The current study was conducted to investigate the effects of using Microsoft Office Word on Iranian EFL lecturers’ grammar knowledge and their attitudes towards using them to support their grammar knowledge. To this end, 14 Iranian EFL lecturers, who had M.A. degrees in TEFL, containing eight males and six females participated in this study. The participants were randomly divided into equal groups of control and experimental. The participants in the experimental group worked with Microsoft Word and the participants in the control group worked with pens and papers during the study. The participants were asked to write a text about a specific subject and express their opinions about that subject. The results were collected and perused by the help of the supervisor of the study who had a Ph.D. degree in TEFL for checking the possible grammatical errors or mistakes. The results indicated that Microsoft Word was indeed beneficial to the grammar of the participants of experimental group because they got significantly higher grammar scores than the participants of the control group did. The results of this study offer practical implications for applying computer for language teaching and improvement of EFL learners’ writing skill.
Contributory Role of Praise in Improving Collocational Knowledge of University Students Majoring in TEFL and Linguistics
The power of praise in changing student behavior is that it both indicates teacher approval and informs the student about how the praised academic performance or behavior conforms to teacher expectations. Notably, praise plays a significant role in the rate and success of learning process in general, and in language learning classroom in particular. Accordingly, the present study sought to investigate the significant influence of praise on the growing trend of university students with different majors, namely, TEFL and linguistics. To this end, from the population of students majoring in English, at the Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran, two classes of sophomore students were selected, each containing thirty participants. Subsequently, the experimental group was exposed to a wide variety of distinguishing instructor praise expressions throughout the entire term while the students in the control group were not praised and encouraged. The results of the t- test revealed that the group which was praised by the instructor during the term progressed substantially in comparison with the other group. Moreover, there appeared to be a positive correlation between instructor praise and learner progress. Evidently, the results of the present study may have practical implications for EFL teachers, materials developers, and syllable designers.
Potential Use of AREL in English Song Analysis to Improve Argumentation Skills and English Proficiency
This study attempts to assess the potential use of AREL in English song activities as a learning method to improve the students’ ability in argumentation and English proficiency. AREL – stands for Assertion, Reason, Evidence, Link back has long been introduced as a basic structure for argument construction. Learning AREL has been a major challenge for the beginner debaters, not to mention their constraints in English proficiency. The data received in this study were analysed by means of frequency, percentage, and standard deviation. The students highly believed that the method used in this study was interesting ( =3.79 SD=0.860) and comfortable ( =3.86 SD=0.639), in which it indicates the enjoyable learning process and the absence of the students’ anxiety. Furthermore, this method was able to give a quick comprehension ( =4.00 SD=0.654) on AREL, where applying AREL in song analysis was easier for the students, thus allow the students to gradually step up onto the real argumentation. That could be observed by the average test score where students obtained higher score for analysing song with AREL ( =80) than for making real argumentation with AREL ( =70). However, in order to make this method effective, the students’ attendance was a mandatory. Though no test on English proficiency conducted, nevertheless most of the students agreed that this method helped them improving their English proficiency, which included vocabularies ( =4.64 SD=0.610) and figurative language ( =4.50 SD=0.500) competencies.
This study investigates the effects of gender, teaching experience, and brain dominance on English teachers’ teaching styles. In doing so, 68 English teachers (males and females) were selected from several language institutes in Shiraz, Iran. Considering the degree of teaching experience, the participants were categorized into three groups, namely novices, the moderately experienced, and professionals. Two instruments, including Hemispheric Dominance Test and Teaching Style Questionnaire were used to collect data. Using statistical package for the social science (SPSS) 20, the collected data were analyzed. The results of independent samples t-test revealed that male and female teachers differed significantly in terms of teaching styles, as far as the sub-component “formality” was concerned. Furthermore, the results of multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) test indicated that teaching styles in the three groups of teachers significantly differed. However, the analysis of MANOVA regarding the difference between brain dominance and teaching styles did not reveal any significant difference. Some related issues were also discussed.
A Comparative Study of Actual and Perceived Academic Competence of Iranian EAP Postgraduate Students
Academic writing is a major concern for many university students. Despite extensive literature on students’ academic writing, little attention has been focused on students’ writing experience and practice in higher education. To fill this gap, the present study compared actual and perceived academic writing competence of postgraduate students who were enrolled in English for Academic Purposes (EAP, hereafter) courses. First, measures of actual and perceived academic writing competence were developed and validated in Phase 1, using a separate sample of EAP postgraduate students ( n = 391) in Ilam province, Iran. Phase 2 examined postgraduate students’ academic writing competence perceptions and the ways through which their perceptions might have differed from their actual academic performance. Then the developed measures of actual and perceived academic writing competence, which exhibited acceptable reliability and good model-data fit, were distributed among a sample of 210 EAP postgraduate students from nine different academic fields. The results of data analysis revealed significant differences in perceptions and actual academic practices of students across different academic fields of study.
The Digital Turn in Higher Education: A Try to demystify the Myth of the “Digital Natives” Mythbusting
Digital technology has recently become a ubiquitous feature of the modern era posing problems to higher education institutions. Digitization of the academic life has brought forth the claims that there is an evident disparity between the digital naturals and digital immigrants and that the myth of the former is “undemystifiable”. The claim that the new digitized generation has its own distinguished learning preferences, skills of learning and beliefs about how learning in such an era should make higher education authorities revisit their curricula and “reshuffle the academic cards” so that the digital immigrants could catch up with the fast-running pace of the digitized train and provide the digital natives with what they need for a successful academic life. T he overall aim of the present work therefore is to investigate the extent to which the so-called digital natives really have control of the use of educational technology either as part of their self-directed learning practices or as part of a formal tertiary level teaching, the type of technologies they prefer to use, whether they possess the required digital skills that are important for their future careers, and how vital the digital skills are in boosting their employability. In line with the major findings of the present study, it could be concluded that the media change under the created discourse of “moral panic” has unveiled the singularity of this generation and has forced academic authorities to reconsider learning, teaching as well as both skills and employability of a such a generation for the betterment of a healthy academic higher education system.
As there is a great improvement in technology, the demand for innovative ways of delivering education is increasing and this has led to changes in learning and teaching methods. Distance education, which is so different from traditional education, consists of studying from home where students and teachers are physically distant while classroom learning is the type of education system in which the learners and the teachers work under one roof. Electronic means are used to keep students in touch with teachers, provide access to communication between students and bridge the gap and distribute educational material though distance learning programs. Both learning systems have their own advantages and disadvantages. Choosing between these two learning methods highly depends on learners’ requirements. In this paper, the researcher aims to discuss history and theories of distance learning, review literature on distant learning, state advantages and disadvantages of distance learning, express implications of the study to learners and teachers, and finally mention suggestions for improving distance learning.