In a scholarly convention, ESP has bilaterally focused on “academic” and “occupational” arenas leaving the symbiosis between the two almost untouched. The present study, thus, aims to weigh the concordance between what is taught in universities as EAP courses for B.A. students in Business and Economics and what English skills and abilities are, actually, required from them on the job. Altogether, 120 university teachers and 30 business managers were asked for their opinions about the existing curricula from one side and occupation-related English expectations from the graduates from the other. Triangulation of instruments using questionnaire, interview, teacher-assessment, and participant observation was applied. The results narrated not good news: considerable mismatch between the aforementioned arenas (education and occupation) and complete ignorance of oral skills (listening and speaking) in the academia, despite their vital importance at the workplace. The participants mainly emphasized equipping students with various skills required from them at work after their general English proficiency development and empowering EAP teachers with the needed content knowledge to potentially tailor university education and market. Implications of the study can include creating more practical opportunities such as simulated classes based on workshops and on-the-job training (OJT) with cooperation of the professionals in business. The findings can help educational policy-makers shift their focus to the graduates’ professional-future literacy, modify the EAP curricula with regard to real needs of the workplace and contribute to decreasing the gap between academia and labor market.
EFL Teachers’ Adversity Quotient, Personal Growth Initiative, and Pedagogical Success(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)
This study investigated the relationship among Iranian English teachers’ adversity quotient, personal growth initiative, and pedagogical success. The participants comprised 28 male and female English teachers and a total of 336 male and female EFL learners who attended the abovementioned teachers’ classes (12 for each teacher). Stoltz’ (1997) Adversity Response Profile (ARP) and Robitscheck’s (1998) Personal Growth Initiative Scale (PGIS) were administered among the 28 teachers while Moafian and Pishghadam’s (2009) Characteristics of Successful Iranian EFL Teachers Questionnaire (SIETQ) was administered among the 336 students. To look into the relationship and the predictability of the three aforesaid constructs, a Pearson product-moment correlation and subsequently multiple regression analysis were run following all statistical prerequisites necessary for running these parametric tests. The results demonstrated that there was a significant correlation among the teachers’ scores on the ARP and SIETQ, and their PGIS and SIETQ. Also, there was a significant difference in the predictability of the teachers’ SIETQ by their ARP and PGIS.
Evaluating EFL Learners’ Philosophical Mentality through their Answers to Philosophical Questions: Using Smith’s Framework(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)
Given the role philosophical mentality can fulfill in bringing individuals the essential skills of wisdom and well thinking, the present paper, by applying Smith’s (2007) theoretical framework, strived to explore the extent philosophic-mindedness exists among the participants. Considering the fact that, a philosophic mind begets philosophical answers, the participants’ philosophical thinking ability was evaluated through analyzing their answers to philosophical questions. To this end, through convenience sampling, a group of 40 EFL students in BA degree, 21 female and 19 male with the age range of 19 to 35, at Shiraz University, Iran, were selected. They were asked to read two simple short passages, story and non-story, and answer the related questions. Based on three characteristics of philosophic-mindedness (i.e. comprehensiveness, penetration, and flexibility) it was revealed that the majority of the participants signified rigidity and dogmatism in their way of thinking and were in the habit of shallow and superficial thinking. They seemed to be unable to afford themselves a profound insight into the questions. The minority, on the other hand, took notice of different options in the questions, reappraised their varying strands, and provided reasonable answers. In addition, it was inferred that lack of comprehensiveness alone assures lack of philosophical mentality. Finally, the three dimensions of philosophic-mindedness recommended in the framework can be utilized by stakeholders in educational fields to realize a person with (non-) philosophical mentality.
Drawing on Norton Peirce's (1995) theory of investment and Darvin and Norton's (2015) expanded the model of investment, the present study aims to research investment in second language (L2) learning among Iranian English language learners. The participants included 852 male and female English language learners belonging to different age groups and English language proficiency levels. A 42-item questionnaire, developed and validated by the present authors (forthcoming), was administered online and by hand. The results showed that Iranian English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners moderately invested to learn English language and that there were significant differences in the extent of investment between male and female participants and different language proficiency levels (low- and high-proficiency learners). Moreover, the results of the study demonstrated that there was no significant difference in the extent of investment between different age groups (teenage and adult ones). The study concludes with suggestions for future research on investment in L2 learning and a discussion of how such research can impact language education policy in EFL contexts.
Developing and Validating a Model for Exploring Iranian EFL Teachers’ Perception of Professional Development(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)
The present study aimed at exploring Iranian EFL teachers’ perception of professional development. To this end, 200 EFL teachers teaching at private language institutes in Iran were selected as the participants of the study. First, a semi-structured interview was conducted with 50 participants of the study based on which Professional Development Perception Questionnaire was developed and pilot-tested (i.e. subjected to exploratory factor analysis) with 82 similar EFL teachers. The questionnaire was then expert viewed and administered to all the 200 participants of the study and was subjected to another factor analysis to ensure its validity and reliability more comprehensively. The findings yielded a valid model or inventory for assessing EFL teachers’ perceptions of professional development. The results also revealed that the participants perceived professional development enhanced their pedagogical knowledge, improved students’ learning outcomes, and helped them understand their own pedagogical weak points and strong points and those of their colleagues. Furthermore, the results of chi-square analyses indicated that high-experienced teachers had significantly more positive perceptions of professional development than their low-experienced counterparts. The results of the current study yielded a valid and reliable model for measuring English teachers’ perception of professional development which can be adopted safely by other similar studies. The findings might also contribute to policymakers and managers of language institutes to establish proper professional development activities for their teachers which might consequently lead to learners’ improvement in learning.
The Effect of Online Learning Tools on L2 Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary Learning(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of various online techniques (word reference, media, and vocabulary games) on reading comprehension as well as vocabulary comprehension and production. For this purpose, 60 language learners were selected and divided into three groups, and each group was randomly assigned to one of the treatment conditions. In the first session of treatment, a vocabulary test was administered as the pretest of the study. During treatment, the language learners in those three groups were instructed through online vocabulary games, online media along with transcript and online word reference. At the end of the treatment, a reading comprehension test, a vocabulary comprehension, and a vocabulary production test were given as the posttests. The collected data were analyzed using three one-way ANOVA procedures. The results showed that the online media group outperformed the other groups. Based on the findings of this study, it can be concluded that different online tools may have differential effects on learning different aspects of language. This implies that adhering to any single online tool may not necessarily bring about desirable results. The conclusion to be drawn from this is that teachers need to make use of a combination of these tools.