: This study aims to explore the relationship between syntactic and lexical complexity and also the relationship between different aspects of lexical complexity. To this end, speech monologs of 35 Iranian high-intermediate learners of English on three different tasks (i.e. argumentation, description, and narration) were analyzed for correlations between one measure of syntactic complexity (mean number of clauses per Analysis of Speech Unit) and two measures of lexical complexity (diversity and sophistication). Spearman’s rho was used to calculate correlations between the average scores for syntactic and lexical complexity obtained from the three tasks and also for each of the three tasks individually. The results showed that the average scores for lexical diversity and lexical sophistication correlated positively, but the correlation was found only for the narration task. Also, the average scores for syntactic complexity did not correlate significantly with any of the average scores for the two measures of lexical complexity. However, the pattern of results differed across the three tasks. In the argumentation task, syntactic complexity correlated significantly only with lexical diversity. Syntactic complexity did not correlate significantly with any of the two measures of lexical complexity in the description task. In the case of the narrative task, there was a significant correlation between syntactic complexity and both measures of lexical complexity. The results are discussed in light of Levelt’s (1989) speaking model
The Integrative Effect of Direct Corrective Feedback and Metalinguistic Explanation on Learners' Accuracy in using English Articles
The present study was conducted to further improve the practice of written corrective feedback by integrating the two known feedback types (i.e. direct corrective feedback and metalinguistic explanation). With this aim, a sample of sixty-nine high-intermediate Iranian EFL learners was assigned into different feedback groups. While the first and second groups received direct and metalinguistic explanation feedback, respectively, the third group received an integration of both. Results showed that all three types of feedback improved the learners’ accuracy, though with different degrees of success. However, the results of the delayed post-tests revealed that only the integration of Direct Corrective Feedback (DCF) with Metalinguistic Explanation (ME) had the most sustainable effect on the learners' accurate use of the articles in the long run. It is discussed that the integration of DCF and ME can enhance the corrective effect of the feedback and reduce the defects which have been associated with the practice.
: This study aims to apply active learning in a foreign language context to improve L2 learners’ listening comprehension. Participants in this attempt were 56 EFL learners between 13 and 15 years old. To amass the required data, learners went through a ten-week treatment, in which participants in the experimental group received computer-mediated active learning intervention and those in the control group had computer-mediated listening activities in traditional lecture-based format. Since the focus of this study is on listening comprehension, tasks were designed in such a way so as to teach the basic tenets of listening including: a) reflective listening to comprehend meaning and content, b) reflective listening to clarify feelings, and c) listening to nonverbal cues. The aim was to find the possible effects of such intervention on learners’ listening comprehension. Scores on final exams and an attitude interview were compared between the two groups. Results of independent samples t-tests revealed that, as opposed to students in the control group, students in the experimental group performed significantly better and had much more positive attitudes toward the course. It was found that the proposed intervention is beneficial for English-language learners by reducing their anxiety in listening tasks and enhancing their motivation to take part in classroom activities and to do independent test tasks as their homework
The Impact of Contextual Variables on Internal Intensification of Apology Speech Acts in Persian: Social Distance and Severity of Offense in Focus
The current paper primarily provides an account of how apology speech acts are internally intensified in Persian. Moreover, the study checks to what extent contextual variables, namely social distance and severity of offense, may motivate the internal intensification of apology speech acts. To these ends, the study collected the required speech acts through a Discourse Completion Test (DCT) from among Persian male native speakers. The data was analyzed based on the coding scheme developed by Blum-Kulka, House, and Kasper (1989). The results revealed that apology speech acts are intensified in Persian in most cases through universal strategies of internal intensification. Moreover, the Persian speakers are sensitive to severity of the offense, as a context-internal variable, which motivates more internal intensifications of apologies. The findings, however, revealed that social distance as a context-external variable does not prompt the use of internal intensifications differently in situations where there is social distance between interlocutors compared to situations where there is no social distance between interlocutors.
Exploring Authorial Identity in terms of Voice Intensity and Subject-Positioning in the Argumentative Writings of Male and Female Iranian Advanced EFL Learners
Academic writing is not just about presenting a set of ideas, but through the act of writing, the authors position themselves as individuals having particular identities which mostly reflect the dominant sociocultural values and practices of the discourse communities in which they are living and performing. The present study, using a mixed method approach, attempted to explore the evidences of voice and subject positioning, as reflections of authorial identity, in the argumentative writings of 41 advanced Iranian EFL learners. At first, the relationship between voice intensity and overall writing quality of the participants was assessed and the results indicated a positive relationship between the constructs. The multiple regression analysis conducted also revealed that assertiveness, as one of the main subcomponents of voice in writing, had the highest level of contribution in accounting for the writing competence of the learners. Afterwards, some representative instances of subject-positioning (i.e., ideational, interpersonal and textual) in the written texts were identified and discussed based on the ideological context of the study since it is believed that authorial identity and voice can vividly reflect the overall ideology of the specific discourse community in which they are constructed. Finally, it was suggested that raising the awareness of learners and even instructing them about the significance of authorial identity, voice and subject-positioning in writing can assist them in constructing more authentic texts in terms of idea presentation, consideration of readers and specific textual and linguistic features used.
Learning English as a foreign language in Iran has provided a novel learning milieu for language learners, giving them the capability to create the dialogue between their home culture and the culture of the foreign language they are learning. The current study aims to investigate the level of Iranian EFL learners' cultural identity. To do so, the researchers developed a questionnaire through extensive readings of the literature on language, culture and identity at both national and international levels. To determine the reliability of the questionnaire, Cronbach’s Alpha was utilized. The reliability of all the items in the questionnaire was estimated as 0.78. To measure the validity of the questionnaire, Exploratory Factor Analysis through PCA was performed, demonstrating five underlying factors of Iranian Cultural Identity. Then, the questionnaire was administered to 494 language learners in the context of Iran. The analysis of the data revealed that nearly 68% of the Iranian language learners in the study possess a moderate level of cultural identity.