Foreign Language Teaching and Research

Foreign Language Teaching and Research

international Journal of Foreign Language Teaching & Research, Volume 6, Issue 24, Winter 2018



Phonological Awareness Impact on Articulatory Accuracy of the Spanish Liquid [r] in Japanese FL Learners of Spanish

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Foreign language learners tend to avoid phonological difficulties and simply transfer sounds whether from their L1 or any pre-existing L2. Phonological awareness (PA) gives students an active role in understanding their own potential in improving pronunciation through several methods. However, such methods are likely to be restricted to only passive learning methods, such as repetition, reading and lectures. In this study, 118 Japanese students of Spanish were tested in their articulation ability of the Spanish liquid [r] segment; the students were divided into two groups: the control group (GA), composed by 59 students, which did not undergo any special PA training, and the PA trained group (GB), composed as well by 59 students, which underwent only one PA intervention. The articulatory accuracy rate of GA for such segment after their first year of language acquisition was 27.16, while for GB it was 72.54 after the PA intervention. The improvement of GB after the PA intervention was highly significant in regard to the learners’ phonological accuracy (p < 0.001)

A Cross-sectional Study of Oral Communication Strategies by Successful EFL Learners

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This paper reports on how top EFL students foster oral communication strategies (OCSs) throughout their 4-year English program at the university level. It is a cross-sectional study of 40 EFL learners enrolled in the Department of English, Faculty of Education, Taiz University, Yemen. Data were collected through a questionnaire based on Oxford’s Strategy inventory for language learning (SILL). The findings revealed that the respondents not only used listening and speaking strategies in Oxford’s inventory but also invented some other strategies to cope with their learning environment. It was also found that the more they advance in the EFL program, the more their strategic competence improves. The results confirm previous studies that high-achieving learners employ several OCSs which facilitate their success. These strategies are put forward to low-achieving learners so as to elevate their English learning.

Literary Translation and Cultural Referencing : The Blinding Absence of Light as a Case Study

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This paper addresses the issue of culture specific references in translating a literary work taking as a case study the novel Cette aveuglante absence de lumière written originally in the French language by Taher Benjelloun and translated into the English language under the title The Blinding Absence of Light by Linda Coverdale . The study offers insight into the distribution of these references in the novel eliciting data related to Moroccan, French, American, Oriental and other culture specific references along with their comparison. There is also room for a theoretical background regarding the procedures and strategies that have been elaborated by translation theorists to account for the translation of cultural references. My analysis focuses on the strategy adopted by the translator and procedures employed in the translation of these references into the English language. The paper ends with a discussion of the attained results taking into consideration cultural attractiveness and its impact on the perception of the characters and their future desires.

A Comparison of Writing Performance on Independent and Integrated Writing Tasks

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Researchers and scholars have been attracted by the idea of using integrated writing task along with independent writing task to best assess the EFL learners’ writing competence. This study was conducted to compare the writing performance of EFL students in integrated and independent writing tasks. It also aimed to find out if writing performance varies with task types. A number of thirty Iranian EFL students participated in this study, and each student wrote on two writing tasks of IELTS Academic module. The written essays were rated by three experienced raters using IELTS rubrics. Paired sample t-tests revealed that test takers performances did not differ significantly across these two tasks. Besides, two one-way ANOVAs indicated the difference between the raters in rating integrated writing task while they were not performed differently in rating independent task. The results are followed by a number of suggestions with the aim of improving the EFL students’ performance in writing skill.

Impact of Prompts as Corrective Feedback Strategy on Teaching /θ/ and /ð/ among Iranian Intermediate EFL Learners

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This study investigated the effects of prompts as corrective feedback strategy on teaching /θ/ and /ð/ sounds to Iranian EFL learners. To achieve this objective, after 30 students studying English at a language institute took a placement test, the intermediate-level students were selected based on their scores on this test. They were randomly assigned to one experimental group and one control group. The experimental group was instructed these two sounds giving prompts as corrective feedback, while the control group received no feedback. In this experimental study, two teacher-made tests on sounds /θ/ and /ð/ were administered to the participants before and after the treatment. After collecting the data and confirming normality of them; through employing two independent-samples t tests and two paired-samples t tests, the collected data were analyzed. The results indicated that language learners in the experimental group did not significantly outperform in the posttest; thus, it can be concluded that prompts were not an effective feedback in teaching these two sounds to Iranian intermediate EFL learners. Findings of the present study can help language teachers and teacher trainers in teaching these complex sounds to Iranian EFL learners

Application of Chesterman's Communicative Norm to the Persian Translation of Political Concepts: Iran between Two Revolutions in focus

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This research aimed at investigating different strategies used by translators in translating political English concepts into Persian between two revolutions. To this purpose, the researchers extracted and examined six cases of English political concepts from a book called “Iran between Two Revolutions” and their corresponding Persian translations. Qualitative research was used to gain insights into the experiences, perspectives, and thoughts for analyzing the quality of the translation. To analyze the data, first the samples were analyzed based on Chesterman's communicative norm, and then, they were compared with their Persian equivalents to determine to what extent the communicative norms had been observed in the translation of political concepts. The results of the analysis showed that the translators faced problems in translating political concepts concerning equivalence, synonyms and cultural specific items.

The effect of bottom-up and top-down auditory program training on the development of children's auditory processing skills

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Although there have been several previous investigations on the role of auditory training for the development of auditory processing skills, it still remains unknown whether children with auditory processing difficulties can get improved auditory skills after exposure to a multi-modal training experience comprising both visual and tactile stimuli. The present study, therefore, attempted to use electronic game applications to foster the auditory processing skills of children who suffer from deficits in their listening abilities. For this purpose, the Listening Inventory for Education (LIFE) questionnaire was administered to the potential number of learners and those learners scoring below the mean were selected as the participants. Children were then assigned to one of two experimental groups: bottom-up (n = 15) and top-down (n = 15). Each group was required to complete a training program on an iPad, using the Auditory Workout app for top-down training and Auditory Processing Studio app for bottom-up auditory training. Their progress was recorded through their responses to the LIFE questionnaire. Results were then analyzed quantitatively through the use of an independent samples t test. Findings revealed the significant effectiveness of both bottom-up and top-down approaches in bring about enhanced auditory skills; results are further discussed with respect to the existing literature.

The Effect of Critical Thinking and Brainstorming as Pre-Writing Stage Activities on EFL Pre-Intermediate Learners’ Expository Writing

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The present study aimed at investigating the effect of critical thinking (CT) versus brainstorming (BS) as pre-writing stage activities on English as a foreign language (EFL) pre-intermediate learners’ expository writing. To achieve this aim, 100 pre-intermediate level participants studying at Naft Language Center in Ahvaz were selected based on convenience sampling method. They took part in Oxford Quick Placement Test (OQPT) and 60 of them were assigned into three equal homogeneous groups; two experimental groups of CT and BS compared to one control group (CO). They received three different kinds of treatments lasting 13 sessions of 90 minutes. The CT group received exercises on major CT skills (e.g., inferencing, recognition, deduction) and BS group go through think, pair and share steps to outline the writing tasks. Prior to the main study, students wrote a 150-word expository writing about one of the topics chosen from their textbooks as a pre-test. Finally, all groups were asked to write another 150-word expository writing as a post-test after the implementation of the proposed treatment. The results indicated that both CT and BS as pre-writing stage activities led to the enhancement of the participants’ expository writing performance.

Predictive Power of Involvement Load Hypothesis and Technique Feature Analysis across L2 Vocabulary Learning Tasks

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Involvement Load Hypothesis (ILH) and Technique Feature Analysis (TFA) are two frameworks which operationalize depth of processing of a vocabulary learning task. However, there is dearth of research comparing the predictive power of the ILH and the TFA across second language (L2) vocabulary learning tasks. The present study, therefore, aimed to examine this issue across four vocabulary learning tasks (i.e., reading with glosses, keyword techniques, word card, and reading and finding the words in text) ranked differently by the ILH and the TFA. To this end, 80 English as a foreign language (EFL) learners were randomly assigned to one of four tasks of learning 16 target words. The results of one-way ANOVA, LSD Post hoc tests, and multiple regression analyses showed that the TFA had a better explanatory power than the ILH in predicting vocabulary learning gains. The findings highlight the TFA as a more powerful framework.

Impact of Consciousness-raising Task and Structure-based Production Task on Learning Comparative and Superlative Forms by Iranian Elementary EFL Learners

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This study aimed to investigate the relative effectiveness of consciousness-raising tasks and structure-based production tasks in comparison with the traditional teaching in learning comparative and superlative forms, following a task-based approach to teaching English grammar. To this end, from among 82 female elementary-level high school students having taken a Solutions Placement Test (2010), 72 students being homogeneous regarding their language proficiency were assigned to one control group experiencing traditional grammar learning and two experimental groups that were instructed using consciousness-raising tasks and structure-based production tasks. The study was a quasi-experimental one following a pre-test post-test control group design. All groups took a multiple-choice researcher-made pre-test measuring their knowledge of comparative and superlative forms at the outset, and after six weeks, the three groups took part in the corresponding post-test. At last, the results of ANCOVA indicated that consciousness-raising task group had the best grammar performance, but no significant differences were found between the participants in structure-based production tasks and traditional teaching. Therefore, it is recommended that other EFL teachers consider consciousness-raising tasks as an option in teaching comparative and superlative forms in their high school classes.

Effects of Form-focused, Meaning-focused, and Forms-focused Instruction on Iranian Intermediate EFL Learners' Development of Collocations

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The current study was an attempt to investigate the effect of performing Focus on Form (FoF), Focus on Meaning (FoM), and Focus on Forms (FoFs) instructions on the development of collocational knowledge among Iranian intermediate EFL learners, and to explore any significant difference on the achievement of the participants' collocational knowledge among three groups. In so doing, 107 female intermediate EFL learners were selected for this research. They all took the Nelson proficiency test and 90 students who had gotten the higher scores were randomly divided into three groups of FoF, FoM, and FoFs. Before the treatment they were pretested and the results of the three groups did not have any significant difference, thus all of the learners were at the same level of knowledge. After the treatment, they were posttested and their scores in FoM group were considerably higher than the learner' scores in FoF and FoFs groups but the learners' scores in FoF and FoFs groups did not have any significant difference with each other. The findings of this study offer beneficial implications for EFL teachers, learners, and materials developers which are finally discussed.


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