Recent research has shown that academic writing is not ‘author-evacuated’ but, rather, carries a representation of the writers’ identity. One way through which writers project their identity in academic writing is stance-taking toward propositions advanced in the text. Appropriate stance-taking has proved to be challenging for novice writers of Research Articles (RAs), especially those writing in a foreign language. To contribute to the literature on stance-taking, the present study compared the move-based use of evaluative resources in the introduction section of L1 (written by native English speakers) and L2 (written by Iranian, non-native writers) English RAs in the discipline of Applied Linguistics. To this end, 100 English Research Article Introductions (RAIs), 50 by L1 writers and 50 by L2 writers, were investigated as the corpus of the study. Categories of analysis were taken from Appraisal framework (Martine & White, 2005) and CARS model (Swales, 2004). The results revealed that the two groups of texts were not substantially different in the overall use of appraisal resources in the whole body of RAIs. However, more detailed analyses of the specific categories of appraisal in each of the rhetorical moves demonstrated that in some cases, especially in moves 1 and 3, L1 and L2 writers made different choices when taking a stance. The findings of this study can serve as a valuable source providing a practical and comprehensive understanding of the use of evaluative resources in RAIs for EAP researchers, teachers, and other professionals involved in the teaching of academic writing.
The impetus for conducting the present study came from Thornbury's (2005) approach to teach speaking in which he claimed that awareness-raising techniques, along with appropriation strategies, facilitate the process of teaching and learning speaking. Therefore, the present study attempted to explore the impact of the appropriation-based syllabus to teach speaking by using chunks-on-card activity. Accordingly, 60 female and male Iranian advanced EFL learners were selected from a private language institute and were assigned to four groups. The four groups were male experimental and control groups as well as female experimental and control groups. To examine the effect of the treatment, the participants were pre- and post-tested on speaking skill. They took part in 14 treatment sessions in which the experimental group practiced the chunks-on-card method through drilling while the control group practiced the conventional approach. The results of one-way ANOVA revealed significant differences among the posttest scores of the four groups. According to the findings, the mean score for male learners in the experimental group differed significantly from female and male learners in the control groups. Similarly, the mean score of female learners in the experimental group differed significantly from female and male learners in the control groups. The results of paired-samples t-test for each group also indicated that the appropriation-based teaching of lexical chunks had significant impacts on both genders’ speaking skills.
In the fast-changing modern world of today, learners need global skills for life-long learning and effective communication. Among these skills are intercultural competence and critical thinking. Although teachers have acknowledged the importance of the inclusion of global skills in their actual teaching procedures, they still need more concrete methodology and tangible pedagogical frameworks to incorporate these skills into their teachings. This study has been an attempt to propose a framework based on the constructivist approach to activate critical thinking and, in turn, develop critical cultural awareness and intercultural skills in EFL learners. To achieve this aim, a qualitative study was designed; an intercultural syllabus was developed and implemented through the constructivist approach in an academic semester. The related data were then collected through the participants’ reflective worksheets and interviews. The content analysis of the data indicated that the constructivist approach and the intercultural syllabus were effective in assisting the participants in applying critical thinking strategies and developing critical cultural awareness and intercultural skills of discovery and interaction, interpreting and relating, and evaluation. Meanwhile, the results of the self-report evaluation survey indicated that the participants evaluated most of the aspects of the intercultural experience positively. The findings of the current study have implications for instructors, materials developers, and educational stakeholders who support developing intercultural awareness and skills in learners.
This study investigated the receptive and productive vocabulary command of learners based on their willingness to communicate (WTC) and critical thinking skill. The study also aimed to compare gifted and non-gifted learners in terms of the above-mentioned variables. To this end, 112 gifted and non-gifted Iranian EFL learners were picked out and given four instruments (WTC questionnaire, critical thinking skill test, receptive, and productive vocabulary tests). Having analyzed data through two-way ANOVA and independent samples t-tests, the study revealed that, first, no significant difference was found between high and low WTC learners and also high and low critical thinkers in their receptive lexical command; and second, high and low WTC learners, high and low critical thinkers, and also gifted and non-gifted learners showed significant differences in their productive lexical command. Thus, while for receptive vocabulary knowledge, giftedness is a more influential factor than WTC and critical thinking, for productive vocabulary knowledge, WTC, critical thinking, and giftedness are all influential. The pertinent theoretical and practical implications of the study will also be explicated.
The present study was an attempt to provide a psycholinguistic account of cognitive processes underlying responding and questioning. It also strived to identify the potential differences between responding and questioning cognitive processes in Target Language Use Situation tasks. To accomplish the objectives, 65 Iranian general IELTS applicants from two foreign language learning institutes in Shiraz, with two different language proficiency levels (intermediate and advanced), were randomly selected. They were administered a normal responding and a reverse questioning IELTS oral tasks. Two seven-point Likert scale questionnaires were also used to measure the task difficulty and mental effort that the applicants perceived while doing the tasks. Additionally, the applicants’ recorded voices in tasks were transcribed and analyzed to assess the number of grammatical errors and pause lengths. The analysis of the numerical data through descriptive statistics and paired-samples t-tests indicated that, in general, the cognitive processes underlying oral responding and questioning are significantly different in terms of mental effort, task difficulty, length of pauses, and the number of grammatical errors. More specifically, the results suggested that the applicants took more mental effort and perceived more task difficulty while constructing the questions for given responses irrespective of their proficiency levels. Both groups also paused significantly longer and committed significantly more grammatical errors when completing the questioning tasks. The paper discusses the study implications for second language teachers and assessors.
The present study aimed at investigating the effect of peer and teacher scaffolding through a process approach in a technology-enhanced environment on vocabulary learning among high and low self-regulated learners. Participants of the study were 120 English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners who were selected based on their scores on a sample copy of the Oxford Placement Test (OPT). The participants were divided into three groups each consisting of 40 learners. One group of the participants received peer scaffolding; the second group was exposed to teacher scaffolding via the Telegram app based on process approach principles, while the third group served as the control group. The control group received conventional vocabulary teaching in such a way that the Telegram app was not employed. The learners in the control group were also provided with vocabulary exercises in the vocabulary book (English Vocabulary in Use). Data were collected through a sample copy of OPT, a vocabulary test, and a self-regulation questionnaire. The results of a one-way ANOVA revealed that both peer and teacher scaffolding significantly affected vocabulary learning. However, there was no significant difference between peer and teacher scaffolding in terms of their effects on vocabulary learning. The results of a two-way ANOVA indicated that the main effect of treatment on vocabulary learning was significant; however, there was no statistically significant difference between the effects of the two treatment modalities on students’ vocabulary learning.