Foreign Language Teaching and Research

Foreign Language Teaching and Research

international Journal of Foreign Language Teaching & Research, Volume 9, Issue 37, Autumn 2021



Development and Validation of a Quantitative Research Literacy Questionnaire

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Simultaneous with the emergence of numerous new concerns and techniques in carrying out research in English language teaching (ELT) contexts, conducting ELT research has turned into a multi-dimensional process, and ELT researchers seem to require advanced research skills in order to address different pedagogical issues. Focusing on quantitative research, the present study was undertaken to develop and validate a quantitative research literacy (QRL) instrument for English as a foreign language (EFL) teacher training context. To this objective, a four-component model of QRL, encompassing developing research topic knowledge, research design knowledge, procedural knowledge, and data analysis knowledge was developed based on experts’ opinion and an extensive review of the related literature. Testing of the tentative model through exploratory and confirmatory data analyses on a sample of 1180 EFL teachers across three education levels indicated that a 4-factor model of QRL with 9 sub-factors and 50 items could best explain QRL.

Evaluative Content Analysis of the Iranian EFL Textbook for Senior High School Second Graders: Vision 2

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This study sought to evaluate the usefulness and desirability of the English textbooks for Iranian second grade students in senior high school, Vision 2. To this end, the extent to which the textbooks materials satisfy the prescribed curriculum was explored based on Littlejohn’s (2011) evaluative framework. Employing stratified random sampling, a total of 12 private and public senior high schools (six girl students and six boy students) were selected randomly among all the schools located in the six education districts in Isfahan. To select the teacher participants, a convenience sampling method was employed and those who agreed to be surveyed took part in the study. The 20 teachers who participated in this study have been teaching Vision 2 since the beginning of 2017 fall. The process of the content analysis deals with a deeply analytical content evaluation based on a framework containing different parts (objective description analysis, subjective analysis, subjective inference) done by a teacher committee. The results revealed that there is a need to adapt the materials to the target situation of use. Such adaptation needs to cover both design- and publication-oriented aspects of the materials. As a practical implication, the findings may urge the developers of the textbooks to launch a modification project relying upon the results of the systematic phase, therefore, it may enrich English teaching and learning material in Iranian high schools.

Iranian TEFL Ph.D. Candidates’ Conception of Professional Identity Development in Doctoral Education

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The present study investigated the TEFL Ph.D. candidates’ conception (TPCs) of professional identity development (PID) during doctoral program. To this end, under a mixed-method design, two instruments were used to collect data: a four-point Likert-scale researcher-made questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. First, the questionnaire was mailed to 80 Iranian Ph.D. students selected through simple random sampling. Then, to yield an in-depth understanding of how they develop their professional identity, 10 participants with more than 10 years of teaching experience were asked to take part in the interview. The results obtained from the analysis of the elicited data indicated that majority of the participants believed that lack of practical professional development courses, lack of scholarship, lack of employer support, the high cost of Ph.D. opportunities, and trivial increase in job satisfaction and security were among the hurdles of to their professional identity development. Regarding the factors influencing some participants’ withdrawal from Ph.D. studies, the results revealed that feeling of isolation and lack of dissertation writing groups were the most significant reasons. The findings of the study can have some pedagogical implications for teacher education programs in that they can be used to emphasize their strengths, eliminate their weaknesses, and to provide stakeholders with ample opportunities to improve the quality of doctoral education.

A Logogenetic Delve into Attitudinal Meanings in Native vs. Non-Native Discussion Section of Research Articles

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Using evaluative language has been considered as the significant predictor of academic writing success in second and foreign language research. Such an importance paved the way for the current study to investigate the use of the APPRAISAL tool, namely ATTITUDE resources, in the research articles (RAs) written by native (N) and non-native (NN) writers, focusing on the discussion sections. A qualitative corpus selection resulted in choosing 30 RAs written by American writers and 30 authored by Iranian writers. Two coding schemes were used: one for discussion boundaries based on Kanoksilapatham’s (2005) discussion move structure, and the modified version of APPRAISAL theory (Xu, 2017) for identifying attitudinal resources. The corpus analysis revealed that academic writers preferred to use a great number of inscribed ATTITUDE resources, that is, APPRECIATION tools compared to JUDGMENT. There was also a significant difference between N and NN sub-corpora in using attitudinal resources, highlighting that the language of N RAs contained more authorial stance of ATTITUDE compared to NN sub-corpus. However, the use of idioms as evoked ATTITUDE was found to be frequently applied by NN authors. The findings of the study contributed to the significance of using evaluative language in academic writing through which the writers can make a dialogic interaction with readers and enhance their critical stance by involving them in the argument.

Effect of Psychological Factors on EFL Teachers’ Attitude about Technology Use: Perceived ease of use, trialability, and subjective norms in focus

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The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of psychological factors on teachers` attitudes regarding technology use. To this purpose, such factors as ‘perceived usefulness’, ‘perceived ease of use’, ‘trialability’, ‘subjective norms’, and ‘attitude’ were investigated. The participants of the study were high school English language teachers in Shiraz, who were selected through stratified sampling as a representative sample of the available population. In order to assess the extent of the effect of each factor, five questionnaires were administered. Then, the elicited data were analyzed by means of path analysis. The obtained results revealed that ‘perceived ease of use’ was affected by ‘subjective norms’, and ‘trialability’ influenced the attitude of teachers about using technology in their teachings. The results also showed that the most influential factor on attitude was ‘trialability’. Furthermore, the results displayed that ‘perceived usefulness’ had a significant effect and subjective norms had an indirect but meaningful effect on the teachers’ attitude. The findings of the study have implications for school administrators and teachers to use them in their planning and instruction and, as a result, boost the learning environment.

Relationship between Teaching Experience, Academic Qualifications and In-service Training Courses: The case of Iranian EFL teachers' use of critical thinking-based teaching strategies

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This study intended to investigate critical thinking-based teaching strategies EFL teachers of Iranian high schools integrate into their teaching. To this purpose, the inter-relationship between the teachers' frequency of use of critical thinking-based teaching strategies and their teaching experience, their attendance at critical thinking in-service training courses, and their higher university degree were explored through a survey questionnaire. To analyze the collected data, means, frequencies, standard deviations, percentages, exploratory factor analysis (EFA), correlation coefficient, and five-point Likert scale were utilized. The obtained results showed that teaching experience was negatively correlated with the frequency of strategy use, and that no significant relationship was found between the frequency of strategy use and teachers’ higher university degree. The results further showed a significant relationship between the frequency of strategy use and critical thinking in-service training courses attended by teachers. The findings of this study imply that critical thinking should be reinforced in Iranian education system as well as in high school teaching schedule.

The Effects of Three Forms of Reading-based Tasks on Iranian Intermediate and Advanced EFL Learners’ Vocabulary Uptake

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The present study explored the effects of three forms of reading-based L2 vocabulary tasks on learning and retention of 40 target words by Iranian intermediate and advanced male English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners. To this end, 176 EFL learners were randomly selected and assigned to three experimental and one control condition across two levels of intermediate and advanced proficiency levels. The participants in the experimental conditions read 8 texts including 40 target words and performed word-focused (WF) tasks, oral reproduction (OR) plus summary writing (SW) tasks, and WF plus OR vocabulary tasks incorporating target words according to their task designation. The results of two-way MANOVA and Scheffe’s post-hoc test demonstrated that while all three experimental conditions significantly outperformed the control group in terms of learning and retention of target words, the WF plus OR task was found to be the most effective condition. The results are justified in light of Laufer and Hulstjin’s (2001) Involvement Load Hypothesis, Nation and Webb’s (2011) Technique Feature Analysis, the Skill Acquisition Theory, and Swain’s (1985) Output Hypothesis. The study concluded with pedagogical implications for language teachers and materials developers with regard to including both word-focused and meaning-oriented L2 vocabulary tasks in language classes and language textbooks.

Online Teacher Quality and TPACK Framework of Knowledge: EFL Pre-service Teachers' Views

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This study aimed at examining prospective EFL teachers' views about quality of online English language teaching and Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) and the related skills. To this end, the viewpoints of 100 graduate students of TEFL (M = 23, F = 77) at Iran University of Science and Technology were investigated via administering two questionnaires, namely online teacher quality and frames of knowledge and skills, along with two-open ended questions to gain more insight into online teacher quality and their knowledge frames. Internet-based survey method was employed to administer the questionnaires and collect the required data. The quantitative and qualitative data obtained were analyzed through descriptive statistics and thematic analysis, respectively. With regard to online teacher quality, the results revealed that pre-service teachers agreed that an online teacher should be an organized mediator, communicator, and problem solver as well as being highly passionate, energetic, and competent in teaching. The results also indicated that having content and pedagogical knowledge, clearly organizing and structuring content, time management skills, using appropriate resources, and providing feedback and multiple opportunities for communication were the most significant knowledge types required of an online language teacher. Considering online teaching skills, effective online communication skills, effective content delivery, technological skills, and effective evaluation and assessment were the most frequent skills suggested for online language teachers. The findings of this study could give more insights into designing knowledge-based and skills-based professional development programs for prospective teachers to enhance the quality of their online teaching.

Impact of Team Teaching on the Academic Performance, Motivation, and Collaboration of Iranian EFL Learners: Oral Skills and Counseling Procedures in Focus

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This paper aimed to critically look at team teaching tactics and the role it plays in achieving teaching and learning effectiveness. Specifically, using psychological counseling procedures, this study examined the benefits this learner-centered attitude brings to the student teachers and students, and also discussed different possible issues that may arise. To this purpose, a mix-methods design which comprised pretest, posttest, questionnaires, and interview was utilized to collect the necessary data. 52 Iranian high school EFL students were selected through purposive sampling and divided into a Control Group (CG) and an Experimental Group (EG). Also, two English language teachers, and a teacher as counselor were purposively selected to participate in team teaching procedure. The control group was taught through traditional methods of language teaching and the experimental group was taught through team teaching procedures. The posttest results showed that there were significant differences in favour of the experimental group between the two groups in terms of their oral proficiency.Also, the results obtained from the questionnaires revealed that that there were significant differences in the participants’ outlook towards using team teaching methods in the language class. It was further found that there was a very strong evidence of partnership between team teaching plus counseling practice and inherent academic motivation as well as between team teaching and counseling procedure. The findings of the study are valuable for English language instructors, materials developers, program planners, and education administrators.

Metadiscourse Markers in the Abstract Section of Applied Linguistics Research Articles: Celebrity vs. Non-celebrity Authors

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Metadiscourse involves the self-reflective linguistic expressions that refer to the evolving text, the writer, and the imagined readers of that text. This study utilized an interpersonal model of metadiscourse to examine the authors' use of metadiscourse in the Abstract sections of Applied Linguistics Research Articles (RAs). It investigated the distributions of interactive and interactional metadiscourse markers at a corpus of 110 RAs published by celebrity and non-celebrity authors to determine the ways academic writers deploy these resources at a hight-stake research genre to persuade readers in their discourse community. The findings revealed that frame markers with a relative frequency of 112 were the most frequent strategy category for the non-celebrity authors. Moreover, evidentials with a relative frequency of 3 were the least frequently used strategy for the celebrity authors. There were no significant differences in the use of interactive and interactional metadiscourse markers between celebrity and non-celebrity authors. These findings might have implications for the teaching of academic writing and scholarly publishing and for novice writers who aim to publish their studies in academic journals.

The Age of Enlightenment and Decline of Neo-Classicism in Europe

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The age of enlightenment is a turning point in the movements of Neo-Classicism toward Romanticism. This period emerges after preparing the ground for the decline of neoclassicism in the first half of the eighteenth century in the areas of art, literature, etc. in Europe. It is considered as the beginning of a period of art and literature consisting of artistic creativity and intuitive perception. Three main principles of "unity of time", "unity of place", and "unity of subject" based on which the classical literature was founded become subject to change and transformation. England, Germany, and France were the primary manifestation points of this movement in European literature. Although the role of the literature of ancient east in the foundations of the characteristics of "Romanticism" and pre-romanticism cannot be overlooked, the social grounds of the emergence of this age can be summarized in the longings for change of society, getting tired of old criteria in the fields of art and literature, tendency toward platonic thoughts, and escape from modernity and inclination toward logical thoughts in the works of "Kant" and "Rousseau".

A Reflection on How EFL Teachers in Iran Feel About Their Education: A Modular Model (KARDS) Perspective

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This research reports on how EFL teachers feel about their education based on knowing, analyzing, recognizing, doing, and seeing (KARDS) modular model. The researcher employed convenient sampling to choose 15 teachers. Due to the closure of schools in the pandemic era and the online nature of courses, English teachers are only available online or in meetings at the university. A KARDS questionnaire was used to record the teachers’ views. The questionnaire was researcher-made and it was either handed in the meetings or sent via e-mail or other routes. The data gathered showed that though the English teachers had the knowledge necessary about their jobs, most of them lacked the necessary insight required in terms of the 5 modules of education in L2 teaching. The data seem to imply that ELT education programs in Iran are mostly oriented towards teacher training, rather than teacher education.

Effect of Offline Newly-Developed Task Cycle (NDTC) on Iranian Medical Students’ Reading Comprehension Performance

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This study was conducted to explore the impact of integrating an evaluation cycle (Newly-developed Task Cycle) into Willis's task-based model on the improvement of Iranian medical students’ reading comprehension. In this quasi-treatment study, 60 medical students were selected through convenience sampling from Jahrom University of Medical Sciences, Jahrom, Iran, and assigned to two groups of Willis and NDTC. The control group (Willis group) received the procedures of the task-based cycle proposed by Willis, and the treatment group (NTDC group) received the procedures of NDTC designed by the researchers of this study. Each group participated in 12 sessions with a focus on reading comprehension, which met twice a week for 90 minutes. Prior to starting the treatment, a pre-test was administered. Also, one week after the last session, a post-test was administered. The post-test scores were compared with pre-test scores in each group and finally with each other. The results obtained from the statistical analysis of the collected data revealed that while both frameworks were effective in improving the learners’ reading skills, NDTC had a greater impact in this respect. The findings of the study have beneficial implications for teachers, researchers, and educational managers, should NDTC be infiltrated into teaching methods. 

Impact of Intercultural Movie Clips on EFL Learners’ Social and Cultural Identity in Virtual Communities of Practice

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The relationship between identity and language learning has attracted the scholars` attention in the fields of second language acquisition (SLA) with considerable focus on social and cultural dimensions of language learning. However, relatively little research has been devoted to examining the identity construction of language learners in virtual communities of practice despite the global trend of foreign language instruction. Consequently, the current mixed methods classroom-based study investigated whether the implementation of intercultural movie clips in virtual communities of practice could contribute to social and cultural identity improvement of participants in the English as a foreign language (EFL) context. To achieve this goal, two intact classes in an institute were assigned to experimental and control group, each containing thirty EFL learners. This study was implemented on the pre-test post-test equivalent-group design. Drawing on quantitative and qualitative analysis, using two questionnaires, and a semi-structured interview, the results indicated that positive changes took place in social and cultural identity of the participants. Moreover, by getting access to new social, cultural and linguistic resources and as a result the adoption of new identities, some special features such as fewer psychological barriers to understanding others, increasing courage to accept new norms, and feelings of unity and equity were obtained by the learners.   

A Comparative Study of The Kite Runner and its Persian Machine and Human Renderings: Culture-specific items in focus

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This study aimed at investigating the Persian human and machine (Google) renderings of The Kite Runner by Khalid Hosseini, through comparing and contrasting culture specific items (CSI) as well as the exploited translation strategies. Thus, the relevant problematic forms of the cultural differences were identified and the procedures suggested by Newmark (1988) were examined to see how they fit into the translation of cultural differences in English and Persian. The results of this qualitative study revealed that Literal Translation, Naturalization and Transposition strategies were used most frequently in both human and machine translations. However, machine translation could not present a comprehensible translation due to overuse of these strategies (75%). It was also revealed that the spirit of source text was kept intact in both renderings due to closeness of Iranian and Afghan cultures. It was further discovered that the human translated version carried the real beauty and creativities of the original work. In facty, the terms that were transformed and localized were able to carry over the flavor of the author’s work. Finally, it was shown that the regretful theme of the source text was reserved to a great extent in the human rendering of the novel, while machine translation failed to get it. Generally-speaking, based on the findings of this study, culture-specific terms make it difficult for machines to achieve complete word-for-word equivalence, and at the same time, human translator must have a broad knowledge of the literature and traditions of both the source and target languages to come up with a faithful translation in terms of both form and content.


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