Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) assume different roles amongst which is leadership. To lead effectively, they need to possess some significant awareness of the language in order to adequately respond to learners’ needs. One domain of awareness is the ability to distinguish between structurally similar, yet semantically different structures. This study set out to assess ESL teachers’ level of semantic awareness in view of establishing their readiness to meet learners’ needs within their Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). The Follow-up Explanatory Research Design was used. Data on the cognitions of ESL teachers were elicited from a questionnaire survey while a test was used to quantify ESL teachers’ language awareness levels in the domain of semantics. The quantitative data from the test were analyzed using frequencies and simple percentages while the qualitative data were analyzed using the framework of Content Analyses. The findings reveal that though ESL teachers overestimate the level of their knowledge base in components that have a bearing on semantics awareness, a majority of them do not wield beyond a fundamental level of awareness as concerns applying that knowledge to differentiate the meanings of structurally similar pairs of sentences. It is therefore crucial for English language pre-service and in-service teacher training to seek ways of enhancing the professional knowledge base of ESL teachers especially in domains that are critical to establishing differences between pairs of sentences that tend to be similar.
The Effect of Oral and Written Contextualization of Collocation Instruction on the Learning and Retention of Semantically Semitransparent English Collocations
This study aimed to investigate the effect of oral and written contextualization of collocation teaching on the learning and long-term retention of semantically semitransparent collocations by Iranian EFL learners. To this end, 65 students were selected from a cohort of students who were studying English at an English language institute in Sanandaj, Iran. They were randomly divided into two groups based on whether they would receive oral and written contextualization. Then, each group was further subdivided into two groups based on whether they would receive instruction on the concept of semantic transparency, yielding two experimental groups each including 16 learners as the Written Practice Group plus and minus instruction on the concept of semantic transparency, two experimental groups as the Oral Practice Group plus and minus instruction on the concept of semantic transparency, including 16 and 17 learners, respectively. Their initial general English proficiency was measured through the Preliminary English Test (PET), and they were pretested on semitransparent collocations through a researcher-made collocation test. Finally, two equivalent researcher-made collocation tests were used to measure the participants’ learning and retention on the immediate and delayed posttests. The results of two-way ANOVAs revealed that the oral group outperformed the written group on the immediate and delayed posttests and the plus transparency instruction groups in each modality (oral and written) group outperformed the minus transparency instruction groups. The interpretations of the findings and their pedagogical implications have been discussed.
Exploring the Characteristics of Iranian EFL Teachers from the Perspectives of Educators, Teachers and Learners
Research on the characteristics of effective EFL teachers integrates many constructs, which are treated independently in most cases. Consequently, the present study aims to explore the perspectives of teacher educators, teachers, and learners with regards to teacher effectiveness as an attempt to reduce the mismatches. To meet this aim, 34 teacher educators, 39 teachers, and 161 learners engaged in the context of university and language institute were selected on the basis of convenience and criterion sampling to respond to the 30 items on a 5- point Likert- scale questionnaire. The questionnaire comprised of items related to subject matter knowledge, teachers’ personal and interpersonal aspects, and approaches to language teaching. While the English questionnaire was distributed among the teacher educators and teachers, the Persian version of the questionnaire was handed over to the learners in the institute to be returned within a week’s time. Moreover, the questionnaire was available online to enrich the data collected. The ANOVA results indicated that the perceptions of teacher educators and teachers were quite similar, but were significantly different from the perspectives of the learners. Additionally, based on MANOVA analysis, it was revealed that the differences existed mostly in the category of ‘subject matter,’ whereas there was a strong agreement regarding ‘personal and interpersonal features’ of effective EFL teachers. The findings of the study may be fruitful for EFL curriculum developers, administrators, teacher educators, teachers and language learners.
The Effect of Unfocused versus Focused Metalinguistic Feedback on the Iranian EFL Learners’ Use of Dependent Clauses in Writing
This study attempted to investigate the effect of using focused vs. unfocused metalinguistic feedback on Iranian EFL learners’ use of dependent clauses in writing. On the basis of an Oxford Quick Placement Test, 60 learners out of 90 intermediate female EFL learners with the age range of 17 to 27 from Melal language institute in Karaj were chosen to participate in the study. They were assigned to two experimental groups. The homogeneity of the two groups in terms of writing ability was determined by comparing their means in a writing pretest. The treatment was done through using focused feedback for the first experimental group and unfocused feedback in the second experimental group during 14 session. At the end of the treatment, a writing test was conducted as the posttest. The results of Paired Samples t-test showed that the participants in both experimental groups performed better in writing posttest. However, the results of one-way ANCOVA showed that there was no significant difference between the two groups’ means on the posttest scores of achievements in accurate use of dependent clauses between two groups. The results were discussed in relation to some implications and recommendations for further research.
Learner attitudes towards a target language and its speakers as well as the use to which the language is put is fundamental in defining levels of success for the learning of that language. Ghana is dominated by several indigenous local languages. However, the official language as a medium of instruction in schools in Ghana is English language. Notwithstanding the use of English language as both official language and medium of instruction in our schools, disciplines specialize in the study of Ghanaian languages as a programme of study at the tertiary level. The study investigated the attitude that Ghanaian students have towards the study of Ghanaian indigenous languages and the motivational factors for the study of these languages at University of Cape Coast. Using a quantitative approach, the study employed 100 questionnaires which were administered to 50 Ghanaian language students and 50 non-Ghanaian language students in the University of Cape Coast. First, the analysis showed that students have positive attitudes towards the study of Ghanaian indigenous languages. Second, students have instrumental reasons for the study of the language. The findings of the study have implications for theory and policy makers.
An Exploration of the Relationship between Listening Strategy Use and Listening Comprehension of Undergraduate EFL Students
Listening skill, which gains momentum with the increase of digitalized resources in the globalizing world, puts language learners who can make use of listening strategies one step ahead. This paper sought to investigate the listening strategy use of EFL undergraduate students in relation to their foreign language listening performance. 157 EFL students at a state university, who were aged between 18-23 participated in the study. This descriptive study employed a quantitative approach. Nakatani’s (2006) Oral Communication Strategy Inventory (OCSI) was used for data collection purposes. A listening test was also administrated to the participants in order to measure their listening comprehension. The statistical analyses revealed that the participants mostly employed negotiation for meaning strategy followed by scanning and getting the gist strategies. The results also indicated that only getting the gist strategy was a significant predictor of L2 listening performance. A statistically significant difference between high and low-achieving L2 listeners was also found on negotiation for meaning, getting the gist, scanning, and nonverbal strategies.
Effect of MALL on the Acquisition of Receptive and Productive Knowledge of L2 Vocabulary by Iranian EFL Learners: The Case of Telegram
This study investigated the role of Telegram, a mobile messenger app, in mastering receptive and productive knowledge of vocabulary by Iranian EFL learners. In addition, it was intended to survey EFL learners’ attitude toward using telegram to learn English vocabulary. Therefore, both quantitative and qualitative design were used. So, 57 students were selected from a language institute in Isfahan, Iran. To homogenize the participants, Oxford Quick Placement Test (OQPT) was administered and the participants were divided into two groups accordingly, a Telegram group and a control group. At the beginning of the study a checklist of words was given to the participants. Afterward, during the study, the experimental group received the treatment (teaching words via telegram), while the control group received the target words traditionally. After 8 sessions, 20-30 minutes each, an achievement test was administered to the groups. The results of Independent Sample t-test revealed a statistically significant difference between the achievement test scores of the experimental and control group. Moreover, the participants had positive attitude about using Telegram to learn English vocabulary. The findings of this study may inspire teachers to use mobile applications and also course developers to modify and improve not only the curriculum, but also the methodology of teaching vocabulary.