This quasi-experimental study aimed to compare the effect of different modes and item types of multiple-choice (MC) test items on advanced EFL learners’ listening comprehension and perception. To this end, 80 advanced EFL learners, aging 18 to 30, were selected. The participants took a listening test including dialogue-completion and question and answer multiple-choice items presented in written and oral modes. In addition, the participants were given a questionnaire on their perceptions of the oral and written modes. The results of two-way repeated measures ANOVA showed that there was no significant difference between the participants’ scores in the oral and written modes. Moreover, they received similar scores on the two item types. However, in their questionnaire responses, most of the participants preferred the written mode to the oral mode. The results also imply that although presenting the multiple-choice test items in the oral mode may form a pure test of listening comprehension, there are acceptable reasons for presenting the multiple-choice listening items in the written mode.
This paper aims to study Vygotsky’s (1987) sociocultural theory of learning with respect to how it relates to technology-based second language learning and teaching. The researchers selected their participants from advanced students from Payame Noor University. We divided the participants into two groups- an experimental group and a control group. After teaching the course an experimental group was asked to continue practicing language in an online learning environment, whereas those in the control group were not told anything about practice procedure. We found that students’ engagement in an interactive group activity in the online learning can be a useful approach to facilitating and motivating internalization, learning, and better performance.
The present study investigated the university practitioners’ attitudes towards using computer assisted language learning (CALL) in teaching English language at Islamic Azad universities of Khuzestan Province. This study was also to examine the English as foreign language (EFL) MA and PhD teachers’ computer literacy and its effects on using CALL facilities in English classrooms. The participants of this study were 135 university teachers at the Islamic Azad Universities (i.e., 12 Branches). The research instrument was a questionnaire extracted from Shin and Son (2007) in 5-point Likert scale. Findings showed that that there was lack of technological equipment for using CALL.
This study investigated the impact of visual-kinesthetic tasks on ESP university students’ vocabulary learning. Two intact classes of university students were selected as control (23 students) and experimental (36 students) group. A proficiency test, a pretest and a posttest were administered and the students were exposed to a set of treatments. Also a questionnaire administered to students, recognized each student’s learning style. The posttest mean score of experimental group was significantly different from control group’s posttest proved significant effect of visual and kinesthetic activities on ESP students’ vocabulary learning. Also this significant effect was repeated regarding student’ related learning style.
Some consider assessment in terms of a systematic way of gathering and evaluating information within educational system and particularly higher education. Since, the term ‘’assessment’’ refers and relates to administrative processes, this paper has shed light some consideration on how it can benefit the members of department and program. Program assessment ultimately emphasizes on direction for developing students learning quality and satisfaction of its central role in educational system. Thus, this study aimed to regard goals and purposes, specifically, explore new trends, techniques and procedures which play an important role in this aspect of assessment and also can have influences on outcomes of the academic units. To this end, some of the practical assessment methods were selected to be done on different fields of study in Shahrekord Azad University as well as discussing their description, strengths and weaknesses to expose whether assessments follow the rules and procedures of program assessment to reach the best consequences in assessment of academic units.
This study compares metadiscourse markers in result and discussion sections of literature and engineering research papers. To this end, 40 research articles (20 literature and 20 engineering) are selected from two major international journals. Based on Hyland’s (2005) model of metadiscourse, the articles are codified in terms of frequency, percentage, and density of interactive and interactional markers found. The two corpora are compared to see to what extent the genre of lectures are different. Data are analyzed through Chi-square and the results of the quantitative analysis reveal significant cross-linguistic differences for overall frequency of metadiscourse except for frame markers and boosters.
The present study aimed to investigate the interaction among grade dropping and reflective thinking abilities of the participants and to also check if action research enhances learners’ reflective thinking. A cyclic action research was run for 8 sessions. Kember et al.’s (2010) reflective thinking questionnaire and three in-term quizzes were administered. Students also made questions based on their course book passages and develop reflective thinking journals. Although the results suggested no linear relation between grade dropping and reflective thinking, students strategically decided to drop their lowest score and receive a replacement exam. Furthermore, analyses of students’ questions based on Bloom’s (1956) Taxonomy and their reflections revealed that learners’ reflective thinking level was enhanced. Such results might be conducive to highlighting students’ role in assessment policies.
EFL learners who loved to read newspapers but have difficulty in comprehending. Present paper is a study on the significance of special styles of newspapers’ writing that may contribute in decreasing reading and comprehension skills for EFL learners and also is primarily concerned with the language and style of newspaper reportage. Skilled readers don’t just read, they interact with the text. The present study aims to probe into this important issue by providing formal instruction of the strategies to a group of Iranian EFL learners and comparing their newspapers’ reading comprehension performance with another group not receiving such an instruction.
Alternative assessments have evolved from an epistemological change in education. They see assessment and instruction as two sides on the same coin which go hand in hand. The traditional roles of both teachers and learners are, consequently, modified which is essential for better language development. In this line, the present study aimed at comparing the effects of portfolio and journal writing assessment on EFL learners’ autonomy. The study followed a quasi-experimental design with two study groups having a pre-test, treatment, post-test format. To this end, 39 EFL learners whose scores on PET test were one standard deviation above and below the mean were selected for the groups which were then randomly assigned for two treatment types, namely portfolio assessment (PA) and journal writing assessment (JWA). The groups’ autonomy levels were compared by one-way ANCOVA, the results of which did not reveal any significant difference in the positive effects of these two common alternative assessments. It was inferred that language teachers can take the advantage of any or both of these alternative assessment types to improve their learners’ autonomy and make them lifelong language learners. The great role of autonomy in language learning and further pedagogical implications for the findings for language learners, teachers, and curriculum developers are discussed in the paper.
This study aimed at investigating the effect of using smart board technology on the EFL learners' achievement motivation and willingness to communicate (WTC). The participants were 65 second grade female students from Shahid Nazari girls’ high school in Andimeshk, Iran, who were selected randomly. An OPT was administrated to the the participants to homogenize them. Other instruments were Hermans’ achievement motivation questionnaire and McCroskey & Baer’s WTC questionnaire to estimate the participants’ achievement motivation and willingness to communicate, respectively. For data analysis, Levenetest, Kolmogorov-Smirnov, independent samples T test, paired sample T test, MANCOVA and ANCOVA were used. The findings indicated the experimental group outperformed the control group. Overall, the findings provided empirical support for the significant effect of using smart board technology on the EFL learners’ achievement motivation and WTC.
The present study examines the role of gender in reading comprehension of short stories taught through awareness-raising among Iranian EFL learners. In so doing, twelve male and eighteen female learners with lower intermediate English proficiency were selected as the research sample. Next, they were randomly divided into two fifteen-member groups (i.e., a control group and an experimental group). The control group followed the conventional methods and the experimental group was taught the same short stories using awareness-raising activities. Consequently, an independent sample t-test was run. The obtained results indicate the experimental group demonstrates a better performance than the control one. According to the means, the female learners in both groups outperformed the male ones.
Although scientific forum has obliged its members to hide their presence particularly while they are discussing research outcomes to avoid personal biases, a recent trend is encouraging writers to demonstrate their identity as the author of the text through the use of first person pronouns in order to take responsibility for the content. Therefore, the present study focuses on intermediate and advanced EFL learners‘ adoption of first person pronouns so as to manifest their identity in argumentative and narrative writings. A total of 30 EFL intermediate and advanced students attending an IELTS preparation course were requested to write essays on narrative and argumentative topics. The comparison between their uses of self-mention pronouns revealed that there was not a significant difference between the use of first person pronouns which are adopted by advanced and intermediate learners in the use of pronouns in both modes of writing (argumentative and narrative essays). Moreover, by tallying first person pronouns, it is shown that advanced learners have exploited first person pronouns less than intermediate learners within narrative writings. In addition, it was found that learners used more first person pronouns in narrative writings than in argumentative ones. Findings imply that since argumentative writing requires logical reasoning, learners prefer to be cautious about the adoption of first person pronouns and revealing their presence to show their credible self. English language teachers are suggested to make language learners aware of the uses of self-mention pronouns while practicing different writing modes. Since the overuse of the personal pronouns as well as the absolute absence of the mentioned pronouns is not recommended in writing, explicit instruction concerning the use of self-mention in witting is recommended.
To produce an adequate translation, language students are required to learn varieties of language features including syntax, semantics and pragmatics. Considering the curriculum language learners are face with, one can claim that almost all language students in Iran are taught these features in their academic settings including linguistic courses. Yet, there are some aspects of language which are disregarded in course books and syllabi and ignored by language teachers. Thus, language learners find it a formidable task to deal with these shrugged off aspects of their curricula. Genre of language is among these invisible features which have challenged translation students in translating specific texts. News reports is one of these genres that Iranian media translators, in spite of enjoying technical competence in language, are not familiar with knowledge and rhetorical conventions of it. So, the current is conducted to investigate the familiarity of these translators with genre features of news discourse and examine the effect of raising genre awareness on developing the quality of translation. To this aim, fourteen translation students studying translation for media purpose were selected through convenient sampling who were given some news reports to translate. Using Baker’s taxonomy (1992) and House’s quality assessment model (1997), the quality of their translations were assessed before genre awareness raising session and after it. The findings showed that the quality of translation ameliorated meaningfully after the instruction, indicating the importance of genre knowledge in linguistic competence. These findings have implications for syllabus designers and EAP and ESP teachers and students.
This study investigated the impact of semantic clustering on Iranian EFL learners’ vocabulary retention at advanced level. Participants were female learners randomly assigned to two groups of 15. Four instruments (TOEFL test; vocabulary pretest; immediate posttest, and delayed recall posttest) were used. The experimental group underwent semantic clustering vocabulary presentation in which the learners were provided with six lists each containing ten semantically related words in sentences, while, the control group was provided with the same words but the sentences were presented in a random way containing different topics, not semantic groups. The results revealed the outperformance of the control group in the delayed recall posttest.
The purpose of this paper was to investigate the authenticity of IELTS academic tests. Bachman and Palmer (1996, p. 23) define authenticity as “the degree of correspondence of the characteristics of a given language test task to the features of a target language task”. Authenticity is then an important aspect of testing since it describes the relationship between the test and the real world. The participants of this study included 80 Iranian IELTS test takers who took IELTS academic test in 2014 and 2015, and 100 lecturers of university and IELTS teachers. Twenty IELTS test takers also were interviewed to collect the required qualitative part of data. The data were gathered through a semi-structured interview and authenticity checklist. Descriptive statistics used to analyze the collected data. The findings of the study showed that IELTS academic tests are not authentic in terms of tone, format, channel, form and scope of interaction. Moreover, mostly the interviewees stated that answering the items in IELTS academic test requires specific techniques and test takers can not succeed without mastering these techniques.
This study aims at investigating the interface between emotion and intonation patterns (more specifically, duration and pitch amplitude of speech). To this end, the acoustic properties of spectral parameters related to speech prosody are investigated. The results of acoustic and Statistical analysis show that mean level and range of FO in the contours vary strongly as a function of the degree of activation of the portrayed emotions. The results also indicate that FO/pitch and other vocal aspects affected by emotion and/or emotional arousal in collected samples of speech in Persian.
Many studies abroad have focused on neural machine translation and almost all concluded that this method was much closer to humanistic translation than machine translation. Therefore, this paper aimed at investigating whether neural machine translation was more acceptable in English-Persian translation in comparison with machine translation. Hence, two types of text were chosen to be translated by Google Translate. The inputs have been translated in two distinctive methods. The outputs were investigated by the descriptive-comparative human analysis model of Keshavarz. Consequently, the results revealed that approximately the same errors were found in both methods. However, semantic aspects were improved.