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Journal of Teaching Language Skills
  [7 followers]  Follow
  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
   ISSN (Online) 1020-8576
   Published by Shiraz University Homepage  [16 journals]
  • The Impact of Training EFL Learners in Self-Regulation of Reading on their
           EFL Literal and ...

    • Abstract: Abstract Self-regulation is the ability to regulate one’s thoughts and actions to attain goals. Accordingly, self-regulated learning (SRL) involves plans and behaviors to achieve learning goals. With this in mind, this study investigated whether training English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners on the basis of a Self-regulated Learning (SRL) model improved their literal and critical reading comprehension. It also sought to find out whether the learners’ proficiency level could moderate the impact of self-regulation training. Two intact experimental groups were taught self-regulatory reading processes, while two control groups received the traditional, routine reading instruction. The data of the study were collected by College-Level Academic Skills Test (CLAST) reading sub-tests including both critical and literal reading comprehension parts. Statistical analyses showed that self-regulation instruction could significantly improve participants’ EFL literal and critical reading comprehension, but their proficiency level did not moderate the effect of self-regulation training. These findings can encourage EFL teachers to apply SRL strategies to reading tasks and activities.
      PubDate: Thu, 18 Aug 2016 19:30:00 +010
  • On Anthropomorphism in Technology-Enhanced Language Learning: Does
           Modality Matter in ...

    • Abstract: The present study aimed to satisfy a twofold purpose: On the one hand, it sought to verify the postulation that agent-based instruction could offer a compromise approach to teaching L2 idioms where form and meaning would be equally emphasized during instruction. Given that anthropomorphism has not been much under scrutiny, this research, on the other hand, sought to ascertain whether learning and retention of English idioms would be differentially impacted when two different modalities of virtual tutors—anthropomorphic and non-anthropomorphic—were present in the tutorial. To this aim, the participants of the study received instruction on 128 English idioms from human teachers, a multimedia application featuring a humanoid virtual teacher, or a piece of multimedia courseware with a non-anthropomorphic virtual tutor. Analysis of the post-intervention measures of L2 idiom knowledge revealed that agent-based instruction had proved more effective in improving both learning and retention of the target idioms among the participants. A further finding was that despite the greater motivational benefits of the humanoid virtual tutor, it had not privileged the participants, performance-wise.
      PubDate: Fri, 05 Aug 2016 19:30:00 +010
  • Enhancing Iranian EFL Learners' Descriptive Writing Skill through
           Genre-based Instruction and ...

    • Abstract: ELT writing practitioners have long attempted to improve EFL/ESL learners' competence in writing with recourse to either instruction or feedback. Likewise, researchers have, to date, mainly focused on either of these treatments to enhance language learners' composing ability. Which treatment leads to more significant improvements is, however, unclear. Moreover, of the various written genres, the genre of description seems to have been neglected by researchers. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the impact of metalinguistic feedback and scaffolded genre-based instruction through consciousness-raising tasks on EFL learners' ability to write descriptive essays. To this aim, two groups, feedback group (n=32) and instruction group (n=32), participated in the present study. After pretesting the participants' ability to compose descriptive essays, the researchers provided them with either written metalinguistic explanations on their compositions or gave them genre-based instruction. The participants then took a posttest, the results of which revealed that the instruction group had made more significant improvements.
      PubDate: Fri, 05 Aug 2016 19:30:00 +010
  • Reflective Teaching through Videotaping in an English Teaching Course in

    • Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate videotaping as a strategy for EFL teachers’ reflective teaching. To conduct the study, eight participants were selected from a language institute in Iran and were under investigation for over a period of one month and a half. Data were triangulated from different sources: videotaping; self-reflection sheets; critical content analysis of materials; and semi-structured interviews. The analysis of in situ data suggested that there is a significant difference between teachers’ self evaluations of their own teaching process at the beginning and at the end of semester, substantiating the positive effects of videotaping. Results also demonstrated that the content of reflective teaching or some general topic areas which are provided by Iranian reflective teachers can be summarized into a framework including 8 categories of communication patterns in the classroom, the affective climate of the classroom, classroom management, error correction, teacher’s physical appearance, teaching techniques and strategies, professional development, and teacher’s command of English. The current study may have some enticing implications for EFL teachers, materials developers, teacher trainers and syllabus designers.
      PubDate: Fri, 24 Jun 2016 19:30:00 +010
  • The Effect of Mixed and Matched Level Dyadic Interaction on Iranian EFL
           Learners’ ...

    • Abstract: Drawing upon sociocultural theory of Vygotsky, the current study aims to investigate the effect of dyadic interaction in mixed and matched level proficiency pairings on comprehension and production of request and apology speech acts. The participants were 125 EFL learners who were randomly assigned to control and experimental (interaction) groups. Based on their scores in the pretest including a pragmatic listening test and an Oral Discourse Completion Test (ODCT), those in the experimental groups were assigned to the mixed (H-L) and matched level (H-H and L-L) dyads. Both the control and experimental groups received metapragmatic instruction on speech acts; however, the experimental groups were engaged in collaborative problem-solving tasks on speech acts for nine sessions. Following the treatment, the posttest was administered, the results of which revealed the outperformance of the interaction groups compared with the control group. Moreover, mixed level dyads were found to outperform their matched level counterparts in both measures of comprehension and production of speech acts. The findings have pedagogical implications for L2 teachers and practitioners on how to best pair learners in collaborative activities.
      PubDate: Fri, 20 May 2016 19:30:00 +010
  • The Use of Hedging in Discussion Sections of Applied Linguistics Research
           Articles with Varied ...

    • Abstract: The discourse of the discussion in research articles is regarded to be of considerable significance—as in this section the findings are interpreted in light of previous research and the authors’ argumentations are put forward as a major contribution (see Hyland, 1999). For this reason, the content and structure of the discussion section have been explored in several studies; however, little attention has been focused on a comparative analysis of how hedges are used in the discussion sections of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods studies. To address this gap, the present study explored the use of hedges in 150 applied linguistics articles (50 qualitative, 50 quantitative, and 50 mixed methods studies). To this end, the study investigated forms and pragmatic functions of the hedges in the discussion sections, utilizing Varttala’s (2001) and Hyland’s (1998) models. The data were analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively through use of rigorous coding and memoing strategies. The results of the study indicated that hedging forms in the discussion sections of quantitative applied linguistics articles had the highest frequency, followed by mixed methods studies and qualitative articles, respectively. Also, full verbs, auxiliaries, and adverbs were the most frequent categories of hedging; moreover, the results of Chi square test proved the significance of observed differences. The findings demonstrated that mixed methods studies tended to show similarities with quantitative articles regarding the use of hedging strategies. The results are interpreted in relation to the nature of each research method.
      PubDate: Fri, 20 May 2016 19:30:00 +010
  • The Impact of Task Complexity along Single Task Dimension on EFL Iranian
           Learners' Written ...

    • Abstract: Based on Robinson’s Cognition Hypothesis, this study explored the effects of task complexity on the lexical complexity of Iranian EFL students’ argumentative writing.This study was designed to explore the manipulation of cognitive task complexity along +/-single task dimension (a resource dispersing dimension in Robinson’s triadic framework) on Iranian EFL learners’ production in term of lexical complexity. To this end, based on the results of the writing test of TOFEL (2004), 48 learners were selected and assigned to two groups, simple task group (STG, n = 24) and complex task group (CTG, n= 24) randomly. The participants in the STG were given an eight-frame picture which had been arranged in the correct sequence before its administration (+single task). These participants were required to order the frames in the right sequence first, before starting writing (- single task). Their output was encoded based on the measures of lexical complexity. The null hypothesis was nullified since the results indicated positive significant impact of +/-single dimension on lexical complexity. Regarding the results of the present study, it can be stated that when the participants were engaged putting the pictures in their correct order in the complex task, they carried out deeper semantic processing in order to find the reasonable order, which might lead to the better activation of their exemplar-based system and made them browse it more deeply. It was found that, at least in the Iranian context, Robinson’s (2005) predictions were more convincing.
      PubDate: Fri, 20 May 2016 19:30:00 +010
  • Autonomously noticing incorrect language use: Does it Improve EFL
           learners' Grammatical Accuracy?

    • Abstract: Promoting communicative interactions, while simultaneously drawing students’ attention to language form, is considered as a potentially significant area of research in second language acquisition. This study focuses on the effect of transcribing task, as an autonomous noticing activity, on intermediate and advanced EFL learners' grammatical accuracy. The study was conducted in two advanced and two intermediate adult EFL classrooms, with one class in each level of proficiency serving as the control group and the other as the experimental group. Every session, over a period of 20 weeks, a classroom oral discussion task was assigned to both intermediate and advanced learners. For this purpose, learners were divided into groups of three or four in each class. Students were asked to record their groups' conversations each session. Students in the control groups gave their recorded conversations to the teacher without any post-task activity. Unlike the control groups, the students in the experimental groups were engaged in the post-task activity. Working individually, learners in the experimental groups first transcribed the recorded classroom speaking task and autonomously tried to find and correct their own and their peers' grammatical errors. Subsequently, working collaboratively, learners were engaged in further discussion and reformulation of these inaccurate utterances. The results obtained from one-way ANOVA indicated that transcription of oral output with a follow up self and peer correction significantly enhanced the accuracy of EFL learners’ oral production.
      PubDate: Fri, 20 May 2016 19:30:00 +010
  • Genre Analysis and Genre-mixing Across Various Realizations of Academic
           Book Introductions in ...

    • Abstract: Motivated by the need to explore the introductory sections of textbooks, the present study attempted to scrutinize three realizations of academic introductions, namely, Preface, Introduction, and Foreword in terms of their functions and potential generic structures in light of Swales’s (1990) views of genre. Moreover, the study aimed to investigate genre-mixing as an interdiscursivity element across the above-mentioned texts (Bhatia, 1993). In so doing, a heuristic analysis was adopted to achieve a less biased view of the nature of the variations of introduction and to proceed systematically in developing a potential generic model. Seventy five text samples were extracted to identify the variations in exploiting the moves across the datasets under study. The findings of the study revealed almost similar schematic frameworks for the three manifestations of introductions. Moreover, examining meta-discursive and rhetorical devices across the datasets indicated the ways in which book introduction writers successfully appropriate genre resources and mix a promotional with an informative purpose.
      PubDate: Fri, 20 May 2016 19:30:00 +010
  • Do Heavy-NP Shift Phenomenon and Constituent Ordering in English Cause
           Sentence Processing ...

    • Abstract: Heavy-NP shift occurs when speakers prefer placing lengthy or “heavy” noun phrase direct objects in the clause-final position within a sentence rather than in the post-verbal position. Two experiments were conducted in this study, and their results suggested that having a long noun phrase affected the ordering of constituents (the noun phrase and prepositional phrase) by advanced Iranian EFL learners. In the first experiment, we found that when the direct object NP is lengthened by adding extra linguistic information, participants tended to form sentences with heavy-NP shift structures more often than the basic word order (subject + direct object + prepositional phrase). The results of the grammaticality judgment task used in the second experiment indicated that participants regarded sentences with the shifted word order as being grammatical more often than being awkward and ungrammatical. These findings support the idea that advanced EFL learners, quite like native speakers of English, show a strong tendency towards forming shifted structures when the length of the direct object NP increases. The results obtained from this study can be attended to in developing materials for learners in different levels of proficiency. Furthermore, teachers can use the results to adapt their teaching of the structure to learners' level of proficiency by considering the processing difficulty the structure might cause.
      PubDate: Fri, 20 May 2016 19:30:00 +010
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
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