L2 language socialization asks how learners come to gain the ability to write appropriately and sufficiently in an institutional academic community of practice. In the same line, this study focuses on the process of socialization of an Iranian English L2 essay writing class in the context of higher education. The theoretical backgrounds rely on the socialization and Vygotsky's sociocultural theories. Three case studies were analyzed throughout six weeks. The learners' essays, outlines, and reflective diaries were analyzed to trace their development in appropriating academic discourse and argumentation. Also, an interview session was held at the end of the study in which the issues regarding the whole experience of socialization were discussed with the participants. The results suggested that each learner pursued their path of socialization based on their individual and social needs of the academic discourse community. Accordingly, a model demonstrating their paths of development is presented. The model shows that the new-comers to this social site of engagement were mediated by the old-timer agent of practice (instructor) to appropriate the values, principles, and behaviors of this community of practice through the activities they were engaged in.
Teacher efficacy is an essential psychological variable which is linked to student achievement, motivation, and even student self-efficacy. Moreover, teachers' self-efficacy beliefs play an essential role in the context of reform initiatives by mediating any behavioral change. The relevant literature reports conflicting findings on the sources, however. Such being the case, the present study aimed at speculating on the sources of self-efficacy among Iranian EFL teachers who participated in this study. To this aim, individual interviews were conducted with 18 English language teachers teaching in middle schools up to the point when data saturation was achieved. Moreover, the participating teachers were asked to keep journals in order to keep a record of the significant experiences that captured their attention concerning their self-efficacy beliefs during one semester. The data were analyzed using grounded theory procedures in which open, axial, and selective coding were applied to extract the themes (Corbin & Strauss, 1990). The results of the study indicated that Bandura's (1997) four sources of self-efficacy information including mastery experiences, vicarious experiences, social persuasion, and physiological/emotional states played a crucial role in forming Iranian EFL teachers' efficacy beliefs. In addition to these sources, "teacher competence" and “contextual factors” appeared as two other influential factors affecting Iranian EFL teachers’ efficacy beliefs.
This study reports on the development and validation of a questionnaire for exploring the different types of EFL teachers’ possible selves. First, a theoretical framework behind possible selves theory and its types was cultivated through an extensive review of the related literature and content analysis of 24 transcribed semi-structured interviews with ELT experts. Second, the questionnaire was developed and validated through collecting three types of evidence: content, reliability and construct. Content validity was insured by submitting the questionnaire to expert judgment, and Cronbach’s alpha was checked to measure the internal consistency reliability of the scale and its subscales. Finally, confirmatory and exploratory factor analyses as well as SEM were used to estimate the construct validity of the instrument administered to 380 EFL teachers. The results indicated that the questionnaire was both a valid and reliable measure of EFL teachers’ possible selves and the resultant model hypothesized based on the data collected from the questionnaire enjoyed acceptable fitness indices. The model of EFL teachers’ possible selves (L2 selves) consists of four types including ideal, ought-to, actual and feared selves. The paper is concluded by presenting the different senses of selves within each type which together constitute the whole model of L2 self-development and how the model can be used in future studies.
Frequencies and discourse functions of grammatical subject types were investigated in a corpus of forty results and discussion sections selected from four disciplines (Applied Linguistics, Psychology, Chemistry, and Environmental Engineering). The results and discussion sections were selected from research articles that were published in 2008-2012 issues of prestigious high journals of the four disciplines. The results and discussion sections were analyzed for realizations and discourse functions of grammatical subject types adopting the taxonomy suggested by Ebrahimi (2014). The results suggested that the selections, frequencies and discourse functions of grammatical subject types were highly imposed by the macro functions of the results and discussion sections and the conventional rules of writing in the disciplines. One immediate implication for the outcome of this study is that writers and instructors need to keep in mind that they must be fully aware (and follow suit) of how the implementation of grammatical subjects are imposed and restricted by disciplinary conventions.
This study examined academic articles and journalistic reports in 5 disciplinary areas to explore how similar contents might attitudinally be realized in two different genres. To this end, 25 research articles and 210 news reports were carefully selected and underwent detailed discourse semantic and grammatical analyses with the purpose of identifying the evaluative linguistic patterns. The findings showed that academic texts are attitudinally charged with appreciation rather than other categories of attitude. This suggests that markers of appreciation are responsible for detachment, impersonality, and objectivity. On the contrary, notwithstanding the frequent use of appreciation in journalistic texts, other categories of attitude (affect and judgment) are also effectively used. This suggests that affective and judgment markers account for the subjectivity of journalistic texts. One of the findings emerging from this study is that frequent instances of appreciation in the different parts of an RA might be attributed to the development of language use within an individual which does not lead to lowering the level of objectivity in academic texts but enhancing interpersonal communication.
Grounded in sociocultural theory (SCT), this study explored whether the hypothesized difference in task-induced involvement could affect the actual realization of evaluation, one of the cognitive dimensions of the Involvement Load Hypothesis (ILH). A group of 24 Iranian EFL learners participated in the study. They were paired up to write a composition including ten unknown words in the first session and then completed a cloze task with another set of ten new words in the second one. Collaborative dialogues in both sessions were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and micro-genetically analyzed to trace how the value of hypothesized evaluation could affect the manifestation of evaluation during collaborative dialogues. In line with the tenets of ILH, the results of the micro-genetic analysis demonstrated that using target words in the composition task could induce a higher degree of evaluation than using them in the cloze task. In light of the findings, researchers are suggested to look at issues from different standpoints rather than restricting themselves to one single theoretical perspective.