Teaching English as a Second Language

Teaching English as a Second Language

Teaching Language Skills (JTLS), Volume 38, Issue 2, Summer 2019 (مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)



A Cross-sectional Study of Iranian EFL Learners’ Pragmatic Skills Development: The Case of Written Requests(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: pragmatic development Request interlanguage pragmatics EFL Learners

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This study attempts to investigate the pragmalinguistic and sociopragmatic development of Iranian EFL learners cross-sectionally when making requests in different situations. To this end, 103 university students in three proficiency levels of pre-intermediate, upper-intermediate, and advanced were asked to write three discourse completion tests (DCTs) of requests in different situations with various social and power relation demands and 20% of them were interviewed about their DCTs. The analyses of these written and verbal reports suggested that parallel with proficiency there was a movement from directness to conventional indirectness and an expansion of the repertoire of both external and internal modification devices. Even though all the participants expressed their awareness of the sociopragmatic requirements of different request situations in their verbal reports, increasing proficiency led to the application of this awareness in practice. That is, advanced learners were more successful to differentiate among the situations both sociopragmatically and pragmalinguistically. The results are discussed in light of previous research and available developmental patterns.

Dynamicity of Transformative L2 Materials Preparation Model in EFL Classroom: Place of Critical Language Pedagogy in Teacher Education(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)


کلید واژه ها: Critical Language Pedagogy Hidden Curriculum Materials Preparation Reflective Journal teacher education

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Over the past decades, education took a critical-oriented shift. This perspective changed the role of teachers, students, and classrooms. A teacher's role changes from an instructor to a reflective practitioner, a student is considered an active agent of his/her learning, and a classroom is a place for identity endeavor. The assumption underlying such an approach conceptualizes education as a means for social control, not separated from social and cultural influences. This study sought to examine the impediments overshadowing the practicality of critical language pedagogy (CLP) and to explore English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers' attitudes toward the dynamicity of transformative L2 materials preparation (TLMP) model. To undertake the study, the model was used in an M.A. language teaching methodology course with 40 prospective teachers. They were asked to write reflective journals (RJs) on several topics, followed by two class-assessments and two self-assessments, all focusing on the course procedure as well as learners' progress in attaining the intended outcomes of the course. Notably, they were requested to report their personal beliefs towards the dynamicity and functional efficacy of the proposed model and the extent to which it contributed to promoting their critical thinking skills and intellectual development. Qualitative data analysis included an in-depth content analysis of written data derived from RJs. The results attested that the participants positively appraised the practicality of the model.

The Effects of Gradual and Indirect Feedback on EFL Learners' Grammar Development and Beliefs(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: Indirect corrective feedback Gradual corrective feedback beliefs Sociocultural theory Cognitive theory

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Corrective feedback has received significant attention in English language teaching, and its role has been highly substantial. Considering the importance of corrective feedback in EFL classes, this study aimed at finding the effects of indirect and gradual CF on Iranian EFL learners' grammatical development and their beliefs toward CF. Twenty EFL learners, meeting the criterion of being lower-intermediate in their proficiency, participated in this study and were divided randomly into two groups of indirect and gradual CF. An Oxford Placement Test, Aljaafreh and Lantolf's (1994) regulatory scale, error correction test, writing tasks, and Corrective Feedback Belief Scale were used as data collection instruments. The indirect group received indirect CF based on cognitive theory and the gradual group received feedback based on Aljaafreh and Lantolf's (1994) regulatory scale for four sessions. The findings obtained from Mann-Whitney U tests revealed that the gradual group which received CF based on sociocultural theory was better able to overcome the problems related to simple present and present progressive tenses than the indirect group which received indirect CF based on cognitive theory. The findings also indicated that all learners, both gradual and indirect, preferred receiving CF and both groups always preferred to be corrected and likewise, both groups considered the teacher as the main provider of CF. The results of this study suggest that gradual feedback based on learners’ ZPD was more effective in improving EFL learners’ grammar development. In conclusion, these findings support the idea that social interaction is a prerequisite for cognitive development.

Empathy as a Predictor of Pronunciation Mastery: The Case of Female Iranian EFL Learners’ Pronunciation Errors(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: Authentic pronunciation Empathy phonology pronunciation Segmental features

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The present study set out to identify the problematic areas of pronunciation among Iranian female EFL learners. Further, this study investigated the relationship between empathy and authentic pronunciation, along with gender as a moderator variable. Comparing segmental features and phonological processes of both languages helped teachers to predict the target errors. To reach such a goal, a total of 69 Iranian undergraduate EFL learners were recruited from the Vali-e-Asr University of Rafsanjan, majoring in English literature and translation studies participated in the study. The subjects were conveniently sampled and were taking the course Conversation I. After administrating the Basic Empathy Scale (BES: Jolliffe & Farrington, 2006), the students were assigned to two groups: high-empathic group and low-empathic group. Both groups participated in an oral interview twice (before and after segmental form-focused instruction). The data were collected through taping participants’ pronunciation of some words. Two raters analyzed students’ pronunciation in terms of segmental features. The results demonstrated that the absence of some phonemes in the Farsi sound system and some phonological differences between the two languages caused difficulties for EFL learners. Furthermore, it was witnessed that those in the high-level group (i.e., more empathic learners) were more successful in acquiring authentic pronunciation than those in the low-level group.

A Genre-Based Investigation of Inter/Intra-Lingual Relationships between Persian and English Academic Writings: Common Underlying Proficiency Oriented(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: argumentative and descriptive academic writings common underlying proficiency genre-sensitivity inter/intra-lingual relationships

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Although L2 writing has attracted salient attention and monopolized many studies in EFL contexts, there is still no full image of its complicated nature.  Trying to play a supplementary role in achieving that image, this study aimed at finding whether Persian and English argumentative and descriptive academic writings were inter/intra-lingually associated and if genre played a role in provoking any differences in the means of total scores obtained from the essays. In so doing, 50 Iranian senior MA TEFL students at the intermediate level were asked to write down two argumentative and two descriptive essays in Persian and English. Each essay was assessed against IELTS task 2 writing band descriptors. Then, the data were analyzed through the Pearson product-moment correlation and paired-samples <em>t</em>-test. The results revealed there were significant positive correlations between the total scores obtained from Persian and English argumentative and descriptive essays. The findings supported the existence of a common underlying proficiency (Cummins, 1980), out of which L1 and L2 writing skills emerged. The results also illustrated there were significant differences between the means of some of the total scores. It was supposed these differences might be due to the possible genre-sensitive nature of common underlying proficiency.

Integrating Portfolio-Assessment into the Writing Process: Does it Affect a Significant Change in Iranian EFL Undergraduates’ Writing Achievement? A Mixed-Methods Study(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: Perception Portfolio-assessment Writing process reflection writing achievement

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The paradigm shift from testing the outcome to assessing the learning of process shines a light on the alternative assessment approaches, among which portfolio-assessment has sparked researchers’ interest in writing instruction. This study aimed at investigating the effect of portfolio-assessment on Iranian EFL students’ writing achievement through the process-centered approach to writing. To this end, fifty-three sophomores, studying English translation at Islamic Azad University, Tehran Science and Research Branch, were chosen as the participants of this study. The researchers randomly divided them into two groups--an experimental and control. The experimental group received an instruction based on the four stages of the writing process--brainstorming, outlining, drafting, and editing--and underwent the portfolio-assessment. For ten weeks, the participants of the experimental group practiced reflecting on their writing through formative self-check, peer-review, and teacher-feedback on each of the stages written as homework assignments.  The revised paragraphs were regarded as the final portfolio. The control group, however, received a product-based writing instruction, to which portfolio-assessment, individualized-feedback, and reflection did not adhere. The results of the quantitative data analysis showed that the students in the experimental group performed better than the students in the control group in their writing achievement. The qualitative findings also revealed the students’ positive perception toward the portfolio-assessment on the writing process. The results suggest some pedagogical implications for EFL writing instruction and assessment.


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