The present article aims to provide a synchronic study of the inflectional or morpho-syntactic categories of noun in Sistani dialect. These categories comprise person, number, gender or noun class, definiteness, case, and possession. Linguistic data was collected via recording free speech, and interviewing with 30 (15 females, 15 males) illiterate Sistani language consultants of age 40–102 years, living in central (Markazi) district of Zabol city in Sistan and Baluchestan province of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The research results indicate that nouns are inflected in three distinct persons i.e. first, second, and third persons with either singular or plural in number. Grammatical gender of nouns takes no specific morphological marker. As to the category of definiteness, this dialect makes use of syntactic devices (like demonstrative adjectives), and/or morphological devices (such as the use of /=ak/ and /=e/ clitics) to display the definite and indefinite nouns. Its case system is nominative-accusative system. In this regard, only the accusative or objective case marking is morphologically realized by the object marker /=a/. In addition, possession is expressed through the use of the word /mAl=e/ ‘belonging to’ or the preposition /az/ ‘from, of’ along with nouns/noun phrases/personal pronouns and also applying ezɑfe - construction in the form of genitive structure.
Due to the lack of paralinguistic information, politeness gains a considerable significance in telephone conversations (TCs). The use of politeness strategies can help interlocutors promote and/or maintain social harmony in telephone interactions. Using the Rapport Management Model proposed by Spencer-Oatey (2008), this study intended to primarily investigate the fundamental closing structures of TCs in Persian and English. Furthermore, it examined the effect of two contextual variables and time availability on the closing pattern sand length of TCs. To this aim, 30 English natives, 30 Persian natives, and 30 Persian EFL learners were selected. A Discourse Completion Test (DCT) of 12 scenarios was developed considering contextual variables and time limitation. The obtained results demonstrated that the CPT (closing implicative environment + preclosing + terminal components) closing pattern may not be applicable in every context. Furthermore, telephone conversers change the pattern and length of TC closing part to maintain their rapport based on the aforementioned variables. The findings of the present study can guide the researcher to follow more complete and perfect politeness models.
Any language classroom is a distinctive learning context offering numerous affordances that might be perceived effectively, remain unnoticed, or even act as constraints. Therefore, exploring students' perception toward a particular method of instruction is crucial since it may produce a reliable piece of evidence for teachers to confirm or refute the effectiveness of the intended instructional activities. This study was an attempt to survey Iranian EFL learners' perception of the efficacy of activity theory-based reading comprehension. To this end, 60 students studying English translation at Islamic Azad University, Tehran Central Branch participated in the study and received the reading instruction based on the elements of activity theory, i.e., subjects, object, mediating artifacts, rules, community, and division of labor. After receiving the treatment, the students filled in two perception questionnaires and took part in a semi-structured focus group interview. The findings indicated that the students showed favorable perception toward activity theory, for which they perceived different affordances. Moreover, the results demonstrated that there was a significant difference between the students’ perception regarding the mediating elements of activity theory. The study provides EFL teachers with new insights into the considerable benefits that activity theory might bring to reading classes.
The status of teaching ESP has been studied both internationally and locally. However, it seems that the challenges of teaching ESP in medical universities of Iran have not been studied appropriately. The main objective of the present study was to explore the main challenges of teaching ESP in medical universities of Iran. Due to the nature of the study, a qualitative res earch design (Phenomenological) was used. The data were gathered through interviewing 25 ESP stakeholders from two universities of medical sciences in Tehran. The data were analyzed through content analysis techniques. The results showed that the challenges are classified into three main themes: institution challenges, learner related challenges, and teacher related challenges. Institution related challenges consisted of undetermined aims, structure of the curricula, and content of syllabus, evaluation, time limitation and classroom size. The learner related challenges included lack of motivation, poor GEL background, and learners’ focus on test, and learners’ inappropriate needs’ analysis. ESP teachers’ related challenges included teacher’s language proficiency, teachers’ content knowledge, teachers’ perception of ESP, teachers’ teaching method, teachers’ familiarity with material development, and testing skills. The findings of the study can be used to promote the status of teaching ESP in medical universities.
English and Persian Undergraduate Students’ Perceptions of the Construct-(ir)Relevance of Language Proficiency in the Assessment of Literary Competence
Of the many dilemmas facing the assessment of literary competence, one is the extent to which language should constitute part of the target construct intended to be measured. Some argue for the construct-irrelevance of language and hence recommend that it be eliminated or minimized in favor of an exclusive focus on literary competence. In practice, this does not seem to be the case, as language proficiency considerations seem to creep into assessment, clouding assessment outcomes. The current study sought to examine students' perceptions of the degree to which knowledge of language constitutes part of the construct of literary competence in two departments of English and Persian literature. To this end, a total of seventy students in two poetry courses, one in the English department and the other in the Persian, responded to a questionnaire designed to gauge their perceptions of the extent to which language competence constitutes a component of the literary competence. Data were analyzed through one sample and independent samples t-tests. It was found that language competence is somehow construct-irrelevant in testing literary competence. Interestingly, measurement-invariance was observed regarding Persian and EFL students’ stance on the construct-irrelevance of language in tests of literary achievement and competence.
The present research addressed the prosodic realization of global and local text structure and content in the spoken discourse data produced by Persian EFL learners. Two newspaper articles were analyzed using Rhetorical Structure Theory. Based on these analyses, the global structure in terms of hierarchical level, the local structure in terms of the relative importance of text segments and the rhetorical relations between text segments were identified. The texts were read aloud by 18 high-proficient Persian learners of English. We measured pause durations preceding segments, F0-maxima (as a correlate of pitch range) and speech rates of the segments. Results suggested that speakers give prosodic indications about hierarchical level by means of variations in pause duration but not pitch range or speech rate. Furthermore, it was found that speakers articulate causally related segments with shorter in between pauses and at faster rate than non-causally related segments. However, they did not vary any of the prosodic measures to distinguish between important vs. unimportant segments. Overall, the results suggest that (1) variations in pause duration and speech rate are not used systematically by Persian EFL speakers as fully structured cuing devices to indicate organization of spoken discourse, importance of sentences and meaning relations between sentences; (2) pitch change structuring as a cue to discourse prosodic prominence is completely absent in Persian learners' text production. The results are not consistent with earlier findings of prosodic realization of text structure and content in English native speakers' discourse data, but are in line with those obtained for non-native spoken discourse.
A Comparison of Expert and Novice Iranian EFL Teachers’ Procedural Knowledge in Iranian Language Institutes and Universities
This study sought to compare Iranian EFL novice and expert teachers regarding their procedural knowledge in Iranian language institutes and universities. A questionnaire was developed based on the literature, the theoretical framework, and the results of a qualitative study. This questionnaire was administered to the whole sample of the study who was 200 Iranian EFL teachers from different genders and educational contexts. The participants were selected conveniently as going through random sampling was not possible. Based on the results of the exploratory factor analysis, seven factors emerged under the main category of procedural knowledge for these teachers. The findings revealed that: (a) Iranian EFL expert teachers have higher levels of procedural knowledge than Iranian EFL novice teachers (b) expert teachers have higher levels of classroom management knowledge, topic management knowledge and students involved in learning knowledge than novice teachers (c) expert teachers have the knowledge to make rapport (good emotional relationship) with their students more easily and effectively than novice teachers (d) there is not a significant difference between Iranian EFL expert teachers and Iranian EFL novice teachers due to knowledge of talk management, knowledge of strategies while teaching and knowledge of teachers’ learning strategies for learners in the classroom.
The present study investigated the possible difference between EFL teachers’ beliefs and their actual classroom practices. To this end, 210 Iranian EFL teachers (103 teachers from high schools and 107 from language institutes) participated in the study. The 45-item Likert-scale Beliefs About Language Learning Inventory (BALLI) developed originally by Horwitz, (1985) and validated by Kasraee Nejad (2014) for the context of Iran and an observation checklist, devised and validated by the researchers, comprised the data collection instruments adopted in the current study. The results of paired t-test revealed statistically significant differences between beliefs of Iranian EFL teachers and their actual classroom practices. Moreover, the results of Independent Samples t-test indicated that the two groups of high school and language institute teachers were significantly different with regard to their beliefs on language learning. In addition, the results of Chi-square analysis demonstrated 43 out of 45 teachers’ specific beliefs were significantly different from their actual classroom practices. In the light of the findings of the present study, educational policy makers and managers in both high schools and language institutes are recommended to introduce ways to raise EFL teachers’ awareness of their beliefs to enhance their efficiency in their actual classroom practices.