Issues in Language Teaching

Issues in Language Teaching

Issues in Language Teaching (ILT), Vol. 6, No. 2, December 2017



How do Writers Present Their Work in Introduction Sections? A Genre-based Investigation into Qualitative and Quantitative Research Articles

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Research articles have received a wide interest in discourse studies particularly in genre analysis over the last few decades. A vast number of studies have been centered on identifying the organizational patterns of research articles in various fields. While Introduction section has enjoyed a lot of attention, very few studies have focused on rhetorical structure of qualitative and quantitative research articles. This genre-based investigation reports on a study of the Introduction sections of 15 qualitative and 15 quantitative research articles in Applied Linguistics from five high impact journals published from 2008-2012. Based on Swales’ (2004) move structure model, this study focuses on Move 3 (introducing the present work) and examines how qualitative and quantitative research article writers introduce their work in Introduction section. The analysis revealed that there were similarities in the overall presence and use of steps in both groups, some differences in the overall presence and frequency of directive determinants were obvious which could be attributed to the different nature of these research designs.

Iranian EFL teachers' willingness to implement postmethod pedagogy: A mixed methods study

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The aim of this study was to investigate the Iranian English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers' willingness to implement postmethod pedagogy in the Iranian context. In so doing, a mixed methods approach was employed in which first a validated postmethod questionnaire was administered to a nationally representative sample of 711 Iranian EFL teachers. Then, a series of focus group discussions and individual interviews with 30 teachers were carried out in the qualitative phase of the study. The findings of quantitative data analyses revealed that the Iranian EFL teachers were not willing to implement postmethod principles in their classrooms. Furthermore, the result of the content analysis for the qualitative phase indicated that Iranian EFL teachers do not implement any particular method in the strict sense of the word. Moreover, the teachers mentioned knowledge and experience of teachers; lack of adequate teacher training program; time and financial constraints of teachers; idealistic nature of postmethod; resistance of language institutes; little support of textbook developers; and cultural tradition as the impediments to the implementation of postmethod pedagogy in Iran. Finally, the theoretical and practical implications of this study are discussed.

Studying the Effect of Retrieval Direction during Reading on Productive and Receptive Knowledge of Vocabulary

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Retrieval tasks provide learners with an opportunity to focus both on meaning and on form. There are four different retrieval directions. The present study aimed to identify the optimal direction of recall type retrievals during reading and to investigate the outcomes of each one. Forty-eight intermediate EFL learners took part in the study. One of the experimental groups was provided with the productive retrieval version of the reading text, and the other experimental group with the receptive retrieval version. A Posttest was conducted in both productive and receptive directions for all the groups. Delayed posttests were administered two weeks after the treatment without prior notice to evaluate the time effect on participants' performance in each group. The results showed that there was a statistically significant difference in participants' performance in immediate and delayed posttests based on the method of retrieval. Further explanation of the effect of each retrieval direction on immediate and delayed posttests has been presented.

Using Clinical Supervision to Lower EFL Teachers’ Burnout

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The present study was an attempt to explore the effect of clinical supervision on EFL teachers’ level of burnout. For this purpose, a total number of 80 male and female EFL teachers within the age range of 26 and 47 who were working at a language school in Tehran participated in this study. Forty teachers in the experimental group underwent a clinical supervision program which comprised the three steps of pre-observation conference, observation, and post-observation feedback conference while the other 40 teachers who were in the control group were subjected to the conventional supervision program of the language school. The program for both groups spanned a total period of 12 weeks. Prior to the program, the Maslach Burnout Inventory questionnaire (MBI) was used to measure the level of all of the teachers’ burnout as the pretest and again at the end of study, both groups took the MBI questionnaire as the posttest. The analysis of the test scores using a test of analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) revealed that the clinical supervision program had lowered significantly the participants’ burnout. As a result of this study, the researchers suggest that ELT establishments take into consideration the practice of clinical supervision to enhance their teachers’ performance.

The Contribution of General High-Frequency, Core-Academic, and Academic-Technical Words to ESP Reading Comprehension

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Reading is recognized as being the most important skill needed by ESP learners in their field of study, and vocabulary knowledge is the most widely discussed component of effective ESP reading per se. However, research on how much the different types of words exert substantial influences over ESP reading comprehension remains scanty. To address this lacuna, the present study aimed to examine the degree of contribution made by general high-frequency, core-academic, and technical-academic words to 127 Iranian learners studying Psychology at three state universities in Tehran, Iran. Three researcher-made and validated tests were used to measure the three aforementioned types of vocabulary knowledge accompanied by an ESP reading test. Data analysis using multiple regression revealed that the core-academic words and technical-academic words significantly contributed to the ESP reading comprehension, explaining about 92% of the variance in reading scores, but knowledge of general high-frequency words was not a significant contributor. Moreover, teaching core-academic and technical-academic words did not have a significant effect on ESP reading comprehension in the short term, yet a low significant difference was observed for technical academic words in the long term. Findings of this study imply that direct teaching of the core-academic and technical-academic words can help ESP learners improve their reading over time. The article ends with pedagogical implications and suggestions for future research.

A sociocultural analysis of personal practical theorizing as an awareness raising technique in novice and expert teachers’ professional development

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As a part of a larger-scale research, the present study aimed to use the main tenets of sociocultural perspective; namely, mediation, internalization, zone of proximal development, and the activity theory, to analyze the novice and expert teachers’ professional development through personal practical theorizing as an awareness raising technique. Furthermore, the study attempted to identify the contextual factors hindering teachers’ pedagogical beliefs enactment. The areas of mismatches between the teachers’ beliefs and practices were identified in the previous phases of the study, and personal practical theorizing procedure was implemented in the program to help teachers converge their beliefs and practices. Within the domain of the qualitative research, a multi-case study design was utilized, employing eight novice and experienced teachers who were selected through purposive sampling. The teachers’ professional development in the proposed program was analyzed through the lens of sociocultural perspectives, and the contextual factors hindering teachers’ beliefs enactment were enumerated based on the results gleaned through interview sessions.