection procedures, were gleaned from the participants over the course of an academic year and were subjected to analytical interpretation in the light of the said framework. The researchers came up with findings which, in the main, gave more weight to the well-roundedness of Priestly, Biesta, & Robinson’s model of teacher agency. The results also pointed to the highly situated nature of teacher responsiveness and action, thereby undermining the still prevalent views of the essentialist and idealized character of (teacher) agency. The results of the study are liable to be of use, among others, to case-based teacher education programs.
The main objective of the present study was to investigate the differences between Iranian EFL monolinguals and bilinguals in terms of vocabulary language learning strategies. In fact, it was an attempt to investigate whether bilingual/ monolingual learners differ significantly in using vocabulary learning strategies. To this end, 70 EFL, 45 monolingual (Persian) and 25 bilingual (Arabic-Persian) pre-university students were selected to answer Schmitt’s Vocabulary Learning Strategies Questionnaire (VLSQ). The participants were homogeneous in terms of age, sex, nationality and level of instruction. Following the administration of a general English proficiency test and one VLSQ, interviews were conducted. Then, descriptive statistics and independent t-test were used to analyze the data. The findings obtained through comparison revealed significant dissimilarities between bilinguals and monolinguals’ usage of determination, memory, cognitive and metacognitive strategies. There was no significant variation, however, in their use of social strategies. Further, interviews exhibited some aspects that were not mentioned in the VLSQ.