مقالات

۱.

Cultural Intelligence, Cultural Identity, Autonomy, Self-Efficacy and Second Language Achievement of Iranian EFL learners: A Path Analysis

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This study was designed to explore the relation pattern of cultural intelligence, cultural identity, autonomy, and self-efficacy and second language achievement of Iranian EFL learners. The participants were 247 undergraduate students. Data were collected nationwide, from different parts of Iran; that is, from Kerman, south of Iran; Hamadan, west of Iran; Mashhad, east of Iran; and Gorgon, north of Iran. The participants' ages ranged from 18 to 26 and they were mostly juniors and seniors. They completed the following questionnaires: Cultural Intelligence Questionnaire (Ang, et al., 2007), Cultural Identity Clarity Scale (Usborne & Taylor, 2010), Learner Autonomy Questionnaire (Cotterall, 1995, 1999) and Self-Efficacy Questionnaire (Pinitrich, Smith, Garcia & Mckeachie, 1991). The participants’ GPA of three general English courses were considered as their second language achievement. Responses from questionnaires were collected through convenience sampling. The design of the study is based on path analysis. After data collection, the hypothesized model was tested by AMOSE program. The results demonstrated that the variables under study could strongly predict EFL learners' L2 achievement. L2 achievement may largely depend on students’ cultural intelligence, cultural identity, autonomy and self-efficacy. Also, it was reported that autonomy was the strongest predictor of EFL learners’ L2 achievement.
۲.

The Impact of the Asynchronous Online Discussion Forum on the Iranian EFL Students’ Writing Ability and Attitudes

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This paper focuses on the impact of an asynchronous online discussion forum on the development of students’ ability in and attitudes toward writing in English. To do this, 60 undergraduate students majoring in English were assigned to two experimental and control groups while receiving different types of feedback. Students in the experimental group were required to take part in an asynchronous forum by writing a five-paragraph essay, challenging their ideas and providing feedback based on a pre-designed feedback sheet, whereas students in the control group received traditional face-to-face feedback by the teacher. Analysis of the data obtained through a pre-test, a post-test, and a survey indicated that students’ writing improved significantly in the experimental group, on both lexis and grammar planes, as the results of engaging in replying to peers’ questions, involving in writing by exchanging feedback, and employing self-assessment strategies to revise their own work. Furthermore, they also expressed more positive attitudes toward writing. The study offers implications for L2 writing instruction in EFL contexts
۳.

The Effect of Task Repetition under Different Time Conditions on EFL Learners' Oral Performance and Grammatical Knowledge Gain

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This quasi-experimental study aimed to investigate the effect of task repetition under four conditions on the three dimensions of oral production (accuracy, complexity and fluency) and grammatical knowledge gain of learners of English as a Foreign Language (EFL). 40 young learners of English as a Foreign Language in four classes were randomly assigned into one of the following groups: repetition in three successive sessions during a week, repetition once a week over three weeks, repetition with one week interval in between over five weeks, and repetition with two weeks interval in between over seven weeks. A Grammatical Judgment Test (GJT) including the prepositions of movement as the target structure was designed to measure learners’ grammatical knowledge both before and after the study. Also, tasks were developed for measuring oral performance of the participants. The findings indicated significant differences in the performance of the groups from pre-test to post-test in terms of accuracy (ratio of error-free clauses) and complexity (syntactic and lexical) dimensions of oral production as well as gains in grammatical knowledge; they however failed to show significant effects for fluency development across distinct time intervals. The paper discusses further findings and implications.
۴.

The Effect of Argument Mapping Instruction on L2 Writing Achievement across Writing Tasks and Writing Components: A Case of Iranian EFL Learners

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Argument maps as schematic representations of arguments and their logical and evidential relationships are effective diagrams for instruction in education as well as in L2 development. However, their use for teaching L2 writing in EFL contexts has not been adequately studied. Therefore, this study investigated the effect of argument mapping instruction on Iranian EFL learners’ writing achievement and writing components, including grammar, coherence, cohesion, and task accomplishment in expository and descriptive essays. The participants were 60 intermediate EFL learners at Fadak language institute in Tehran. The selected participants were randomly divided into two groups: an experimental and a control group, each including 30 participants. Materials, coursebooks, and the teacher were the same for the study groups. However, the participants in the experimental group received specific instruction about the use of argument maps before and during their writing. After 10 sessions of treatment, the learners in the two groups were asked to write a descriptive and an expository paragraph. The paragraphs were rated by two raters and the final score was the average of the scores given by the two raters. The results of the data analysis revealed that argument mapping strategies had significant improvement impact on expository and descriptive writing tasks and could improve participants’ writing in terms of grammar, coherence, cohesion, and task achievement. However, argument mapping was not beneficial in improving the vocabulary of study participants’ writing. Findings of the study suggest that EFL language instructors and learners can use argument maps for teaching descriptive and expository writing.
۵.

Visual Representation of Social Actors in ELT Nursery Rhymes

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With the advent of globalization, especially in its third phase (see Robertson, 2003), global relations of domination have undermined abuse of power at national and local levels (Fairclough, 2001). Global ELT textbooks, as corollaries of the globalization process, are not immune to the embedment of discriminatory discourses, as various studies have shown (see for example, Gray, 2010, 2012; Babaii and Sheikhi, 2017). On the other hand, a social actor analysis of verbal and visual discourse will contribute significantly to the disclosure of discriminatory discourses (see van Leeuwen, 2008; Hart, 2014). The current study, therefore, reduces the gap in research on ideology of ELT materials by probing into the nursery rhymes in children and young-adult ELT textbooks. Visual representation of social actors in the images accompanying nursery rhymes in Magic Time, English Time, Let's Go and Family and Friends were, thus, examined, using van Leeuwen's (2008) framework. Regarding results, the most frequent exclusionary discourses in the corpus included religion, nationality, race, and gender respectively. Significantly, it was found that monochromatic depiction of social actors constituted a strategy for the discursive construction of otherness in Family and Friends. Additionally, a process, called whitenization of blacks in the terminology of the current study, was found to be at work in which blacks were depicted as having the facial features of whites.
۶.

The Effect of System-Nested, Genre-Oriented, Structurally-Mediated Writing Instruction on Academic Writing Motivation of Iranian EFL Learners

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The present study set out to investigate the effect of a newly-developed model of writing instruction in comparison with Swalesian genre approach, and the traditionally-favored product-oriented approach on Academic Writing Motivation of Iranian EFL learners. The devised model was called System-Nested, Genre-Oriented, Structurally-Mediated Model of Writing Instruction. Next, with a quasi-experimental design, three groups of learners received writing instruction via traditionally-favored product-oriented approach (N = 8), Swales’ genre-based approach (N = 8), and the newly-developed model (N = 7). The participants received an academic writing motivation questionnaire prior and subsequent to their treatments as pretest and posttest. The results of ANCOVA revealed that the participants in the newly developed model group outperformed the other two groups on the posttest of writing motivation. Additionally, the learners in the Swalesian genre approach group performed significantly better than those in the product-oriented approach group. Language teachers are encouraged to incorporate the system-nested, genre-oriented, structurally-mediated model of writing instruction or other genre-based models to improve learners’ academic writing motivation.

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