This study investigated the comparative effects of audio-visually prompted collaborative dialogue on the listening comprehension development of symmetrical, asymmetrical, and asymmetrical teacher-fronted EFL learner groups. Besides, it explored the attitude of the participants of the groups concerning the effectiveness of collaborative dialogue for their listening comprehension improvement. The participants of the study were 120 Iranian female EFL learners who were conveniently chosen from several English language institutes and put into three experimental and one control groups, each with 30 learners. In the first experimental group, coequal learners engaged in collaborative dialogue. In the second experimental group, the expert peer(s) and less knowledgeable peers applied collaborative dialogue, and in the third experimental group, in addition to the peers, the teacher was involved in collaborative dialogue with the group members. As for the control group, the collaborative dialogue was abandoned and the participants worked individually. Quantitative and qualitative analyses revealed that collaborative dialogue in asymmetrical teacher-fronted, asymmetrical peer and symmetrical peer groups were respectively the most effective procedures for listening comprehension development of the EFL learners. Also, it was found that the participants of the asymmetrical teacher fronted group had a more positive attitude towards the efficacy of audio-visually prompted collaborative dialogue compared with asymmetrical and symmetrical peer groups. The findings underscore the cognitive and affective efficiency of a more knowledgeable source, either a teacher or a peer, in asymmetrical dyadic interactions for the less knowledgeable partners' ZPD sensitive development.
Educators often employ various training techniques to reduce raters’ subjectivity. Negotiation is a technique which can assist novice raters to co-construct a shared understanding of the writing assessment when rating collaboratively. There is little research, however, on rating behaviors of novice raters while employing negotiation techniques and the effect of negotiation on their understanding of writing and rubric features. This study uses a qualitative method to keep track of 11 novice raters’ scoring behaviors and examine their textual foci during three phases of scoring through an analytic rubric: pre-negotiation, negotiation, and post-negotiation. To ensure triangulation, multiple sources of data including raters’ verbal protocols of independent scoring during the initial and final phases, audio-recorded interactions in the negotiation phase, and semi-structured interviews were gathered and analyzed. Results indicated that in their initial independent rating, raters mostly scored based on their understanding of the writing skill and the writing features that were important to them, but negotiation sessions aided them to refine their judgments and attend to a wider array of textual features more consistently and in line with the rubric, thereby expanding their understanding of the rubric categories. Post-negotiation ratings were also more similar to negotiation than prenegotiation ratings, meaning that the raters attended to more features of the rubric for scoring. The findings may have implications for rater training. In the absence of expert raters to train novice raters, negotiation can be considered a useful technique to improve raters’ understanding of the rubric features.
Designing appropriate materials and activities to enhance vocabulary learning is one of the primary goals of language courses. Among the claims about efficient pedagogical tasks is the Involvement Load Hypothesis (Laufer & Hulstijn, 2001) according to which vocabulary development is contingent on the amount of cognitive process a task involves. Building on the previous research on this hypothesis, this study seeks to explore the extent to which three post-listening tasks of different involvement loads along with single-versus dual-mode glosses affect receptive and productive vocabulary learning of advanced English as a foreign language (EFL) learners. The participants (n = 204) listened to an expository text while twenty lexical items were presented through text-only or text-plus-picture glosses. Subsequently, they were assigned to one of the task type groups (sentence writing, gap-fill, and paragraph writing). Paribakht and Wesche’s (1997) Vocabulary Knowledge Scale was employed as the pre and post-tests. The results pointed to the efficacy of dual-mode over single-mode glosses concerning both receptive and productive vocabulary learning. The sentence writing task produced the highest scores in the vocabulary tests, whereas the gap-fill and paragraph writing tasks did not significantly differ. Hence, the results only partially confirmed the Involvement Load Hypothesis. The current study corroborates other studies verifying the modality effect on vocabulary learning and suggests that task type is a significant factor in EFL vocabulary learning.
Nowadays there are several challenges for English teachers as well as researchers regarding how to teach foreign language pronunciation more effectively. The current study aimed to explore the effect of computer-assisted pronunciation teaching (CAPT) on Persian monolinguals and Turkmen- Persian and also Baloch- Persian bilinguals’ pronunciation considering production and perception. A sample of 48 female mono and bilingual 7th-grade students participated in this study and made the experimental and comparison groups. All the participants took the Oxford Placement Test and accordingly were in the beginner level of English language proficiency (95.83% of the participants’ scores ranged from 0 to 15). The experimental group experienced a technology-based instruction while the comparison group benefited from traditional listen and repeat method of pronunciation teaching. Two Two-way between-group ANOVAs were used to define the influence of CAPT on pronunciation production and perception of the mono and bilingual participants. The results of the study indicated that CAPT had a significant effect on pronunciation production while pronunciation perception was comparatively more enhanced through the traditional method. Regarding mono and bilingualism, it was also found that bilinguals significantly outperformed monolinguals in pronunciation production in both groups while there was no significant difference between them in pronunciation perception. There were also no interaction effects for pronunciation perception or production scores. The results generally showed that CAPT can be beneficial specifically when it is used along with traditional methods at schools in beginner levels.
Burgeoning research in applied linguistics has underscored the interplay among individual, cognitive, and social variables that can delineate the ultimate attainment in various areas including vocabulary learning and the need to explore how innovative conflation of these dimensions may promote learning outcomes. The present quasi-experimental study examined the impact of Thematic Vocabulary Instruction (TVI) with and without Multiple Intelligence-oriented tasks on advanced EFL learners’ vocabulary learning and scrutinized probable differences among individual learners with varying intellectual propensities. Thus, a stratified homogeneous sample of 80 advanced EFL learners was selected and randomly assigned to four groups; the first and the second experimental groups (EG1 and EG2) received TVI with tasks compatible and incompatible with their dominant intelligence, respectively. The third experimental group (EG3) received TVI focused on coursebook exercises and the control group (CG) received non-thematic instruction based on textbook exercises. A parallel vocabulary test was administered to measure the participants’ vocabulary learning. The research data were analyzed via the Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney tests and revealed that the EG1 significantly outperformed the other groups and intrapersonally-intelligent learners significantly underperformed their peers in the EG1. The findings underscore the significance of taking individual differences into account and offer a number of pedagogical implications.
Listening taking over half of the learners’ time and effort (Nunan, 1998), forms a basis for acquiring much of a language. There are factors affecting listening comprehension and its perception, such as the speech rate, phonological properties of the text, the quality of the recording, the learners’ anxiety, and listening comprehension strategies (Goh, 2000; Hamouda, 2013). At the Iran Language Institute in Dezful, S.W. Iran, some teachers attributed some learners’ perception of partially unsuccessful comprehension of the recorded material to factors such as rate of speech, T-unit length, and pauses between T-units or inside T-units. This study aimed at the probable association between learners' and teachers' perceptions of these variables and compare them to the real qualities of the recordings they listen to. Thus, in an analytic single-shot design, a researcher-made questionnaire was developed and was answered by 504 (229 male and 275 female) participants together with their teachers in 21 classrooms across the six levels of proficiency at the Iran Language Institute. The results, not normally distributed, were juxtaposed with Kendall's tau and Spearman's rho correlation coefficients to ensure maximum agreement between the statistical analyses. The results indicated a strong or moderate correlation between the audio tracks' characteristics with neither learners' perceptions nor teachers' perceptions. Teachers' and learners' perceptions showed a moderate correlation between the perceived rate of speech and a weak correlation between their perceptions of between-T-unit pauses.