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Journal of Teaching Language Skills
   [5 followers]  Follow    
  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
     ISSN (Online) 1020-8576
     Published by Shiraz University Homepage  [10 journals]
  • Online Processing of English Wh-Dependencies by Iranian EFL Learners

    • Abstract: To be able to reach the level of ultimate attainment in the second language, learners need to acquire not only the grammar of the L2 but also the language processing mechanisms involved in the comprehension of sentences in real time. Contrary to its importance, very little is known yet about online L2 processing. This study examines whether advanced Iranian learners of English reactivate dislocated indirect objects at gap positions in accordance to the “trace reactivation hypothesis” (TRH) and also whether their individual working memory capacities play any role in antecedent priming in such processing. To this end, 44 participants were randomly selected for the study after being given the Oxford Placement Test. The participants were then given the reading-span test to check their working memory (WM) and were divided into 2 groups (low and high-span groups). A cross-modal priming task was conducted using the software package E-Prime Professional to record their reaction times (RTs). The data were analyzed quantitively and the results of 3 paired samples t tests showed that the learners differed from native speakers as they did not reactivate the antecedents at the gap position, indicating that foreign language learners resort to shallow parsing during L2 comprehension. Furthermore, a mixed ANOVA showed that the participants' performance was not influenced by their individual working memory differences unlike high-span native speakers.
      PubDate: Wed, 19 Feb 2014 20:30:00 +010
  • Demotivating Factors Affecting Undergraduate Learners of Non-English
           Majors Studying General ...

    • Abstract: The literature on language teaching and learning has mostly accentuated motivation as one of the crucial factors influencing learners, but demotivating factors can be of crucial importance as well. In this vein, considering a grounded theory approach, this study has tried to investigate the demotivating factors influencing Iranian university students of non-English majors utilizing an interview and a questionnaire. For this purpose, thirty undergraduate students were interviewed from three different universities: State University, Islamic Azad University, and Payame Noor University. Based on the elicited responses from the interviews, a 35-item questionnaire was developed. Applying principal factor analysis, this research has brought forth the shared perception of demotivating factors in language learning among Iranian university students and documented them as a five-factor model in which the factors of “setbacks in system of education” and “lack of extrinsic motivation” were the most and the least influential ones, respectively. The other factors also included “methods and personality of teachers,” “lack of self-esteem and intrinsic motivation,” and “lack of given importance in society.”
      PubDate: Wed, 19 Feb 2014 20:30:00 +010
  • Acquisition of English Relative Clauses by Adult Persian Learners: Focus
           on Resumptive Pronouns

    • Abstract: Tsimpli and Dimitrakopoulou (2007) observed that uninterpretable features are unavailable in second language (L2) acquisition after the critical period. In this paper, we verify this claim by providing evidence from Persian speaking learners of English as an L2 on the status of resumptive pronouns (RPs) as uniterpretable features. Unlike English which does not allow RPs, Persian shows various behaviors across different relative clauses (RCs). In Persian, RP is ungrammatical in subject, optional in object, and required in object-of-preposition RCs. To examine the status of RPs in these learners' interlanguage, a grammaticality judgment test and a translation test were developed and administered to 111 adult Persian learners of English at four proficiency levels and 18 English native speakers. Repeated measures ANOVA results, tracing the effect of proficiency on different RC types, suggest that as their proficiency improves, learners become more native-like in rejecting RPs in English. However, in comparison with the native speakers, even advanced learners show marked performance deficits notably in object and object-of-preposition RCs. These results are in line with the predictions of the Interpretability Hypothesis proposed by Tsimpli and Dimitrakopoulou. The findings also provide some implications for the age-related issue in L2 teaching.
      PubDate: Wed, 19 Feb 2014 20:30:00 +010
  • The effect of peer and teacher scaffolding on the reading comprehension of
           EFL learners in ...

    • Abstract: AbstractIn the present study, attempt has been made to examine the effectiveness of peer and teacher scaffolding in reading comprehension of intermediate EFL students in symmetrical and asymmetrical groups. To do so, sixty intermediate students were purposively selected out of 150 intermediate students in Hamadan Islamic Azad University and Kish Language Institute in Hamadan. They were divided into three groups, two experimental groups receiving respectively peer and teacher scaffolding, and just peer scaffolding, and one control group. After a two-months treatment, running ANCOVA, the researchers found a significant difference between asymmetrical subgroups and symmetrical subgroups in reading comprehension development. Besides, significant development in the reading comprehension of EFL students in experimental group 1 receiving peer and teacher scaffolding was observed by performing correlated t-test. The results of the study showed that teacher scaffolding being accompanied by peer scaffolding, rather than just having peer scaffolding, can have positive effects on the reading comprehension of EFL learners. Key words: reading comprehension, scaffolding, teacher and peer scaffolding, asymmetrical subgroups, symmetrical subgroups
      PubDate: Wed, 19 Feb 2014 20:30:00 +010
  • Individual and Collaborative Planning Conditions: Effects on Fluency,
           Complexity and Accuracy ...

    • Abstract: Research on pre-task planning has revealed that planned conditions have produced more fluent and complex language than unplanned conditions. To date, most of these studies have investigated the effects of individual planning on language production while collaborative planning has received scant attention. To determine the effects of pre-task planning on second language written production, the present study examined Iranian EFL learners’ argumentative writings under the conditions of individual and collaborative pre-task planning. The participants’ written productions were analyzed using three measures of fluency, complexity, and accuracy. The performance of individual planners and collaborative planners were compared using a series of one-way ANOVAs. Results indicated that collaborative planning promoted more accurate textual output while individual planning resulted in greater fluency. The results obtained from one-way ANOVAs also revealed that neither type of planned conditions benefited complexity. Possible explanations are provided and the implications of the findings for the applicability of collaborative planning are discussed.
      PubDate: Wed, 19 Feb 2014 20:30:00 +010
  • Interfaces of Macro and Microstructure in Academic Writing: The Case of
           Research Article Abstracts

    • Abstract: Although flourishing research has been devoted to research on article abstracts, more studies are needed to unpack the relationship between rhetorical moves and their associated linguistic and rhetorical features (e.g., metadiscourse). To underpin this relationship, the current study analyzed a total of 60 research article abstracts written in English by two cultural groups in three disciplines . The first stage identified the rhetorical structure of the abstracts based on Hyland’s (2000) move pattern. Then, the metadiscourse features prototypical of each move were determined, following Hyland’s (2005a) interpersonal model. We found diverse move patterns in both cultural groups. In the Anglo-American group, the abstracts tend to be more compatible with Hyland’s (2000) move structure, whereas the Iranians prefer to omit some of those moves. The results also revealed that there was a close relationship between the communicative function of moves and metadiscourse choices per move. This finding suggests that meadiscourse features can be manipulated effectively to fulfill the communicative intentions of moves. This study has rewarding pedagogical implications for ESP/EAP context, especially in writing courses. Key words: Move structure; metadiscourse; abstract; rhetorical feature
      PubDate: Sun, 14 Jul 2013 19:30:00 +010
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