Foreign Language Teaching and Research

Foreign Language Teaching and Research

international Journal of Foreign Language Teaching & Research, Volume 7, Issue 26, Summer 2019



Implementing Project Work in Teaching English at High School: The Case of Vietnamese Teachers’ Challenges

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Research on using project work in teaching various disciplines has pointed out a number of challenges facing teachers. Similar research in the EFL classroom, however, has been under-researched. This study aimed to fill the gap with a report on the Vietnamese high school teachers’ challenges in implementing project-based learning in the setting of curricular innovation in English instruction nationwide. The participants of the study were thirty-three EFL teachers from sixteen high schools in both rural and urban areas of the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. With a questionnaire and an in-depth interview, both quantitative and qualitative data were collected. Data analysis indicated that the teachers faced major challenges in time management, adaptation of project activities, student support, and project assessment. These results provide useful implications for how innovative approaches can be successfully implemented, especially with respect to the kind of support EFL teachers need to make project-based learning more feasible in the Vietnamese educational context and similar ones.

Student Teams Achievement Divisions and Think-Pair-Share: Which Works Better for Listening?

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This study was an attempt to investigate the comparative impact of Student Teams Achievement Divisions (STAD) and Think-Pair-Share (TPS) on EFL learners’ listening. Accordingly, 60 female EFL learners selected from a larger group of 90 learners based on their performance on a sample piloted Preliminary English Test (PET) who studied at a language school in Tehran were randomly divided into two experimental groups. Both groups demonstrated homogeneity in terms of their listening at the outset. The same content was taught to both groups during 15 sessions with one experimental group undergoing STAD while TPS was used in the other group. At the end of the treatment, another sample PET listening section was administered to both groups. The result of the independent samples t-test run on the participants’ mean scores on the posttest revealed that the TPS group significantly outperformed those in the STAD group. These findings have certain implications which are discussed at length in the paper.

A Cross-Cultural Pragmatic Study of Indirect Complaint Responses in Iranian and American News Interviews: Iran’s Nuclear Negotiations

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The present study intended to compare the complaint responses used by President Rouhani and President Obama in the Iranian and US news interview contexts. For this purpose, Boxer’s (1993) six types of indirect complaint responses were adopted: ‘ignorance’, ‘questions’, ‘topic switch’, ‘contradiction’, ‘joke/teasing’, ‘advice/lecture’ and ‘agreement/commiseration’. The transcripts of the live news interviews were selected from Tehran Times in Iran and ‘The New York Times’, ‘The Atlantic Daily’, and ‘National Public Radio’ all carried out in 2015. The results of quantitative and qualitative data analyses revealed both universal and culture-specific responses. Whereas both nations made nearly equal use of ‘question’ response in order to make solidarity, ‘contradiction’ was used most frequently in the US interviews and ‘topic-switch’ and ‘commiseration’ were more frequent in Iranian transcripts. The findings are discussed with respect to the culture-specificity and universality and the way that news interviews deal with the political information including Iran’s nuclear negotiations.

Impact of Metacognitive Strategy Instruction on Iranian EFL Learners’ Listening Anxiety

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This study aimed to investigate the efficacy of metacognitive strategy instruction intervention on reducing language listening anxiety of Iranian EFL learners in the light of 2 listening metacognitive strategy instruction models of Integrated Experiential Learning Task (IELT) (Goh, 2010) and Metacognitive pedagogical Sequence (MPS) (Vandergrift, 2004). Participants were 63 B1 level learners who were chosen through random sampling and were randomly assigned to 2 experimental and 2 control groups. Before and after the intervention, Kim’s (2000) Foreign Language Listening Anxiety scale (FLLAS) and the listening section of Preliminary English Test (PET) were administered to all groups as pre and post tests. All four groups were taught by the same researcher and the listening comprehension material was constant over the groups. The first experimental group received IELT intervention, the second experimental group received MPS intervention, and both control groups received traditional product-based listening comprehension instruction while the active control group also received explicit instruction of the metacognitive strategies. ANCOVA results proved that although both IELT and MPS were effective in lowering anxiety level, the performance of MPS was of a large effect size, and it was a better model to lower learners’ anxiety. Both models significantly improved learners’ listening comprehension.

EFL Students’ Epistemological Beliefs and Use of Cognitive and Metacognitive Strategies in Bahir Dar University

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This study attempted to investigate the level of EFL learners’ epistemological beliefs and learning strategy use as well as the contribution of epistemological beliefs to their learning strategy use in Bahir Dar University. Comprehensively selected 136 EFL students at the Faculty of Humanities of Bahir Dar University responded to modified versions of Epistemological Beliefs Questionnaire and Motivated and Self Directed Learning Strategies Questionnaire. The descriptive statistics showed that the participants generally held a low level of epistemological beliefs (mean scores ranging from 2.49 to 3.09 on a five-point scale) and they moderately used cognitive and metacognitive learning strategies (mean scores ranging from 3.29 to 3.82 on a five-point scale). The results of multivariate analysis indicated there was a significant multivariate effect of epistemological beliefs on the various dimensions of learning strategies, contributing 15.8% of the variance. The follow-up univariate analyses also showed the difference in epistemological beliefs had a significant impact on their use of all dimensions of learning strategies except rehearsal strategy. This means that EFL students with sophisticated epistemological beliefs, compared to their counterparts with naïve beliefs, are more strategic in handling learning situations through deploying appropriate higher order cognitive and metacognitive learning strategies.

Effects of CALL-Mediated TBLT on Self-Efficacy for Reading among Iranian University Non-English Major EFL Students

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The rich and still expanding literature on TBLT is helping to mature both its theoretical conceptualization and practical implementation in foreign and second language education. Similarly, computer-assisted language learning (CALL) has grown as a field, with the use and integration of technology in the classroom continuing to increase and will continue to play an important role in this maturation process. The present study, hence, reports on an empirical study that investigated the effects of CALL-mediated TBLT on the perceived self- efficacy of Iranian university non-English major EFL students. Through non-probability and convenience sampling, two intact freshmen classes were chosen and randomly assigned as the experimental and the control group. During the treatment sessions, the students in the experimental group received instruction in a CALL-mediated TBLT format, while the control group received no CALL-mediated TBLT instruction but underwent only a task- based instruction on reading without the mediation of CALL. A univariate analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was run, while controlling for pre-intervention scores as the covariate. A significant effect was found for CALL-mediated TBLT (F = 81.450, p = .000, partial eta squared =.504), suggesting CALL-mediated TBLT had a positive effect on the self-efficacy perceptions of the students in the experimental group .

Effects of Critical Pedagogy on Iranian Upper-intermediate EFL Learners’ Writing Quantity and Quality

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Critical pedagogy is regarded as an exhaustive system of learning through which learners' critical consciousness, self-regulation and autonomy, individuality, and learning achievements are promoted. Therefore, 60 Iranian upper- intermediate EFL learners (both male and female) from among 75 students based on their OPT test scores were selected. These participants were divided into a control group (N = 30) and an experimental group (N = 30). In order to ascertain that the students in the two groups were homogeneous in terms of writing quantity, the writing pretest was administered. The control group (CG) received the traditional writing instructions, whereas the experimental group (EG), who was taught writing instructions as guideline, received critical pedagogy. After the treatment, the writing posttest was also constructed. The scores of the students on the placement test, writing pretest, and posttest of the two groups were analyzed using SPSS 20. In addition, an independent-sample t- test and a one-way ANCOVA were used to compare the CG and EG learners' writing quantity and quality on the posttest scores. The data obtained from the study indicated that the experimental group significantly outperformed the control group counterparts. Implications for EFL teachers include drawing the attention to the importance and usefulness of critical pedagogy in L2 teaching classes.

On the Development of a Model of Cultural Identity and Language Achievement among Iranian Advanced EFL Learners

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Culture is an inseparable part of a language. In other words, mastering a language and being able to communicate through it inevitably entails integrating with the culture of the speakers of that language which is the reflection of people's identity. The aim of the present study was designing a model of Iranian cultural identity. Initially, to select a homogeneous sample of learners at the advanced level, 300 language learners at the advanced level took TOEFL and 180 learners were chosen as the participants of the study. The cultural identity model was designed by the use of interviews and literature review to come up with main components of cultural identity. Afterwards, participants were interviewed about their identity and four components comprising Iranian cultural identity were identified. The results of the factors analysis showed that raw data converged to a pattern with four components which fit the hypothesized model of cultural identity. Then, the cultural identity questionnaire was given to participants. The results of statistical analyses indicated that there was a significant negative relationship between cultural identity and language achievement of the participants.

Elaboration on Foreign Language Anxiety in L2 Speaking: A Study of Iranian EFL Learners

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The study examined language learning anxiety factors, hindering EFL learners’ process of learning, particularly in speaking settings and recommended useful approaches to cope with it. Using the quantitative approach as well as a qualitative semi-structured interview and focus-group discussion method, this study tried to examine the factors behind language anxiety among Iranian language learners both in the classroom and in the social context. 100 TEFL students participated in this study. The language proficiency was measured by TOEFL IBT test to make sure that the students were homogeneous. The findings suggested a variety of approaches to cope with language anxiety. It also revealed that there was a significant relationship between the participants’ language anxiety and their language proficiency. The results of the interviews showed that the teachers had a key role in increasing and decreasing the students’ language anxiety concerning psychosocial linguistic factors. The findings of the study can be helpful for providing some teacher-training courses, teaching language teachers some effective psychological techniques to decrease language learning anxiety factors, improving language learning process. Keywords: language le