This paper analyzed three middle grade novels and a short story from two cultures using the journey motif as the vehicle for the analysis. The three novels are Bud Not Buddy and The Watsons Go to Birmingham both by Paul Curtis (1995, 1999) and Journey to Jo’burg by Naidoo (1985). The short story is My Two Dads by Lee (2000). The three novels and a short story were chosen because these novels are on the reading list for students in many school districts in the USA at the middle grade level. The analysis showed that for the three novels and a short story in the study, each text adhered to some elements/ parts of the journey motif. The paper then suggested 10 literacy strategies that can be used by English Language Arts teachers to engage learners, make the instructional process more interesting and hopefully improve achievement for all learners.
Motivation is one of the neglected parts of English language teaching. Teachers often forget that motivation is the basic part of learners’ English language learning activities. In this sense, learners control the flow of the classroom. Without learners’ motivation, there is no pulse and no life in the class. When learners learn to incorporate direct approaches to generate motivation in their learning, they will become happier and more successful learners. This paper is an attempt to investigate the impact of motivation on learners’ reading comprehension. It reviews the terms motivation, different types of motivation, reading comprehension, and different models of reading comprehension. The review of the literature indicated that motivation has an influential role in learners’ reading comprehension.
A Study of English Listening Comprehension Improvement via Product- vs. Process-Oriented Tactics: The Case Study of Shiraz EFL Learners
As listening comprehension plays an indispensable role in language learning, the way in which language instructors cover teaching listening comprehension has been controversial; the recent study selected two approaches to associate listening comprehension tactics: product-oriented and process-oriented. A quasi-experimental design was adopted to get to the objectives. Using a random procedure, 120 male students ranging in age from 15 to 18 were selected and were randomly allocated to two experimental and control groups. Subsequently, a pre-test was given to both groups to approve that both groups began on equal traction, which was the case. The students were taught for 12 sessions, adopting a process-oriented approach for the experimental group and a product-oriented approach for the control group. The evaluation of the two groups in terms of their overall performance on listening comprehension indicated that the performance of the students receiving training in process-oriented approach to listening comprehension compensated the control group trained through product-oriented approach, which suggests a clear advantage of the former. The findings have implications for the ways in which listening comprehension, in general, are taught in language classes.
Wiki use may help EFL instructors to create an effective learning environment for inquiry-based language teaching and learning. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of wikis on the EFL learners’ IBL process. Forty-nine EFL students participated in the study while they conducted research projects in English. The Non-wiki group (n=25) received traditional inquiry instruction and the Wiki group (n=24) received wiki-mediated instruction during their IBL process. Data were collected through surveys at the stages of pre-search, exploration, and completion of the IBL activity. The instruments sought to measure differences in knowledge accumulation, as well as the challenges students encountered during their inquiry process. The results revealed that the use of wikis can provide support to (a) help students go beyond information accumulation and regurgitation of facts and move toward generating more integrated and synthesized knowledge representations and (b) address the challenges of traditional IBL including planning the tasks, organizing multiple resources, managing the inquiry process, and coordinating the final product. According to the results of the survey, wikis can constitute a dynamic forum that keeps students engaged in staging the sequences of structured inquiry process and improve ability to perform inquiry-based tasks in an efficient manner.
A substantial body of research has revealed that EFL students conceive of a monolingual dictionary primarily as a repository of definitions to the almost utter neglect of the other entry components. Since existing lexicographical Sudanese literature has uncovered an even more subsidiary role for monolingual dictionaries, further investigations were needed to verify whether knowledge and skills to tap the inexhaustible resources of the dictionary can be enhanced through direct teaching regiments. Hence, the aim of the current study is to empirically gauge the efficacy of integrating these reference skills within a conventional Enhancement Course. A dictionary pre-test was administered to two homogeneous groups attending a Study Skills Course at The University of Khartoum, Sudan. The performance was measured against a slightly modified version of the test following a tailor-made structured module presented to the experimental group. The results of both groups in the pre-test were unsatisfactory and generally congruent with the findings of the original study. Yet, statistically significant differences were registered in the performance of the experimental group regarding overall and individual entry components. In view of the importance and increasing sophistication of monolingual dictionaries, this study is yet one more proof of the pedagogical usefulness of equipping students with dictionary training as part of their syllabuses. Thus, entry composites such as definitions, phonetic and grammatical information, and diatonic and diaphasic labels shall constitute an integral part of teaching strategies in the phonology, syntax, semantic, and sociolinguistic domains.
The present study attempted to investigate the impact of electronic portfolio assessment on performance of Iranian EFL learners’ writing. To do so, 30 advanced EFL learners who participated in a TOEFL preparation course were selected as the participants of the study. After administrating a truncated version of TOEFL proficiency test, they were randomly assigned to control and experimental groups. The experimental group was given a treatment including electronic portfolio assessment, while the control group was given a placebo. To collect the required data, two instruments (a writing pre-test and a writing post-test) were administered to both groups during the experimentation. Subsequently, the learners’ scores were collected and the results were statistically analyzed. Inter-rater reliability, matched t-test, and independent t-test were calculated. The findings revealed that the participants of the experimental group outperformed those of the control group and thus it was concluded that electronic portfolio assessment can improve the writing ability and can be considered as a motivating assessment strategy.
Pronunciation continues to grow in importance because of its key roles in speech recognition, speech perception, and speaker identty. Computer is being increasingly used in teaching English pronunciation to enhance its quality. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the advantages of using computer in English pronunciation instruction. Understanding the advantages of computer is an important step in the successful use of computer into English language teaching in general and pronunciation instruction in particular. Findings from empirical research, teachers’ roles in using computer, and implications for language teachers and learners are also discussed.