This study aimed to overcome the researchers' extreme attention to essentially qualitative methods in research on language learners' imagined communities and move towards quantification in order to achieve a more tangible image of this construct. To do so, the present researchers followed three main phases. First, a hypothesized model of language learners' imagined communities with eight components was developed for the Iranian context based on the wide-ranging readings of the literature on imagined communities, consultations with experts and interviews with language learners. Second, a questionnaire was developed and validated based on the model to represent its components. Finally, the data collected through the questionnaire were fed into the model to see to what extent the model fit the data. The initial results showed poor values; however, the model was trimmed by removing one item from the questionnaire, and final statistical indices showed that the model was fit.
A Study of the Effect of Dictogloss as a Medium of Form-focused Instruction on Vocabulary versus Grammar Development of Iranian EFL Learners
Vocabulary and grammar are two significant components of English which learners often find challenging in their process of learning English as a foreign language (EFL). Therefore, finding the best way to teach grammar and vocabulary has always been a controversial issue among English teachers and researchers. The present study is an attempt to investigate the effect of dictogloss (DG) task, as one of the focus on form techniques, on EFL learners’ vocabulary versus grammar development. To this end, a quasi-experimental design was utilized to examine the effectiveness of the treatment. In this design, two classes were chosen, one as the experimental group (n=20) and the other as the control group (n=20). The participants were 40 female learners of English as a foreign language at intermediate level. In the experimental group the selected grammatical structures and vocabulary were taught using the DG technique, while in the control group the traditional method of teaching, present-practice-produce was used. The results gained from comparing pretest and posttest scores indicate that, although the experimental group outperformed the control group in learning vocabulary, there was no statistically significant difference between the experimental and control group regarding grammar scores. Therefore, it can be concluded that using DG task was more effective on vocabulary learning of learners than grammar development. The findings of this study will be of help for both English teachers and learners regarding finding the best method of teaching and learning English grammar and vocabulary.
As a fascinating and colorful part of English language, idioms highly affect fluency, but they are quite difficult to teach and learn, and they have often been neglected particularly in ESL/EFL settings. Considering the large number of English idioms, corpus linguistics can be of great benefit in prioritizing materials in language classrooms based on the frequency information. Accordingly, the present corpus-based study aimed at identifying the most frequent idioms in English language by analyzing the data coming from the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA), composed of more than 520 million words. The study involved writing a special script using Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP) language which resulted in the development of five idiom lists, each containing 50 most frequently used idioms in each one of the five genres in COCA including academic, fiction, spoken, newspaper, and magazine along with their frequency of occurrences. Comparison was then made across the mentioned five genres. It was found that the spoken genre included more idioms whereas the academic genre was the least idiomatic. Furthermore, various levels of overlap was found among different genres. The least and the highest levels of overlap was found between the academic and fiction genres and between the magazine and newspaper genres respectively. The academic genre had more overlap with the newspaper and magazine genres. The findings can benefit EFL materials developers, teachers, and learners in recognizing and including frequently-used authentic idioms in language classrooms and textbooks.
: Corrective Feedback (CF) provision on performance involves calling attention to learners' erroneous utterances, which stimulates classroom language learning. Despite widespread research in this area, a controversy still exists as to the time of CF in communicative tasks especially when learners' task engagement is targeted. Employing 60 intermediate-level Iranian learners, a four-week study examined the effects of immediate versus delayed CF types on oral engagement, grammar gain as well as on Complexity, Accuracy and Fluency (CAF) in the context of a dictogloss task. The statistical analysis showed that despite statistically significant improvements in the case of Grammaticality Judgement Test (GJT) from the pre-test to the post-test, no statistically significant difference was found between the two groups with regard to their grammar gain, complexity, accuracy, fluency, as well as on their social and cognitive engagement. However, results in the case of behavioral and emotional engagement revealed that there were statistically significant differences between the two groups of immediate and delayed CFs. The findings of the present study call for more flexibility and confidence on the part of the teachers in providing either immediate or delayed CF whenever appropriate and without being concerned about the adverse effects of feedback
Academic-Scholarly Publications in the Iranian Applied Linguistics Journals (2008-2019): A Comprehensive Review
The first step in the optimization of research is to analyze and review the conducted research to gain a comprehensive overview. Therefore, this study was set to delve into the contributions made to Iranian Applied Linguistics Journals approved by the Ministry of Science, Research, and Technology from 2008 to 2019. To analyze the data, frequency analyses were run on 1419 publications. The findings indicated that TEFL-related topics received the most coverage (88%) compared to the other prevalent majors: Linguistics, Translation, and Literature. The study revealed that male contributions (63.7%) far outweighed those of females (34.4%). Furthermore, it came to light that co-authorship (59.95%) was more appreciated among contributors to Iranian applied linguistics journals. Moreover, Islamic Azad University collectively (25.34%) followed by University of Shiraz (11.3%) and University of Isfahan (10.25%) had the highest number of publications. Assistant (32.12%) and associate professors (21.86%) had the highest number of publications. It was also found that the US contributors (28.75%) followed by Australian and Malaysian contributors (13.75%) made the highest number of foreign contributions to the Iranian EFL journals. Finally, it was revealed that writing-related topics was the most frequently-explored topic (n=164). Corpus-related studies (n=132) and teacher education (n=118) came second and third respectively. The study provides practitioners and researchers with relevant and missing information about the most frequently-explored topics, the most prolific authors, the most productive universities, and the number of foreign contributions.
Developing and Validating a Sociocultural Plagiarism Questionnaire for Assessing English Academic Writing of Iranian Scholars
Plagiarism is considered as a serious problem in academia around the world. The issue of plagiarism has recently received global inquiry in different fields of science, especially in foreign language (L2) academic writing. To meticulously assess the Iranian academics for plagiarism at both theory and practice grounds, developing an accountable instrument seemed to be inevitable. To bridge the gap, in phase 1 of the study, a conceptual framework for Iranian academics’ grasp of plagiarism and its components was designed after a thorough review of literature. In phase 2, a number of M.A. graduates and graduate students (n = 224) in six State and Islamic Azad universities in Iran were recruited to partake in piloting the newly-designed plagiarism questionnaire. After a two-step revising the inefficient items (n = 11), the final draft of the developed questionnaire with 36 items was administered with the main sample of participants (n = 288). An Exploratory Factor Analysis was performed to identify the components of the instrument, followed by Confirmatory Factor Analysis to measure its construct validity. As a result, the final draft of the Sociocultural Plagiarism Questionnaire contained 31 Likert-point and 5 multiple choice items in four components of awareness (10 items), attitude (8 items), sociocultural beliefs (8 items), and perception (5 Likert-point and 5 multiple choice items), which were suggested as having fundamental contributions to the Iranian academic writers’ sensitivity to plagiarism. Findings of the study suggested that (a) the Iranian academic writers’ normative sociocultural beliefs can probably reduce their sensitivity to plagiarism, (b) while the Iranian academics might have relatively high awareness and deep perception about plagiarism, their attitude toward plagiarism seems relatively neutral or even insensitive.