Teaching English as a Second Language

Teaching English as a Second Language

Teaching Language Skills (JTLS), Volume 38, Issue 1, Spring 2019 (مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)



Pragmatic Criteria in the Holistic and Analytic Rating of the Disagreement Speech Act of Iranian EFL Learners by Non-native English Speaking Teachers(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: Interlanguage pragmatic assessment ILP rating criteria Non-native English speaking raters Speech Act Disagreement

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Conveying a strong message within a language stems from not only a linguistically appropriate utterance but also a pragmatically appropriate discourse. Broadly considering various facets of pragmatics, pragmatic assessment has not been potentially brought into perspective. To address this discourse gap, this study, guided by the principles of mixed-method design, pursued three purposes: to inspect the matches and mismatches, to explore rating variations, and to assess the rater consistency between the holistic and analytic rating methods of disagreement speech acts in L2 by non-native English teachers. As a result, 12 different pragmatic situations for disagreement DCTs accompanied by EFL learners' responses to each situation were rated by 50 non-native English teachers. Initially, they were asked to rate it holistically, incorporating both ratings and providing comments. The content analysis of raters' comments indicated sixteen disagreement criteria. The descriptive statistics also revealed variations across different situations. Moreover, the teachers were asked to rate it analytically based on the assessment rubrics adopted from Ishihara and Cohen (2010). The findings of intra-class correlations implied that respondents were more consistent in analytic rating. Moreover, the results indicated that there was a convergence between the two rating methods suggesting that the raters adopted the same level of leniency and severity in rating. Overall, the results accentuated the significance of pragmalinguistic and sociopragmatic aspects of language for EFL raters. Finally, the results of the present study place a premium on the importance of pragmatic assessment training as well as cultural awareness.

Challenges of Conducting Qualitative Inquiry in the Iranian ELT Higher Education Context: Ph.D. Students’ and Faculty Members’ Voices(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: Qualitative Research Ph.D. Students’ Perspectives Faculty Members’ Perspectives Qualitative Research Challenges Iranian ELT Context

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This study aims at investigating the challenges of conducting qualitative research (QLR) from Iranian ELT (English Language Teaching) Ph.D. students’ and ELT faculty members’ viewpoints in the Iranian higher education context. The participants of the study consisted of 100 Ph.D. students majoring in ELT and 50 ELT faculty members. The study followed a mixed-methods approach with the exploratory design. The instruments utilized for collecting the data were a semi-structured interview and a researcher-made questionnaire. To analyze the qualitative data, a grounded theory approach was employed (Charmaz, 2006), and to analyze quantitative data, both descriptive and inferential statistics were utilized. The results of the study indicated that from the ELT Ph.D. students' perspectives, the Iranian educational system, professors, and lack of time, respectively, are factors affecting the possible weaknesses in undertaking QLR. While from the ELT faculty members' points of view, lack of time is the only reason for weaknesses in undertaking QLR. The results also demonstrated that from the viewpoint of ELT Ph.D. students, data interpretation, data analysis, data collection, data coding, and determining the validity of research, respectively, are the most challenging parts of conducting QLR. Moreover, from the perspective of ELT faculty members, data analysis, data collection, data interpretation, and data coding, respectively, are the most challenging parts of undertaking QLR. The implications of the present study for the universities in the context under investigation are discussed. At the end of the paper, some suggestions for further research are presented. 

An Investigation into the Effective Factors in Comprehending English Garden-Path Sentences by EFL Learners(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: Age Comprehension EFL Learners Garden-path sentences and their structures proficiency level

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The present study aimed at highlighting the possible effects of age, proficiency level, and the structural composition of Garden-Path (GP) sentences on EFL learners' comprehension. 80 Iranian EFL learners were recruited from the initial pool of 114 participants based on the results of an English proficiency test; 40 advanced, and 40 intermediate learners were selected. Moreover, two age-groups of teenagers and adults were specified based on the study's necessities. In order to determine the accuracy and also the time needed for comprehension of GP sentences, a software application was designed, which provided learners with a set of GP and non-GP sentences and depicted the elapsed time for each participant to show the correct understanding of the presented sentences on the screen. As statistical analyses revealed, the participants, apart from age and proficiency levels, had less difficulty in comprehending non-GP items. It was also concluded that different types of GP sentences imposed different degrees of difficulty for the participants to comprehend. Furthermore, "proficiency level," unlike "age," was found to be a determining factor for the comprehension of GP sentences for Iranian EFL learners.

Applied Linguistics Faculty Members’ Perceptions of (Im)politeness and (In)appropriateness of L2 Learners’ E-Mail Requests(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: E-mail (Im)politeness (In)appropriateness Politeness Request

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A significant amount of contribution to pragmatics research comes from cross-cultural and developmental pragmatic studies with L2 learners in focus; however, despite broad interest in such analyses, the role of lecturers has been relatively ignored. As the lectures’ perceptions/opinions of L2 learners’ e-mail requests are important, L2 learners must become familiar with their lecturers’ perceptions of (in)appropriateness and (im)politeness of e-mail requests. Therefore, through examining Iranian applied linguistics lecturers’ perceptions of (in)appropriateness and (im)politeness of L2 learners’ e-mail requests, this study was an attempt to provide insights into lecturers’ ideal norms of (in)appropriateness and (im)politeness of L2 learners’ e-mail requests. To this aim, a purposive sample of 38 university lectures participated in this study. A questionnaire was utilized to collect the data. The lecturers’ comments in the questionnaire served as the basis to identify the major themes (e.g., directness, language use accuracy, etc.). An in-depth qualitative analysis of the lecturers’ comments revealed that the perceptions of the lecturers were greatly influenced by the use of appropriate openings and closings of the e-mails. Also, language use accuracy and appropriateness were among the most recurring reasons mentioned by the lecturers to regard the e-mails as (in)appropriate and (im)polite. Overall, the results stress the importance of pragmalinguistic and sociopragmatic aspects of language for applied linguistics lecturers. Findings have implications for L2 learners, teachers, and researchers.

Developing EFL Learners' Oral Proficiency through Animation-based Instruction of English Formulaic Sequences(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: Animation-based instruction text-based readings Formulaic Sequences oral proficiency

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The current pretest-posttest quasi-experimental study attempts, firstly, to probe the effects of teaching formulaic sequences (FSs) on the second or foreign language (L2)  learners' oral proficiency improvement and secondly, to examine whether teaching FSs through different resources (i.e. animation vs. text-based readings) have any differentially influential effects in augmenting L2  learners' oral proficiency or not. To this end, a cohort of 60 young L2 learners of an immersion program school in the southwest of Iran was randomly divided into three groups, two experimental and one control. During 24 instructional sessions, one experimental group received the FSs instruction through animation, and the second experimental group noticed FSs through text-based readings.  The control group was taught using the school mainstream L2 textbooks without any focus on FSs. The results indicated that both FSs groups outperformed the control group. Moreover, animation-based instruction significantly increased the efficacy of FSs instruction, pointing to the issue that educational technology is a better strategy for teaching FSs rather than the traditional way of reading.

Features of Language Assessment Literacy in Iranian English Language Teachers' Perceptions and Practices(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: Assessment literacy Language assessment literacy EFL Teachers

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Language assessment literacy (LAL), mainly defined as knowledge and skills of language assessment, in the last two decades, has started to receive the attention it deserves. As one of the significant findings, based on a plethora of research, many second language (L2) teachers have been indicated to be professionally incompetent in terms of LAL. To investigate the status of LAL among Iranian English teachers, the present study was conducted. Three hundred and nine English teachers participated in answering a questionnaire. Besides, 24 teachers were interviewed based on a semi-structured interview. Both qualitative and quantitative data analysis and interpretation techniques were employed to find answers to the research questions which sought to investigate the features of language assessment literacy in language teachers' perceptions. The findings indicated that, overall, LAL is of concern to Iranian L2 (English) teachers. However, they also agree that their current level of both knowledge and practice in terms of LAL is not ideal. Furthermore, it was found that, as the teachers perceive it, assessment promotes learning and teaching; the nature of teacher-learner relationships affects evaluation; and, testing and assessment are seen as challenging notions due to their mathematical concepts and statistics. The findings will contribute to a more profound perception of LAL and better planning and executing the programs for L2 teachers regarding the issue.


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