The score reliability of language performance tests has attracted increasing interest. Classical Test Theory cannot examine multiple sources of measurement error. Generalizability theory extends Classical Test Theory to provide a practical framework to identify and estimate multiple factors contributing to the total variance of measurement. Generalizability theory by using analysis of variance divides variances into their corresponding sources, and finds their interactions. This study used generalizability theory as a theoretical framework to investigate the effect of raters’ gender on the assessment of EFL students’ writing. Thirty Iranian university students participated in the study. They were asked to write on an independent task and an integrated task. The essays were holistically scored by 14 raters. A rater training session was held prior to scoring the writing samples. The data were analyzed using GENOVA software program. The results indicated that the male raters’ scores were as reliable as those of the female raters for both writing tasks. Large rater variance component revealed the low score generalizability in case of using one rater. The implications of the results in the educational assessment are elaborated.
The Effect of Preview, Question, Read, and Summarize (PQRS) Strategy on Indonesian EFL Students’ Writing Ability across Working Memory Capacity Levels
This study aimed at investigating the effect of Preview, Question, Read, Summarize (PQRS) Strategy on EFL students’ writing ability by considering their working memory capacity (WMC) levels. It involved Indonesian English as a foreign language (EFL) students of English Department in Universitas Negeri Malang, one of the leading universities in Indonesia. This study applied a quasi-experimental design and compared the writing ability of two intact groups of students. The data were collected by using writing tests and a WMC test. The results of the research revealed that there was a significant difference between the students who were taught by using the PQRS strategy and those who were not taught by using that strategy. However, there was no significant difference in the writing ability of the EFL students across WMC levels. Theoretically, this study supports the important roles of integrated reading-writing instruction in the teaching of writing. Pedagogically, in the teaching of writing, EFL teachers might apply the PQRS strategy as part of integrated reading-writing instruction to EFL students regardless of the difference in their WMC levels.
Investigating Burnout among Iranian EAP Teachers: A Comparison of Content instructors and ELT Instructors
English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses are currently well-established university programs. These courses are run independently by English Language Teaching (ELT) instructors and content instructors without any collaboration. However, ELT instructors and content instructors do not receive the same level of collegiality and social support from the organizations and students. This paper probed burnout among Iranian EAP teachers, including content instructors and ELT instructors in 28 state universities and its variations in relation to their demographic and organizational characteristics. To this aim, the Persian version of the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) was administered to content instructors (N=185) and ELT instructors (N=86) in the state universities in Iran. The results of the study indicated that while most of EAP teachers, both content instructors and ELT instructors, had low burnout, a considerable number had mid-levels of emotional exhaustion and personal accomplishment. The findings of the study also indicated that the ELT instructors had higher emotional exhaustion than the content instructors, and it was also found that the content instructors with more than 13 years of experience and the ELT instructors with more than 20 years of experience in teaching such courses had the lowest burnout. Based on the findings of the study, educational administrators are suggested to take remedial and preventive actions against EAP teachers’ burnout and enhance ELT instructors’ occupational well-being. It also seems necessary to assist EAP teachers in adapting to the requirements of teaching EAP courses through pre/in-service teacher training courses to obviate the need for extensive experience for gaining expertise in it.
An Investigation of Iranian EFL Teachers and Learners’ Preferences in the Selection of Different Types of Direct and Indirect Oral Corrective Feedback
This paper aimed at examining the Iranian EFL teachers and learners’ preferences for two types of direct oral corrective feedback, including explicit correction and metalinguistic clues, and two types of indirect oral corrective feedback, including recast and repetition. The participants included 39 teachers and 84 EFL learners, selected through purposive sampling. A scenario-based questionnaire was constructed based on Lyster and Ranta’s (1997) typology of corrective feedback (CF) for the purpose of collecting data on the teachers and learners’ preferences for the type of CF. Feedback scenarios were extracted from the literature on CF. The questionnaire was distributed to the participants by one of the researchers. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted in order to triangulate the data gathered through the questionnaire. The results of the study indicated that the EFL teachers and learners preferred direct CF more than indirect CF. The results also revealed significant differences among EFL teachers with differing levels of teaching experience (i.e., low, moderate and high). The present study drew attention to the fact that direct types of CF were preferred over others in EFL context. This study has implications for EFL teachers, learners, and material developers.
High School EFL Teachers’ Professional Competencies: Content Knowledge and Pedagogical Content Knowledge
According to Teacher Education Curriculum Development Document (TECDD) of Farhangiyan University, teacher professional competencies include Content Knowledge (CK), Pedagogical Knowledge (PK), Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) and General Knowledge (GK). Of these competencies, CK and PCK are specific to teachers of each major while PK and GK are common among all majors. This study was an attempt to explore the components that constitute high school EFL teachers’ CK and PCK through review of the related literature and investigation of high school EFL teachers (N=40) and teacher educators’ (N=20) perspectives. Based on the content analysis of these two sources which resulted in strong agreement, 20 items of CK and 17 items of PCK were identified. To validate the items and explore their underlying factors, data were collected from 445 high school EFL teachers and teacher educators using a questionnaire. Factor analysis with Varimax rotation was carried out on CK and PCK items separately. Regarding CK items, factor analysis gave way to the emergence of three factors, namely knowledge of the principles of language teaching methodology, knowledge of linguistics, and language proficiency. Regarding PCK items, factor analysis also gave way to three factors, namely knowledge of teaching and assessing the components of the curriculum, knowledge of developing, planning and managing language teaching, and knowledge of developing and evaluating instructional materials. The results of this study can be used in the design of high school EFL teacher education program.
Upper-intermediate and Advanced EFL Learners’ Reciprocity to Mediation: A Dynamic Listening Assessment
The present study aimed to capture and represent the mediator-learner’s interaction in the development of listening proficiency and statistically compare this interaction between high and low proficient English as a foreign language (EFL) learners. Thirty EFL learners participated in Oxford Quick Placemat Test (OQPT) and the Interactions/Mosaic Listening Placement (IMLP) Test to select those whose proficiency levels and listening skills were based on the placement guide of the tests, at upper-intermediate and advanced levels. Out of 30 learners, 12 learners (upper-intermediate level=6, advanced level=6) volunteered to participate in individualized tutoring sessions. The study adopted an interactionist Dynamic Assessment (DA) approach and implemented a qualitative research methodology to reveal the frequency and quality, the two criteria to interpret the learners’ developments and Zone of Actual/Potential Development (ZAD/ZPD) functioning, of mediator-learner’s interaction. The amount and quality of moves made by learners to complete the task were reported in quantitative data. Statistical analyses were run to examine whether the ability level may affect the responsiveness of learners to mediation. Findings of the study revealed that 17 reciprocity moves were identified that promoted the development of listening abilities of upper-intermediate and advanced level learners. It is also revealed that the upper-intermediate learners showed more responses as compared to the advanced learners.