This study investigated personal metadiscourse units across genres. Based on Ädel’s (2006) taxonomy of the discourse functions of personal metadiscourse and Leech’s (2014) grand strategy of politeness, three spoken genres were compared in terms of the use of personal metadiscourse functions and politeness maxims. To that end, a 3,034,025-word corpus consisting of Panel discussion in politics, Interviews with actors, and Comedies genres, which included 30 audio and video transcriptions, was developed. Explicitness, world of discourse, current discourse, speaker qua speaker and listener qua listener were used to identify metadiscourse units. We examined the total frequencies of all personal metadiscourse units used in the corpus. The results of corpus analysis showed that 19.6% of metadiscourse units occurred in comedies, which was the highest among the three genres. The most commonly used metadiscourse units appeared in speaker-oriented metadiscourse with 10.2% in interviews. The results also revealed that in panel discussion the speakers focused more on their own ideas than the listeners or participants. Results of chi-square analysis showed that English speakers used speaker-oriented, participant-oriented, and listener-oriented metadiscourse types statistically significantly differently. A statistically significant difference between speaker-, participant-, and listener-oriented units was found. Results also revealed that speakers in different genres are willing to use such maxims as opinion reticence and modesty more frequently than other maxims. The paper concludes with proposing a new model for analyzing metadiscourse.
In the present study, the researchers have investigated foreign language teachers’ familiarity with scaffolding techniques and where Iranian instructors have learnt such scaffolding techniques. This study follows a descriptive-survey method. For this purpose the researchers used a questionnaire of scaffolding techniques. The questionnaires were distributed among 41 instructors in three university language centers. A binomial Test was carried out to investigate the rate of Iranian instructors’ acquaintance with scaffolding. As the result of the first question showed, the majority of Iranian instructors were familiar with the scaffolding techniques and used them while teaching. Furthermore, according to the results of the second question more than half of the Iranian instructors have learnt most of scaffolding techniques in MA level. The results also clearly showed that there are weaknesses in the educational system (here MA courses) for foreign language teaching skills.
The purpose of this study is to investigate and synthesize the trends and key findings of the studies related to gamification as a new method in the field of learning a Foreign language (LFL) over the past 11 years. Databases including Web of Science, ERIC, and Scopus were searched for this purpose, analyzing a total of 28 articles. The research methodology of this study was a systematic review. A content analysis method was used for analyzing the selected articles. Our findings found that after 2015, the use of gamification in LFL became popular among researchers, and the number of field studies increased rapidly over the past two years (2017–2018). Additionally, quantitative methods were found to be the most frequently used research methods regarding gamification in LFL studies. In the analyzed studies, vocabulary and grammar abilities were the most commonly investigated basic language skills. In addition, English language, Duolingo, high school, and feedback were the most commonly investigated Foreign language, gamified platform, education level, and gamification element for learning a new language in the reviewed articles. More analysis disclosed challenges, as well as advantages associated with using gamification in LFL. Furthermore, in studies examined concerning the effectiveness of using gamification in LFL, the results mainly pointed to the benefits of gamification based learning. The systematic review also provides valuable recommendations for future researches and practitioners.
This study sought to investigate the effects of Explicit Instruction in combination with Input Enhancement (EI+IE), Input Flood (IF), and Gap-fill (GF) tasks on receptive and productive knowledge of English formulaic sequences (FS) by Iranian intermediate EFL learners. Assigned to three experimental groups , the 110 participants took the receptive and productive knowledge pretests, posttests, and delayed posttests. Findings of within-group (repeated- measures ANOVAs) and between-group (ANCOVAs) tests showed that while IF could not promote learners' performance, both the EI+IE and the GF could improve learners’ receptive and productive knowledge of target FSs from pretests to posttests and retained the effects until the delayed posttests. Additionally, both EI+IE and GF groups significantly outperformed the IF group at the immediate posttests. That is, the results from EI+IE did not differ significantly from those of GF. Plausible accounts for the obtained results are provided and the implications are discussed.
This study investigated the effect of transcribing group-discussion tasks on the development of university students' autonomy and oral proficiency. A quasi-experimental research design was followed to compare the performances of four groups: two experimental groups and two control groups (each group divided into low and high proficiency students). The study lasted for 12 weeks, and the teacher assigned a classroom oral discussion task in each session. The students were divided into discussion groups of three or four students, with low and high proficiency learners in different groups. The participants had to record their group discussion tasks. Control groups’ students had to submit their recorded conversations to their instructor, but they did not do any post-task activity. However, the experimental groups’ students had to transcribe their recorded speaking tasks, to find their own and their peers' grammatical mistakes, and to correct them. Finally, while working in groups, students discussed the texts and reformulated their mistakes. Employing ANCOVA to analyze the results, researchers found that experimental groups significantly outperformed the students of the control groups on post-tests of oral proficiency and learner autonomy. Thus, transcription followed by reflection on inaccurate production contributed to the superior performance of participants in the experimental groups.
This study aimed to discover whether an online writing system has any effect on Iranians’ EFL academic writing performance. The study also sought to find out whether the proficiency level of learners influenced the effect of the system on academic writing. To meet this end, an online writing system was developed and 68 undergraduate students of the General English language course studying at Sharif University of Technology were requested to participate in this study. First, their English language proficiency was measured by a language proficiency test that included 80 questions of one of the latest versions of the official TOEFL iBT test, which was provided by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Then, over an eight-week period, the participants were assigned to write eight versions of academic writing that followed a genre-based teaching approach through computer-based instructions. The writing scores were statistically analyzed and the results revealed that providing students with computer-assisted instruction (CAI) led to significant improvements in their academic writing performance. Moreover, according to the findings of this study, the learners’ level of proficiency did influence the effect of the system.
Pitfalls inherent in traditional approaches, movement into post-method frameworks and necessity of reaping benefits of technological advancements gave birth to flipped instruction as a newly emerged practice of teaching. A robust literature has submitted proofs on the merits of this practice in language learning. Adopting an innovatory perspective, the current research was an attempt to investigate the effect of this practice on a number of learning and learner related variables among Iranian intermediate language learners. To this aim 39 learners were selected through convenience sampling, and after removing outliers, 29 learners were randomly assigned to control (N=14) and experimental (N=15) groups. For each variable, a valid instrument was selected or adopted from the literature and modified for the purpose of the study. Then, employing a post-test-only control-group design, their performance on the post-test was measured and analyzed through one-way analysis of variance. The outputs reveled a statistically significant difference between groups in achievement (F (1, 27) = 9.627, p = .004) and autonomy (F (1, 27) = 8.308, p = .008) while indicating no significant effect on motivation and willingness to communicate. Some of these findings are in line with major currents of research in the literature but others stand in sharp contrast. Further investigation is required to examine into the nature of these findings through qualitative perspectives, interviews and open-ended questionnaires. These findings have implication for educational researchers, language teachers, language learners and applied linguists.
Publishing in English has brought about great difficulties for scholars whose first language is not English. After submitting their manuscripts to English-language journals, they usually receive comments from the reviewers on the quality of their English. One of these challenges is how links and transitions are managed in the flow of discourse. The present study aimed to investigate how the successfully revised text differs from its originally submitted counterpart within the framework of systemic functional linguistics. Based on our examination of the revisions made to our corpus, the increased use of marked theme is believed to contribute significantly to textual cohesion and coherence, and thereby to the achievement of the writer’s argument. This would contribute to transforming a relatively immature and unpublishable piece of writing into a well-crafted and mature version. However, this is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for the texts to be published.
This paper reports an attempt to see if podcasting can be a valuable tool to improve English vocabulary learning and retention of Persian university students compared with traditional method of vocabulary teaching. Students have been randomly divided into two groups namely experimental and control group. In the experimental group, students are asked to produce podcasts collaboratively and students in the control group are asked to spend the same amount of time in a traditional class practicing vocabulary items. The analysis of covariance shows students in the experimental group significantly outperform students in control group in terms of both learning and retention of vocabulary items.
Abstract The present study examined relationships among critical thinking, writing strategy use, second/foreign language (L2) writing anxiety, and L2 writing performance of Iranian English as a foreign language (EFL) learners. To this end, 100 homogenized EFL learners (57 female learners and 43 male learners) filled out Facione and Facione’s (1993) California Critical Thinking Skills Test-form B (CCRST), Petric and Czarl’s (2003) Writing Strategy Questionnaire (WSQ), Cheng’s (2004) Second Language Writing Anxiety Inventory (SLWAI), and the second task of the academic version of IELTS exam. Multiple correlation analyses revealed a significant positive relationship between L2 writing performance and writing strategy use; and L2 writing performance and critical thinking. Results also revealed a significant negative relationship between L2 writing performance and L2 writing anxiety. Furthermore, it was found that L2 writing anxiety was a stronger predictor of L2 writing performance. Additionally, the results of one-way MANOVA showed a significant difference between Iranian male and female EFL learners regarding both their L2 writing performance and L2 writing anxiety. These results emphasize the inclusion of pre-planned writing sessions for Iranian EFL learners which can help foster critical thinking skills and writing strategy use, reduce L2 writing anxiety and hopefully, improve their L2 writing ability. Key words: Critical thinking, EFL learners, L2 writing anxiety, L2 writing performance, writing strategy use.
The present study was an attempt to extend our knowledge on the perspectives of English language native and non-native teachers about assessment literacy. Furthermore, it was intended to find if there was any significant relationship between native and non-native English language teachers’ perceptions regarding assessment literacy and their experience. To achieve such goals, a mixed methods design was utilized. In the quantitative phase, Classroom Assessment Literacy Inventory developed by Campbell and Mertler (2004) was utilized which consisted of five scenarios. Through a combination of availability sampling and snowball sampling procedures, the researcher either distributed the questionnaire among 100 native and non-native English teachers or sent it by E-mail to them. In the qualitative phase, a semi-structured interview was selected as a qualitative tool for collecting data. To this end, 10 teachers volunteered to take part. Based on the quantitative findings, there was a positive relationship between native English language teachers’ perceptions regarding assessment literacy and their experience. However, there was not any significant relationship between non-native English language teachers’ perceptions regarding assessment literacy and their experience. Based on the qualitative results, seven codes were classified according to three themes, namely, assessment assumptions, assessment targets, and professional development. These seven codes were classroom observations, assessment consistency, formative assessments, summative assessment, higher-order thinking skills, lack of assessment literacy of coursework, and lack of technology assessment literacy. Thus, it is concluded that teachers should assume the role of classroom observation and consistency of the assessment as two major assumptions of assessment.
In the field of second/foreign language learning, Journal Writing (JW) has been used as a tool for self-expression, acknowledged for its multiple benefits with regard to various aspects of language learning. With the advancements of technology, however, few studies have addressed the potentials of internet-based platforms such as blogs in the practice of JW. The present study, therefore, has attempted to juxtapose the traditional paper-and-pencil mode of JW with Blog JW to explore the potential impacts on L2 learners’ writing skill. To this end, four elements of accuracy, fluency, lexical, as well as syntactic complexity were examined in the participants’ writing samples through relevant measures. To analyze the data, (M)ANCOVAs and (M)ANOVAs were conducted, the results of which are summarized and presented. The general conclusion of the study was that, JW, in particular, in the form of blogging has the potential of enhancing the quality of language learners’ writing.
In an attempt to shed light on how expert teachers of English language are distinguished from non-experts, the present research explored how pedagogical content knowledge, as a characteristic of experts relates to four other dimensions of expertise in ELT. These include teacher’s experience, cognitive skills, professional development and learner-centered teaching. To this aim, a questionnaire was developed based on the related literature, comprising 109 items, 41 of which enquired about pedagogical content knowledge and the rest about the other dimensions of expertise in ELT. The reliability and validity of the test were confirmed. The SEM analysis results showed that pedagogical content knowledge was positively and significantly correlated with teacher’s experience, cognitive skills and learner-centered teaching. It also showed to have a statistically significant causal relationship with professional development. The findings proved the significance of pedagogical content knowledge as a prominent feature of expertise in ELT, which requires attention to teacher’s lesson planning, class management, problem solving, learning assessment/feedback and task design in teacher education programs or teacher evaluation program especially for the sake of teacher professional development.