In the present technology era, a new trend of using social media or social networking sites (SNSs) has been developed. Social media has a lot to offer when it comes to education in general and second language acquisition (SLA) in particular. This study aimed at investigating the impact of Telegram, as an available social network, on learning L2 vocabulary by Iranian EFL beginners. To achieve this aim, a quasi-experimental research design was used. Thirty one Iranian students, aged 10-14, were selected through the convenience sampling method. The teacher taught English vocabulary to the participants in two ways: for four weeks by using Telegram and for another four weeks through the traditional face-to-face classroom instruction. Comparison of the scores obtained from words taught through Telegram and the scores of the traditionally-taught lexical items gave rise to the conclusion that learning vocabulary through the social network was more effective than the traditional approach. This study could help the teachers and material developers to consider incorporation of technology and common applications in language classes for the purpose of L2 vocabulary acquisition.
This study reports on research article (RA) authors’ definitional understanding and sociocultural perceptions of intertextuality and plagiarism in academic writing. To meet this end, a questionnaire, consisting of three sections, was constructed and emailed to Iranian RA authors who have published in leading international and local applied linguistics journals. The findings of the first two sections suggest that authors recognized the crucial role intertextuality plays in RAs; however, they had a flimsy understanding of the concept and its cultural bearings. On the other hand, unacceptable, as most of these respondents may find it, plagiarism was seen as an unavoidable part of academic research at least in initial steps of academic writing. This was shown to be mainly the function of the authors’ sociocultural perceptions of plagiarism. The third section of the questionnaire addressed the authors’ departure from plagiarism and gradual proximization to intertextuality. The findings imply that plagiarism, intertextuality and their concomitant sociocultural perceptions ought to be discussed, re-examined, and put to trial in local contexts
Washback refers to the effect of testing on teaching and learning. The university entrance exam for Iranian MA candidates of Teaching English as a Foreign Language (hereinafter TEFL MA UEE) is a nationwide high-stakes test administered every year, and significant decisions will be made based on the examinees’ performance on this exam; therefore, it is prone to bring about degrees of washback at the micro and macro levels. This study was an attempt to examine the washback effect of TEFL MA UEE on Iranian lecturers’ classroom activities. Therefore, a mixed-method approach was used to collect, analyze, and integrate both quantitative and qualitative data in order to obtain a better grasp of the research topic and to enhance validity and reliability of the information. Based on a sequential design, two phases of data collection were conducted with a two-week interval. In the first phase, a valid and reliable researcher-made questionnaire was administered to a sample of 16 Iranian university lecturers. In the second phase, five lecturers agreed to be interviewed. For this purpose, an interview protocol was developed and it was checked for the validity and reliability. The findings showed that TEFL MA UEE did not induce a high level of washback on the lecturers’ classroom activities and their teaching methodology. The findings could have practical implications for TEFL MA UEE constructors and policymakers in Iran and could also be of use to the researchers in the field of washback studies by providing some guidelines for this complicated phenomenon.
The Effect of Task-induced Involvement Load on Unfamiliar L2 Vocabulary Learning: Sentence Writing, Summary Writing, Imaginary Story Writing and Creative Sentence Writing
The present study examined the effect of four types of post reading-based tasks with different index of task-induced involvement load (Laufer & Hulstijn, 2001) on EFL learners’ recognition and recall of unfamiliar L2 vocabularies. To this end, 88 intermediate EFL learners were randomly assigned to four groups and were instructed to employ four different tasks after reading two narrative texts: (1) simple sentence writing; (2) text summary writing; (3) creative sentence writing; and (4) imaginary story writing. A day after the output activity session, the participants took two post-tests: the production test and the recognition test. Three weeks later, the delayed post-tests were administered. Mixed ANOVA (Split-plot) was run to compare the performances of the groups on immediate and delayed post-tests. The results revealed that there were overall significant within-group and between-group differences among four groups of the study both in immediate and delayed posttests. The creative sentence writing group outperformed in comparison to the other three groups. The results of this study turned out to be partially consistent with involvement load hypothesis.
An Exploration of Practices Adopted by EFL Teachers for Learners with Low-Incidence Disabilities in Inclusive Classes
English language is arguably one of the life prerequisites in this information era and more individuals around the world than ever before are involved in learning English language as an international language of education and business. Learners with disabilities are not excluded from this mainstream; however, they face barriers in learning English. As such, we aimed in this phenomenological multiple case study, underpinned by the social constructivist view of disability, to identify factors affecting EFL teachers’ inclusive practices provided for learners with low-incidence disabilities and reveal the compatibility of such practices with Vygotsky’s social constructivism. To this end, four inclusive classes were observed for 48 sessions (12 sessions per class) and semi-structured interviews were conducted with 45 EFL teachers. We used the data collected from observation notes and interview transcripts to extract major themes describing factors affecting such practices in EFL settings. Drawing on the collected data, we plotted a conceptual framework, and then examined the compatibility of the inclusive practices adopted by the EFL teachers with Vygotsky’s social constructivist theory. We concluded with a discussion on the study's implications and recommendations for practitioners.
Author Engagement in the Literature Review of Research Articles Published in International and Iranian Local Journals: Some Insights from Appraisal Theory
Despite the importance of author engagement in the literature review of academic articles, many writers fail to publish their academic articles due to being incompetent in using conventional engagement resources. In view of this problem, the present study aimed to study linguistic representation of engagement as a dimension of evaluation in academic articles published in international and Iranian local journals. To do so, the literature review section of eighty psychology and applied linguistics articles as representatives of humanities and mechanical engineering and medicine articles as representatives of hard science articles published between 2008 and 2017 in the international and Iranian local journals formed the corpus of the study and were analyzed on the basis of the engagement resources proposed by Martin and White’s (2005) Appraisal Theory The findings indicated that monoglossic resources were used more frequently in articles published in local journals than those published in international ones. Regarding heteroglossic resources, intra-vocalizing resources (countering, denial, pronouncement, and entertainment) were found more frequently in articles published in international journals. However, extra-vocalizing resources (endorsement and attribution resources) used in local journals outnumbered those used in international ones. The findings can provide insights for teaching academic writing in EFL contexts.